Global O-GlcNAcylation changes impact desmin phosphorylation and its partition toward cytoskeleton in C2C12 skeletal muscle cells differentiated into myotubes

Sci Rep. 2022 Jun 14;12(1):9831. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-14033-z.


Desmin is the guardian of striated muscle integrity, permitting the maintenance of muscle shape and the efficiency of contractile activity. It is also a key mediator of cell homeostasis and survival. To ensure the fine regulation of skeletal muscle processes, desmin is regulated by post-translational modifications (PTMs). It is more precisely phosphorylated by several kinases connecting desmin to intracellular processes. Desmin is also modified by O-GlcNAcylation, an atypical glycosylation. However, the functional consequence of O-GlcNAcylation on desmin is still unknown, nor its impact on desmin phosphorylation. In a model of C2C12 myotubes, we modulated the global O-GlcNAcylation level, and we determined whether the expression, the PTMs and the partition of desmin toward insoluble material or cytoskeleton were impacted or not. We have demonstrated in the herein paper that O-GlcNAcylation variations led to changes in desmin behaviour. In particular, our data clearly showed that O-GlcNAcylation increase led to a decrease of phosphorylation level on desmin that seems to involve CamKII correlated to a decrease of its partition toward cytoskeleton. Our data showed that phosphorylation/O-GlcNAcylation interplay is highly complex on desmin, supporting that a PTMs signature could occur on desmin to finely regulate its partition (i.e. distribution) with a spatio-temporal regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylglucosamine* / metabolism
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Desmin / metabolism
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal* / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational


  • Desmin
  • Acetylglucosamine