Overexpression of calsequestrin in L6 myoblasts: Formation of endoplasmic reticulum subdomains and their evolution into discrete vacuoles where aggregates of the protein are specifically accumulated

Giuliana Gatti, Paola Podini, Jacopo Meldolesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Calsequestrin (CSQ), the major low-affinity, Ca2+-binding glycoprotein of striated muscle fibers, is concentrated to yield aggregates that occupy the lumen of the terminal cisternae of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). When infected or transfected into L6 myoblast, the protein is also concentrated, however, in dense vacoules apparently separate from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). CSQ-rich cells appear otherwise normal; in particular, neither other proteins involved in Ca2+ homeostasis nor ER chaperones are increased. The CSQ dense vacuoles are shown herein to be specialized ER subdomains as demonstrated by 1) the endoglycosidase H sensitivity of their CSQ and 2) two markers, calreticulin and calnexin (but not others, protein disulfide isomerase and BiP), intermixed with the vacuole content. Their formation is shown to start with the aggregation of CSQ at discrete sites of the ER lumen. When cells were transfected with both CSQ and calreticulin, only the first gave rise to vacuoles; the second remained diffusely distributed within the ER lumen. The possibility that CSQ aggregation is an artifact of overexpression appears unlikely because 1) within dense vacuoles CSQ molecules are not disulfide cross-linked, 2) their turnover is relatively slow (t = 12 h), and 3) segregated CSQ is bound to large amounts of Ca2+. Transfection of a tagged CSQ into cells already overexpressing the protein revealed the continuous import of the newly synthesized protein into preassembled vacuoles. The tendency to aggregation appears, therefore, as a property contributing to the segregation of CSQ within the ER lumen and to its accumulation within specialized subdomains. The study of L6 cells expressing CSQ-rich vacuoles might thus ultimately help to unravel mechanisms by which the complexity of the sarcoplasmic reticulum is established in muscle fibers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1789-1803
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Volume8
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology

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