Contributions of Titin and Collagen to Passive Stress in Muscles from mdm Mice with a Small Deletion in Titin’s Molecular Spring

Pabodha Hettige, Dhruv Mishra, Henk Granzier, Kiisa Nishikawa, Matthew J. Gage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Muscular dystrophy with myositis (mdm) is a naturally occurring mutation in the mouse Ttn gene that results in higher passive stress in muscle fibers and intact muscles compared to wild-type (WT). The goal of this study was to test whether alternative splicing of titin exons occurs in mdm muscles, which contain a small deletion in the N2A-PEVK regions of titin, and to test whether splicing changes are associated with an increase in titin-based passive tension. Although higher levels of collagen have been reported previously in mdm muscles, here we demonstrate alternative splicing of titin in mdm skeletal muscle fibers. We identified Z-band, PEVK, and C-terminus Mex5 exons as splicing hotspots in mdm titin using RNA sequencing data and further reported upregulation in ECM-associated genes. We also treated skinned mdm soleus fiber bundles with trypsin, trypsin + KCl, and trypsin + KCL + KI to degrade titin. The results showed that passive stress dropped significantly more after trypsin treatment in mdm fibers (11 ± 1.6 mN/mm2) than in WT fibers (4.8 ± 1 mN/mm2; p = 0.0004). The finding that treatment with trypsin reduces titin-based passive tension more in mdm than in WT fibers supports the hypothesis that exon splicing leads to the expression of a stiffer and shorter titin isoform in mdm fibers. After titin extraction by trypsin + KCl + KI, mdm fibers (6.7 ± 1.27 mN/mm2) had significantly higher collagen-based passive stress remaining than WT fibers (2.6 ± 1.3 mN/mm2; p = 0.0014). We conclude that both titin and collagen contribute to higher passive tension of mdm muscles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8858
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • KCl
  • KI
  • exon splicing
  • fiber bundles
  • soleus
  • titin extraction
  • trypsin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Contributions of Titin and Collagen to Passive Stress in Muscles from mdm Mice with a Small Deletion in Titin’s Molecular Spring'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this