Zebrafish are a powerful tool for studying muscle function owing to their high numbers of offspring, low maintenance costs, evolutionarily conserved muscle functions, and the ability to rapidly take up small molecular compounds during early larval stages. Fukutin-related protein (FKRP) is a putative protein glycosyltransferase that functions in the Golgi apparatus to modify sugar chain molecules of newly translated proteins. Patients with mutations in the FKRP gene can have a wide spectrum of clinical symptoms with varying muscle, eye, and brain pathologies depending on the location of the mutation in the FKRP protein. Patients with a common L276I FKRP mutation have mild adult-onset muscle degeneration known as limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 2I (LGMD2I), whereas patients with more C-terminal pathogenic mutations develop the severe Walker-Warburg syndrome (WWS)/muscle-eye-brain (MEB) disease. We generated fkrp-mutant zebrafish that phenocopy WWS/MEB pathologies including severe muscle breakdowns, head malformations, and early lethality. We have also generated a milder LGMD2I-model zebrafish via overexpression of a heat shock–inducible human FKRP (L276I) transgene that shows milder muscle pathology. Screening of an FDA-approved drug compound library in the LGMD2I zebrafish revealed a strong propensity towards steroids, antibacterials, and calcium regulators in ameliorating FKRP-dependent pathologies. Together, these studies demonstrate the utility of the zebrafish to both study human-specific FKRP mutations and perform compound library screenings for corrective drug compounds to treat muscular dystrophies.
Peter R. Serafini, Michael J. Feyder, Rylie M. Hightower, Daniela Garcia-Perez, Natássia M. Vieira, Angela Lek, Devin E. Gibbs, Omar Moukha-Chafiq, Corinne E. Augelli-Szafran, Genri Kawahara, Jeffrey J. Widrick, Louis M. Kunkel, Matthew S. Alexander
Generation of homogeneous populations of subtype-specific cardiomyocytes (CMs) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and their comprehensive phenotyping is crucial for a better understanding of the subtype-related disease mechanisms and as tools for the development of chamber-specific drugs. The goals of this study were to apply a simple and efficient method for differentiation of iPSCs into defined functional CM subtypes in feeder-free conditions and to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the molecular, cell biological, and functional properties of atrial and ventricular iPSC-CMs on both the single-cell and engineered heart muscle (EHM) level. By a stage-specific activation of retinoic acid signaling in monolayer-based and well-defined culture, we showed that cardiac progenitors can be directed towards a highly homogeneous population of atrial CMs. By combining the transcriptome and proteome profiling of the iPSC-CM subtypes with functional characterizations via optical action potential and calcium imaging, and with contractile analyses in EHM, we demonstrated that atrial and ventricular iPSC-CMs and -EHM highly correspond to the atrial and ventricular heart muscle, respectively. This study provides a comprehensive understanding of the molecular and functional identities characteristic of atrial and ventricular iPSC-CMs and -EHM and supports their suitability in disease modeling and chamber-specific drug screening.
Lukas Cyganek, Malte Tiburcy, Karolina Sekeres, Kathleen Gerstenberg, Hanibal Bohnenberger, Christof Lenz, Sarah Henze, Michael Stauske, Gabriela Salinas, Wolfram-Hubertus Zimmermann, Gerd Hasenfuss, Kaomei Guan
Cardiac myosin binding protein C (MYBPC3) is the most commonly mutated gene associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Haploinsufficiency of full-length MYBPC3 and disruption of proteostasis have both been proposed as central to HCM disease pathogenesis. Discriminating the relative contributions of these 2 mechanisms requires fundamental knowledge of how turnover of WT and mutant MYBPC3 proteins is regulated. We expressed several disease-causing mutations in MYBPC3 in primary neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocytes. In contrast to WT MYBPC3, mutant proteins showed reduced expression and failed to localize to the sarcomere. In an unbiased coimmunoprecipitation/mass spectrometry screen, we identified HSP70-family chaperones as interactors of both WT and mutant MYBPC3. Heat shock cognate 70 kDa (HSC70) was the most abundant chaperone interactor. Knockdown of HSC70 significantly slowed degradation of both WT and mutant MYBPC3, while pharmacologic activation of HSC70 and HSP70 accelerated degradation. HSC70 was expressed in discrete striations in the sarcomere. Expression of mutant MYBPC3 did not affect HSC70 localization, nor did it induce a protein folding stress response or ubiquitin proteasome dysfunction. Together these data suggest that WT and mutant MYBPC3 proteins are clients for HSC70, and that the HSC70 chaperone system plays a major role in regulating MYBPC3 protein turnover.
Amelia A. Glazier, Neha Hafeez, Dattatreya Mellacheruvu, Venkatesha Basrur, Alexey I. Nesvizhskii, Lap Man Lee, Hao Shao, Vi Tang, Jaime M. Yob, Jason E. Gestwicki, Adam S. Helms, Sharlene M. Day
Metabolic stresses such as dietary energy restriction or physical activity exert beneficial metabolic effects. In the liver, endospanin-1 and endospanin-2 cooperatively modulate calorie restriction–mediated (CR-mediated) liver adaptations by controlling growth hormone sensitivity. Since we found CR to induce endospanin protein expression in skeletal muscle, we investigated their role in this tissue. In vivo and in vitro endospanin-2 triggers ERK phosphorylation in skeletal muscle through an autophagy-dependent pathway. Furthermore, endospanin-2, but not endospanin-1, overexpression decreases muscle mitochondrial ROS production, induces fast-to-slow fiber-type switch, increases skeletal muscle glycogen content, and improves glucose homeostasis, ultimately promoting running endurance capacity. In line, endospanin-2–/– mice display higher lipid peroxidation levels, increased mitochondrial ROS production under mitochondrial stress, decreased ERK phosphorylation, and reduced endurance capacity. In conclusion, our results identify endospanin-2 as a potentially novel player in skeletal muscle metabolism, plasticity, and function.
Steve Lancel, Matthijs K.C. Hesselink, Estelle Woldt, Yves Rouillé, Emilie Dorchies, Stephane Delhaye, Christian Duhem, Quentin Thorel, Alicia Mayeuf-Louchart, Benoit Pourcet, Valérie Montel, Gert Schaart, Nicolas Beton, Florence Picquet, Olivier Briand, Jean Pierre Salles, Hélène Duez, Patrick Schrauwen, Bruno Bastide, Bernard Bailleul, Bart Staels, Yasmine Sebti
Exon skipping uses chemically modified antisense oligonucleotides to modulate RNA splicing. Therapeutically, exon skipping can bypass mutations and restore reading frame disruption by generating internally truncated, functional proteins to rescue the loss of native gene expression. Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2C is caused by autosomal recessive mutations in the SGCG gene, which encodes the dystrophin-associated protein γ-sarcoglycan. The most common SGCG mutations disrupt the transcript reading frame abrogating γ-sarcoglycan protein expression. In order to treat most SGCG gene mutations, it is necessary to skip 4 exons in order to restore the SGCG transcript reading frame, creating an internally truncated protein referred to as Mini-Gamma. Using direct reprogramming of human cells with MyoD, myogenic cells were tested with 2 antisense oligonucleotide chemistries, 2’-O-methyl phosphorothioate oligonucleotides and vivo–phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers, to induce exon skipping. Treatment with vivo–phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers demonstrated efficient skipping of the targeted exons and corrected the mutant reading frame, resulting in the expression of a functional Mini-Gamma protein. Antisense-induced exon skipping of SGCG occurred in normal cells and those with multiple distinct SGCG mutations, including the most common 521ΔT mutation. These findings demonstrate a multiexon-skipping strategy applicable to the majority of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 2C patients.
Eugene J. Wyatt, Alexis R. Demonbreun, Ellis Y. Kim, Megan J. Puckelwartz, Andy H. Vo, Lisa M. Dellefave-Castillo, Quan Q. Gao, Mariz Vainzof, Rita C. M. Pavanello, Mayana Zatz, Elizabeth M. McNally
Skeletal muscle mass is regulated by a complex array of signaling pathways. TGF-β–activated kinase 1 (TAK1) is an important signaling protein, which regulates context-dependent activation of multiple intracellular pathways. However, the role of TAK1 in the regulation of skeletal muscle mass remains unknown. Here, we report that inducible inactivation of TAK1 causes severe muscle wasting, leading to kyphosis, in both young and adult mice.. Inactivation of TAK1 inhibits protein synthesis and induces proteolysis, potentially through upregulating the activity of the ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy. Phosphorylation and enzymatic activity of AMPK are increased, whereas levels of phosphorylated mTOR and p38 MAPK are diminished upon inducible inactivation of TAK1 in skeletal muscle. In addition, targeted inactivation of TAK1 leads to the accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria and oxidative stress in skeletal muscle of adult mice. Inhibition of TAK1 does not attenuate denervation-induced muscle wasting in adult mice. Finally, TAK1 activity is highly upregulated during overload-induced skeletal muscle growth, and inactivation of TAK1 prevents myofiber hypertrophy in response to functional overload. Overall, our study demonstrates that TAK1 is a key regulator of skeletal muscle mass and oxidative metabolism.
Sajedah M. Hindi, Shuichi Sato, Guangyan Xiong, Kyle R. Bohnert, Andrew A. Gibb, Yann S. Gallot, Joseph D. McMillan, Bradford G. Hill, Shizuka Uchida, Ashok Kumar
We identify 2 homozygous mutations in the ε-subunit of the muscle acetylcholine receptor (AChR) in 3 patients with severe congenital myasthenia: εR218W in the pre-M1 region in 2 patients and εE184K in the β8-β9 linker in 1 patient. Arg218 is conserved in all eukaryotic members of the Cys-loop receptor superfamily, while Glu184 is conserved in the α-, δ-, and ε-subunits of AChRs from all species. εR218W reduces channel gating efficiency 338-fold and AChR expression on the cell surface 5-fold, whereas εE184K reduces channel gating efficiency 11-fold but does not alter AChR cell surface expression. Determinations of the effective channel gating rate constants, combined with mutant cycle analyses, demonstrate strong energetic coupling between εR218 and εE184, and between εR218 and εE45 from the β1-β2 linker, as also observed for equivalent residues in the principal coupling pathway of the α-subunit. Thus, efficient and rapid gating of the AChR channel is achieved not only by coupling between conserved residues within the principal coupling pathway of the α-subunit, but also between corresponding residues in the ε-subunit.
Xin-Ming Shen, Joan M. Brengman, Shelley Shen, Hacer Durmus, Veeramani Preethish-Kumar, Nur Yuceyar, Seena Vengalil, Atchayaram Nalini, Feza Deymeer, Steven M. Sine, Andrew G. Engel
Dystrophin maintains the integrity of striated muscles by linking the actin cytoskeleton with the cell membrane. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene (DMD) that result in progressive, debilitating muscle weakness, cardiomyopathy, and a shortened lifespan. Mutations of dystrophin that disrupt the amino-terminal actin-binding domain 1 (ABD-1), encoded by exons 2–8, represent the second-most common cause of DMD. In the present study, we compared three different strategies for CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to correct mutations in the ABD-1 region of the DMD gene by deleting exons 3–9, 6–9, or 7–11 in human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and by assessing the function of iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes. All three exon deletion strategies enabled the expression of truncated dystrophin protein and restoration of cardiomyocyte contractility and calcium transients to varying degrees. We show that deletion of exons 3–9 by genomic editing provides an especially effective means of correcting disease-causing ABD-1 mutations. These findings represent an important step toward eventual correction of common DMD mutations and provide a means of rapidly assessing the expression and function of internally truncated forms of dystrophin-lacking portions of ABD-1.
Viktoriia Kyrychenko, Sergii Kyrychenko, Malte Tiburcy, John M. Shelton, Chengzu Long, Jay W. Schneider, Wolfram-Hubertus Zimmermann, Rhonda Bassel-Duby, Eric N. Olson
BACKGROUND. The impact of resistance exercise training (RE-T) across the life span is poorly defined. METHODS. To resolve this, we recruited three distinct age cohorts of young (18–28 years; n = 11), middle-aged (45–55 years; n = 20), and older (nonsarcopenic; 65–75 years; n = 17) individuals to a cross-sectional intervention study. All subjects participated in 20 weeks of fully supervised whole-body progressive RE-T, undergoing assessment of body composition, muscle and vascular function, and metabolic health biomarkers before and after RE-T. Individuals also received stable isotope tracer infusions to ascertain muscle protein synthesis (MPS). RESULTS. There was an age-related increase in adiposity, but only young and middle-age groups demonstrated reductions following RE-T. Increases in blood pressure with age were attenuated by RE-T in middle-aged, but not older, individuals, while age-related increases in leg vascular conductance were unaffected by RE-T. The index of insulin sensitivity was reduced by RE-T in older age. Despite being matched at baseline, only younger individuals increased muscle mass in response to RE-T, and there existed a negative correlation between age and muscle growth; in contrast, increases in mechanical quality were preserved across ages. Acute increases in MPS (upon feeding plus acute RE-T) were enhanced only in younger individuals, perhaps explaining greater hypertrophy. CONCLUSION. Our data indicate that RE-T offsets some, but not all, negative characteristics of ageing — some of which are apparent in midlife. FUNDING. Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/C516779/1).
Bethan E. Phillips, John P. Williams, Paul L. Greenhaff, Kenneth Smith, Philip J. Atherton
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is caused by dystrophin deficiency resulting in progressive muscle weakness and fibrotic scarring. Muscle fibrosis impairs blood flow, hampering muscle repair and regeneration. Irrespective of the success of gene restoration, functional improvement is limited without reducing fibrosis. The levels of miR-29c, a known regulator of collagen, are reduced in DMD. Our goal is to develop translational, antifibrotic therapy by overexpressing miR-29c. We injected the gastrocnemius muscle with either self-complementary AAV.CMV.miR-29c or single-stranded AAV.MCK.micro-dystrophin alone or in combination in the
Kristin N. Heller, Joshua T. Mendell, Jerry R. Mendell, Louise R. Rodino-Klapac
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