Date Published:2007 Dec
Organization of actin filaments into a well-organized sarcomere structure is critical for muscle development and function. However, it is not completely understood how sarcomeric actin/thin filaments attain their stereotyped lengths. In an RNAi screen in Drosophila primary muscle cells, we identified a gene, sarcomere length short (sals), which encodes an actin-binding, WH2 domain-containing protein, required for proper sarcomere size. When sals is knocked down by RNAi, primary muscles display thin myofibrils with shortened sarcomeres and increased sarcomere number. Both loss- and gain-of-function analyses indicate that SALS may influence sarcomere lengths by promoting thin-filament lengthening from pointed ends. Furthermore, the complex localization of SALS and other sarcomeric proteins in myofibrils reveals that the full length of thin filaments is achieved in a two-step process, and that SALS is required for the second elongation phase, most likely because it antagonizes the pointed-end capping protein Tropomodulin.