American journal of physiology. Cell physiology

Deletion of small ankyrin 1 (sAnk1) isoforms results in structural and functional alterations in aging skeletal muscle fibers.

PMID 25354526


Muscle-specific ankyrins 1 (sAnk1) are a group of small ankyrin 1 isoforms, of which sAnk1.5 is the most abundant. sAnk1 are localized in the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) membrane from where they interact with obscurin, a myofibrillar protein. This interaction appears to contribute to stabilize the SR close to the myofibrils. Here we report the structural and functional characterization of skeletal muscles from sAnk1 knockout mice (KO). Deletion of sAnk1 did not change the expression and localization of SR proteins in 4- to 6-mo-old sAnk1 KO mice. Structurally, the main modification observed in skeletal muscles of adult sAnk1 KO mice (4-6 mo of age) was the reduction of SR volume at the sarcomere A band level. With increasing age (at 12-15 mo of age) extensor digitorum longus (EDL) skeletal muscles of sAnk1 KO mice develop prematurely large tubular aggregates, whereas diaphragm undergoes significant structural damage. Parallel functional studies revealed specific changes in the contractile performance of muscles from sAnk1 KO mice and a reduced exercise tolerance in an endurance test on treadmill compared with control mice. Moreover, reduced Qγ charge and L-type Ca(2+) current, which are indexes of affected excitation-contraction coupling, were observed in diaphragm fibers from 12- to 15-mo-old mice, but not in other skeletal muscles from sAnk1 KO mice. Altogether, these findings show that the ablation of sAnk1, by altering the organization of the SR, renders skeletal muscles susceptible to undergo structural and functional alterations more evident with age, and point to an important contribution of sAnk1 to the maintenance of the longitudinal SR architecture.