During development, transcriptional and post-transcriptional networks are coordinately regulated to drive organ maturation. Alternative splicing contributes by producing temporal-specific protein isoforms. We previously found that genes undergoing splicing transitions during mouse postnatal heart development are enriched for vesicular trafficking and membrane dynamics functions. Here, we show that adult trafficking isoforms are also expressed in adult skeletal muscle and hypothesize that striated muscle utilizes alternative splicing to generate specific isoforms required for function of adult tissue. We deliver morpholinos into flexor digitorum brevis muscles in adult mice to redirect splicing of four trafficking genes to the fetal isoforms. The splicing switch results in multiple structural and functional defects, including transverse tubule (T-tubule) disruption and dihydropyridine receptor alpha (DHPR) and Ryr1 mislocalization, impairing excitation-contraction coupling, calcium handling, and force generation. The results demonstrate a previously unrecognized role for trafficking functions in adult muscle tissue homeostasis and a specific requirement for the adult splice variants.
Keywords: Cltc; Snap23; T-tubules; Tmed2; Trip10; alternative splicing; muscle; trafficking.
Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.