Hyperuricemia is implicated in numerous pathologies but the mechanisms underlying uric acid production are poorly understood. Using a combination of mouse studies, cultured cell studies, and human serum samples, we sought to determine the cellular source of uric acid. In mice, fasting and glucocorticoid treatment increased serum uric acid and uric acid release from ex vivo incubated skeletal muscle. In vitro, glucocorticoids and the transcription factor FoxO3 increased purine nucleotide degradation and purine release from differentiated muscle cells, which coincided with the transcriptional upregulation of AMP deaminase 3, a rate-limiting enzyme in adenine nucleotide degradation. Heavy isotope tracing during co-culture experiments revealed that oxidation of muscle purines to uric acid required their transfer from muscle cells to a cell type that expresses xanthine oxidoreductase, such as endothelial cells. Lastly, in healthy women, matched for age and body composition, serum uric acid was greater in individuals scoring below average on standard physical function assessments. Together, these studies reveal skeletal muscle purine degradation is an underlying driver of uric acid production, with the final step of uric acid production occurring primarily in a non-muscle cell type. This suggests that skeletal muscle fiber purine degradation may represent a therapeutic target to reduce serum uric acid and treat numerous pathologies.
Spencer G. Miller, Catalina Matias, Paul S. Hafen, Andrew S. Law, Carol A. Witczak, Jeffrey J. Brault
BACKGROUND. Although 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations ≥30ng/mL are known to reduce injury risk and boost strength, the influence on anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) outcomes remains unexamined. This study aimed to define the vitamin D signaling response to ACLR, assess the relationship between vitamin D status and muscle fiber cross-sectional area (CSA) and bone density outcomes, and discover vitamin D receptor (VDR) targets post-ACLR. METHODS. 21 young, healthy, physically active participants with recent ACL tears were enrolled (17.8 ± 3.2 yr, BMI: 26.0 ± 3.5 kg/m2). Data were collected through blood samples, vastus lateralis biopsies, DXA bone density measurements, and isokinetic dynamometer measures at baseline, 1 week, 4 months, and 6 months post-ACLR. The biopsies facilitated CSA, western blot, RNA-seq, and VDR ChIP-seq analyses. RESULTS. ACLR surgery led to decreased circulating bioactive vitamin D and increased VDR and activating enzyme expression in skeletal muscle one week post-operation. Participants with < 30 ng/mL 25(OH)D levels (n = 13) displayed more significant quadriceps fiber CSA loss one week and 4 months post-ACLR than those with ≥30 ng/mL (n = 8; P < 0.01 for post-hoc comparisons; P = 0.041 for time x vitamin D status interaction). RNA-seq and ChIP-seq data integration revealed genes associated with energy metabolism and skeletal muscle recovery, potentially mediating the impact of vitamin D status on ACLR recovery. No difference in bone mineral density (BMD) losses between groups was observed. CONCLUSION. Correcting vitamin D status prior to ACLR may aid in preserving skeletal muscle during recovery.
Yuan Wen, Christine M. Latham, Angelique N. Moore, Nicholas T. Thomas, Brooke D. Lancaster, Kelsey A. Reeves, Alexander R. Keeble, Christopher S. Fry, Darren L. Johnson, Katherine L. Thompson, Brian Noehren, Jean L. Fry
Aging and many illnesses and injuries impair skeletal muscle mass and function, but the molecular mechanisms are not well understood. To better understand the mechanisms, we generated and studied transgenic mice with skeletal muscle-specific expression of Growth Arrest and DNA Damage Inducible Alpha (GADD45A), a signaling protein whose expression in skeletal muscle rises during aging and a wide range of illnesses and injuries. We found that GADD45A induced several cellular changes that are characteristic of skeletal muscle atrophy, including a reduction in skeletal muscle mitochondria and oxidative capacity, selective atrophy of glycolytic muscle fibers, and paradoxical expression of oxidative myosin heavy chains despite mitochondrial loss. These cellular changes were at least partly mediated by MEKK4, a protein kinase that is directly activated by GADD45A. By inducing these changes, GADD45A decreased the mass of muscles that are enriched in glycolytic fibers, and it impaired strength, specific force, and endurance exercise capacity. Furthermore, as predicted by data from mouse models, we found that GADD45A expression in skeletal muscle was associated with muscle weakness in humans. Collectively, these findings identify GADD45A as a mediator of mitochondrial loss, atrophy, and weakness in mouse skeletal muscle and a potential target for muscle weakness in humans.
George R. Marcotte, Matthew J. Miller, Hawley E. Kunz, Zachary C. Ryan, Matthew D. Strub, Patrick M. Vanderboom, Carrie J. Heppelmann, Sarah Chau, Zachary D. Von Ruff, Sean P. Kilroe, Andrew T. McKeen, Jason M. Dierdorff, Jennifer I. Stern, Karl A. Nath, Chad E. Grueter, Vitor A. Lira, Andrew R. Judge, Blake B. Rasmussen, K. Sreekumaran Nair, Ian R. Lanza, Scott M. Ebert, Christopher M. Adams
Myosin heavy chains encoded by MYH7 and MYH2 are abundant in human skeletal muscle, and important for muscle contraction. However, it is unclear how mutations in these genes disrupt myosin structure and function leading to skeletal muscle myopathies termed myosinopathies. Here, we used multiple approaches to analyse the effects of common MYH7 and MYH2 mutations in the light meromyosin region of myosin (LMM). Analyses of expressed and purified MYH7 and MYH2 LMM mutant proteins combined with in-silico modelling showed that myosin coiled-coil structure and packing of filaments in vitro are commonly disrupted. Using muscle biopsies from patients, and Mant-ATP chase protocols to estimate the proportion of myosin heads that were super-relaxed, together with X-ray diffraction measurements to estimate myosin head order we found that basal myosin ATP consumption was increased and the myosin super-relaxed state was decreased in vivo. In addition, myofibre mechanics experiments to investigate contractile function showed myofibre contractility was not affected. These findings indicate that the structural remodelling associated with LMM mutations induces a pathogenic state in which formation of shutdown heads is impaired, thus increasing myosin head ATP demand in the filaments, rather than affecting contractility. These key findings will help design future therapies for myosinopathies.
Glenn Carrington, Hoi Ting Abbi Hau, Sarah Kosta, Hannah F. Dugdale, Francesco Muntoni, Adele D'Amico, Peter Y. K. Van den Bergh, Norma B. Romero, Edoardo Malfatti, Juan J. Vilchez, Anders Oldfors, Sander Pajusalu, Katrin Õunap, Marta Giralt-Pujol, Edmar Zanoteli, Kenneth S. Campbell, Hiroyuki Iwamoto, Michelle Peckham, Julien Ochala
New medicines are urgently required to treat the fatal neuromuscular disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is a potent immunomodulatory small molecule nuclear erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) activator with current clinical utility in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and psoriasis that could be effective for DMD and rapidly translatable. Here, we tested two weeks of daily 100mg/kg DMF versus 5mg/kg standard care prednisone (PRED) treatment in juvenile mdx mice with early symptomatic DMD. Both drugs modulated seed genes driving the DMD disease program and improved force production in fast-twitch muscle. However, only DMF showed pro-mitochondrial effects, protected contracting muscles from fatigue, improved histopathology and augmented clinically compatible muscle function tests. DMF may be a more selective modulator of the DMD disease program than PRED warranting follow-up longitudinal studies to evaluate disease modifying impact.
Cara A. Timpani, Stephanie Kourakis, Danielle A. Debruin, Dean G. Campelj, Nancy Pompeani, Narges Dargahi, Angelo Patrick R. Bautista, Ryan M. Bagaric, Elya J. Ritenis, Lauren Sahakian, Didier Debrincat, Nicole Stupka, Patricia Hafner, Peter G. Arthur, Jessica R. Terrill, Vasso Apostolopoulos, Judy B. De Haan, Nuri Gueven, Dirk Fischer, Emma Rybalka
Age-associated sarcopenia, characterized by a progressive loss in muscle mass and strength, is the largest cause of frailty and disability in the elderly worldwide. Current treatments involve nonpharmacological guidelines that few subjects can abide by, highlighting the need for effective drugs. Preclinical models were employed to test the benefits of RJx-01, a combination drug composed of metformin and galantamine, on sarcopenia. In worms, RJx-01 treatment improved lifespan, locomotion, pharyngeal pumping, and muscle fiber organization. The synergistic effects of RJx-01 were recapitulated in a transgenic mouse model that displays an exacerbated aging phenotype (Opa1–/–). In these mice, RJx-01 ameliorated physical performance, muscle mass and force, neuromuscular junction stability, and systemic inflammation. RJx-01 also improved physical performance and muscle strength in 22-month-old WT mice and also improved skeletal muscle ultrastructure, mitochondrial morphology, autophagy, lysosomal function, and satellite cell content. Denervation and myofiber damage were decreased in RJx-01–treated animals compared with controls. RJx-01 improved muscle quality rather than quantity, indicating that the improvement in quality underlies the beneficial effects of the combination drug. The studies herein indicate synergistic beneficial effects of RJx-01 in the treatment of sarcopenia and support the pursuit of RJx-01 in a human clinical trial as a therapeutic intervention for sarcopenia.
Caterina Tezze, Francesco Ivan Amendolagine, Leonardo Nogara, Martina Baraldo, Stefano Ciciliot, Diletta Arcidiacono, Alice Zaramella, Giulio Masiero, Giulia Ferrarese, Stefano Realdon, Bert Blaauw, Giel Detienne, Ann T.J. Beliën, Marco Sandri, Evi M. Mercken
The growth of skeletal muscle relies on a delicate equilibrium between protein synthesis and degradation; however, how proteostasis is managed in the endoplasmic reticulum is largely unknown. Here, we report that the SEL1L-HRD1 endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD) complex, the primary molecular machinery that degrades misfolded proteins in the ER is vital to maintain postnatal muscle growth and systemic energy balance. Myocyte-specific SEL1L deletion blunts the hypertrophic phase of muscle growth, resulting in a net zero gain of muscle mass during this developmental period and a 30% reduction in overall body growth. In addition, myocyte-specific SEL1L deletion triggered a systemic reprogramming of metabolism characterized by improved glucose sensitivity, enhanced beiging of adipocytes, and resistance to diet induced obesity. These effects were partially mediated by the upregulation of the myokine FGF21. These findings highlight the pivotal role of SEL1L-HRD1 ERAD activity in skeletal myocytes for postnatal muscle growth, and its physiological integration in maintaining whole-body energy balance.
Benedict Abdon, Yusheng Liang, Débora da Luz Scheffer, Mauricio Torres, Neha Shrestha, Rachel B. Reinert, You Lu, Brent Pederson, Amara Bugarin-Lapuz, Sander Kersten, Ling Qi
Gene therapy is under advanced clinical development for several lysosomal storage disorders. Pompe disease, a debilitating neuromuscular illness that affects infants, children, and adults with different degrees of severity, is caused by a deficiency of lysosomal glycogen-degrading enzyme acid alpha-glucosidase (GAA). Here, we demonstrated that adeno-associated virus (AAV9)-mediated systemic gene transfer fully reversed glycogen storage in all key therapeutic targets - skeletal and cardiac muscles, the diaphragm, and the central nervous system (CNS) - in both young and severely affected old Gaa knockout mice. Furthermore, the therapy reversed secondary cellular abnormalities in skeletal muscle, such as autophagy and mTORC1/AMPK signaling. We used a newly developed AAV9 vector encoding a chimeric human GAA protein with enhanced uptake and secretion to facilitate efficient spread of the expressed protein among multiple target tissues. These results lay the groundwork for future clinical development strategy in Pompe disease.
Naresh K Meena, Davide Randazzo, Nina Raben, Rosa Puertollano
Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), the most common form of adult-onset muscular dystrophy, is caused by a CTG expansion resulting in significant transcriptomic dysregulation that leads to muscle weakness and wasting. While strength training is clinically beneficial in DM1, molecular effects had not been studied. To determine whether training rescued transcriptomic defects, RNA-sequencing was performed on vastus lateralis samples from nine male DM1 patients before and after a 12-week strength training program and six male controls who did not undergo training. Differential gene expression and alternative splicing analysis were correlated with the one-repetition maximum strength evaluation method (leg extension, leg press, hip abduction, and squat). While training program-induced improvements in splicing were similar among most individuals, rescued splicing events varied considerably between individuals. Gene expression improvements were highly varied between individuals with the percentage of differentially expressed genes rescued after training strongly correlated with strength improvements. Evaluating transcriptome changes individually revealed responses to the training not evident from grouped analysis, likely due to disease heterogeneity and individual exercise response differences. Our analyses indicate that transcriptomic changes are associated with clinical outcomes in DM1 patients undergoing training and these changes are often specific to the individual and should be analyzed accordingly.
Emily E. Davey, Cécilia Légaré, Lori Planco, Sharon Shaughnessy, Claudia D. Lennon, Marie-Pier Roussel, Hannah K. Shorrock, Man Hung, John Douglas Cleary, Elise Duchesne, J. Andrew Berglund
Muscular dystrophies are a group of genetic neuromuscular disorders that involve severe muscle wasting. Transforming growth factor β-activated kinase 1 (TAK1) is an important signaling protein that regulates cell survival, growth, and inflammation. TAK1 has been recently found to promote myofiber growth in the skeletal muscle of adult mice. However, the role of TAK1 in muscle diseases remains poorly understood. In the present study, we have investigated how TAK1 affects the progression of dystrophic phenotype in the mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). TAK1 is highly activated in the dystrophic muscle of mdx mice during the peak necrotic phase. While targeted inducible inactivation of TAK1 inhibits myofiber injury in young mdx mice, it results in reduced muscle mass and contractile function. TAK1 inactivation also causes loss of muscle mass in adult mdx mice. By contrast, forced activation of TAK1 through overexpression of TAK1 and TAB1 induces myofiber growth without having any deleterious effect on muscle histopathology. Collectively, our results suggest that TAK1 is a positive regulator of skeletal muscle mass and targeted regulation of TAK1 can suppress myonecrosis and ameliorate disease progression in DMD.
Anirban Roy, Tatiana E. Koike, Aniket S. Joshi, Meiricris Tomaz da Silva, Kavya Mathukumalli, Mingfu Wu, Ashok Kumar
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