Molecular interactions of N-RAP, a nebulin-related protein of striated muscle myotendon junctions and intercalated disks

Biochemistry. 1999 May 11;38(19):6135-43. doi: 10.1021/bi982395t.


N-RAP is a recently discovered muscle-specific protein that is concentrated at the myotendon junctions in skeletal muscle and at the intercalated disks in cardiac muscle. The C-terminal half of N-RAP contains a region with sequence homology to nebulin, while a LIM domain is found at its N-terminus. N-RAP is hypothesized to perform an anchoring function, linking the terminal actin filaments of myofibrils to protein complexes located beneath the sarcolemma. We used a solid-phase assay to screen myofibrillar and junctional proteins for binding to several recombinant fragments of N-RAP, including the nebulin-like super repeat region (N-RAP-SR), the N-terminal half including the LIM domain (N-RAP-NH), and the region of N-RAP between the super repeat region and the LIM domain (N-RAP-IB). Actin is the only myofibrillar protein tested that exhibits specific binding to N-RAP, with high-affinity binding to N-RAP super repeats, and 10-fold weaker binding to N-RAP-IB. In contrast, myosin, isolated myosin heads, tropomyosin, and troponin exhibited no specific interaction with N-RAP domains. A recombinant fragment corresponding to the C-terminal one-fourth of vinculin also binds specifically to N-RAP super repeats, while no specific N-RAP binding activity was observed for other regions of the vinculin molecule. Finally, talin binds with high affinity to the LIM domain of N-RAP. These results support our hypothesis that N-RAP is part of a complex of proteins that anchors the terminal actin filaments of the myofibril to the membrane, and functions in transmitting tension from the myofibrils to the extracellular matrix.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Antibodies
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Muscle Proteins / chemistry
  • Muscle Proteins / immunology
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Muscles / metabolism*
  • Myofibrils / metabolism
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Sarcolemma / metabolism
  • Sarcolemma / physiology
  • Talin / metabolism
  • Vinculin / metabolism


  • Actins
  • Antibodies
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Nrap protein, mouse
  • Talin
  • nebulin
  • Vinculin