Klinke, Nora, et al. “A Drosophila melanogaster model for TMEM43-related arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy type 5.” Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 79.8 (2022): 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-022-04458-0
Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a severe cardiac disease that leads to heart failure or sudden cardiac death (SCD). For the pathogenesis of ARVC, various mutations in at least eight different genes have been identified. A rare form of ARVC is associated with the mutation TMEM43 p.S358L, which is a fully penetrant variant in male carriers. TMEM43 p.S358 is homologous to CG8111 p.S333 in Drosophila melanogaster. We established CRISPR/Cas9-mediated CG8111 knock-out mutants in Drosophila, as well as transgenic fly lines carrying an overexpression construct of the CG8111 p.S333L substitution. Knock-out flies developed normally, whereas the overexpression of CG8111 p.S333L caused growth defects, loss of body weight, cardiac arrhythmias, and premature death. An evaluation of a series of model mutants that replaced S333 by selected amino acids proved that the conserved serine is critical for the physiological function of CG8111. Metabolomic and proteomic analyses revealed that the S333 in CG8111 is essential to proper energy homeostasis and lipid metabolism in the fly. Of note, metabolic impairments were also found in the murine Tmem43 disease model, and fibrofatty replacement is a hallmark of human ARVC5. These findings contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the molecular functions of CG8111 in Drosophila, and can represent a valuable basis to assess the aetiology of the human TMEM43 p.S358L variant in more detail.