Z-band and M-band titin splicing and regulation by RNA binding motif 20 in striated muscles

Zhilong Chen, Rexiati Maimaiti, Chaoqun Zhu, Hanfang Cai, Allysa Stern, Paul Mozdziak, Ying Ge, Stephen P. Ford, Peter W. Nathanielsz, Wei Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Titin (TTN) has multifunctional roles in sarcomere assembly, mechanosignaling transduction, and muscle stiffness. TTN splicing generates variable protein sizes with different functions. Therefore, understanding TTN splicing is important to develop a novel treatment for TTN-based diseases. The I-band TTN splicing regulated by RNA binding motif 20 (RBM20) has been extensively studied. However, the Z- and M-band splicing and regulation remain poorly understood. Herein, we aimed to define the Z- and M-band splicing in striated muscles and determined whether RBM20 regulates the Z- and M-band splicing. We discovered four new Z-band TTN splicing variants, and one of them dominates in mouse, rat, sheep, and human hearts. But only one form can be detected in frog and chicken hearts. In skeletal muscles, three new Z repeats (Zr) were detected, and Zr4 to 6 exclusion dominates in the fast muscles, whereas Zr4 skipping dominates in the slow muscle. No developmental changes were detected in the Z-band. In the M-band, two new variants were discovered with alternative 3′ splice site in exon363 (Mex5) and alternative 5′ splice site in intron 362. However, only the sheep heart expresses two new variants rather than other species. Skeletal muscles express three M-band variants with altered ratios of Mex5 inclusion to Mex5 exclusion. Finally, we revealed that RBM20 does not regulate the Z- and M-band splicing in the heart, but does in skeletal muscles. Taken together, we characterized the Z- and M-band splicing and provided the first evidence of the role of RBM20 in the Z- and M-band TTN splicing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9986-9996
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • M-band
  • RNA binding motif 20 (RBM20)
  • Z-band
  • alternative splicing
  • heart disease
  • titin (TTN)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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