Post-Transcriptional Regulation of Cardiac Sarcomere Protein Titin Through 3’ Untranslated Regions

  • Tara A Shrout Vanderbilt University


Titin is the largest known protein in the human body, and forms the backbone of all striated muscle sarcomeres. The elastic nature of titin is an important component of muscle compliance and functionality. A significant amount of energy is expended to synthesize titin, thus we postulate that titin gene expression is under strict regulatory control in order to conserve cellular resources. In general, gene expression is mediated in part by post-transcriptional control elements located within the 5’ and 3’ untranslated regions (UTRs) of mature mRNA. The 3’UTR in particular contains structural features that affect binding capacity to other RNA components, such as MicroRNA, which control mRNA localization, translation, and degradation. The degree and significance of the regulatory effects mediated by two determined variants of titin’s 3’ UTR were evaluated in Neonatal Rat Ventricular Myocyte and Human Embryonic Kidney cell lines. Recombinant plasmids to transfect these cells lines were engineered by insertion of the variant titin 3’UTR 431- and 1047-base pairs sequences into luciferase reporter vectors. Expression due to an unaltered reporter vector served as the control. Quantitative changes in luciferase activity due to the recombinants proportionally represented the effect titin’s respective 3’UTR conferred on downstream post-transcriptional expression relative to the control. The effect due to titin’s shorter 3’UTR sequence was inconclusive; however, results illustrated that titin’s longer 3’UTR sequence caused a 35 percent decrease in protein expression. Secondary structural analysis of the two sequences revealed differential folding patterns that affect the stability and degree of MicroRNA-binding within titin’s variant 3’UTR sequences.
How to Cite
SHROUT, Tara A. Post-Transcriptional Regulation of Cardiac Sarcomere Protein Titin Through 3’ Untranslated Regions. Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Journal, [S.l.], v. 9, aug. 2013. ISSN 1555-788X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 20 aug. 2019. doi:
Engineering and Natural Sciences


Titin; Sarcomere; messenger RNA (mRNA); Untranslated Regions (UTR's); Transcription; Protein Expression; microRNA (miRNA)