Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHC) is a heritable form of cardiac hypertrophy caused by single-point mutations in genes encoding sarcomeric proteins including ventricular myosin regulatory light chain (RLC). FHC often leads to malignant outcomes and sudden cardiac death. The FHC mutations are believed to alter the kinetics of the interaction between actin and myosin resulting in inefficient energy utilization and compromised function of the heart. We studied the effect of the FHC-linked R58Q-RLC mutation on the kinetics of transgenic (Tg)-R58Q cardiac myofibrils. Kinetics was determined from the rate of change of orientation of actin monomers during muscle contraction. Actin monomers change orientation because myosin cross-bridges deliver periodic force impulses to it. An individual impulse (but not time average of impulses) carries the information about the kinetics of actomyosin interaction. To observe individual impulses it was necessary to scale down the experiments to the level of a few molecules. A small population (∼4 molecules) was selected by using (deliberately) inefficient fluorescence labeling and observing fluorescent molecules by a confocal microscope. We show that the kinetic rates are significantly smaller in the contracting cardiac myofibrils from Tg-R58Q mice then in control Tg-wild type (WT). We also demonstrate a lower force per cross-section of muscle fiber in Tg-R58Q versus Tg-WT mice. We conclude that the R58Q mutation-induced decrease in cross-bridge kinetics underlines the mechanism by which Tg-R58Q fibers develop low force and thus compromise the ability of the mutated heart to efficiently pump blood.
- Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Autocorrelation function