Redox-dependent oligomerization through a leucine zipper motif is essential for MG53-mediated cell membrane repair

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2011 Jul;301(1):C106-14. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00382.2010. Epub 2011 Apr 27.


We recently discovered that MG53, a muscle-specific tripartite motif (TRIM) family protein, functions as a sensor of oxidation to nucleate the assembly of cell membrane repair machinery. Our data showed that disulfide bond formation mediated by Cys242 is critical for MG53-mediated translocation of intracellular vesicles toward the injury sites. Here we test the hypothesis that leucine zipper motifs in the coiled-coil domain of MG53 constitute an additional mechanism that facilitates oligomerization of MG53 during cell membrane repair. Two leucine zipper motifs in the coiled-coil domain of MG53 (LZ1 - L176/L183/L190/V197 and LZ2 - L205/L212/L219/L226) are highly conserved across the different animal species. Chemical cross-linking studies show that LZ1 is critical for MG53 homodimerization, whereas LZ2 is not. Mutations of the conserved leucines into alanines in LZ1, not in LZ2, diminish the redox-dependent oligomerization of MG53. Live cell imaging studies demonstrate that the movement of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged MG53 mutants (GFP-LA1 and GFP-LA2) is partially compromised in response to mechanical damage of the cell membrane, and the GFP-LA1/2 double mutant is completely ineffective in translocation toward the injury sites. In addition to the leucine zipper-mediated intermolecular interaction, redox-dependent cross talk between MG53 appears to be an obligatory step for cell membrane repair, since in vivo modification of cysteine residues with alkylating reagents can prevent the movement of MG53 toward the injury sites. Our data show that oxidation of the thiol group of Cys242 and leucine zipper-mediated interaction among the MG53 molecules both contribute to the nucleation process for MG53-mediated cell membrane repair.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / chemistry*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Caveolin 3 / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / genetics
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Dysferlin
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Leucine Zippers*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Protein Multimerization / physiology*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism


  • CAV3 protein, human
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Caveolin 3
  • DYSF protein, human
  • Dysferlin
  • MG53 protein, mouse
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins