King's College London

Research portal

Site-specific phosphorylation of myosin binding protein-C coordinates thin and thick filament activation in cardiac muscle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15485-15494
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of National Academy of Sciences USA
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2019


  • 1903033116.full

    1903033116.full.pdf, 1.64 MB, application/pdf



King's Authors


The heart's response to varying demands of the body is regulated by signaling pathways that activate protein kinases which phosphorylate sarcomeric proteins. Although phosphorylation of cardiac myosin binding protein-C (cMyBP-C) has been recognized as a key regulator of myocardial contractility, little is known about its mechanism of action. Here, we used protein kinase A (PKA) and Cε (PKCε), as well as ribosomal S6 kinase II (RSK2), which have different specificities for cMyBP-C's multiple phosphorylation sites, to show that individual sites are not independent, and that phosphorylation of cMyBP-C is controlled by positive and negative regulatory coupling between those sites. PKA phosphorylation of cMyBP-C's N terminus on 3 conserved serine residues is hierarchical and antagonizes phosphorylation by PKCε, and vice versa. In contrast, RSK2 phosphorylation of cMyBP-C accelerates PKA phosphorylation. We used cMyBP-C's regulatory N-terminal domains in defined phosphorylation states for protein-protein interaction studies with isolated cardiac native thin filaments and the S2 domain of cardiac myosin to show that site-specific phosphorylation of this region of cMyBP-C controls its interaction with both the actin-containing thin and myosin-containing thick filaments. We also used fluorescence probes on the myosin-associated regulatory light chain in the thick filaments and on troponin C in the thin filaments to monitor structural changes in the myofilaments of intact heart muscle cells associated with activation of myocardial contraction by the N-terminal region of cMyBP-C in its different phosphorylation states. Our results suggest that cMyBP-C acts as a sarcomeric integrator of multiple signaling pathways that determines downstream physiological function.

Download statistics

No data available

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454