Abstract 344: Finding the Achilles’ heel of Muscle Giant---TALEN-mediated Gene-editing in Zebrafish Titin
Background: TITIN (TTN) has more than 300 exons and encodes a gigantic protein that is crucial for heart and muscle development. Mutations in TTN caused a variety of human diseases including cardiomyopathy and muscular dystrophy. Recently, dilated cardiomyopathy-associated mutations on TTN have been found more frequently in exons encoding A-band domains but less in exons encoding the N-terminal Z-disc domains, suggesting that mutations in different exons of TTN cause distinct consequences. To elucidate the underlying mechanisms, we leveraged the Transcription Activator-Like Effects Nuclease (TALEN) technology in zebrafish to introduce truncating mutations in different exons of ttn, and then study their effects on heart and somites.
Results: We generated truncational mutations in different exons of zebrafish titins encoding Z-disc, N2B, Novex-3, and A domains, respectively. Because zebrafish contains two titin homologues, ttna and ttnb, we introduced mutations in both genes at the corresponding loci. While both Z-disc and A band mutations on ttna disrupted sarcomere assembly in heart and somites, Z-disc or A band mutations on ttnb only affect somites without affecting the heart. Interestingly, a Z-disc mutation on ttna resulted in milder phenotypes than an A-band mutation, while a Z-disc mutation on ttnb generated severer phenotypes than an A-band mutation. No phenotype was observed in the homozygous fish in either ttna-novex-3 or ttnb-N2B mutant fish.
Conclusions: A spectrum of truncational mutations in ttna and ttnb has been generated in zebrafish using the TALEN technology. Mutations in different exons result in different phenotypes. Detailed characterization of these mutants and double mutants will be presented, which shall elicit distinct contribution of alternative splicing and exon skipping as two candidate mechanisms during pathogenesis of Titinopathies.
Author Disclosures: Y. Shih: None. X. Xu: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.