Clathrin plaques and associated actin anchor intermediate filaments in skeletal muscle

Mol Biol Cell. 2019 Mar 1;30(5):579-590. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E18-11-0718. Epub 2019 Jan 2.


Clathrin plaques are stable features of the plasma membrane observed in several cell types. They are abundant in muscle, where they localize at costameres that link the contractile apparatus to the sarcolemma and connect the sarcolemma to the basal lamina. Here, we show that clathrin plaques and surrounding branched actin filaments form microdomains that anchor a three-dimensional desmin intermediate filament (IF) web. Depletion of clathrin plaque and branched actin components causes accumulation of desmin tangles in the cytoplasm. We show that dynamin 2, whose mutations cause centronuclear myopathy (CNM), regulates both clathrin plaques and surrounding branched actin filaments, while CNM-causing mutations lead to desmin disorganization in a CNM mouse model and patient biopsies. Our results suggest a novel paradigm in cell biology, wherein clathrin plaques act as platforms capable of recruiting branched cortical actin, which in turn anchors IFs, both essential for striated muscle formation and function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Clathrin / metabolism*
  • Desmin / metabolism
  • Dynamin II / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intermediate Filaments / metabolism
  • Intermediate Filaments / ultrastructure
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / ultrastructure
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Myopathies, Structural, Congenital / genetics
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein / metabolism


  • Actins
  • Clathrin
  • Desmin
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein
  • Dynamin II