The expression of the Huntingtin protein, well known for its involvement in the neurodegenerative Huntington’s disease, has been confirmed in skeletal muscle. The impact of HTT deficiency was studied in human skeletal muscle cell lines and in a mouse model with inducible and muscle-specific HTT deletion. Characterization of calcium fluxes in the knock-out cell lines demonstrated a reduction in excitation–contraction (EC) coupling, related to an alteration in the coupling between the dihydropyridine receptor and the ryanodine receptor, and an increase in the amount of calcium stored within the sarcoplasmic reticulum, linked to the hyperactivity of store-operated calcium entry (SOCE). Immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated an association of HTT with junctophilin 1 (JPH1) and stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1), both providing clues on the functional effects of HTT deletion on calcium fluxes. Characterization of muscle strength and muscle anatomy of the muscle-specific HTT-KO mice demonstrated that HTT deletion induced moderate muscle weakness and mild muscle atrophy associated with histological abnormalities, similar to the phenotype observed in tubular aggregate myopathy. Altogether, this study points toward the hypotheses of the involvement of HTT in EC coupling via its interaction with JPH1, and on SOCE via its interaction with JPH1 and/or STIM1.
Huntingtin regulates calcium fluxes in skeletal muscle
This work is part of a special issue on excitation–contraction coupling.
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Mathilde Chivet, Maximilian McCluskey, Anne Sophie Nicot, Julie Brocard, Mathilde Beaufils, Diane Giovannini, Benoit Giannesini, Brice Poreau, Jacques Brocard, Sandrine Humbert, Frédéric Saudou, Julien Fauré, Isabelle Marty; Huntingtin regulates calcium fluxes in skeletal muscle. J Gen Physiol 2 January 2023; 155 (1): e202213103. doi: https://doi.org/10.1085/jgp.202213103
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