The overall goal of my research program is to determine the molecular and structural determinants of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), the leading cause for heart failure (HF) worldwide. Three major groups of cardiac proteins are involved in DCM: cytoskeletal, nuclear, and sarcomeric. Our group focuses on the study of mutations occurring in phospholamban (PLN), a membrane protein involved in calcium transport in the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). PLN binds and inhibits the SR Ca-ATPase (SERCA), regulating heart diastole. PLN phosphorylation at Ser16 by protein kinase A (PKA) reverses the inhibitory effects, constituting the primary response to b-adrenergic stimulation in the heart. Disruptions in the phosphorylation cycle progress to HF. The R9C mutation (PLNR9C) and R14 deletion (PLNR14del), both located in the PLN cytoplasmic domain, prevent PLN phosphorylation and lead to DCM via an unknown mechanism. Using a battery of biochemical, molecular biology, and spectroscopic methods, we will characterize the structural and dynamic effects of these mutations in the formation of the PKA/PLN complex and link them to their cardiotoxicity. Specifically, we plan to decipher the PLN recognition and phosphorylation mechanisms by the kinase in the presence and absence of these deadly mutations. Moreover, we will elucidate the role of lipid membranes and spatial localization via myristoylation in the phosphorylation process. These studies will set the groundwork for understanding the physiology and pathophysiology of phosphorylation signaling in the heart.

Public Health Relevance

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the leading cause for heart failure (HF) worldwide. This proposal seeks to elucidate the molecular determinants for DCM using biophysical, biochemical, and molecular biology approaches. Understanding the genesis of the disease at the atomic level will help translate this knowledge into molecular design of new therapeutic approaches to counteract HF.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
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Macromolecular Structure and Function C Study Section (MSFC)
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Chin, Jean
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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Nelson, Sarah E D; Ha, Kim N; Gopinath, Tata et al. (2018) Effects of the Arg9Cys and Arg25Cys mutations on phospholamban's conformational equilibrium in membrane bilayers. Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr 1860:1335-1341
Gopinath, T; Nelson, Sarah E D; Veglia, Gianluigi (2017) 1H-detected MAS solid-state NMR experiments enable the simultaneous mapping of rigid and dynamic domains of membrane proteins. J Magn Reson 285:101-107
Kim, Jonggul; Ahuja, Lalima G; Chao, Fa-An et al. (2017) A dynamic hydrophobic core orchestrates allostery in protein kinases. Sci Adv 3:e1600663
Kim, Jonggul; Wang, Yingjie; Li, Geoffrey et al. (2016) A Semiautomated Assignment Protocol for Methyl Group Side Chains in Large Proteins. Methods Enzymol 566:35-57
Manu, V S; Veglia, Gianluigi (2016) Optimization of identity operation in NMR spectroscopy via genetic algorithm: Application to the TEDOR experiment. J Magn Reson 273:40-46
Gopinath, T; Veglia, Gianluigi (2016) Multiple acquisitions via sequential transfer of orphan spin polarization (MAeSTOSO): How far can we push residual spin polarization in solid-state NMR? J Magn Reson 267:1-8
Kim, Jonggul; Li, Geoffrey; Walters, Michael A et al. (2016) Uncoupling Catalytic and Binding Functions in the Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinase A. Structure 24:353-63
Dicke, Alysha; Gopinath, Tata; Wang, Yingjie et al. (2016) Probing Residue-Specific Water-Protein Interactions in Oriented Lipid Membranes via Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy. J Phys Chem B :
Soller, Kailey J; Yang, Jing; Veglia, Gianluigi et al. (2016) Reversal of Phospholamban Inhibition of the Sarco(endo)plasmic Reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) Using Short, Protein-interacting RNAs and Oligonucleotide Analogs. J Biol Chem 291:21510-21518
Vostrikov, Vitaly V; Soller, Kailey J; Ha, Kim N et al. (2015) Effects of naturally occurring arginine 14 deletion on phospholamban conformational dynamics and membrane interactions. Biochim Biophys Acta 1848:315-22

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