Biophysics of Titin in Cardiac Health and Disease

Part of the Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMEDICAL)


Titin is a gigantic multifunctional filamentous protein that spans from the Z-disk to the M-band region of the cardiac sarcomere. The elastic I-band region of titin generates passive force during sarcomere stretch that plays important roles in maintaining the structural organization of the sarcomere and that contributes greatly to diastolic stiffness. Recent work has shown that to match hemodynamic demands the mechanical properties of titin can be finely tuned through differential expression of titin isoforms and phosphorylation of titin’s spring-like elements. Titin may also play a role in mechanically sensing sarcomere length changes due to its placement in the sarcomere and extensible, force-bearing I-band region. The precise ways in which titin behaves as a mechanosensor is not well established, but rapid progress is being made in our understanding of the various proteins involved in signaling pathways that interact with titin. Recent work also revealed mutations in the titin gene (TTN) as a major source of familial cardiomyopathies, including mutations in titin’s spring region linked to arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia and mutations in titin’s A-band region responsible for ~30 % of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) cases. This chapter discusses the mechanical properties of titin and the role titin plays in cardiac health and disease.


Passive Tension Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia Titin Kinase PEVK Region N2BA Titin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by NIH training grant GM084905 and an award from the American Heart Association 11PRE7370083 to B.A., and by NIH HL062881 to H.G.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physiology, Molecular Cardiovascular Research Program, Sarver Heart CenterUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  3. 3.TucsonUSA

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