Palindromic assembly of the giant muscle protein titin in the sarcomeric Z-disk

Peijian Zou, Nikos Pinotsis, Stephan Lange, Young Hwa Song, Alexander Popov, Irene Mavridis, Olga M. Mayans, Mathias Gautel, Matthias Wilmanns*

*Corresponding author for this work
119 Citations (Scopus)


The Z-disk of striated and cardiac muscle sarcomeres is one of the most densely packed cellular structures in eukaryotic cells1. It provides the architectural framework for assembling and anchoring the largest known muscle filament systems by an extensive network of protein-protein interactions, requiring an extraordinary level of mechanical stability. Here we show, using X-ray crystallography, how the amino terminus of the longest filament component, the giant muscle protein titin, is assembled into an antiparallel (2:1) sandwich complex by the Z-disk ligand telethonin. The pseudosymmetric structure of telethonin mediates a unique palindromic arrangement of two titin filaments, a type of molecular assembly previously found only in protein-DNA complexes. We have confirmed its unique architecture in vivo by protein complementation assays, and in vitro by experiments using fluorescence resonance energy transfer. The model proposed may provide a molecular paradigm of how major sarcomeric filaments are crosslinked, anchored and aligned within complex cytoskeletal networks.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number7073
Pages (from-to)229-233
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 12.01.2006


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