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Caveolin-3 is a direct molecular partner of the Ca(v)1.1 subunit of the skeletal muscle L-type calcium channel.

Harold Couchoux, Hicham Bichraoui, Christophe Chouabe, Xavier Altafaj, Robert Bonvallet, Bruno Allard, Michel Ronjat, Christine Berthier

, 2011 Jan 22 , ,

Caveolin-3 is the striated muscle specific isoform of the scaffolding protein family of caveolins and has been shown to interact with a variety of proteins, including ion channels. Mutations in the human CAV3 gene have been associated with several muscle disorders called caveolinopathies and among these, the P104L mutation (Cav-3(P104L)) leads to limb girdle muscular dystrophy of type 1C characterized by the loss of sarcolemmal caveolin. There is still no clear-cut explanation as to specifically how caveolin-3 mutations lead to skeletal muscle wasting. Previous results argued in favor of a role for caveolin-3 in dihydropyridine receptor (DHPR) functional regulation and/or T-tubular membrane localization. It appeared worth closely examining such a functional link and investigating if it could result from the direct physical interaction of the two proteins. Transient expression of Cav-3(P104L) or caveolin-3 specific siRNAs in C2C12 myotubes both led to a significant decrease of the L-type Ca(2+) channel maximal conductance. Immunolabeling analysis of adult skeletal muscle fibers revealed the colocalization of a pool of caveolin-3 with the DHPR within the T-tubular membrane. Caveolin-3 was also shown to be present in DHPR-containing triadic membrane preparations from which both proteins co-immunoprecipitated. Using GST-fusion proteins, the I-II loop of Ca(v)1.1 was identified as the domain interacting with caveolin-3, with an apparent affinity of 60nM. The present study thus revealed a direct molecular interaction between caveolin-3 and the DHPR which is likely to underlie their functional link and whose loss might therefore be involved in pathophysiological mechanisms associated to muscle caveolinopathies.