Alternative splicing of clathrin heavy chain contributes to the switch from coated pits to plaques


  • Moulay Gilles
  • Lainé Jeanne
  • Lemaître Mégane
  • Nakamori Masayuki
  • Nishino Ichizo
  • Caillol Ghislaine
  • Mamchaoui Kamel
  • Julien Laura
  • Dingli Florent
  • Loew Damarys
  • Bitoun Marc
  • Leterrier Christophe
  • Furling Denis
  • Vassilopoulos Stéphane


Clathrin function directly derives from its coat structure, and while endocytosis is mediated by clathrin-coated pits, large plaques contribute to cell adhesion. Here, we show that the alternative splicing of a single exon of the clathrin heavy chain gene (CLTC exon 31) helps determine the clathrin coat organization. Direct genetic control was demonstrated by forced CLTC exon 31 skipping in muscle cells that reverses the plasma membrane content from clathrin plaques to pits and by promoting exon inclusion that stimulated flat plaque assembly. Interestingly, mis-splicing of CLTC exon 31 found in the severe congenital form of myotonic dystrophy was associated with reduced plaques in patient myotubes. Moreover, forced exclusion of this exon in WT mice muscle induced structural disorganization and reduced force, highlighting the contribution of this splicing event for the maintenance of tissue homeostasis. This genetic control on clathrin assembly should influence the way we consider how plasticity in clathrin-coated structures is involved in muscle development and maintenance.

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