RATIONALE: Subcellular Ca2+ indicators have yet to be developed for the myofilament where disease mutation or small molecules may alter contractility through myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity. Here, we develop and characterize genetically encoded Ca2+ indicators restricted to the myofilament to directly visualize Ca2+ changes in the sarcomere. OBJECTIVE: To produce and validate myofilament-restricted Ca2+ imaging probes in an adenoviral transduction adult cardiomyocyte model using drugs that alter myofilament function (MYK-461, omecamtiv mecarbil, and levosimendan) or following cotransduction of 2 established hypertrophic cardiomyopathy disease-causing mutants (cTnT [Troponin T] R92Q and cTnI [Troponin I] R145G) that alter myofilament Ca2+ handling. METHODS AND RESULTS: When expressed in adult ventricular cardiomyocytes RGECO-TnT (Troponin T)/TnI (Troponin I) sensors localize correctly to the sarcomere without contractile impairment. Both sensors report cyclical changes in fluorescence in paced cardiomyocytes with reduced Ca2+ on and increased Ca2+ off rates compared with unconjugated RGECO. RGECO-TnT/TnI revealed changes to localized Ca2+ handling conferred by MYK-461 and levosimendan, including an increase in Ca2+ binding rates with both levosimendan and MYK-461 not detected by an unrestricted protein sensor. Coadenoviral transduction of RGECO-TnT/TnI with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy causing thin filament mutants showed that the mutations increase myofilament [Ca2+] in systole, lengthen time to peak systolic [Ca2+], and delay [Ca2+] release. This contrasts with the effect of the same mutations on cytoplasmic Ca2+, when measured using unrestricted RGECO where changes to peak systolic Ca2+ are inconsistent between the 2 mutations. These data contrast with previous findings using chemical dyes that show no alteration of [Ca2+] transient amplitude or time to peak Ca2+. CONCLUSIONS: RGECO-TnT/TnI are functionally equivalent. They visualize Ca2+ within the myofilament and reveal unrecognized aspects of small molecule and disease-associated mutations in living cells.
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calcium, cardiomyopathies, fluorescence, mutation, sarcomere, Adenosine Triphosphatases, Adenoviridae, Animals, Benzylamines, Calcium, Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic, Guinea Pigs, In Vitro Techniques, Male, Mutation, Myocytes, Cardiac, Myofibrils, Myosins, Sarcomeres, Simendan, Transduction, Genetic, Troponin I, Troponin T, Uracil, Urea