Myofilament glycation in diabetes reduces contractility by inhibiting tropomyosin movement, is rescued by cMyBPC domains

Maria Papadaki, Theerachat Kampaengsri, Samantha K. Barrick, Stuart G. Campbell, Dirk von Lewinski, Peter P. Rainer, Samantha P. Harris, Michael J. Greenberg, Jonathan A. Kirk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Diabetes doubles the risk of developing heart failure (HF). As the prevalence of diabetes grows, so will HF unless the mechanisms connecting these diseases can be identified. Methylglyoxal (MG) is a glycolysis by-product that forms irreversible modifications on lysine and arginine, called glycation. We previously found that myofilament MG glycation causes sarcomere contractile dysfunction and is increased in patients with diabetes and HF. The aim of this study was to discover the molecular mechanisms by which MG glycation of myofilament proteins cause sarcomere dysfunction and to identify therapeutic avenues to compensate. In humans with type 2 diabetes without HF, we found increased glycation of sarcomeric actin compared to non-diabetics and it correlated with decreased calcium sensitivity. Depressed calcium sensitivity is pathogenic for HF, therefore myofilament glycation represents a promising therapeutic target to inhibit the development of HF in diabetics. To identify possible therapeutic targets, we further defined the molecular actions of myofilament glycation. Skinned myocytes exposed to 100 μM MG exhibited decreased calcium sensitivity, maximal calcium-activated force, and crossbridge kinetics. Replicating MG's functional affects using a computer simulation of sarcomere function predicted simultaneous decreases in tropomyosin's blocked-to-closed rate transition and crossbridge duty cycle were consistent with all experimental findings. Stopped-flow experiments and ATPase activity confirmed MG decreased the blocked-to-closed transition rate. Currently, no therapeutics target tropomyosin, so as proof-of-principal, we used a n-terminal peptide of myosin-binding protein C, previously shown to alter tropomyosin's position on actin. C0C2 completely rescued MG-induced calcium desensitization, suggesting a possible treatment for diabetic HF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Diabetes
  • Myofilament glycation
  • Tropomyosin
  • myBPC C0C2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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