Berchtold, M.W., Zacharias, T., Kulej, K., Wang, K., Torggler, R., Jespersen, T., Chen, J.N., Larsen, M.R., La Cour, J.M. (2016) The Arrhythmogenic Calmodulin Mutation D129G Dysregulates Cell Growth, Calmodulin-dependent Kinase II Activity and Cardiac Function in Zebrafish. The Journal of biological chemistry. 291(52):26636-26646.
Calmodulin (CaM) is a Ca2+ binding protein modulating multiple targets, several of which are associated with cardiac pathophysiology. Recently, CaM mutations were linked to heart arrhythmia. CaM is crucial for cell growth and viability, yet the effect of the arrhythmogenic CaM mutations on cell viability, as well as heart rhythm, remains unknown, and only a few targets with relevance for heart physiology have been analyzed for their response to mutant CaM. We show that the arrhythmia-associated CaM mutants support growth and viability of DT40 cells in the absence of WT CaM except for the long QT syndrome mutant CaM D129G. Of the six CaM mutants tested (N53I, F89L, D95V, N97S, D129G, and F141L), three showed a decreased activation of Ca2+/CaM-dependent kinase II, most prominently the D129G CaM mutation, which was incapable of stimulating Thr286 autophosphorylation. Furthermore, the CaM D129G mutation led to bradycardia in zebrafish and an arrhythmic phenotype in a subset of the analyzed zebrafish.