The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals was followed throughout the study. Animal protocols used in this study were approved by the University of South Dakota Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Animals were given ad libitum access to food and water and were housed in controlled rooms with optimum temperature (22° to 24°C) with 12-hour light/12-hour dark cycle. The creation and characterization of the tg mouse model expressing GFPdgn were reported before (21). GFPdgn is a slightly shorter version of GFPu. GFPu is an enhanced GFP that is modified by carboxyl fusion of degron CL1. Both GFPu and GFPdgn are surrogates for misfolded proteins and well-proven UPS substrates (21). The tg mice with cardiomyocyte-restricted overexpression of CryABR120G or CryABWT were described previously (19). CryABR120G, CryABWT, and GFPdgn tg mice were maintained in the FVB/N inbred background. Tg mice were identified by PCR analysis of genomic DNA isolated from toe or tail clips.

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