Mice and humans lacking the caveolae component polymerase I transcription release factor (PTRF, also known as cavin-1) exhibit lipo- and muscular dystrophy. Here we describe the molecular features underlying the muscle phenotype for PTRF/cavin-1 null mice. These animals had a decreased ability to exercise, and exhibited muscle hypertrophy with increased muscle fiber size and muscle mass due, in part, to constitutive activation of the Akt pathway. Their muscles were fibrotic and exhibited impaired membrane integrity accompanied by an apparent compensatory activation of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex along with elevated expression of proteins involved in muscle repair function. Ptrf deletion also caused decreased mitochondrial function, oxygen consumption, and altered myofiber composition. Thus, in addition to compromised adipocyte-related physiology, the absence of PTRF/cavin-1 in mice caused a unique form of muscular dystrophy with a phenotype similar or identical to that seen in humans lacking this protein. Further understanding of this muscular dystrophy model will provide information relevant to the human situation and guidance for potential therapies.


Shi-Ying Ding, Libin Liu, Paul F. Pilch


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