Protein folding factors (chaperones) are required for many diverse cellular functions. In striated muscle, chaperones are required for contractile protein function, as well as the larger scale assembly of the basic unit of muscle, the sarcomere. The sarcomere is complex and composed of hundreds of proteins and the number of proteins and processes recognized to be regulated by chaperones has increased dramatically over the past decade. Research in the past ten years has begun to discover and characterize the chaperones involved in the assembly of the sarcomere at a rapid rate. Because of the dynamic nature of muscle, wear and tear damage is inevitable. Several systems, including chaperones and the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS), have evolved to regulate protein turnover. Much of our knowledge of muscle development focuses on the formation of the sarcomere but recent work has begun to elucidate the requirement and role of chaperones and the UPS in sarcomere maintenance and disease. This review will cover the roles of chaperones in sarcomere assembly, the importance of chaperone homeostasis and the cooperation of chaperones and the UPS in sarcomere integrity and disease.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited