Myosin heavy chains encoded by MYH7 and MYH2 are abundant in human skeletal muscle and important for muscle contraction. However, it is unclear how mutations in these genes disrupt myosin structure and function leading to skeletal muscle myopathies termed myosinopathies. Here, we used multiple approaches to analyze the effects of common MYH7 and MYH2 mutations in the light meromyosin (LMM) region of myosin. Analyses of expressed and purified MYH7 and MYH2 LMM mutant proteins combined with in silico modeling showed that myosin coiled coil structure and packing of filaments in vitro are commonly disrupted. Using muscle biopsies from patients and fluorescent ATP analog chase protocols to estimate the proportion of myosin heads that were super-relaxed, together with x-ray diffraction measurements to estimate myosin head order, we found that basal myosin ATP consumption was increased and the myosin super-relaxed state was decreased in vivo. In addition, myofiber mechanics experiments to investigate contractile function showed that myofiber contractility was not affected. These findings indicate that the structural remodeling associated with LMM mutations induces a pathogenic state in which formation of shutdown heads is impaired, thus increasing myosin head ATP demand in the filaments, rather than affecting contractility. These key findings will help design future therapies for myosinopathies.


Glenn Carrington, Abbi Hau, Sarah Kosta, Hannah F. Dugdale, Francesco Muntoni, Adele D’Amico, Peter Van den Bergh, Norma B. Romero, Edoardo Malfatti, Juan Jesus Vilchez, Anders Oldfors, Sander Pajusalu, Katrin Õunap, Marta Giralt-Pujol, Edmar Zanoteli, Kenneth S. Campbell, Hiroyuki Iwamoto, Michelle Peckham, Julien Ochala


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