Molecular dissection of the interaction of desmin with the C-terminal region of nebulin

Marie Louise Bang, Carol Gregorio, Siegfried Labeit

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64 Scopus citations


In vertebrate skeletal muscle, ultrastructural studies have suggested that the Z-line and extracellular intermediate filaments are linked, although a structural basis for this has remained elusive. We searched for potential novel ligands of the Z-line portion of nebulin by a yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) approach. This identified that the nebulin modules M160 to M170 interact with desmin. In desmin, deletion series experiments assigned a 19-kDa central coiled-coil domain as the nebulin-binding site. The specific interactions of nebulin and desmin were confirmed in vitro by GST pull-down experiments. In situ, the nebulin modules M176 to M181 colocalize with desmin in a Z-line-associated, striated pattern as shown by immunofluorescence studies. Our data are consistent with a model that desmin attaches directly to the Z-line through its interaction with the nebulin repeats M163-M170. This interaction may link myofibrillar Z-discs to the intermediate filament system, thereby forming a lateral linkage system which contributes to maintain adjacent Z-lines in register.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-127
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Structural Biology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Desmin
  • Myofibril architecture
  • Nebulin
  • Z-line

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology


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