Cofilins are important for the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, sarcomere organization, and force production. The role of cofilin-1, the non-muscle-specific isoform, in muscle function remains unclear. Mutations in LMNA encoding A-type lamins, intermediate filament proteins of the nuclear envelope, cause autosomal Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD). Here, we report increased cofilin-1 expression in LMNA mutant muscle cells caused by the inability of proteasome degradation, suggesting a protective role by ERK1/2. It is known that phosphorylated ERK1/2 directly binds to and catalyzes phosphorylation of the actin-depolymerizing factor cofilin-1 on Thr25. In vivo ectopic expression of cofilin-1, as well as its phosphorylated form on Thr25, impairs sarcomere structure and force generation. These findings present a mechanism that provides insight into the molecular pathogenesis of muscular dystrophies caused by LMNA mutations.
Keywords: ERK1/2 signaling; cofilin-1; muscular dystrophy; sarcomeric organization; skeletal muscle.
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