Junctin is a transmembrane protein of striated muscles, located at the junctional sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). It is characterized by a luminal C-terminal tail, through which it functionally interacts with calsequestrin and the ryanodine receptor (RyR). Interaction with calsequestrin was ascribed to the presence of stretches of charged amino acids (aa). However, the regions able to bind calsequestrin have not been defined in detail. We report here that, in non-muscle cells, junctin and calsequestrin assemble in long linear regions within the endoplasmic reticulum, mirroring the formation of calsequestrin polymers. In differentiating myotubes, the two proteins colocalize at triads, where they assemble with other proteins of the junctional SR. By performing GST pull-down assays with distinct regions of the junctin tail, we identified two KEKE motifs that can bind calsequestrin. In addition, stretches of charged aa downstream these motifs were found to also bind calsequestrin and the RyR. Deletion of even one of these regions impaired the ability of junctin to localize at the junctional SR, suggesting that interaction with other proteins at this site represents a key element in junctin targeting.

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