Binding partners of the kinase domains in Drosophila obscurin and their effect on the structure of the flight muscle

Anja Katzemich, Ryan J H West, Atsushi Fukuzawa, Sean T Sweeney, Mathias Gautel, John Sparrow, Belinda Bullard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drosophila obscurin (Unc-89) is a titin-like protein in the M-line of the muscle sarcomere. Obscurin has two kinase domains near the C-terminus, both of which are predicted to be inactive. We have identified proteins binding to the kinase domains. Kinase domain 1 bound Bällchen (Ball, an active kinase), and both kinase domains 1 and 2 bound MASK (a 400-kDa protein with ankyrin repeats). Ball was present in the Z-disc and M-line of the indirect flight muscle (IFM) and was diffusely distributed in the sarcomere. MASK was present in both the M-line and the Z-disc. Reducing expression of Ball or MASK by siRNA resulted in abnormalities in the IFM, including missing M-lines and multiple Z-discs. Obscurin was still present, suggesting that the kinase domains act as a scaffold binding Ball and MASK. Unlike obscurin in vertebrate skeletal muscle, Drosophila obscurin is necessary for the correct assembly of the IFM sarcomere. We show that Ball and MASK act downstream of obscurin, and both are needed for development of a well defined M-line and Z-disc. The proteins have not previously been identified in Drosophila muscle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3386-97
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2015


  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Flight, Animal
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs
  • Protein Kinases
  • Sarcomeres
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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