Desmin As A Type IIi Intermediate Filament Protein

1423 Words Aug 11th, 2016 6 Pages
Desmin: Its Role in Desminopathy


Desmin is a type III intermediate filament protein that is muscle-specific and is found in all muscle types: smooth, cardiac, and skeletal. Autosomal dominant and autosomal recessive desmin gene mutations affect desmin (DES) and oftentimes αβ-crystallin (CRYAB), a chaperone for DES, which leads to a type myofibrillar myopathy, known as desminopathy (Goldfarb et al., 2010). Desmin is the most abundant IF protein in striated and smooth muscle cells and is one of the earliest markers of muscle development (Clemen et al., 2012). Desmin filaments are mainly located at the periphery of Z-disk of striated muscles and at the dense bodies of smooth muscle cells, and they have been thought to play a major role in the maintenance of structural and mechanical integrity of the contractile apparatus in muscle tissues (Paulin & Li, 2004). A dysfunctional desmin protein cannot properly interact with Z-discs, leading to abnormalities of sarcomere structure and problems with the formation of myofibrils (NIH, 2016). The resulting pathology, desminopathy, is one of the most common intermediate filament human disorders associated with mutations in closely interacting proteins (Goldfarb & Dalakas, 2009). This condition is defined as skeletal and cardiac myopathy characterized by the presence of chimeric aggregates in muscle fiber areas that consist of DES, CRYAB and other proteins (Goldfarb et al., 2010). While a few desmin-related…
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