The ubiquitously expressed multifunctional cytolinker protein plectin is essential for muscle fiber integrity and myofiber cytoarchitecture. Patients suffering from plectinopathy-associated epidermolysis bullosa simplex with muscular dystrophy (EBS-MD) and mice lacking plectin in skeletal muscle display pathological desmin-positive protein aggregation and misalignment of Z-disks, which are hallmarks of myofibrillar myopathies (MFMs). Here, we developed immortalized murine myoblast cell lines to examine the pathogenesis of plectinopathies at the molecular and single cell level. Plectin-deficient myotubes, derived from myoblasts, were fully functional and mirrored the pathological features of EBS-MD myofibers, including the presence of desmin-positive protein aggregates and a concurrent disarrangement of the myofibrillar apparatus. Using this cell model, we demonstrated that plectin deficiency leads to increased intermediate filament network and sarcomere dynamics, marked upregulation of HSPs, and reduced myotube resilience following mechanical stretch. Currently, no specific therapy or treatment is available to improve plectin-related or other forms of MFMs; therefore, we assessed the therapeutic potential of chemical chaperones to relieve plectinopathies. Treatment with 4-phenylbutyrate resulted in remarkable amelioration of the pathological phenotypes in plectin-deficient myotubes as well as in plectin-deficient mice. Together, these data demonstrate the biological relevance of the MFM cell model and suggest that this model has potential use for the development of therapeutic approaches for EBS-MD.
Lilli Winter, Ilona Staszewska, Eva Mihailovska, Irmgard Fischer, Wolfgang H. Goldmann, Rolf Schröder, Gerhard Wiche
α-Actinin-3 deficiency occurs in approximately 16% of the global population due to homozygosity for a common nonsense polymorphism in the
Jane T. Seto, Kate G.R. Quinlan, Monkol Lek, Xi Fiona Zheng, Fleur Garton, Daniel G. MacArthur, Marshall W. Hogarth, Peter J. Houweling, Paul Gregorevic, Nigel Turner, Gregory J. Cooney, Nan Yang, Kathryn N. North
Tendon formation and repair rely on specific combinations of transcription factors, growth factors, and mechanical parameters that regulate the production and spatial organization of type I collagen. Here, we investigated the function of the zinc finger transcription factor EGR1 in tendon formation, healing, and repair using rodent animal models and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Adult tendons of
Marie-Justine Guerquin, Benjamin Charvet, Geoffroy Nourissat, Emmanuelle Havis, Olivier Ronsin, Marie-Ange Bonnin, Mathilde Ruggiu, Isabel Olivera-Martinez, Nicolas Robert, Yinhui Lu, Karl E. Kadler, Tristan Baumberger, Levon Doursounian, Francis Berenbaum, Delphine Duprez
Nephrotic syndrome (NS) is divided into steroid-sensitive (SSNS) and -resistant (SRNS) variants. SRNS causes end-stage kidney disease, which cannot be cured. While the disease mechanisms of NS are not well understood, genetic mapping studies suggest a multitude of unknown single-gene causes. We combined homozygosity mapping with whole-exome resequencing and identified an
Heon Yung Gee, Pawaree Saisawat, Shazia Ashraf, Toby W. Hurd, Virginia Vega-Warner, Humphrey Fang, Bodo B. Beck, Olivier Gribouval, Weibin Zhou, Katrina A. Diaz, Sivakumar Natarajan, Roger C. Wiggins, Svjetlana Lovric, Gil Chernin, Dominik S. Schoeb, Bugsu Ovunc, Yaacov Frishberg, Neveen A. Soliman, Hanan M. Fathy, Heike Goebel, Julia Hoefele, Lutz T. Weber, Jeffrey W. Innis, Christian Faul, Zhe Han, Joseph Washburn, Corinne Antignac, Shawn Levy, Edgar A. Otto, Friedhelm Hildebrandt
The mechanisms involved in the coordinate regulation of the metabolic and structural programs controlling muscle fitness and endurance are unknown. Recently, the nuclear receptor PPARβ/δ was shown to activate muscle endurance programs in transgenic mice. In contrast, muscle-specific transgenic overexpression of the related nuclear receptor, PPARα, results in reduced capacity for endurance exercise. We took advantage of the divergent actions of PPARβ/δ and PPARα to explore the downstream regulatory circuitry that orchestrates the programs linking muscle fiber type with energy metabolism. Our results indicate that, in addition to the well-established role in transcriptional control of muscle metabolic genes, PPARβ/δ and PPARα participate in programs that exert opposing actions upon the type I fiber program through a distinct muscle microRNA (miRNA) network, dependent on the actions of another nuclear receptor, estrogen-related receptor γ (ERRγ). Gain-of-function and loss-of-function strategies in mice, together with assessment of muscle biopsies from humans, demonstrated that type I muscle fiber proportion is increased via the stimulatory actions of ERRγ on the expression of miR-499 and miR-208b. This nuclear receptor/miRNA regulatory circuit shows promise for the identification of therapeutic targets aimed at maintaining muscle fitness in a variety of chronic disease states, such as obesity, skeletal myopathies, and heart failure.
Zhenji Gan, John Rumsey, Bethany C. Hazen, Ling Lai, Teresa C. Leone, Rick B. Vega, Hui Xie, Kevin E. Conley, Johan Auwerx, Steven R. Smith, Eric N. Olson, Anastasia Kralli, Daniel P. Kelly
Muscular dystrophies are a class of disorders that cause progressive muscle wasting. A major hurdle for discovering treatments for the muscular dystrophies is a lack of reliable assays to monitor disease progression in animal models. We have developed a novel mouse model to assess disease activity noninvasively in mice with muscular dystrophies. These mice express an inducible luciferase reporter gene in muscle stem cells. In dystrophic mice, muscle stem cells activate and proliferate in response to muscle degeneration, resulting in an increase in the level of luciferase expression, which can be monitored by noninvasive, bioluminescence imaging. We applied this noninvasive imaging to assess disease activity in a mouse model of the human disease limb girdle muscular dystrophy 2B (LGMD2B), caused by a mutation in the dysferlin gene. We monitored the natural history and disease progression in these dysferlin-deficient mice up to 18 months of age and were able to detect disease activity prior to the appearance of any overt disease manifestation by histopathological analyses. Disease activity was reflected by changes in luciferase activity over time, and disease burden was reflected by cumulative luciferase activity, which paralleled disease progression as determined by histopathological analysis. The ability to monitor disease activity noninvasively in mouse models of muscular dystrophy will be invaluable for the assessment of disease progression and the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions.
Katie K. Maguire, Leland Lim, Sedona Speedy, Thomas A. Rando
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a degenerative skeletal muscle disease caused by mutations in dystrophin. The degree of functional deterioration in muscle stem cells determines the severity of DMD. The mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), which are inactivated by MAPK phosphatases (MKPs), represent a central signaling node in the regulation of muscle stem cell function. Here we show that the dual-specificity protein phosphatase DUSP10/MKP-5 negatively regulates muscle stem cell function in mice. MKP-5 controlled JNK to coordinate muscle stem cell proliferation and p38 MAPK to control differentiation. Genetic loss of
Hao Shi, Mayank Verma, Lei Zhang, Chen Dong, Richard A. Flavell, Anton M. Bennett
Cachexia is a wasting syndrome associated with cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and several other disease states. It is characterized by weight loss, fatigue, loss of appetite, and skeletal muscle atrophy and is associated with poor patient prognosis, making it an important treatment target. Ghrelin is a peptide hormone that stimulates growth hormone (GH) release and positive energy balance through binding to the receptor GHSR-1a. Only acylated ghrelin (AG), but not the unacylated form (UnAG), can bind GHSR-1a; however, UnAG and AG share several GHSR-1a–independent biological activities. Here we investigated whether UnAG and AG could protect against skeletal muscle atrophy in a GHSR-1a–independent manner. We found that both AG and UnAG inhibited dexamethasone-induced skeletal muscle atrophy and atrogene expression through PI3Kβ-, mTORC2-, and p38-mediated pathways in myotubes. Upregulation of circulating UnAG in mice impaired skeletal muscle atrophy induced by either fasting or denervation without stimulating muscle hypertrophy and GHSR-1a–mediated activation of the GH/IGF-1 axis. In
Paolo E. Porporato, Nicoletta Filigheddu, Simone Reano, Michele Ferrara, Elia Angelino, Viola F. Gnocchi, Flavia Prodam, Giulia Ronchi, Sharmila Fagoonee, Michele Fornaro, Federica Chianale, Gianluca Baldanzi, Nicola Surico, Fabiola Sinigaglia, Isabelle Perroteau, Roy G. Smith, Yuxiang Sun, Stefano Geuna, Andrea Graziani
Hypokalemic periodic paralysis (HypoPP) is a familial skeletal muscle disorder that presents with recurrent episodes of severe weakness lasting hours to days associated with reduced serum potassium (K+). HypoPP is genetically heterogeneous, with missense mutations of a calcium channel (CaV1.1) or a sodium channel (NaV1.4) accounting for 60% and 20% of cases, respectively. The mechanistic link between CaV1.1 mutations and the ictal loss of muscle excitability during an attack of weakness in HypoPP is unknown. To address this question, we developed a mouse model for HypoPP with a targeted CaV1.1 R528H mutation. The Cav1.1 R528H mice had a HypoPP phenotype for which low K+ challenge produced a paradoxical depolarization of the resting potential, loss of muscle excitability, and weakness. A vacuolar myopathy with dilated transverse tubules and disruption of the triad junctions impaired Ca2+ release and likely contributed to the mild permanent weakness. Fibers from the CaV1.1 R528H mouse had a small anomalous inward current at the resting potential, similar to our observations in the NaV1.4 R669H HypoPP mouse model. This “gating pore current” may be a common mechanism for paradoxical depolarization and susceptibility to HypoPP arising from missense mutations in the S4 voltage sensor of either calcium or sodium channels.
Fenfen Wu, Wentao Mi, Erick O. Hernández-Ochoa, Dennis K. Burns, Yu Fu, Hillery F. Gray, Arie F. Struyk, Martin F. Schneider, Stephen C. Cannon
Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is a complex neuromuscular disease characterized by skeletal muscle wasting, weakness, and myotonia. DM1 is caused by the accumulation of CUG repeats, which alter the biological activities of RNA-binding proteins, including CUG-binding protein 1 (CUGBP1). CUGBP1 is an important skeletal muscle translational regulator that is activated by cyclin D3–dependent kinase 4 (CDK4). Here we show that mutant CUG repeats suppress Cdk4 signaling by increasing the stability and activity of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β). Using a mouse model of DM1 (HSALR), we found that CUG repeats in the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of human skeletal actin increase active GSK3β in skeletal muscle of mice, prior to the development of skeletal muscle weakness. Inhibition of GSK3β in both DM1 cell culture and mouse models corrected cyclin D3 levels and reduced muscle weakness and myotonia in DM1 mice. Our data predict that compounds normalizing GSK3β activity might be beneficial for improvement of muscle function in patients with DM1.
Karlie Jones, Christina Wei, Polina Iakova, Enrico Bugiardini, Christiane Schneider-Gold, Giovanni Meola, James Woodgett, James Killian, Nikolai A. Timchenko, Lubov T. Timchenko