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Sample records for muscular atrophy gene

  1. Gene therapy: a promising approach to treating spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Mulcahy, Pádraig J; Iremonger, Kayleigh; Karyka, Evangelia; Herranz-Martín, Saúl; Shum, Ka-To; Tam, Janice Kal Van; Azzouz, Mimoun

    2014-07-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a severe autosomal recessive disease caused by a genetic defect in the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, which encodes SMN, a protein widely expressed in all eukaryotic cells. Depletion of the SMN protein causes muscle weakness and progressive loss of movement in SMA patients. The field of gene therapy has made major advances over the past decade, and gene delivery to the central nervous system (CNS) by in vivo or ex vivo techniques is a rapidly emerging field in neuroscience. Despite Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis being among the most common neurodegenerative diseases in humans and attractive targets for treatment development, their multifactorial origin and complicated genetics make them less amenable to gene therapy. Monogenic disorders resulting from modifications in a single gene, such as SMA, prove more favorable and have been at the fore of this evolution of potential gene therapies, and results to date have been promising at least. With the estimated number of monogenic diseases standing in the thousands, elucidating a therapeutic target for one could have major implications for many more. Recent progress has brought about the commercialization of the first gene therapies for diseases, such as pancreatitis in the form of Glybera, with the potential for other monogenic disease therapies to follow suit. While much research has been carried out, there are many limiting factors that can halt or impede translation of therapies from the bench to the clinic. This review will look at both recent advances and encountered impediments in terms of SMA and endeavor to highlight the promising results that may be applicable to various associated diseases and also discuss the potential to overcome present limitations.

  2. The Spinal Muscular Atrophy Disease Gene Product, Smn

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho, Teresa; Almeida, Fátima; Calapez, Alexandre; Lafarga, Miguel; Berciano, Maria T.; Carmo-Fonseca, Maria

    1999-01-01

    The spliceosomal snRNAs U1, U2, U4, and U5 are synthesized in the nucleus, exported to the cytoplasm to assemble with Sm proteins, and reimported to the nucleus as ribonucleoprotein particles. Recently, two novel proteins involved in biogenesis of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) were identified, the Spinal muscular atrophy disease gene product (SMN) and its associated protein SIP1. It was previously reported that in HeLa cells, SMN and SIP1 form discrete foci located next to Cajal (coiled) bodies, the so-called “gemini of coiled bodies” or “gems.” An intriguing feature of gems is that they do not appear to contain snRNPs. Here we show that gems are present in a variable but small proportion of rapidly proliferating cells in culture. In the vast majority of cultured cells and in all primary neurons analyzed, SMN and SIP1 colocalize precisely with snRNPs in the Cajal body. The presence of SMN and SIP1 in Cajal bodies is confirmed by immunoelectron microscopy and by microinjection of antibodies that interfere with the integrity of the structure. The association of SMN with snRNPs and coilin persists during cell division, but at the end of mitosis there is a lag period between assembly of new Cajal bodies in the nucleus and detection of SMN in these structures, suggesting that SMN is targeted to preformed Cajal bodies. Finally, treatment of cells with leptomycin B (a drug that blocks export of U snRNAs to the cytoplasm and consequently import of new snRNPs into the nucleus) is shown to deplete snRNPs (but not SMN or SIP1) from the Cajal body. This suggests that snRNPs flow through the Cajal body during their biogenesis pathway. PMID:10562276

  3. Learning about Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    MedlinePlus

    ... causes the disorder. Top of page NHGRI Clinical Research on Spinal Muscular Atrophy Currently, NHGRI is not conducting studies on SMA. The National Institutes of Health is conducting clinical trials identified as enrolling individuals with SMA: Quantitative Analysis of SMN1 and SMN2 Gene Based on ...

  4. Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Lessons? Visit KidsHealth in the Classroom What Other Parents Are Reading Your Child's Development (Birth to 3 Years) Feeding Your 1- to 3-Month-Old Feeding Your 4- to 7-Month-Old Feeding Your 8- to 12-Month-Old Feeding Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Spinal ... > For Parents > Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Print A A A ...

  5. Bed Rest Muscular Atrophy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenleaf, John E.

    2000-01-01

    A major debilitating response from prolonged bed rest (BR) is muscle atrophy, defined as a "decrease in size of a part of tissue after full development has been attained: a wasting away of tissue as from disuse, old age, injury or disease". Part of the complicated mechanism for the dizziness, increased body instability, and exaggerated gait in patients who arise immediately after BR may be a result of not only foot pain, but also of muscular atrophy and associated reduction in lower limb strength. Also, there seems to be a close association between muscle atrophy and bone atrophy. A discussion of many facets of the total BR homeostatic syndrome has been published. The old adage that use determines form which promotes function of bone (Wolff's law) also applies to those people exposed to prolonged BR (without exercise training) in whom muscle atrophy is a consistent finding. An extreme case involved a 16-year-old boy who was ordered to bed by his mother in 1932: after 50 years in bed he had "a lily-white frame with limbs as thin as the legs of a ladder-back chair". These findings emphasize the close relationship between muscle atrophy and bone atrophy. In addition to loss of muscle mass during deconditioning, there is a significant loss of muscle strength and a decrease in protein synthesis. Because the decreases in force (strength) are proportionately greater than those in fiber size or muscle cross-sectional area, other contributory factors must be involved; muscle fiber dehydration may be important.

  6. Spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disease characterized by degeneration of alpha motor neurons in the spinal cord, resulting in progressive proximal muscle weakness and paralysis. Estimated incidence is 1 in 6,000 to 1 in 10,000 live births and carrier frequency of 1/40-1/60. This disease is characterized by generalized muscle weakness and atrophy predominating in proximal limb muscles, and phenotype is classified into four grades of severity (SMA I, SMAII, SMAIII, SMA IV) based on age of onset and motor function achieved. This disease is caused by homozygous mutations of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, and the diagnostic test demonstrates in most patients the homozygous deletion of the SMN1 gene, generally showing the absence of SMN1 exon 7. The test achieves up to 95% sensitivity and nearly 100% specificity. Differential diagnosis should be considered with other neuromuscular disorders which are not associated with increased CK manifesting as infantile hypotonia or as limb girdle weakness starting later in life. Considering the high carrier frequency, carrier testing is requested by siblings of patients or of parents of SMA children and are aimed at gaining information that may help with reproductive planning. Individuals at risk should be tested first and, in case of testing positive, the partner should be then analyzed. It is recommended that in case of a request on carrier testing on siblings of an affected SMA infant, a detailed neurological examination should be done and consideration given doing the direct test to exclude SMA. Prenatal diagnosis should be offered to couples who have previously had a child affected with SMA (recurrence risk 25%). The role of follow-up coordination has to be managed by an expert in neuromuscular disorders and in SMA who is able to plan a multidisciplinary intervention that includes pulmonary, gastroenterology/nutrition, and orthopedic care. Prognosis depends on the phenotypic

  7. Transcriptional activation of TFEB/ZKSCAN3 target genes underlies enhanced autophagy in spinobulbar muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Chua, Jason P; Reddy, Satya L; Merry, Diane E; Adachi, Hiroaki; Katsuno, Masahisa; Sobue, Gen; Robins, Diane M; Lieberman, Andrew P

    2014-03-01

    Spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is an inherited neuromuscular disorder caused by the expansion of a CAG repeat encoding a polyglutamine tract in exon 1 of the androgen receptor (AR) gene. SBMA demonstrates androgen-dependent toxicity due to unfolding and aggregation of the mutant protein. There are currently no disease-modifying therapies, but of increasing interest for therapeutic targeting is autophagy, a highly conserved cellular process mediating protein quality control. We have previously shown that genetic manipulations inhibiting autophagy diminish skeletal muscle atrophy and extend the lifespan of AR113Q knock-in mice. In contrast, manipulations inducing autophagy worsen muscle atrophy, suggesting that chronic, aberrant upregulation of autophagy contributes to pathogenesis. Since the degree to which autophagy is altered in SBMA and the mechanisms responsible for such alterations are incompletely defined, we sought to delineate autophagic status in SBMA using both cellular and mouse models. Here, we confirm that autophagy is induced in cellular and knock-in mouse models of SBMA and show that the transcription factors transcription factor EB (TFEB) and ZKSCAN3 operate in opposing roles to underlie these changes. We demonstrate upregulation of TFEB target genes in skeletal muscle from AR113Q male mice and SBMA patients. Furthermore, we observe a greater response in AR113Q mice to physiological stimulation of autophagy by both nutrient starvation and exercise. Taken together, our results indicate that transcriptional signaling contributes to autophagic dysregulation and provides a mechanistic framework for the pathologic increase of autophagic responsiveness in SBMA.

  8. Isolation of cDNA clones from within the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) disease gene region

    SciTech Connect

    McLean, M.; Roy, N.; Tamai, K.

    1994-09-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a recessive neuromuscular disease characterized by death of spinal cord {alpha} motor neurons, resulting in skeletal muscle atrophy. The critical SMA disease gene region on 5q13.1 contains families of microsatellite repeat sequences which exist at multiple subloci that are dispersed over a 100 to 200 kbp region. We have detected significant linkage disequilibrium between SMA type 1, the most severe form of the disorder, and two subloci of one such microsatellite, the CATT-1 family of microsatellites. Furthermore, a recombination event in a chromosome of an individual with SMA type 1 mapping between the members of two other extended microsatellite families, including CMS-1, has been observed. Combining this with previously reported recombinants refines the critical SMA region to approximately 300 kbp. P1 artificial chromosome (PAC), YAC and cosmid clones which possess both CMS-1 alleles which bracket this recombination event, as well as CATT-1 alleles showing linkage disequilibrium with SMA, have been used to probe cDNA libraries from human and other mammalian sources in search of genes within this interval; three of these cDNAs are currently being tested as candidates for the SMA gene.

  9. Construction of a yeast artificial chromosome contig spanning the spinal muscular atrophy disease gene region.

    PubMed Central

    Kleyn, P W; Wang, C H; Lien, L L; Vitale, E; Pan, J; Ross, B M; Grunn, A; Palmer, D A; Warburton, D; Brzustowicz, L M

    1993-01-01

    The childhood spinal muscular atrophies (SMAs) are the most common, serious neuromuscular disorders of childhood second to Duchenne muscular dystrophy. A single locus for these disorders has been mapped by recombination events to a region of 0.7 centimorgan (range, 0.1-2.1 centimorgans) between loci D5S435 and MAP1B on chromosome 5q11.2-13.3. By using PCR amplification to screen yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) DNA pools and the PCR-vectorette method to amplify YAC ends, a YAC contig was constructed across the disease gene region. Nine walk steps identified 32 YACs, including a minimum of seven overlapping YAC clones (average size, 460 kb) that span the SMA region. The contig is characterized by a collection of 30 YAC-end sequence tag sites together with seven genetic markers. The entire YAC contig spans a minimum of 3.2 Mb; the SMA locus is confined to roughly half of this region. Microsatellite markers generated along the YAC contig segregate with the SMA locus in all families where the flanking markers (D5S435 and MAP1B) recombine. Construction of a YAC contig across the disease gene region is an essential step in isolation of the SMA-encoding gene. Images Fig. 1 PMID:8341701

  10. Construction of a yeast artifical chromosome contig spanning the spinal muscular atrophy disease gene region

    SciTech Connect

    Kleyn, P.W.; Wang, C.H.; Vitale, E.; Pan, J.; Ross, B.M.; Grunn, A.; Palmer, D.A.; Warburton, D.; Brzustowicz, L.M.; Gilliam, T.G. ); Lien, L.L.; Kunkel, L.M. )

    1993-07-15

    The childhood spinal muscular atrophies (SMAs) are the most common, serious neuromuscular disorders of childhood second to Duchenne muscular dystrophy. A single locus for these disorders has been mapped by recombination events to a region of 0.7 centimorgan (range, 0.1-2.1 centimorgans) between loci D5S435 and MAP1B on chromosome 5q11.2-13.3. By using PCR amplification to screen yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) DNA pools and the PCR-vectorette method to amplify YAC ends, a YAC contig was constructed across the disease gene region. Nine walk steps identified 32 YACs, including a minimum of seven overlapping YAC clones (average size, 460 kb) that span the SMA region. The contig is characterized by a collection of 30 YAC-end sequence tag sites together with seven genetic markers. The entire YAC contig spans a minimum of 3.2 Mb; the SMA locus is confined to roughly half of this region. Microsatellite markers generated along the YAC contig segregate with the SMA locus in all families where the flanking markers (D5S435 and MAP1B) recombine. Construction of a YAC contig across the disease gene region is an essential step in isolation of the SMA-encoding gene. 26 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  11. Isolation of cDNAs from the spinal muscular atrophy gene region with yeast artificial chromosomes

    SciTech Connect

    Deng, H.X.; He, X.X.; Hung, W.Y.

    1994-09-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by degeneration of anterior horn cells, leading to progressive paralysis of voluntary muscles. The SMA gene(s) is located at 5q11.2-q13.3, between D5S435 and D5S112. To isolate potential candidate gene(s) responsible for SMA, we used the YACs within the SMA gene region as probes to screen a human brainstem cDNA library. Thirteen cDNA clones were isolated. Their sizes range from 0.7 kb to 5 kb. Seven clones were found to be unique in sequence; the remaining six clones contain repetitive sequences. Five out of these seven unique clones have been used as probes to screen a phage genomic DNA library. Phage genomic clones isolated with individual unique cDNA were used for fluorescence in situ hybridization to identify the origin of cDNAs. These five unique sequences are all located in the 5q13 region, indicating the reliability of our screening method. All the thirteen clones have been partially sequenced (about 300 bp) from each end. No homology has been found with any known EST or known genes. No cross hybridization was detected among the unique clones, suggesting that there may be distinct new genes encoded in this region.

  12. Juvenile-onset spinal muscular atrophy caused by compound heterozygosity for mutations in the HEXA gene.

    PubMed

    Navon, R; Khosravi, R; Melki, J; Drucker, L; Fontaine, B; Turpin, J C; N'Guyen, B; Fardeau, M; Rondot, P; Baumann, N

    1997-05-01

    Progressive proximal muscle weakness is present both in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type III (Kugelberg-Welander disease) and in GM2 gangliosidosis, diseases that segregate in an autosomal recessive fashion. The SMN gene for SMA and the HEXA gene for GM2 gangliosidosis were investigated in a woman with progressive proximal muscle weakness, long believed to be SMA type III (Kugelberg-Welander type). She and her family underwent biochemical studies for GM2 gangliosidosis. Analysis of SMN excluded SMA. Biochemical studies on GM2 gangliosidosis showed deficiency in hexosaminidase A activity and increased GM2 ganglioside accumulation in the patient's fibroblasts. The HEXA gene was first analyzed for the Gly269-->Ser mutation characteristic for adult GM2 gangliosidosis. Since the patient was carrying the adult mutation heterozygously, all 14 exons and adjacent intron sequences were analyzed. A novel mutation in exon 1 resulting in an A-to-T change in the initiation codon (ATG to TTG) was identified. The adult patient is a compound heterozygote, with each allele containing a different mutation. Although mRNA was transcribed from the novel mutant allele, expression experiments showed no enzyme activity, suggesting that neither the TTG nor an alternative codon serve as an initiation codon in the HEXA gene.

  13. Refined linkage map of chromosome 5 in the region of the spinal muscular atrophy gene

    SciTech Connect

    Melki, J.; Burlet, P.; Clermont, O.; Pascal, F.; Paul, B.; Abdelhak, S.; Munnich, A. ); Sherrington, R.; Gurling, H. Middlesex School of Medicine, London ); Nakamura, Yusuke ); Weissenbach, J. Genethon, Evry ); Lathrop, M. )

    1993-03-01

    The genetic map in the region of human chromosome 5 that harbors the gene for autosomal recessive forms of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) has been refined by a multilocus linkage study in 50 SMA-segregating families. Among six markers spanning 8 cM for combined sexes, four were shown to be tightly linked to the SMA locus. Multipoing linkage analysis was used to establish the best estimate of the SMA gene location. The data suggest that the most likely location for the SMA locus is between blocks AFM114ye7 (D5S465)/EF5.15 (D5S125) and MAP-1B/JK53 (D5S112) at a sex-combined genetic distance of 2.4 and 1.7 cM, respectively. Thus the SMA gene lies in the 4-cM region between these two blocks. This information is of primary importance for designing strategies for isolating the SMA gene. 16 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs.

  14. A feedback loop regulates splicing of the spinal muscular atrophy-modifying gene, SMN2.

    PubMed

    Jodelka, Francine M; Ebert, Allison D; Duelli, Dominik M; Hastings, Michelle L

    2010-12-15

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neurological disorder characterized by motor neuron degeneration and progressive muscle paralysis. The disease is caused by a reduction in survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein resulting from homozygous deletion of the SMN1 gene. SMN protein is also encoded by SMN2. However, splicing of SMN2 exon 7 is defective, and consequently, the majority of the transcripts produce a truncated, unstable protein. SMN protein itself has a role in splicing. The protein is required for the biogenesis of spliceosomal snRNPs, which are essential components of the splicing reaction. We now show that SMN protein abundance affects the splicing of SMN2 exon 7, revealing a feedback loop inSMN expression. The reduced SMN protein concentration observed in SMA samples and in cells depleted of SMN correlates with a decrease in cellular snRNA levels and a decrease in SMN2 exon 7 splicing. Furthermore, altering the relative abundance or activity of individual snRNPs has distinct effects on exon 7 splicing, demonstrating that core spliceosomal snRNPs influence SMN2 alternative splicing. Our results identify a feedback loop in SMN expression by which low SMN protein levels exacerbate SMN exon 7 skipping, leading to a further reduction in SMN protein. These results imply that a modest increase in SMN protein abundance may cause a disproportionately large increase in SMN expression, a finding that is important for assessing the therapeutic potential of SMA treatments and understanding disease pathogenesis.

  15. Characterization of a protein kinase gene in allelic association with the spinal muscular atrophy locus

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, C.H.; Carter, T.A.; Kleyn, P.W.

    1994-09-01

    A protein kinase gene has been identified from a 400 Kb minimal genetic region which defines the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) locus. A highly polymorphic microsatellite marker (D5S1414) isolated from a yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) clone within this interval detects linkage disequilibrium with the SMA locus in 32 Polish families (Yule`s coefficient: 0.92) and maps to an intron of the protein kinase gene. Exon amplification was used to isolate coding sequences from a YAC-derived phage subclone containing D5S1414. Five exons were identified and a GenBank search using the BLAST program showed complete homology of these exons with a protein kinase gene. The gene is expressed in all tissues checked to far. Full-length cDNAs have been identified from both normal and SMA brain libraries and by reverse-transcriptase (RT) PCR from RNA of various tissues. The cDNA sequences will be reported. The genomic sequences flanking each exon were determined by direct sequencing of the homologous phage. The marker D5S1414 was located within the intronic sequence between exons 6 and 7. To screen for disease mutations, PCR was performed across each exon including the flanking splice sites in normal controls and SMA samples shown to be homozygous across the region by haplotyping. Comparative sequence analysis of the products together with the RT-PCR from normal and SMA brain RNA has identified several candidate polymorphisms. To date, the most interesting lead is an intronic polymorphism possibly affecting exon splicing in a homozygous SMA patient. An updated mutation search will be reported.

  16. Apparent gene conversions involving the SMN gene in the region of the spinal muscular atrophy locus on chromosome 5

    SciTech Connect

    Steege, G. van der; Grootscholten, P.M.; Cobben, J.M.; Scheffer, H.; Buys, C.H.C.M.

    1996-10-01

    The survival motor neuron (SMN) gene has been described as a determining gene for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). SMN has a closely flanking, nearly identical copy ({sup C}BCD541). Gene and copy gene can be discriminated by sequence differences in exons 7 and 8. The large majority of SMA patients show homozygous deletions of at least exons 7 and 8 of the SMN gene. A minority of patients show absence of SMN exon 7 but retention of exon 8. This is explained by results of our present analysis of 13 such patients providing evidence for apparent gene-conversion events between SMN and the centromeric copy gene. Instead of applying a separate analysis for absence or presence of SMN exons 7 and 8, we used a contiguous PCR from intron 6 to exon 8. In every case we found a chimeric gene with a fusion of exon 7 of the copy gene and exon 8 of SMN and absence of a normal SMN gene. Similar events, including the fusion counterpart, were observed in a group of controls, although in the presence of a normal SMN gene. Chimeric genes as the result of fusions of parts of SMN and {sup C}BCD541 apparently are far from rare and may partly explain the frequently observed SMN deletions in SMA patients. 23 refs., 4 figs.

  17. Molecular analysis of the SMN gene mutations in spinal muscular atrophy patients in China.

    PubMed

    Liu, W L; Li, F; He, Z X; Ai, R; Ma, H W

    2013-09-13

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is one of the most common autosomal recessive diseases. Survival motor neuron1 (SMN1) is the SMA disease-determining gene. We examined the molecular basis of SMA in 113 Chinese SMA patients. Homozygous exon 7 and 8 deletions in SMN1 were detected by PCR-RFLP. Heterozygous deletion of SMN1 was analyzed based on variation of the sequencing peak height of the two different base pairs of exons 7 and 8 between SMN1 and SMN2. Subtle mutation was detected by genomic sequencing in the patients with heterozygous deletion of SMN1. In our study, the rate of deletion of SMN1 exon 7 and/or 8 was 91.2%; the rate of subtle mutations was 1.8%. We detected the same subtle mutation (p.Leu228X) of SMN exon 5 in two patients (one type I, one type III). The p.Ser8LysfsX23 and p.Leu228X mutations accounted for 13 of the 23 families with subtle mutations reported in the SMN1 gene of Chinese SMA. This is the first report where the phenotype of SMA-type III is associated with p.Leu228X. We found two subtle mutation hotspots (p.Ser8LysfsX23 and p.Leu228X) of SMN1 exons 1 and 5 in Chinese SMA patients. These two mutations have not been reported from America or Europe. It is proposed that the distribution of subtle mutations of SMN1 of SMA is associated with ethnicity or geographic origin.

  18. Oxidative Stress Triggers Body-Wide Skipping of Multiple Exons of the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Gene

    PubMed Central

    Seo, Joonbae; Singh, Natalia N.; Ottesen, Eric W.; Sivanesan, Senthilkumar; Shishimorova, Maria; Singh, Ravindra N.

    2016-01-01

    Humans carry two nearly identical copies of Survival Motor Neuron gene: SMN1 and SMN2. Loss of SMN1 leads to spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the most frequent genetic cause of infant mortality. While SMN2 cannot compensate for the loss of SMN1 due to predominant skipping of exon 7, correction of SMN2 exon 7 splicing holds the promise of a cure for SMA. Previously, we used cell-based models coupled with a multi-exon-skipping detection assay (MESDA) to demonstrate the vulnerability of SMN2 exons to aberrant splicing under the conditions of oxidative stress (OS). Here we employ a transgenic mouse model and MESDA to examine the OS-induced splicing regulation of SMN2 exons. We induced OS using paraquat that is known to trigger production of reactive oxygen species and cause mitochondrial dysfunction. We show an overwhelming co-skipping of SMN2 exon 5 and exon 7 under OS in all tissues except testis. We also show that OS increases skipping of SMN2 exon 3 in all tissues except testis. We uncover several new SMN2 splice isoforms expressed at elevated levels under the conditions of OS. We analyze cis-elements and transacting factors to demonstrate the diversity of mechanisms for splicing misregulation under OS. Our results of proteome analysis reveal downregulation of hnRNP H as one of the potential consequences of OS in brain. Our findings suggest SMN2 as a sensor of OS with implications to SMA and other diseases impacted by low levels of SMN protein. PMID:27111068

  19. Very severe spinal muscular atrophy (Type 0).

    PubMed

    Al Dakhoul, Suleiman

    2017-01-01

    This case report describes a rare phenotype of very severe spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in a newborn who presented with reduced fetal movements in utero and significant respiratory distress at birth. The patient was homozygously deleted for exon 7 and exon 8 of the survival motor neuron gene 1. Very severe SMA should be considered in the differential diagnosis of respiratory distress at birth, and more research should be dedicated to investigate the genetic determinants of its widely variable phenotypes.

  20. Very severe spinal muscular atrophy (Type 0)

    PubMed Central

    Al Dakhoul, Suleiman

    2017-01-01

    This case report describes a rare phenotype of very severe spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in a newborn who presented with reduced fetal movements in utero and significant respiratory distress at birth. The patient was homozygously deleted for exon 7 and exon 8 of the survival motor neuron gene 1. Very severe SMA should be considered in the differential diagnosis of respiratory distress at birth, and more research should be dedicated to investigate the genetic determinants of its widely variable phenotypes. PMID:28182029

  1. Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Kolb, Stephen J.; Kissel, John T.

    2015-01-01

    Incidence The incidence of SMA is 1:11,000 live births [1]. Prevalence The prevalence of the carrier state is approximately 1 in 54 [1]. Severity The clinical severity of SMA correlates inversely with SMN2 gene copy number and varies from an extreme weakness and paraplegia of infancy to a mild proximal weakness of adulthood. Natural History The natural history of SMA is complex and variable. For this reason, clinical subgroups have been defined based upon best motor function attainment during development. Type 1 SMA infants never sit independently. Type 2 SMA children sit at some point during their childhood, but never walk independently. And Type 3 SMA children and adults are able to walk independently at some point in their childhood. PMID:26515624

  2. Chronic spinal muscular atrophy of facioscapulohumeral type.

    PubMed Central

    Furukawa, T; Toyokura, Y

    1976-01-01

    Chronic spinal muscular atrophy of FSH type affecting a mother and her son and daughter is reported. The relevant literature is reviewed and the relation between this conditon and Kugelberg-Welander (K-W) disease is discussed. Chronic spinal muscular atrophy of FSH type is considered to be a different entity from the eponymous K-W disease. Each type of muscular dystrophy, e.g. limb-girdle, FSH, distal, ocular, or oculopharyngeal type, has its counterpart of nuclear origin. A classification of the chronic spinal muscular atrophies is suggested following the classification of muscular dystrophy. Images PMID:957378

  3. Copy Number Variations in the Survival Motor Neuron Genes: Implications for Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Butchbach, Matthew E. R.

    2016-01-01

    Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic cause of infant death worldwide, is an early-onset, autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of spinal α-motor neurons. This loss of α-motor neurons is associated with muscle weakness and atrophy. SMA can be classified into five clinical grades based on age of onset and severity of the disease. Regardless of clinical grade, proximal SMA results from the loss or mutation of SMN1 (survival motor neuron 1) on chromosome 5q13. In humans a large tandem chromosomal duplication has lead to a second copy of the SMN gene locus known as SMN2. SMN2 is distinguishable from SMN1 by a single nucleotide difference that disrupts an exonic splice enhancer in exon 7. As a result, most of SMN2 mRNAs lack exon 7 (SMNΔ7) and produce a protein that is both unstable and less than fully functional. Although only 10–20% of the SMN2 gene product is fully functional, increased genomic copies of SMN2 inversely correlates with disease severity among individuals with SMA. Because SMN2 copy number influences disease severity in SMA, there is prognostic value in accurate measurement of SMN2 copy number from patients being evaluated for SMA. This prognostic value is especially important given that SMN2 copy number is now being used as an inclusion criterion for SMA clinical trials. In addition to SMA, copy number variations (CNVs) in the SMN genes can affect the clinical severity of other neurological disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and progressive muscular atrophy (PMA). This review will discuss how SMN1 and SMN2 CNVs are detected and why accurate measurement of SMN1 and SMN2 copy numbers is relevant for SMA and other neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27014701

  4. Bone and Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Vai, Silvia; Bianchi, Maria Luisa; Moroni, Isabella; Mastella, Chiara; Broggi, Francesca; Morandi, Lucia; Arnoldi, Maria Teresa; Bussolino, Chiara; Baranello, Giovanni

    2015-10-01

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disease, leading to progressive denervation atrophy in the involved skeletal muscles. Bone status has been poorly studied. We assessed bone metabolism, bone mineral density (BMD) and fractures in 30 children (age range 15-171 months) affected by SMA types 2 and 3. Eighteen children (60%) had higher than normal levels of CTx (bone resorption marker); 25-OH vitamin D was in the lower range of normal (below 20 ng/ml in 9 children and below 12 ng/ml in 2). Lumbar spine BMAD (bone mineral apparent density) Z-score was below -1.5 in 50% of children. According to clinical records, four children had sustained four peripheral fractures; on spine X-rays, we observed 9 previously undiagnosed vertebral fractures in 7 children. There was a significant inverse regression between PTH and 25-OH D levels, and a significant regression between BMC and BMAD values and the scores of motor-functional tests. Even if this study could not establish the pathogenesis of bone derangements in SMA, its main findings - reduced bone density, low 25OH vitamin D levels, increased bone resorption markers and asymptomatic vertebral fractures also in very young patients - strongly suggest that even young subjects affected by SMA should be considered at risk of osteopenia and even osteoporosis and fractures.

  5. Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy Overview

    PubMed Central

    Fischbeck, Kenneth H.

    2016-01-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy is an X-linked neuromuscular disease caused by an expanded repeat in the androgen receptor gene. The mutant protein is toxic to motor neurons and muscle. The toxicity is ligand-dependent and likely involves aberrant interaction of the mutant androgen receptor with other nuclear factors leading to transcriptional dysregulation. Various therapeutic strategies have been effective in transgenic animal models, and the challenge now is to translate these strategies into safe and effective treatment in patients. PMID:26547319

  6. Molecular Genetic Analysis of Survival Motor Neuron Gene in 460 Turkish Cases with Suspicious Spinal Muscular Atrophy Disease

    PubMed Central

    RASHNONEJAD, Afrooz; ONAY, Huseyin; ATIK, Tahir; ATAN SAHIN, Ozlem; GOKBEN, Sarenur; TEKGUL, Hasan; OZKINAY, Ferda

    2016-01-01

    Objective To describe 12 yr experience of molecular genetic diagnosis of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) in 460 cases of Turkish patients. Materials & Methods A retrospective analysis was performed on data from 460 cases, referred to Medical Genetics Laboratory, Ege University’s Hospital, Izmir, Turkey, prediagnosed as SMA or with family history of SMA between 2003 and 2014. The PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and the Multiplex ligation–dependent probe amplification (MLPA) analysis were performed to detect the survival motor neuron (SMN)1 deletions and to estimate SMN1 and SMN2 gene copy numbers. Results Using PCR-RFLP test, 159 of 324 postnatal and 18 of 77 prenatal cases were detected to have SMN1 deletions. From positive samples, 88.13% had a homozygous deletion in both exon 7 and exon 8 of SMN1. Using MLPA, 54.5% of families revealed heterozygous deletions of SMN1, and 2 or 3 copies of SMN2, suggesting a healthy SMA carrier. Among patients referred for SMA testing, the annual percentage of patients diagnosed as SMA has decreased gradually from 90.62% (2003) down to 20.83% (2014). Conclusion Although PCR-RFLP method is a reliable test for SMA screening, MLPA is a necessary additional test and provide relevant data for genetic counseling of families having previously affected child. The gradual decrease in the percentage of patients molecularly diagnosed as SMA shows that clinicians have begun to use genetic tests in the differential diagnosis of muscular atrophies. Cost and availability of these genetic tests has greatly attributed to their use. PMID:27843464

  7. An Integrative Transcriptomic Analysis for Identifying Novel Target Genes Corresponding to Severity Spectrum in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Chung-Wei; Chen, Chien-Lin; Chou, Wei-Chun; Lin, Ho-Chen; Jong, Yuh-Jyh; Tsai, Li-Kai; Chuang, Chun-Yu

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an inherited neuromuscular disease resulting from a recessive mutation in the SMN1 gene. This disease affects multiple organ systems with varying degrees of severity. Exploration of the molecular pathological changes occurring in different cell types in SMA is crucial for developing new therapies. This study collected 39 human microarray datasets from ArrayExpress and GEO databases to build an integrative transcriptomic analysis for recognizing novel SMA targets. The transcriptomic analysis was conducted through combining weighted correlation network analysis (WGCNA) for gene module detection, gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) for functional categorization and filtration, and Cytoscape (visual interaction gene network analysis) for target gene identification. Seven novel target genes (Bmp4, Serpine1, Gata6, Ptgs2, Bcl2, IL6 and Cntn1) of SMA were revealed, and are all known in the regulation of TNFα for controlling neural, cardiac and bone development. Sequentially, the differentially expressed patterns of these 7 target genes in mouse tissues (e.g., spinal cord, heart, muscles and bone) were validated in SMA mice of different severities (pre-symptomatic, mildly symptomatic, and severely symptomatic). In severely symptomatic SMA mice, TNFα was up-regulated with attenuation of Bmp4 and increase of Serpine1 and Gata6 (a pathway in neural and cardiac development), but not in pre-symptomatic and mildly symptomatic SMA mice. The severely symptomatic SMA mice also had the elevated levels of Ptgs2 and Bcl2 (a pathway in skeletal development) as well as IL6 and Cntn1 (a pathway in nervous system development). Thus, the 7 genes identified in this study might serve as potential target genes for future investigations of disease pathogenesis and SMA therapy. PMID:27331400

  8. Congenital contractural arachnodactyly with neurogenic muscular atrophy: case report.

    PubMed

    Scola, R H; Werneck, L C; Iwamoto, F M; Ribas, L C; Raskin, S; Correa Neto, Y

    2001-06-01

    We report the case of a 3-(1/2)-year-old girl with hypotonia, multiple joint contractures, hip luxation, arachnodactyly, adducted thumbs, dolichostenomelia, and abnormal external ears suggesting the diagnosis of congenital contractural arachnodactyly (CCA). The serum muscle enzymes were normal and the needle electromyography showed active and chronic denervation. The muscle biopsy demonstrated active and chronic denervation compatible with spinal muscular atrophy. Analysis of exons 7 and 8 of survival motor neuron gene through polymerase chain reaction did not show deletions. Neurogenic muscular atrophy is a new abnormality associated with CCA, suggesting that CCA is clinically heterogeneous.

  9. [Sanger sequencing for the diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy patients with survival motor neuron gene 1 compound heterozygous mutation].

    PubMed

    Yang, L; Cao, Y Y; Qu, Y J; Bai, J L; Wang, H; Jin, Y W; Han, Y L; Song, F

    2017-02-14

    Objective: To detect the subtle variant of survival motor neuron gene 1(SMN1) by Sanger sequencing, and to assess the value of Sanger sequencing for the diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy(SMA) with compound heterozygous mutation of SMN1. Methods: Fifty-two patients suspected SMA were recruited by the Capital Institute of Pediatrics from Jan.2014 to June.2016. PCR was used for amplifying exon7 of SMN1 and SMN2 in 52 patients. Natural different base peaks on the sequencing chromatogram in the SMN1 and SMN2 within the amplified segments were identified with Sanger DNA sequencing to detect the homozygous deletion or heterozygous deletion of SMN1. Then we screened the SMN1 subtle variants in heterozygous deletion patients by genomic Sanger sequencing for the other SMN exons. At last, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification(MLPA) was carried out to confirm the results of SMN1 heterozygous deletion, and T-A cloning confirmed the subtle variants were located in SMN1. Results: Forty-seven of 52 cases were homozygous deletion of SMN1, while 5 cases were heterozygous deletion which were confirmed by MLPA.Then, by genomic and T-A cloning sequencing, five SMN1 subtle mutations were separately identified in 5 cases of heterozygous deletion. Conclusion: Sanger sequencing is an effective method for the clinical diagnosis of compound heterozygous mutation of SMN1, and is meaningful for improving genetic diagnosis rate of SMA.

  10. Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Current Therapeutic Strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiselyov, Alex S.; Gurney, Mark E.

    Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by death of motor neurons in the spinal cord. SMA is caused by deletion and/or mutation of the survival motor neuron gene (SMN1) on chromosome 5q13. There are variable numbers of copies of a second, related gene named SMN2 located in the proximity to SMN1. Both genes encode the same protein (Smn). Loss of SMN1 and incorrect splicing of SMN2 affect cellular levels of Smn triggering death of motor neurons. The severity of SMA is directly related to the normal number of copies of SMN2 carried by the patient. A considerable effort has been dedicated to identifying modalities including both biological and small molecule agents that increase SMN2 promoter activity to upregulate gene transcription and produce increased quantities of full-length Smn protein. This review summarizes recent progress in the area and suggests potential target product profile for an SMA therapeutic.

  11. Modeling Spinal Muscular Atrophy in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Ashim; Kankel, Mark W.; Sen, Anindya; Sridhar, Vasanthi; Fulga, Tudor A.; Hart, Anne C.; Van Vactor, David; Artavanis-Tsakonas, Spyros

    2008-01-01

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a recessive hereditary neurodegenerative disease in humans, has been linked to mutations in the survival motor neuron (SMN) gene. SMA patients display early onset lethality coupled with motor neuron loss and skeletal muscle atrophy. We used Drosophila, which encodes a single SMN ortholog, survival motor neuron (Smn), to model SMA, since reduction of Smn function leads to defects that mimic the SMA pathology in humans. Here we show that a normal neuromuscular junction (NMJ) structure depends on SMN expression and that SMN concentrates in the post-synaptic NMJ regions. We conducted a screen for genetic modifiers of an Smn phenotype using the Exelixis collection of transposon-induced mutations, which affects approximately 50% of the Drosophila genome. This screen resulted in the recovery of 27 modifiers, thereby expanding the genetic circuitry of Smn to include several genes not previously known to be associated with this locus. Among the identified modifiers was wishful thinking (wit), a type II BMP receptor, which was shown to alter the Smn NMJ phenotype. Further characterization of two additional members of the BMP signaling pathway, Mothers against dpp (Mad) and Daughters against dpp (Dad), also modify the Smn NMJ phenotype. The NMJ defects caused by loss of Smn function can be ameliorated by increasing BMP signals, suggesting that increased BMP activity in SMA patients may help to alleviate symptoms of the disease. These results confirm that our genetic approach is likely to identify bona fide modulators of SMN activity, especially regarding its role at the neuromuscular junction, and as a consequence, may identify putative SMA therapeutic targets. PMID:18791638

  12. [Fractures in spinal muscular atrophy].

    PubMed

    Febrer, Anna; Vigo, Meritxell; Rodríguez, Natalia; Medina, Julita; Colomer, Jaume; Nascimento, Andrés

    2013-09-01

    Objetivo. Determinar la frecuencia de fracturas en pacientes con atrofia muscular espinal, mecanismo de produccion, edad de aparicion y repercusion funcional. Pacientes y metodos. Se estudian 65 pacientes con atrofia muscular espinal. Se recogen las fracturas diagnosticadas mediante radiografia y se analizan los siguientes parametros: tipo de atrofia muscular espinal, marcha, edad en el momento de la fractura, mecanismo de produccion, localizacion, tratamiento aplicado y repercusion funcional. Resultados. Presentaron fracturas 13 pacientes (20%), con un total de 20 (cuatro presentaron dos o mas fracturas). La edad media fue de 6,35 años. La localizacion fue en su mayoria en el femur y el mecanismo de produccion, en 12 casos por caidas y en 8 por traumatismo menor. No detectamos ninguna fractura vertebral. Todas se trataron de manera conservadora. El unico paciente ambulante que presento una fractura dejo de caminar despues de la inmovilizacion. Conclusiones. La existencia de fracturas en estos pacientes interfiere en su calidad de vida y en el nivel funcional. Es importante la prevencion de las mismas en el manejo del paciente y vigilando la correcta postura en la silla de ruedas con sistemas de sujecion Deberian emprenderse mas estudios sobre la perdida de densidad mineral osea en estos pacientes y su posible relacion con las fracturas.

  13. Neuronal involvement in muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Cisterna, Bruno A; Cardozo, Christopher; Sáez, Juan C

    2014-01-01

    The innervation of skeletal myofibers exerts a crucial influence on the maintenance of muscle tone and normal operation. Consequently, denervated myofibers manifest atrophy, which is preceded by an increase in sarcolemma permeability. Recently, de novo expression of hemichannels (HCs) formed by connexins (Cxs) and other none selective channels, including P2X7 receptors (P2X7Rs), and transient receptor potential, sub-family V, member 2 (TRPV2) channels was demonstrated in denervated fast skeletal muscles. The denervation-induced atrophy was drastically reduced in denervated muscles deficient in Cxs 43 and 45. Nonetheless, the transduction mechanism by which the nerve represses the expression of the above mentioned non-selective channels remains unknown. The paracrine action of extracellular signaling molecules including ATP, neurotrophic factors (i.e., brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)), agrin/LDL receptor-related protein 4 (Lrp4)/muscle-specific receptor kinase (MuSK) and acetylcholine (Ach) are among the possible signals for repression for connexin expression. This review discusses the possible role of relevant factors in maintaining the normal functioning of fast skeletal muscles and suppression of connexin hemichannel expression.

  14. Neuroprotective Effect of Non-viral Gene Therapy Treatment Based on Tetanus Toxin C-fragment in a Severe Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Oliván, Sara; Calvo, Ana C; Rando, Amaya; Herrando-Grabulosa, Mireia; Manzano, Raquel; Zaragoza, Pilar; Tizzano, Eduardo F; Aquilera, Jose; Osta, Rosario

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a hereditary childhood disease that causes paralysis and progressive degeneration of skeletal muscles and spinal motor neurons. SMA is associated with reduced levels of full-length Survival of Motor Neuron (SMN) protein, due to mutations in the Survival of Motor Neuron 1 gene. Nowadays there are no effective therapies available to treat patients with SMA, so our aim was to test whether the non-toxic carboxy-terminal fragment of tetanus toxin heavy chain (TTC), which exhibits neurotrophic properties, might have a therapeutic role or benefit in SMA. In this manuscript, we have demonstrated that TTC enhance the SMN expression in motor neurons "in vitro" and evaluated the effect of intramuscular injection of TTC-encoding plasmid in the spinal cord and the skeletal muscle of SMNdelta7 mice. For this purpose, we studied the weight and the survival time, as well as, the survival and cell death pathways and muscular atrophy. Our results showed that TTC treatment reduced the expression of autophagy markers (Becn1, Atg5, Lc3, and p62) and pro-apoptotic genes such as Bax and Casp3 in spinal cord. In skeletal muscle, TTC was able to downregulate the expression of the main marker of autophagy, Lc3, to wild-type levels and the expression of the apoptosis effector protein, Casp3. Regarding the genes related to muscular atrophy (Ankrd1, Calm1, Col19a1, Fbox32, Mt2, Myod1, NogoA, Pax7, Rrad, and Sln), TTC suggest a compensatory effect for muscle damage response, diminished oxidative stress and modulated calcium homeostasis. These preliminary findings suggest the need for further experiments to depth study the effect of TTC in SMA disease.

  15. Neuroprotective Effect of Non-viral Gene Therapy Treatment Based on Tetanus Toxin C-fragment in a Severe Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Oliván, Sara; Calvo, Ana C.; Rando, Amaya; Herrando-Grabulosa, Mireia; Manzano, Raquel; Zaragoza, Pilar; Tizzano, Eduardo F.; Aquilera, Jose; Osta, Rosario

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a hereditary childhood disease that causes paralysis and progressive degeneration of skeletal muscles and spinal motor neurons. SMA is associated with reduced levels of full-length Survival of Motor Neuron (SMN) protein, due to mutations in the Survival of Motor Neuron 1 gene. Nowadays there are no effective therapies available to treat patients with SMA, so our aim was to test whether the non-toxic carboxy-terminal fragment of tetanus toxin heavy chain (TTC), which exhibits neurotrophic properties, might have a therapeutic role or benefit in SMA. In this manuscript, we have demonstrated that TTC enhance the SMN expression in motor neurons “in vitro” and evaluated the effect of intramuscular injection of TTC-encoding plasmid in the spinal cord and the skeletal muscle of SMNdelta7 mice. For this purpose, we studied the weight and the survival time, as well as, the survival and cell death pathways and muscular atrophy. Our results showed that TTC treatment reduced the expression of autophagy markers (Becn1, Atg5, Lc3, and p62) and pro-apoptotic genes such as Bax and Casp3 in spinal cord. In skeletal muscle, TTC was able to downregulate the expression of the main marker of autophagy, Lc3, to wild-type levels and the expression of the apoptosis effector protein, Casp3. Regarding the genes related to muscular atrophy (Ankrd1, Calm1, Col19a1, Fbox32, Mt2, Myod1, NogoA, Pax7, Rrad, and Sln), TTC suggest a compensatory effect for muscle damage response, diminished oxidative stress and modulated calcium homeostasis. These preliminary findings suggest the need for further experiments to depth study the effect of TTC in SMA disease. PMID:27605908

  16. Clinical and genetic diversity of SMN1-negative proximal spinal muscular atrophies

    PubMed Central

    Jordanova, Albena

    2014-01-01

    Hereditary spinal muscular atrophy is a motor neuron disorder characterized by muscle weakness and atrophy due to degeneration of the anterior horn cells of the spinal cord. Initially, the disease was considered purely as an autosomal recessive condition caused by loss-of-function SMN1 mutations on 5q13. Recent developments in next generation sequencing technologies, however, have unveiled a growing number of clinical conditions designated as non-5q forms of spinal muscular atrophy. At present, 16 different genes and one unresolved locus are associated with proximal non-5q forms, having high phenotypic variability and diverse inheritance patterns. This review provides an overview of the current knowledge regarding the phenotypes, causative genes, and disease mechanisms associated with proximal SMN1-negative spinal muscular atrophies. We describe the molecular and cellular functions enriched among causative genes, and discuss the challenges in the post-genomics era of spinal muscular atrophy research. PMID:24970098

  17. [Physical study of big fragments and search strategy of genes. Application to locus of infant spinal muscular atrophies].

    PubMed

    Melki, J; Lefebvre, S; Burglen, L; Burlet, P; Clermont, O; Millasseau, P; Reboulet, S; Benichou, B; Zeviani, M; Le Paslier, D

    1994-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophies (SMA) represent the second most common fatal autosomal recessive disorder after cystic fibrosis. Childhood SMAs are divided into severe (type I) and mild forms (types II and III). By a combination of genetic and physical mapping, a YAC contig of the 5q13 region spanning the disease locus was constructed that showed the presence of low copy-repeats in this region. Allele segregation was analyzed at the closest genetic loci detected by markers C212 and C272 in 201 SMA families. Inherited and de novo deletions were observed in 10 SMA patients. Moreover, deletions were strongly suggested in at least 18% of SMA type I patients by the observation of marked heterozygosity deficiency for the loci studied. These results indicate that deletion events are statistically associated with the severe form of SMA.

  18. Spinal muscular atrophy: development and implementation of potential treatments.

    PubMed

    Arnold, W David; Burghes, Arthur H M

    2013-09-01

    In neurodegenerative disorders, effective treatments are urgently needed, along with methods to determine whether treatment worked. In this review, we discuss the rapid progress in the understanding of recessive proximal spinal muscular atrophy and how this is leading to exciting potential treatments of the disease. Spinal muscular atrophy is caused by loss of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene and reduced levels of SMN protein. The critical downstream targets of SMN deficiency that result in motor neuron loss are not known. However, increasing SMN levels has a marked impact in mouse models, and these therapeutics are rapidly moving toward clinical trials. Promising preclinical therapies, the varying degree of impact on the mouse models, and potential measures of treatment effect are reviewed. One key issue discussed is the variable outcome of increasing SMN at different stages of disease progression.

  19. Hybrid survival motor neuron genes in patients with autosomal recessive spinal muscular atrophy: New insights into molecular mechanisms responsible for the disease

    SciTech Connect

    Hahnen, E.; Schoenling, J.; Zerres, K.

    1996-11-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a frequent autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder leading to weakness and atrophy of voluntary muscles. The survival motor-neuron gene (SMN), a strong candidate for SMA, is present in two highly homologous copies (telSMN and cenSMN) within the SMA region. Only five nucleotide differences within the region between intron 6 and exon 8 distinguish these homologues. Independent of the severity of the disease, 90%-98% of all SMA patients carry homozygous deletions in telSMN, affecting either exon 7 or both exons 7 and 8. We present the molecular analysis of 42 SMA patients who carry homozygous deletions of telSMN exon 7 but not of exon 8. The question arises whether in these cases the telSMN is truncated upstream of exon 8 or whether hybrid SMN genes exist that are composed of centromeric and telomeric sequences. By a simple PCR-based assay we demonstrate that in each case the remaining telSMN exon 8 is part of a hybrid SMN gene. Sequencing of cloned hybrid SMN genes from seven patients revealed the same composition in all but two patients: the base-pair differences in introns 6 and 7 and exon 7 are of centromeric origin whereas exon 8 is of telomeric origin. Nonetheless, haplotype analysis with polymorphic multicopy markers, Ag1-CA and C212, localized at the 5{prime} end of the SMN genes, suggests different mechanisms of occurrence, unequal rearrangements, and gene conversion involving both copies of the SMN genes. In approximately half of all patients, we identified a consensus haplotype, suggesting a common origin. Interestingly, we identified a putative recombination hot spot represented by recombination-simulating elements (TGGGG and TGAGGT) in exon 8 that is homologous to the human deletion-hot spot consensus sequence in the immunoglobulin switch region, the {alpha}-globin cluster, and the polymerase {alpha} arrest sites. This may explain why independent hybrid SMN genes show identical sequences. 35 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  20. Refined physical map of the Spinal Muscular Atrophy gene (SMA) region at 5q13 based on YAC and cosmid contiguous arrays

    SciTech Connect

    Roy, N.; Yaraghi, Z.; McLean, M.D.

    1995-04-10

    The gene for the autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder spinal muscular atrophy has been mapped to a region of 5q13 flanked proximally by CMS-1 and distally by D5S557. We present a 2-Mb yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) contig constructed from three libraries encompassing the D5S435/D5S629/CMS-1-SMA-D5S557/D5S112 interval. The D5S629/CMS-1-SMA-D5S557 interval is unusual insofar as chromosome 5-specific repetitive sequences are present and many of the simple tandem repeats (STR) are located at multiple loci that are unstable in our YAC clones. A long-range restriction map that demonstrates the SMA-containing interval to be 550 kb is presented. Moreover, a 210-kb cosmid array from both a YAC-specific and a chromosome 5-specific cosmid library encompassing the multilocus STRs CATT-1, CMS-1, D5F149, D5F150, and D5F153 has been assembled. We have recently reported strong linkage disequilibrium with Type I SMA for two of these STRs, indicating that the gene is located in close proximity to or within our cosmid clone array. 39 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

  1. Gene activation of SMN by selective disruption of lncRNA-mediated recruitment of PRC2 for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Maier, Verena K.; Davey, Roshni; Brennan, James; Li, Guangde; Brothers, John; Schwartz, Brian; Gordo, Susana; Kasper, Anne; Okamoto, Trevor R.; Johansson, Hans E.; Mandefro, Berhan; Sareen, Dhruv; Bialek, Peter; Chau, B. Nelson; Bhat, Balkrishen; Bullough, David; Barsoum, James

    2017-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive motor neuron loss and caused by mutations in SMN1 (Survival Motor Neuron 1). The disease severity inversely correlates with the copy number of SMN2, a duplicated gene that is nearly identical to SMN1. We have delineated a mechanism of transcriptional regulation in the SMN2 locus. A previously uncharacterized long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), SMN-antisense 1 (SMN-AS1), represses SMN2 expression by recruiting the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) to its locus. Chemically modified oligonucleotides that disrupt the interaction between SMN-AS1 and PRC2 inhibit the recruitment of PRC2 and increase SMN2 expression in primary neuronal cultures. Our approach comprises a gene-up-regulation technology that leverages interactions between lncRNA and PRC2. Our data provide proof-of-concept that this technology can be used to treat disease caused by epigenetic silencing of specific loci. PMID:28193854

  2. Gene activation of SMN by selective disruption of lncRNA-mediated recruitment of PRC2 for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Woo, Caroline J; Maier, Verena K; Davey, Roshni; Brennan, James; Li, Guangde; Brothers, John; Schwartz, Brian; Gordo, Susana; Kasper, Anne; Okamoto, Trevor R; Johansson, Hans E; Mandefro, Berhan; Sareen, Dhruv; Bialek, Peter; Chau, B Nelson; Bhat, Balkrishen; Bullough, David; Barsoum, James

    2017-02-21

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive motor neuron loss and caused by mutations in SMN1 (Survival Motor Neuron 1). The disease severity inversely correlates with the copy number of SMN2, a duplicated gene that is nearly identical to SMN1. We have delineated a mechanism of transcriptional regulation in the SMN2 locus. A previously uncharacterized long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), SMN-antisense 1 (SMN-AS1), represses SMN2 expression by recruiting the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) to its locus. Chemically modified oligonucleotides that disrupt the interaction between SMN-AS1 and PRC2 inhibit the recruitment of PRC2 and increase SMN2 expression in primary neuronal cultures. Our approach comprises a gene-up-regulation technology that leverages interactions between lncRNA and PRC2. Our data provide proof-of-concept that this technology can be used to treat disease caused by epigenetic silencing of specific loci.

  3. Descriptive epidemiology of spinal muscular atrophy type I in Estonia.

    PubMed

    Vaidla, Eve; Talvik, Inga; Kulla, Andres; Kahre, Tiina; Hamarik, Malle; Napa, Aita; Metsvaht, Tuuli; Piirsoo, Andres; Talvik, Tiina

    2006-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy is the second most frequent autosomal-recessive disorder in Europeans. There are no published epidemiological data on SMA in Estonia and other Baltic countries. The aim of this study was to estimate the incidence of SMA I in Estonia. All patients with SMA I diagnosed between January 1994 and December 2003 were included in the study. The diagnosis was established on the basis of neurological evaluation, ENMG findings, molecular studies and muscle biopsy. PCR and restriction enzyme analysis was used to detect the homozygous deletion of the SMN1 gene. A total of 9 cases of SMA I were identified during this 10-year period. The incidence of SMA I in Estonia is 1 in 14,400 live births, which is similar to the result from Hungary but lower than average incidence in the world. Only one of the patients was female. Typical SMN1 gene deletion was found in all cases.

  4. Intrathecal Injections in Children With Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Swoboda, Kathryn J.; Sethna, Navil; Farrow-Gillespie, Alan; Khandji, Alexander; Xia, Shuting; Bishop, Kathie M.

    2016-01-01

    Nusinersen (ISIS-SMNRx or ISIS 396443) is an antisense oligonucleotide drug administered intrathecally to treat spinal muscular atrophy. We summarize lumbar puncture experience in children with spinal muscular atrophy during a phase 1 open-label study of nusinersen and its extension. During the studies, 73 lumbar punctures were performed in 28 patients 2 to 14 years of age with type 2/3 spinal muscular atrophy. No complications occurred in 50 (68%) lumbar punctures; in 23 (32%) procedures, adverse events were attributed to lumbar puncture. Most common adverse events were headache (n = 9), back pain (n = 9), and post–lumbar puncture syndrome (n = 8). In a subgroup analysis, adverse events were more frequent in older children, children with type 3 spinal muscular atrophy, and with a 21- or 22-gauge needle compared to a 24-gauge needle or smaller. Lumbar punctures were successfully performed in children with spinal muscular atrophy; lumbar puncture–related adverse event frequency was similar to that previously reported in children. PMID:26823478

  5. Congenital segmental spinal muscular atrophy: a case report.

    PubMed

    Savaş, Tülin; Erol, Ilknur; Özkale, Yasemin; Saygi, Semra

    2015-03-01

    Spinal muscular atrophies are genetic disorders in which anterior horn cells in the spinal cord and motor nuclei of the brainstem are progressively lost. We present a patient with arthrogryposis due to congenital spinal muscular atrophy predominantly affecting the upper limbs. Spinal muscular atrophies with onset at birth may be a cause of arthrogryposis. Localized forms of neurogenic arthrogryposis have been divided into cervical and caudal forms. Our case is similar to the cases described by Hageman et al (J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1993;56:365-368): severe symmetric lower motor neuron deficit in the upper extremities at the time of birth, no history of injury to the cervical spinal cord or the brachial plexus during delivery, and severe muscle wasting suggesting chronic denervation in utero. Because there was improvement of our patient's situation, her disease was also possibly nonprogressive and sporadic. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of a Turkish patient with congenital cervical spinal muscular atrophy. Congenital cervical spinal muscular atrophy affecting predominantly the upper limbs is a relatively rare form of motor neuron disease and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of infants with congenital contractures and severe muscle weakness by wasting mainly confined to the upper limbs.

  6. Clinical and neuropathological features of X-linked spinal muscular atrophy (SMAX2) associated with a novel mutation in the UBA1 gene.

    PubMed

    Dlamini, Nomazulu; Josifova, Dragana J; Paine, Simon M L; Wraige, Elizabeth; Pitt, Matthew; Murphy, Amanda J; King, Andrew; Buk, Stefan; Smith, Frances; Abbs, Stephen; Sewry, Caroline; Jacques, Thomas S; Jungbluth, Heinz

    2013-05-01

    Infantile-onset X-linked spinal muscular atrophy (SMAX2) is a rare lethal disorder linked to mutations in the UBA1 (previously UBE1) gene, encoding ubiquitin-activating enzyme 1 that has an important role in the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Published pathological reports are scarce. Here we report a male infant who presented from birth with predominantly truncal hypotonia following an antenatal history of reduced fetal movements. He had a myopathic face, profound weakness, multiple contractures and areflexia. Creatine kinase was moderately raised. Brain MRI showed non-specific symmetrical periventricular white matter changes. Neurophysiology revealed evidence of motor and sensory involvement and muscle biopsy showed marked inflammatory changes with subtle features suggestive of acute denervation. UBA1 sequencing revealed a novel hemizygous missense mutation (c.1670A>T; p.Glu557Val). He died from progressive respiratory failure at 4 months. On post mortem assessment, in addition to severe ventral motor neuron pathology, there was widespread involvement of the sensory system, as well as developmental and degenerative cerebellar abnormalities. In contrast to typical SMN1-associated SMA, the thalamus was unaffected. These findings indicate that SMAX2 is more accurately classified as a motor sensory neuronopathy rather than a pure anterior horn cell disorder. Ubiquitin-proteasome pathway defects may not only cause neurodegeneration but also affect normal neuronal development.

  7. Spinal muscular atrophy: Factors that modulate motor neurone vulnerability.

    PubMed

    Tu, Wen-Yo; Simpson, Julie E; Highley, J Robin; Heath, Paul R

    2017-02-02

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic cause of infant death, is a neurodegenerative disease characterised by the selective loss of particular groups of motor neurones in the anterior horn of the spinal cord with concomitant muscle weakness. To date, no effective treatment is available, however, there are ongoing clinical trials are in place which promise much for the future. However, there remains an ongoing problem in trying to link a single gene loss to motor neurone degeneration. Fortunately, given successful disease models that have been established and intensive studies on SMN functions in the past ten years, we are fast approaching the stage of identifying the underlying mechanisms of SMA pathogenesis Here we discuss potential disease modifying factors on motor neurone vulnerability, in the belief that these factors give insight into the pathological mechanisms of SMA and therefore possible therapeutic targets.

  8. Disease mechanisms and therapeutic approaches in spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Tisdale, Sarah; Pellizzoni, Livio

    2015-06-10

    Motor neuron diseases are neurological disorders characterized primarily by the degeneration of spinal motor neurons, skeletal muscle atrophy, and debilitating and often fatal motor dysfunction. Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal-recessive motor neuron disease of high incidence and severity and the most common genetic cause of infant mortality. SMA is caused by homozygous mutations in the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene and retention of at least one copy of the hypomorphic gene paralog SMN2. Early studies established a loss-of-function disease mechanism involving ubiquitous SMN deficiency and suggested SMN upregulation as a possible therapeutic approach. In recent years, greater knowledge of the central role of SMN in RNA processing combined with deep characterization of animal models of SMA has significantly advanced our understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of the disease. SMA is emerging as an RNA disease not limited to motor neurons, but one that involves dysfunction of motor circuits that comprise multiple neuronal subpopulations and possibly other cell types. Advances in SMA research have also led to the development of several potential therapeutics shown to be effective in animal models of SMA that are now in clinical trials. These agents offer unprecedented promise for the treatment of this still incurable neurodegenerative disease.

  9. Endoplasmic reticulum stress in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy: a potential target for therapy.

    PubMed

    Montague, Karli; Malik, Bilal; Gray, Anna L; La Spada, Albert R; Hanna, Michael G; Szabadkai, Gyorgy; Greensmith, Linda

    2014-07-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy is an X-linked degenerative motor neuron disease caused by an abnormal expansion in the polyglutamine encoding CAG repeat of the androgen receptor gene. There is evidence implicating endoplasmic reticulum stress in the development and progression of neurodegenerative disease, including polyglutamine disorders such as Huntington's disease and in motor neuron disease, where cellular stress disrupts functioning of the endoplasmic reticulum, leading to induction of the unfolded protein response. We examined whether endoplasmic reticulum stress is also involved in the pathogenesis of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy. Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy mice that carry 100 pathogenic polyglutamine repeats in the androgen receptor, and develop a late-onset neuromuscular phenotype with motor neuron degeneration, were studied. We observed a disturbance in endoplasmic reticulum-associated calcium homeostasis in cultured embryonic motor neurons from spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy mice, which was accompanied by increased endoplasmic reticulum stress. Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition of endoplasmic reticulum stress reduced the endoplasmic reticulum-associated cell death pathway. Examination of spinal cord motor neurons of pathogenic mice at different disease stages revealed elevated expression of markers for endoplasmic reticulum stress, confirming an increase in this stress response in vivo. Importantly, the most significant increase was detected presymptomatically, suggesting that endoplasmic reticulum stress may play an early and possibly causal role in disease pathogenesis. Our results therefore indicate that the endoplasmic reticulum stress pathway could potentially be a therapeutic target for spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy and related polyglutamine diseases.

  10. Genetics Home Reference: spinal muscular atrophy

    MedlinePlus

    ... by a loss of specialized nerve cells, called motor neurons , in the spinal cord and the part ... the spinal cord ( the brainstem ). The loss of motor neurons leads to weakness and wasting ( atrophy ) of ...

  11. [Upper limb functional assessment scale for children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Spinal muscular atrophy].

    PubMed

    Escobar, Raúl G; Lucero, Nayadet; Solares, Carmen; Espinoza, Victoria; Moscoso, Odalie; Olguín, Polín; Muñoz, Karin T; Rosas, Ricardo

    2017-02-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) causes significant disability and progressive functional impairment. Readily available instruments that assess functionality, especially in advanced stages of the disease, are required to monitor the progress of the disease and the impact of therapeutic interventions.

  12. The spinal muscular atrophy with pontocerebellar hypoplasia gene VRK1 regulates neuronal migration through an amyloid-β precursor protein-dependent mechanism.

    PubMed

    Vinograd-Byk, Hadar; Sapir, Tamar; Cantarero, Lara; Lazo, Pedro A; Zeligson, Sharon; Lev, Dorit; Lerman-Sagie, Tally; Renbaum, Paul; Reiner, Orly; Levy-Lahad, Ephrat

    2015-01-21

    Spinal muscular atrophy with pontocerebellar hypoplasia (SMA-PCH) is an infantile SMA variant with additional manifestations, particularly severe microcephaly. We previously identified a nonsense mutation in Vaccinia-related kinase 1 (VRK1), R358X, as a cause of SMA-PCH. VRK1-R358X is a rare founder mutation in Ashkenazi Jews, and additional mutations in patients of different origins have recently been identified. VRK1 is a nuclear serine/threonine protein kinase known to play multiple roles in cellular proliferation, cell cycle regulation, and carcinogenesis. However, VRK1 was not known to have neuronal functions before its identification as a gene mutated in SMA-PCH. Here we show that VRK1-R358X homozygosity results in lack of VRK1 protein, and demonstrate a role for VRK1 in neuronal migration and neuronal stem cell proliferation. Using shRNA in utero electroporation in mice, we show that Vrk1 knockdown significantly impairs cortical neuronal migration, and affects the cell cycle of neuronal progenitors. Expression of wild-type human VRK1 rescues both proliferation and migration phenotypes. However, kinase-dead human VRK1 rescues only the migration impairment, suggesting the role of VRK1 in neuronal migration is partly noncatalytic. Furthermore, we found that VRK1 deficiency in human and mouse leads to downregulation of amyloid-β precursor protein (APP), a known neuronal migration gene. APP overexpression rescues the phenotype caused by Vrk1 knockdown, suggesting that VRK1 affects neuronal migration through an APP-dependent mechanism.

  13. Pathogenesis and therapy of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA).

    PubMed

    Katsuno, Masahisa; Tanaka, Fumiaki; Adachi, Hiroaki; Banno, Haruhiko; Suzuki, Keisuke; Watanabe, Hirohisa; Sobue, Gen

    2012-12-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a late-onset motor neuron disease characterized by slowly progressive muscle weakness and atrophy. During the last two decades, basic and clinical research has provided important insights into the disease phenotype and pathophysiology. The cause of SBMA is the expansion of a trinucleotide CAG repeat encoding a polyglutamine tract within the first exon of the androgen receptor (AR) gene. SBMA exclusively affects adult males, whereas females homozygous for the AR mutation do not manifest neurological symptoms. The ligand-dependent nuclear accumulation of the polyglutamine-expanded AR protein is central to the gender-specific pathogenesis of SBMA, although additional steps, e.g., DNA binding, inter-domain interactions, and post-translational modification of AR, modify toxicity. The interactions with co-regulators are another requisite for the toxic properties of the polyglutamine-expanded AR. It is also shown that the polyglutamine-expanded AR induces diverse molecular events, such as transcriptional dysregulation, axonal transport disruption, and mitochondrial dysfunction, which play causative roles in the neurodegeneration in SBMA. The pathogenic AR-induced myopathy also contributes to the non-cell autonomous degeneration of motor neurons. Pre-clinical studies using animal models show that the pathogenic AR-mediated neurodegeneration is suppressed by androgen inactivation, the efficacy of which has been tested in clinical trials. Pharmacological activation of cellular defense machineries, such as molecular chaperones, ubiquitin-proteasome system, and autophagy, also exerts neuroprotective effects in experimental models of SBMA.

  14. Transgenic mouse models of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA).

    PubMed

    Katsuno, M; Adachi, H; Inukai, A; Sobue, G

    2003-01-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a late-onset motor neuron disease characterized by proximal muscle atrophy, weakness, contraction fasciculations, and bulbar involvement. Only males develop symptoms, while female carriers usually are asymptomatic. A specific treatment for SBMA has not been established. The molecular basis of SBMA is the expansion of a trinucleotide CAG repeat, which encodes the polyglutamine (polyQ) tract, in the first exon of the androgen receptor (AR) gene. The pathologic hallmark is nuclear inclusions (NIs) containing the mutant and truncated AR with expanded polyQ in the residual motor neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord as well as in some other visceral organs. Several transgenic (Tg) mouse models have been created for studying the pathogenesis of SBMA. The Tg mouse model carrying pure 239 CAGs under human AR promoter and another model carrying truncated AR with expanded CAGs show motor impairment and nuclear NIs in spinal motor neurons. Interestingly, Tg mice carrying full-length human AR with expanded polyQ demonstrate progressive motor impairment and neurogenic pathology as well as sexual difference of phenotypes. These models recapitulate the phenotypic expression observed in SBMA. The ligand-dependent nuclear localization of the mutant AR is found to be involved in the disease mechanism, and hormonal therapy is suggested to be a therapeutic approach applicable to SBMA.

  15. Genetic inhibition of JNK3 ameliorates spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Genabai, Naresh K.; Ahmad, Saif; Zhang, Zhanying; Jiang, Xiaoting; Gabaldon, Cynthia A.; Gangwani, Laxman

    2015-01-01

    Mutation of the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene causes spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder that occurs in early childhood. Degeneration of spinal motor neurons caused by SMN deficiency results in progressive muscle atrophy and death in SMA. The molecular mechanism underlying neurodegeneration in SMA is unknown. No treatment is available to prevent neurodegeneration and reduce the burden of illness in SMA. We report that the c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway mediates neurodegeneration in SMA. The neuron-specific isoform JNK3 is required for neuron degeneration caused by SMN deficiency. JNK3 deficiency reduces degeneration of cultured neurons caused by low levels of SMN. Genetic inhibition of JNK pathway in vivo by Jnk3 knockout results in amelioration of SMA phenotype. JNK3 deficiency prevents the loss of spinal cord motor neurons, reduces muscle degeneration, improves muscle fiber thickness and muscle growth, improves motor function and overall growth and increases lifespan of mice with SMA that shows a systemic rescue of phenotype by a SMN-independent mechanism. JNK3 represents a potential (non-SMN) therapeutic target for the treatment of SMA. PMID:26423457

  16. Spectrum of Neuropathophysiology in Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type I

    PubMed Central

    Harding, Brian N.; Kariya, Shingo; Monani, Umrao R.; Chung, Wendy K.; Benton, Maryjane; Yum, Sabrina W.; Tennekoon, Gihan; Finkel, Richard S.

    2014-01-01

    Neuropathological findings within the CNS and PNS in patients with spinal muscular atrophy type I (SMA-I) were examined in relation to genetic, clinical and electrophysiological features. Five infants representing the full clinical spectrum of SMAI were examined clinically for compound motor action potential amplitude and SMN2 gene copy number; morphologic analyses of postmortem CNS, neuromuscular junction and muscle tissue samples were performed and SMN protein was assessed in muscle samples. The 2 clinically most severely affected patients had a single copy of the SMN2 gene; in addition to anterior horn cells, dorsal root ganglia and thalamus, neuronal degeneration in them was widespread in cerebral cortex, basal ganglia, pigmented nuclei, brainstem and cerebellum. Two typical SMA-I patients and a milder case each had 2 copies of the SMN2 gene and more restricted neuropathological abnormalities. Maturation of acetylcholine receptor subunits was delayed and the neuromuscular junctions were abnormally formed in the SMA-1 patients. Thus, the neuropathological findings in human SMA-I are similar to many findings in animal models; factors other than SMN2 copy number modify disease severity. We present a pathophysiologic model for SMA-I as a protein deficiency disease affecting a neuronal network with variable clinical thresholds. Because new treatment strategies improve survival of infants with SMA-I, a better understanding of these factors will guide future treatments. PMID:25470343

  17. Moving towards treatments for spinal muscular atrophy: hopes and limits.

    PubMed

    Wirth, Brunhilde; Barkats, Martine; Martinat, Cecile; Sendtner, Michael; Gillingwater, Thomas H

    2015-09-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), one of the most frequent and devastating genetic disorders causing neuromuscular degeneration, has reached the forefront of clinical translation. The quite unique genetic situation of SMA patients, who lack functional SMN1 but carry the misspliced SMN2 copy gene, creates the possibility of correcting SMN2 splicing by antisense oligonucleotides or drugs. Both strategies showed impressive results in pre-clinical trials and are now in Phase II-III clinical trials. SMN gene therapy approaches using AAV9-SMN vectors are also highly promising and have entered a Phase I clinical trial. However, careful analysis of SMA animal models and patients has revealed some limitations that need to be taken very seriously, including: i) a limited time-window for successful therapy delivery, making neonatal screening of SMA mandatory; ii) multi-organ impairment, requiring systemic delivery of therapies; and iii) a potential need for combined therapies that both increase SMN levels and target pathways that preserve/rescue motor neuron function over the lifespan. Meeting these challenges will likely be crucial to cure SMA, instead of only ameliorating symptoms, particularly in its most severe form. This review discusses therapies currently in clinical trials, the hopes for SMA therapy, and the potential limitations of these new approaches.

  18. Placental Development in a Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Van Granigen Caesar, Gerialisa; Dale, Jeffrey M.; Osman, Erkan Y.; Garcia, Michael L.; Lorson, Christian L.; Schulz, Laura C.

    2016-01-01

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder, leading to fatal loss of motor neurons. It is caused by loss of function of the SMN gene, which is expressed throughout the body, and there is increasing evidence of dysfunction in non-neuronal tissues. Birthweight is one of most powerful prognostic factors for infants born with SMA, and intrauterine growth restriction is common. In the SMNΔ7 mouse model of SMA, pups with the disease lived 25% longer when their mothers were fed a higher fat, “breeder” diet. The placenta is responsible for transport of nutrients from mother to fetus, and is a major determinant of fetal growth. Thus, the present study tested the hypothesis that placental development is impaired in SMNΔ7 conceptuses. Detailed morphological characterization revealed no defects in SMNΔ7 placental development, and expression of key transcription factors regulating mouse placental development was unaffected. The intrauterine growth restriction observed in SMA infants likely does not result from impaired placental development. PMID:26748185

  19. Defects in Motoneuron-Astrocyte Interactions in Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chunyi; Feng, Zhihua; Ko, Chien-Ping

    2016-02-24

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a motoneuron disease caused by loss or mutation in Survival of Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. Recent studies have shown that selective restoration of SMN protein in astrocytes partially alleviates pathology in an SMA mouse model, suggesting important roles for astrocytes in SMA. Addressing these underlying mechanisms may provide new therapeutic avenues to fight SMA. Using primary cultures of pure motoneurons or astrocytes from SMNΔ7 (SMA) and wild-type (WT) mice, as well as their mixed and matched cocultures, we characterized the contributions of motoneurons, astrocytes, and their interactions to synapse loss in SMA. In pure motoneuron cultures, SMA motoneurons exhibited normal survival but intrinsic defects in synapse formation and synaptic transmission. In pure astrocyte cultures, SMA astrocytes exhibited defects in calcium homeostasis. In motoneuron-astrocyte contact cocultures, synapse formation and synaptic transmission were significantly reduced when either motoneurons, astrocytes or both were from SMA mice compared with those in WT motoneurons cocultured with WT astrocytes. The reduced synaptic activity is unlikely due to changes in motoneuron excitability. This disruption in synapse formation and synaptic transmission by SMN deficiency was not detected in motoneuron-astrocyte noncontact cocultures. Additionally, we observed a downregulation of Ephrin B2 in SMA astrocytes. These findings suggest that there are both cell autonomous and non-cell-autonomous defects in SMA motoneurons and astrocytes. Defects in contact interactions between SMA motoneurons and astrocytes impair synaptogenesis seen in SMA pathology, possibly due to the disruption of the Ephrin B2 pathway.

  20. [A case of spinal muscular atrophy type 0 in Japan].

    PubMed

    Okamoto, Kentaro; Saito, Kayoko; Sato, Takatoshi; Ishigaki, Keiko; Funatsuka, Makoto; Osawa, Makiko

    2012-09-01

    The patient was a 2-month-old female infant born at 41 weeks and 2 days of gestation presenting multiple arthrogryposis, severe muscle hypotonia and respiratory distress with difficulty in feeding. She suffered from repeated complications with aspiration pneumonia. On admission to our hospital, she exhibited fasciculation and absence of deep tendon reflexes. Examination of the motor nerve conduction velocity (MCV) revealed no muscle contraction. Deletions of the SMN and NAIP genes were noted. Based on severe clinical course and disease development in utero, she was given a diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 0 (very severe type). Arthrogryposis and disappearance of MCV are exclusion criteria for SMA. However, the clinical course of the infant was very severe and included such exclusion items. Consequently, when an infant presents muscle hypotonia and respiratory distress, SMA must be considered as one of the differential diagnoses, even though arthrogryposis is an exclusion criterion for SMA. We discuss this case in relation to the few extant reports on SMA type 0 in Japanese infants in the literature.

  1. Founder effect in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA).

    PubMed

    Tanaka, F; Doyu, M; Ito, Y; Matsumoto, M; Mitsuma, T; Abe, K; Aoki, M; Itoyama, Y; Fischbeck, K H; Sobue, G

    1996-09-01

    We analyzed the polymorphic (CAG)n and (GGC)n repeats of the androgen receptor gene in 113 unrelated X-linked spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) X chromosomes and 173 control X chromosomes in Japanese males. The control chromosomes had an average CAG repeat number of 21 +/- 3 with a range from 14-32 repeat units, and SBMA chromosomes had a range from 40-55 with a median of 47 +/- 3 copies. The control chromosomes had seven different alleles of the (GGC)n repeat with the range of 11 to 17; the most frequent size of (GGC)n was 16 (79%), while (GGC)17 was very rare (1%). However, in SBMA chromosomes only two alleles were seen; the most frequent size of (GGC)n was 16 (61%) followed by 17 (39%). (GGC)n size distribution was significantly different between SBMA and control chromosomes (P < 0.0001), indicating the presence of linkage disequilibrium. There was no allelic association between the (CAG)n and (GGC)n microsatellites among control subjects as well as SBMA patients, which suggests that a founder effect makes a more significant contribution to generation of Japanese SBMA chromosomes than new mutations.

  2. Differential induction of muscle atrophy pathways in two mouse models of spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Deguise, Marc-Olivier; Boyer, Justin G.; McFall, Emily R.; Yazdani, Armin; De Repentigny, Yves; Kothary, Rashmi

    2016-01-01

    Motor neuron loss and neurogenic atrophy are hallmarks of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic cause of infant deaths. Previous studies have focused on deciphering disease pathogenesis in motor neurons. However, a systematic evaluation of atrophy pathways in muscles is lacking. Here, we show that these pathways are differentially activated depending on severity of disease in two different SMA model mice. Although proteasomal degradation is induced in skeletal muscle of both models, autophagosomal degradation is present only in Smn2B/− mice but not in the more severe Smn−/−; SMN2 mice. Expression of FoxO transcription factors, which regulate both proteasomal and autophagosomal degradation, is elevated in Smn2B/− muscle. Remarkably, administration of trichostatin A reversed all molecular changes associated with atrophy. Cardiac muscle also exhibits differential induction of atrophy between Smn2B/− and Smn−/−; SMN2 mice, albeit in the opposite direction to that of skeletal muscle. Altogether, our work highlights the importance of cautious analysis of different mouse models of SMA as distinct patterns of atrophy induction are at play depending on disease severity. We also revealed that one of the beneficial impacts of trichostatin A on SMA model mice is via attenuation of muscle atrophy through reduction of FoxO expression to normal levels. PMID:27349908

  3. Juvenile Muscular Atrophy of a Unilateral Upper Extremity (Hirayama Disease) in a Patient with CHARGE Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Yagihashi, T.; Hatori, K.; Ishii, K.; Torii, C.; Momoshima, S.; Takahashi, T.; Kosaki, K.

    2010-01-01

    CHARGE syndrome is an autosomal dominant congenital anomaly syndrome, and the causative gene is CHD7. We report a patient with a CHD7 mutation who presented with juvenile muscular atrophy of a unilateral upper extremity, a presumably heterogeneous condition that is also known as Hirayama disease. This association has not been previously described. Weakness and atrophy of the hands should be carefully examined in patients with CHARGE syndrome, since Hirayama disease might be a possible complication in adolescent patients with this syndrome. PMID:21046013

  4. Electrophysiological biomarkers in spinal muscular atrophy: proof of concept

    PubMed Central

    David Arnold, W; Porensky, Paul N; McGovern, Vicki L; Iyer, Chitra C; Duque, Sandra; Li, Xiaobai; Meyer, Kathrin; Schmelzer, Leah; Kaspar, Brian K; Kolb, Stephen J; Kissel, John T; Burghes, Arthur H M

    2014-01-01

    Objective Preclinical therapies that restore survival motor neuron (SMN) protein levels can dramatically extend survival in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) mouse models. Biomarkers are needed to effectively translate these promising therapies to clinical trials. Our objective was to investigate electrophysiological biomarkers of compound muscle action potential (CMAP), motor unit number estimation (MUNE) and electromyography (EMG) using an SMA mouse model. Methods Sciatic CMAP, MUNE, and EMG were obtained in SMNΔ7 mice at ages 3–13 days and at 21 days in mice with SMN selectively reduced in motor neurons (ChATCre). To investigate these measures as biomarkers of treatment response, measurements were obtained in SMNΔ7 mice treated with antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) or gene therapy. Results CMAP was significantly reduced in SMNΔ7 mice at days 6–13 (P < 0.01), and MUNE was reduced at days 7–13 (P < 0.01). Fibrillations were present on EMG in SMNΔ7 mice but not controls (P = 0.02). Similar findings were seen at 21 days in ChATCre mice. MUNE in ASO-treated SMNΔ7 mice were similar to controls at day 12 and 30. CMAP reduction persisted in ASO-treated SMNΔ7 mice at day 12 but was corrected at day 30. Similarly, CMAP and MUNE responses were corrected with gene therapy to restore SMN. Interpretation These studies confirm features of preserved neuromuscular function in the early postnatal period and subsequent motor unit loss in SMNΔ7 mice. SMN restoring therapies result in preserved MUNE and gradual repair of CMAP responses. This provides preclinical evidence for the utilization of CMAP and MUNE as biomarkers in future SMA clinical trials. PMID:24511555

  5. Fasciculations masquerading as minipolymyoclonus in bulbospinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Bhat, Sushanth; Ma, Wei; Kozochonok, Elena; Chokroverty, Sudhansu

    2015-01-01

    Minipolymyoclonus has been described in both anterior horn cell disorders and central nervous system degenerative conditions. While its etiology remains unclear and speculative, a central generator has been previously proposed. We describe a case of bulbospinal muscular atrophy (Kennedy's disease), where minipolymyoclonus-like movements corresponded to fasciculations in neurophysiological studies. Our novel finding suggests that the etiologies of minipolymyoclonus in central and peripheral nervous system disorders are distinct, despite outward clinical similarity. The term “minipolyfasciculations” may be more reflective of the underlying process causing minipolymyoclonus-like movements in lower motor neuron disorders. PMID:26019432

  6. Mitochondrial implications in bulbospinal muscular atrophy (Kennedy disease).

    PubMed

    Finsterer, Josef; Mishra, Anushree; Wakil, Salma; Pennuto, Maria; Soraru, Gianni

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that mitochondrial functions are secondarily disturbed in bulbospinal muscular atrophy (BSMA). This review focuses on the relation between BSMA and the effect of the expanded polyglutamine (poly-Q) androgen receptor (AR) on mitochondrial functions. Mitochondrial functions in bulbospinal muscular atrophy (SBMA) are affected on the molecular, clinical, and therapeutic level. On the molecular level there is down-regulation of various nuclear-DNA-encoded mitochondrial proteins by mutant androgen receptor (mAR), colocalization of the mAR with various mitochondrial proteins, association of mAR aggregates with mitochondria resulting in abnormal distribution of mitochondria, mtDNA depletion or multiple mtDNA deletions, mitochondrial membrane depolarization, increase in reactive oxidative species, and activation of the mitochondrial caspase pathway. On the clinical level various mitochondrial disorders mimic SBMA, and on the therapeutic level pioglitazone expresses PPAR-γ, cyclosporine-A restores mitochondrial membrane potentials, coenzyme-Q and idebenone reduce oxidative stress, and geldanamycin up-regulates protective mitochondrial heat shock proteins. In conclusion, in BSMA mitochondrial dysfunction results from various interactions of elongated poly-Q AR with mitochondria, mitochondrial proteins, nuclear or mitochondrial DNA, causing oxidative stress, decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, or activation of the mitochondrial caspase pathway. Additionally, mitochondrial disease may mimic BSMA and therapeutic approaches may depend on modifications of mitochondrial pathways.

  7. Spinal muscular atrophy: from tissue specificity to therapeutic strategies

    PubMed Central

    Iascone, Daniel M.; Lee, Justin C.

    2015-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the most frequent genetic cause of death in infants and toddlers. All cases of spinal muscular atrophy result from reductions in levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, and so SMN upregulation is a focus of many preclinical and clinical studies. We examine four issues that may be important in planning for therapeutic success. First, neuromuscular phenotypes in the SMNΔ7 mouse model closely match those in human patients but peripheral disease manifestations differ, suggesting that endpoints other than mouse lifespan may be more useful in predicting clinical outcome. Second, SMN plays important roles in multiple central and peripheral cell types, not just motor neurons, and it remains unclear which of these cell types need to be targeted therapeutically. Third, should SMN-restoration therapy not be effective in all patients, blocking molecular changes downstream of SMN reduction may confer significant benefit, making it important to evaluate therapeutic targets other than SMN. Lastly, for patients whose disease progression is slowed, but who retain significant motor dysfunction, additional approaches used to enhance regeneration of the neuromuscular system may be of value. PMID:25705387

  8. Neuroblastoma in a Patient With Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type I: Is It Just a Coincidence?

    PubMed

    Sag, Erdal; Sen, Hilal Susam; Haliloglu, Goknur; Yalcin, Bilgehan; Kutluk, Tezer

    2015-07-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by progressive degeneration of anterior horn cells of the spinal cord resulting in hypotonia, skeletal muscle atrophy, and weakness. Herein, we report a 4-month-old male infant who presented to our hospital with an abdominal mass that was diagnosed as neuroblastoma and spinal muscular atrophy type I. We would like to discuss the course and differential diagnosis with an algorithm leading to the diagnosis in this peculiar patient. To our knowledge, coexistence of spinal muscular atrophy type I and neuroblastoma is defined for the first time in the literature.

  9. The neuromuscular impact of symptomatic SMN restoration in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Arnold, W. David; McGovern, Vicki L.; Sanchez, Benjamin; Li, Jia; Corlett, Kaitlyn M.; Kolb, Stephen J.; Rutkove, Seward B.; Burghes, Arthur H.

    2016-01-01

    Background Significant advances in the development of SMN-restoring therapeutics have occurred since 2010 when very effective biological treatments were reported in mouse models of spinal muscular atrophy. As these treatments are applied in human clinical trials, there is pressing need to define quantitative assessments of disease progression, treatment stratification, and therapeutic efficacy. The electrophysiological measures Compound Muscle Action Potential and Motor Unit Number Estimation are reliable measures of nerve function. In both the SMNΔ7 mouse and a pig model of spinal muscular atrophy, early SMN restoration results in preservation of electrophysiological measures. Currently, clinical trials are underway in patients at post-symptomatic stages of disease progression. In this study, we present results from both early and delayed SMN restoration using clinically-relevant measures including electrical impedance myography, compound muscle action potential, and motor unit number estimation to quantify the efficacy and time-sensitivity of SMN-restoring therapy. Methods SMAΔ7 mice were treated via intracerebroventricular injection with antisense oligonucleotides targeting ISS-N1 to increase SMN protein from the SMN2 gene on postnatal day 2, 4, or 6 and compared with sham-treated spinal muscular atrophy and control mice. Compound muscle action potential and motor unit number estimation of the triceps surae muscles were performed at day 12, 21, and 30 by a single evaluator blinded to genotype and treatment. Similarly, electrical impedance myography was measured on the biceps femoris muscle at 12 days for comparison. Results Electrophysiological measures and electrical impedance myography detected significant differences at 12 days between control and late-treated (4 or 6 days) and sham-treated spinal muscular atrophy mice, but not in mice treated at 2 days(p<0.01). EIM findings paralleled and correlated with compound muscle action potential and motor unit

  10. [Development of therapeutics for spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA)].

    PubMed

    Sobue, Gen

    2003-11-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), also known as Kennedy's disease, is a hereditary motor neuron disease that affects males, caused by the expansion of a polyglutamine (polyQ) tract in androgen receptor (AR). Female carriers are usually asymptomatic. The transgenic mouse (Tg) model carrying a full-length human AR with expanded polyQ has significant gender-related motor impairment. This phenotype is inhibited by castration, which prevents nuclear translocation of mutant AR. Leuprorelin, an LHRH agonist that reduces testosterone release from the testis, also rescues motor dysfunction and nuclear accumulation of mutant AR in the male Tg. Over-expression of a molecular chaperone HSP70, which renatures misfolded mutant AR, ameliorates neuromuscular phenotypes of the Tg by reducing nuclear-localized mutant AR. HSP70 appears to enhance the degradation of mutant AR via ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. These experimental approaches indicate the possibility of clinical application of drugs, such as leuprorelin, for SBMA patients.

  11. RASCH ANALYSIS OF CLINICAL OUTCOME MEASURES IN SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHY

    PubMed Central

    CANO, STEFAN J.; MAYHEW, ANNA; GLANZMAN, ALLAN M.; KROSSCHELL, KRISTIN J.; SWOBODA, KATHRYN J.; MAIN, MARION; STEFFENSEN, BIRGIT F.; BÉRARD, CAROLE; GIRARDOT, FRANÇOISE; PAYAN, CHRISTINE A.M.; MERCURI, EUGENIO; MAZZONE, ELENA; ELSHEIKH, BAKRI; FLORENCE, JULAINE; HYNAN, LINDA S.; IANNACCONE, SUSAN T.; NELSON, LESLIE L.; PANDYA, SHREE; ROSE, MICHAEL; SCOTT, CHARLES; SADJADI, REZA; YORE, MACKENSIE A.; JOYCE, CYNTHIA; KISSEL, JOHN T.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Trial design for SMA depends on meaningful rating scales to assess outcomes. In this study Rasch methodology was applied to 9 motor scales in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Methods Data from all 3 SMA types were provided by research groups for 9 commonly used scales. Rasch methodology assessed the ordering of response option thresholds, tests of fit, spread of item locations, residual correlations, and person separation index. Results Each scale had good reliability. However, several issues impacting scale validity were identified, including the extent that items defined clinically meaningful constructs and how well each scale measured performance across the SMA spectrum. Conclusions The sensitivity and potential utility of each SMA scale as outcome measures for trials could be improved by establishing clear definitions of what is measured, reconsidering items that misfit and items whose response categories have reversed thresholds, and adding new items at the extremes of scale ranges. PMID:23836324

  12. Mutations in the tail domain of DYNC1H1 cause dominant spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Harms, M.B.; Ori-McKenney, K.M.; Scoto, M.; Tuck, E.P.; Bell, S.; Ma, D.; Masi, S.; Allred, P.; Al-Lozi, M.; Reilly, M.M.; Miller, L.J.; Jani-Acsadi, A.; Pestronk, A.; Shy, M.E.; Muntoni, F.; Vallee, R.B.

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To identify the gene responsible for 14q32-linked dominant spinal muscular atrophy with lower extremity predominance (SMA-LED, OMIM 158600). Methods: Target exon capture and next generation sequencing was used to analyze the 73 genes in the 14q32 linkage interval in 3 SMA-LED family members. Candidate gene sequencing in additional dominant SMA families used PCR and pooled target capture methods. Patient fibroblasts were biochemically analyzed. Results: Regional exome sequencing of all candidate genes in the 14q32 interval in the original SMA-LED family identified only one missense mutation that segregated with disease state—a mutation in the tail domain of DYNC1H1 (I584L). Sequencing of DYNC1H1 in 32 additional probands with lower extremity predominant SMA found 2 additional heterozygous tail domain mutations (K671E and Y970C), confirming that multiple different mutations in the same domain can cause a similar phenotype. Biochemical analysis of dynein purified from patient-derived fibroblasts demonstrated that the I584L mutation dominantly disrupted dynein complex stability and function. Conclusions: We demonstrate that mutations in the tail domain of the heavy chain of cytoplasmic dynein (DYNC1H1) cause spinal muscular atrophy and provide experimental evidence that a human DYNC1H1 mutation disrupts dynein complex assembly and function. DYNC1H1 mutations were recently found in a family with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (type 2O) and in a child with mental retardation. Both of these phenotypes show partial overlap with the spinal muscular atrophy patients described here, indicating that dynein dysfunction is associated with a range of phenotypes in humans involving neuronal development and maintenance. PMID:22459677

  13. Establishing a standardized therapeutic testing protocol for spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Li-Kai; Tsai, Ming-Shung; Lin, Tzer-Bin; Hwu, Wuh-Liang; Li, Hung

    2006-11-01

    Several mice models have been created for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA); however, there is still no standard preclinical testing system for the disease. We previously generated type III-specific SMA model mice, which might be suitable for use as a preclinical therapeutic testing system for SMA. To establish such a system and test its applicability, we first created a testing protocol and then applied it as a means to investigate the use of valproic acid (VPA) as a possible treatment for SMA. These SMA mice revealed tail/ear/foot deformity, muscle atrophy, poorer motor performances, smaller compound muscle action potential and lower spinal motoneuron density at the age of 9 to 12 months in comparison with age-matched wild-type littermate mice. In addition, VPA attenuates motoneuron death, increases spinal SMN protein level and partially normalizes motor function in SMA mice. These results suggest that the testing protocol developed here is well suited for use as a standardized preclinical therapeutic testing system for SMA.

  14. Fibrosis, adipogenesis, and muscle atrophy in congenital muscular torticollis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Huan-Xiong; Tang, Sheng-Ping; Gao, Fu-Tang; Xu, Jiang-Long; Jiang, Xian-Ping; Cao, Juan; Fu, Gui-Bing; Sun, Ke; Liu, Shi-Zhe; Shi, Wei

    2014-11-01

    In the traditional view, muscle atrophy and interstitial fibrosis were regarded as the basic pathological features of congenital muscular torticollis (CMT). But in the ultrastructure study, the mesenchyme-like cells, myoblasts, myofibroblasts, and fibroblasts were found in the proliferation of interstitium of CMT. To investigate the characteristics of pathological features and the mechanisms of muscle atrophy in CMT, we retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 185 CMT patients from July 2009 to July 2011 in Shenzhen Children's Hospital in China and performed pathological studies. According to age, the 185 CMT patients were divided into 4 groups. All resected surgical specimens were processed for hematoxylin and eosin staining and Masson trichromic staining. Sudan III staining was used for frozen sections, whereas immunohistochemical staining for S-100, calpain-1, ubiquitin, and 20S proteasome was carried out on 40 CMT specimens. Eight adductor muscle specimens from 8 patients with development dysplasia of the hip were taken as control group in the immunohistochemical staining. By Masson trichromic staining, the differences in the percent area of fibrous tissue in each CMT groups were significant. In Sudan III staining and immunostaining for S-100, adipocyte hyperplasia was the pathological feature of CMT. Moreover, compared with controls, most atrophic muscle fibers in CMT specimens were found to show strong immunoreactivity for calpain-1, ubiquitin, and 20S proteasome. With increasing age, fibrosis peaked at both sides and it was low in middle age group. Adipocytes increased with age. The characteristics of pathological features in CMT are changeable with age. The calpain and the ubiquitin-proteasome system may play a role in muscle atrophy of CMT. In the CMT, adipogenesis, fibrogenesis, and myogenesis may be the results of mesenchyme-like cells in SCM (sternocleidomastoid muscle). In conclusion, the present study furthermore supports maldevelopment of the

  15. YAC contigs of the Rab1 and wobbler (wr) spinal muscular atrophy gene region on proximal mouse chromosome 11 and of the homologous region on human chromosome 2p

    SciTech Connect

    Wedemeyer, N.; Lengeling, A.; Ronsiek, M.

    1996-03-05

    Despite rapid progress in the physical characterization of murine and human genomes, little molecular information is available on certain regions, e.g., proximal mouse chromosome 11 (Chr 11) and human chromosome 2p (Chr2p). We have localized the wobbler spinal atrophy gene wr to proximal mouse Chr 11, tightly linked to Rab1, a gene coding for a small GTP-binding protein, and Glns-ps1, an intronless pseudogene of the glutamine synthetase gene. We have not used these markers to construct a 1.3-Mb yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) contig of the Rab1 region on mouse Chr 11. Four YAC clones isolated from two independent YAC libraries were characterized by rare-cutting analysis, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and sequence-tagged site (STS) isolation and mapping. Rab1 and Glns-ps1 were found to be only 200 kb apart. A potential CpG island near a methylated NarI site and a trapped exon, ETG1.1, were found over 250 kb from Rab1. Two overlapping YACs were identified that contained a 150-kb region of human Chr 2p, comprising the RAB1 locus, AHY1.1, and the human homologue of ETG1.1, indicating a high degree of conservation of this region in the two species. We mapped AHY1.1 and thus human RAB1 on Chr 2p13.4-p14 using somatic cell hybrids and a radiation hybrid panel, thus extending a known region of conserved synteny between mouse Chr 11 and human Chr 2p. Recently, the gene LMGMD2B for a human recessive neuromuscular disease, limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2B, has been mapped to 2p13-p16. The conservation between the mouse Rab1 and human RAB1 regions will be helpful in identifying candidate genes for the wobbler spinal muscular atrophy and in clarifying a possible relationship between wr and LMGMD2B. 33 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.

  16. Review of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) for Prenatal and Pediatric Genetic Counselors.

    PubMed

    Carré, Amanda; Empey, Candice

    2016-02-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular condition with degeneration of the anterior horn cells in the spinal column. Five SMA subtypes exist with classification dependent upon the motor milestones achieved. Study of the SMN1 (survival motor neuron) and SMN2 genes as well as the concepts of the "2 + 0" carriers, gene conversion, de novo mutations and intragenic mutations allow for a better understanding of SMA. Detailing the carrier and diagnostic testing options further deepens the genetic counselor's knowledge of SMA. A review of care guidelines and research options is included as this information gives a patient a well-rounded view of SMA. Although SMA is most commonly associated with the SMN1 gene, a number of spinal muscular atrophies not caused by genetic changes in this gene may be included as differential diagnoses until confirmatory testing can be completed. SMA is a complex condition requiring a detailed knowledge on the genetic counselor's part in order to explain the disorder to the patient with clarity thus facilitating increased communication and decision making guidance with the patient.

  17. In Vitro and In Vivo Modeling of Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Pennuto, Maria; Basso, Manuela

    2016-03-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is an X-linked neuromuscular disease characterized by late-onset, progressive degeneration of lower motor neurons and skeletal muscle atrophy. SBMA is caused by expansions of a CAG trinucleotide repeat in the gene encoding the androgen receptor (AR). One striking feature of SBMA is sex specificity: SBMA fully manifests only in males, whereas females show subclinical or mild disease manifestations even when homozygous for the mutation. Since the identification of the mutation responsible for SBMA in 1991, several cell and animal models have been developed to recapitulate the main features of disease in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we describe the most widely used cellular and animal models of SBMA, highlighting advantages and disadvantages in the use of these models to gain mechanistic and therapeutic insights into SBMA.

  18. Clinical features and molecular mechanisms of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA).

    PubMed

    Katsuno, Masahisa; Banno, Haruhiko; Suzuki, Keisuke; Adachi, Hiroaki; Tanaka, Fumiaki; Sobue, Gen

    2010-01-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disease characterized by slowly progressive muscle weakness and atrophy. The cause of this disease is the expansion of a trinucleotide CAG repeat, which encodes the polyglutamine tract, within the first exon of the androgen receptor (AR) gene. SBMA exclusively occurs in adult males, whereas both heterozygous and homozygous females are usually asymptomatic. Lower motor neurons in the anterior horn of the spinal cord and those in the brainstem motor nuclei are predominantly affected in SBMA, and other neuronal and nonneuronal tissues are also widely involved to some extent. Testosterone-dependent nuclear accumulation of the pathogenic AR protein has been considered to be a fundamental step of neurodegenerative process, which is followed by several molecular events such as transcriptional dysregulation, axonal transport disruption and mitochondrial dysfunction. Results of animal studies suggest that androgen deprivation and activation of protein quality control systems are potential therapies for SBMA.

  19. Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type I: Is It Ethical to Standardize Supportive Care Intervention in Clinical Trials?

    PubMed Central

    Finkel, Richard S.; Bishop, Kathie M.; Nelson, Robert M.

    2016-01-01

    The natural history of spinal muscular atrophy type I (SMA-I) has changed as improved medical support has become available. With investigational drugs for spinal muscular atrophy now in clinical trials, efficient trial design focuses on enrolling recently diagnosed infants, providing best available supportive care, and minimizing subject variation. The quandary has arisen whether it is ethically appropriate to specify a predefined level of nutritional and/or ventilation support for spinal muscular atrophy type I subjects while participating in these studies. We conducted a survey at 2 spinal muscular atrophy investigator meetings involving physician investigators, clinical evaluators, and study coordinators from North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Each group endorsed the concept that having a predefined degree of nutritional and ventilation support was warranted in this context. We discuss how autonomy, beneficence/non-maleficence, noncoercion, social benefit, and equipoise can be maintained when a predefined level of supportive care is proposed, for participation in a clinical trial. PMID:27760875

  20. [The construction of urine-derived cell lines from patients with spinal muscular atrophy].

    PubMed

    Wanjin, Chen; Qijie, Zhang; Jin, He; Xiang, Lin; Ning, Wang

    2014-11-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a common neurodegenerative disease in childhood and infancy, clinically characterized by progressive and symmetric muscular weakness and atrophy. Few effective therapies are available now, and SMA is one of the most common genetic causes of infantile mortality. SMA patient-derived cells are beneficial in basic research on this disease, but the most common model cell, fibroblasts can only be obtained through invasive procedures such as muscle or skin biopsy, which are unwelcome to patients and their families. In this study, fresh urine from SMA patients and healthy controls was collected and centrifuged, and the urine sediment was cultured in vitro. The growth characteristics of urine-derived cells were observed, and the survival of motor neuron (SMN) gene, and the amount and localization of SMN protein in different urine cell lines were investigated. In total, 25 urine cell lines from 11 SMA patients and 14 healthy controls were established. These urine-derived cells expand robustly in vitro with stable cell morphological characteristics. The urine cell lines derived from patients carry the SMN1 gene defect and express a low level of SMN protein, while the intracellular localization of SMN protein is normal. Urine-derived cell culture technology is simple, non-invasive and highly reproducible, a way of obtaining and storing rare cell samples from SMA patients with which to study the pathogenesis of SMA.

  1. Optimization of Spinal Muscular Atrophy subject's muscle activity during gait

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Umat, Gazlia; Rambely, Azmin Sham

    2014-06-01

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a hereditary disease related muscle nerve disorder caused by degeneration of the anterior cells of the spinal cord. SMA is divided into four types according to the degree of seriousness. SMA patients show different gait with normal people. Therefore, this study focused on the effects of SMA patient muscle actions and the difference that exists between SMA subjects and normal subjects. Therefore, the electromyography (EMG) test will be used to track the behavior of muscle during walking and optimization methods are used to get the muscle stress that is capable of doing the work while walking. Involved objective function is non-linear function of the quadratic and cubic functions. The study concludes with a comparison of the objective function using the force that sought to use the moment of previous studies and the objective function using the data obtained from EMG. The results shows that the same muscles, peroneus longus and bisepsfemoris, were used during walking activity by SMA subjects and control subjects. Muscle stress force best solution achieved from part D in simulation carried out.

  2. Feeding problems and malnutrition in spinal muscular atrophy type II.

    PubMed

    Messina, Sonia; Pane, Marika; De Rose, Paola; Vasta, Isabella; Sorleti, Domenica; Aloysius, Annie; Sciarra, Federico; Mangiola, Fortunato; Kinali, Maria; Bertini, Enrico; Mercuri, Eugenio

    2008-05-01

    The aim of the study was to conduct a survey using a dedicated questionnaire to assess feeding difficulties and weight gain in a population of 122 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) type II patients, aged between 1 and 47 years. All the answers were entered in a database and were analysed subdividing the cohort into age groups (1-5, 6-10, 11-14, 15-19, 20-29, and 30-50 years). Six out of our 122 patients (5%), all younger than 11 years, had weights more than 2SD above the median for age matched controls, whilst 45 (37%) had weights less than 2SD below the median. Chewing difficulties were reported in 34 of the 122 patients (28%) and limitation in the ability to open the mouth in 36 (30%) and both were increasingly more frequent with age. Swallowing difficulties were reported in 30 patients (25%). The results of our survey suggest that a number of patients with SMA type II have limited jaw opening, and chewing and swallowing difficulties. Our findings raise a few issues concerning standards of care that should be implemented in the monitoring and management of feeding difficulties and weight gain.

  3. Resistance Strength Training Exercise in Children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Lewelt, Aga; Krosschell, Kristin J.; Stoddard, Gregory J.; Weng, Cindy; Xue, Mei; Marcus, Robin L.; Gappmaier, Eduard; Viollet, Louis; Johnson, Barbara A.; White, Andrea T.; Viazzo-Trussell, Donata; Lopes, Philippe; Lane, Robert H.; Carey, John C.; Swoboda, Kathryn J.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Preliminary evidence in adults with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and in SMA animal models suggests exercise has potential benefits in improving or stabilizing muscle strength and motor function. Methods We evaluated feasibility, safety, and effects on strength and motor function of a home-based, supervised progressive resistance strength training exercise program in children with SMA types II and III. Up to 14 bilateral proximal muscles were exercised 3 times weekly for 12 weeks. Results Nine children with SMA, aged 10.4±3.8 years, completed the resistance training exercise program. Ninety percent of visits occurred per protocol. Training sessions were pain-free (99.8%), and no study-related adverse events occurred. Trends in improved strength and motor function were observed. Conclusions A 12-week supervised, home-based, 3 days/week progressive resistance training exercise program is feasible, safe, and well tolerated in children with SMA. These findings can inform future studies of exercise in SMA. PMID:25597614

  4. Spatial cognition in young children with spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Rivière, James; Lécuyer, Roger

    2002-01-01

    Success in visuospatial tasks has often been demonstrated in teenagers with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). However, what has been tested in these studies, with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (Wechsler, 1974) performance scale, does not deal with the spatial capacities that co-occur with the advent of self-produced locomotion. Indeed, various studies have shown that occurrence of locomotion in infancy is correlated with the development of visuospatial cognitive competencies, suggesting that locomotor experience might play a central role in spatial development, especially in the realm of manual search for hidden objects. It is thus of interest to assess spatial search skills in SMA young children suffering total deprivation of locomotor experience. Twelve Type-2 SMA children with a mean age of 30 months were compared with controls with respect to their spatial search skills in a memory-for-locations task. In this search task, hiding containers were rotated 180 degrees before search was permitted. The performance obtained with the SMA group did not differ from that obtained in the healthy control group. SMA patients searched correctly for a hidden object in the 3-choice search task. Locomotor impairment does not appear to be a key risk factor for dramatic slowing down or deviation in the development of spatial search skills, as assumed by some authors. Further research is needed to identify the alternative pathways to normal spatial development that are used by SMA young children.

  5. Atrophy, fibrosis, and increased PAX7-positive cells in pharyngeal muscles of oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy patients.

    PubMed

    Gidaro, Teresa; Negroni, Elisa; Perié, Sophie; Mirabella, Massimiliano; Lainé, Jeanne; Lacau St Guily, Jean; Butler-Browne, Gillian; Mouly, Vincent; Trollet, Capucine

    2013-03-01

    Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) is a late-onset autosomal dominant inherited dystrophy caused by an abnormal trinucleotide repeat expansion in the poly(A)-binding-protein-nuclear 1 (PABPN1) gene. Primary muscular targets of OPMD are the eyelid elevator and pharyngeal muscles, including the cricopharyngeal muscle (CPM), the progressive involution of which leads to ptosis and dysphagia, respectively. To understand the consequences of PABPN1 polyalanine expansion in OPMD, we studied muscle biopsies from 14 OPMD patients, 3 inclusion body myositis patients, and 9 healthy controls. In OPMD patient CPM (n = 6), there were typical dystrophic features with extensive endomysial fibrosis and marked atrophy of myosin heavy-chain IIa fibers. There were more PAX7-positive cells in all CPM versus other muscles (n = 5, control; n = 3, inclusion body myositis), and they were more numerous in OPMD CPM versus control normal CPM without any sign of muscle regeneration. Intranuclear inclusions were present in all OPMD muscles but unaffected OPMD patient muscles (i.e. sternocleidomastoid, quadriceps, or deltoid; n = 14) did not show evidence of fibrosis, atrophy, or increased PAX7-positive cell numbers. These results suggest that the specific involvement of CPM in OPMD might be caused by failure of the regenerative response with dysfunction of PAX7-positive cells and exacerbated fibrosis that does not correlate with the presence of PABPN1 inclusions.

  6. Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Diagnosis and Management in a New Therapeutic Era

    PubMed Central

    Arnold, W. David; Kassar, Darine; Kissel, John T.

    2014-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) describes a group of disorders associated with spinal motor neuron loss. In this review we provide an update regarding the most common form of SMA, proximal or 5q SMA, and discuss the contemporary approach to diagnosis and treatment. Electromyography and muscle biopsy features of denervation were once the basis for diagnosis, but molecular testing for homozygous deletion or mutation of the SMN1 gene allows efficient and specific diagnosis. In combination with loss of SMN1, patients retain variable numbers of copies of a second similar gene, SMN2, which produce reduced levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein that are insufficient for normal motor neuron function. Despite the fact that the understanding of how ubiquitous reduction of SMN protein leads to motor neuron loss remains incomplete, several promising therapeutics are now being tested in early phase clinical trials. PMID:25346245

  7. Nemo-like kinase is a novel regulator of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Todd, Tiffany W; Kokubu, Hiroshi; Miranda, Helen C; Cortes, Constanza J; La Spada, Albert R; Lim, Janghoo

    2015-08-26

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a progressive neuromuscular disease caused by polyglutamine expansion in the androgen receptor (AR) protein. Despite extensive research, the exact pathogenic mechanisms underlying SBMA remain elusive. In this study, we present evidence that Nemo-like kinase (NLK) promotes disease pathogenesis across multiple SBMA model systems. Most remarkably, loss of one copy of Nlk rescues SBMA phenotypes in mice, including extending lifespan. We also investigated the molecular mechanisms by which NLK exerts its effects in SBMA. Specifically, we have found that NLK can phosphorylate the mutant polyglutamine-expanded AR, enhance its aggregation, and promote AR-dependent gene transcription by regulating AR-cofactor interactions. Furthermore, NLK modulates the toxicity of a mutant AR fragment via a mechanism that is independent of AR-mediated gene transcription. Our findings uncover a crucial role for NLK in controlling SBMA toxicity and reveal a novel avenue for therapy development in SBMA.

  8. Molecular, genetic and stem cell-mediated therapeutic strategies for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

    PubMed

    Zanetta, Chiara; Riboldi, Giulietta; Nizzardo, Monica; Simone, Chiara; Faravelli, Irene; Bresolin, Nereo; Comi, Giacomo P; Corti, Stefania

    2014-02-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive motor neuron disease. It is the first genetic cause of infant mortality. It is caused by mutations in the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, leading to the reduction of SMN protein. The most striking component is the loss of alpha motor neurons in the ventral horn of the spinal cord, resulting in progressive paralysis and eventually premature death. There is no current treatment other than supportive care, although the past decade has seen a striking advancement in understanding of both SMA genetics and molecular mechanisms. A variety of disease modifying interventions are rapidly bridging the translational gap from the laboratory to clinical trials. In this review, we would like to outline the most interesting therapeutic strategies that are currently developing, which are represented by molecular, gene and stem cell-mediated approaches for the treatment of SMA.

  9. [Triplet repeat disease, with particular emphasis of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA)].

    PubMed

    Sobue, G

    2000-12-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is an X-linked neurodegenerative disease caused by the expansion of a CAG repeat in the first exon of the androgen receptor (AR) gene. To date, eight CAG-repeat diseases have been identified, including spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA). Huntington's disease (HD), dentatorubralpallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA) and five spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs 1, 2, 3, 6, 7). These disorders likely share a common pathogenesis caused by the gain of a toxic function associated with the expanded polyglutamine tract. Several mechanisms have been postulated as a pathogenic process for neurodegeneration caused by the expanded polyglutamine tract. Processing of the polyglutamine containing proteins by proteases liberate truncated polyglutamine tract, which may cause neurodegeneration as demonstrated in transgenic mice and transfected cells. In addition to cellular toxicity, truncated and expanded polyglutamine tracts have been shown to form intranuclear inclusions (NI). The NIs formed by the disease protein are a common pathological feature of these diseases. In SBMA, NIs containing AR protein have been observed in regions of SBMA central nervous system susceptible to degenerations. Transcriptional factors or their cofactors, such as cerb or creb-binding protein (CBP) sequestrated in the NI may alter the major intracellular transcriptional signal transduction, and ultimately may result in neuronal degeneration. The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway may also contribute to the pathogenesis of CAG-repeat diseases. As for the therapeutic strategies, many possibilities have been demonstrated. Overexpression of Hsp70 and Hsp40 chaperones act together to protect a cultured neuronal cell model of SBMA from a cellular toxicity of expanded polyglutamine tract.

  10. A genetic and phenotypic analysis in Spanish spinal muscular atrophy patients with c.399_402del AGAG, the most frequently found subtle mutation in the SMN1 gene.

    PubMed

    Cuscó, Ivon; López, Eva; Soler-Botija, Carolina; Jesús Barceló, María; Baiget, Montserrat; Tizzano, Eduardo F

    2003-08-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disorder caused by mutations in the SMN1 (survival motor neuron) gene. It is classified by age of onset and maximal motor milestones achieved in type I, II, and III (severe, intermediate, and mild form, respectively). Of 369 unrelated SMA patients who were investigated for homozygous deletions in the SMN1 gene, 18 patients (4.8%) revealed at least one copy of exon 7. A 4-bp deletion in exon 3 (c.399_402delAGAG) was detected in 15 patients from 10 families. This mutation was associated with a large spectrum of phenotypes from type I to asymptomatic patients. Five patients from two consanguineous families were homozygous for the mutation with diverse mild phenotypes. Determination of the SMN2 copy number showed that the presence of two or three copies generally correlated with a better evolution. RT-PCR studies of SMN transcripts in control and patients with the same SMN2 copy number showed that the full-length/Delta7 ratio is influenced by the SMN1 genotype although it seems independent of the SMN2 copy number. Moreover, protein analysis in these patients showed a reduction in SMN protein in compound heterozygous patients (c.399_402delAGAG/deletion) when compared with homozygous c.399_402delAGAG/c.399_402delAGAG patients. Microsatellite DNA markers flanking the SMA locus revealed the occurrence of the 4-bp deletion in the background of the same haplotype, suggesting that a single mutational event was involved in the 10 families. The geographic origins of ancestors point to a founder effect from the south and east of Spain. The c.399_402delAGAG, which is to date unique to the Spanish population, constitutes the most frequently found subtle mutation in SMA. Hum Mutat 22:136-143, 2003.

  11. Intrathecal Injections in Children With Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Nusinersen Clinical Trial Experience.

    PubMed

    Haché, Manon; Swoboda, Kathryn J; Sethna, Navil; Farrow-Gillespie, Alan; Khandji, Alexander; Xia, Shuting; Bishop, Kathie M

    2016-06-01

    Nusinersen (ISIS-SMNRx or ISIS 396443) is an antisense oligonucleotide drug administered intrathecally to treat spinal muscular atrophy. We summarize lumbar puncture experience in children with spinal muscular atrophy during a phase 1 open-label study of nusinersen and its extension. During the studies, 73 lumbar punctures were performed in 28 patients 2 to 14 years of age with type 2/3 spinal muscular atrophy. No complications occurred in 50 (68%) lumbar punctures; in 23 (32%) procedures, adverse events were attributed to lumbar puncture. Most common adverse events were headache (n = 9), back pain (n = 9), and post-lumbar puncture syndrome (n = 8). In a subgroup analysis, adverse events were more frequent in older children, children with type 3 spinal muscular atrophy, and with a 21- or 22-gauge needle compared to a 24-gauge needle or smaller. Lumbar punctures were successfully performed in children with spinal muscular atrophy; lumbar puncture-related adverse event frequency was similar to that previously reported in children.

  12. Pathogenesis, animal models and therapeutics in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA).

    PubMed

    Katsuno, Masahisa; Adachi, Hiroaki; Waza, Masahiro; Banno, Haruhiko; Suzuki, Keisuke; Tanaka, Fumiaki; Doyu, Manabu; Sobue, Gen

    2006-07-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a hereditary neurodegenerative disease characterized by slowly progressive muscle weakness and atrophy of bulbar, facial, and limb muscles. The cause of SBMA is expansion of a trinucleotide CAG repeat, which encodes the polyglutamine tract, in the first exon of the androgen receptor (AR) gene. SBMA chiefly occurs in adult males, whereas neurological symptoms are rarely detected in females having mutant AR gene. The cardinal histopathological finding of SBMA is loss of lower motor neurons in the anterior horn of spinal cord as well as in brainstem motor nuclei. Animal models carrying human mutant AR gene recapitulate polyglutamine-mediated motor neuron degeneration, providing clues to the pathogenesis of SBMA. There is increasing evidence that testosterone, the ligand of AR, plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration in SBMA. The striking success of androgen deprivation therapy in SBMA mouse models has been translated into clinical trials. In addition, elucidation of pathophysiology using animal models leads to emergence of candidate drugs to treat this devastating disease: HSP inducer, Hsp90 inhibitor, and histone deacetylase inhibitor. Utilizing biomarkers such as scrotal skin biopsy would improve efficacy of clinical trials to verify the results from animal studies. Advances in basic and clinical researches on SBMA are now paving the way for clinical application of potential therapeutics.

  13. X-linked lethal infantile spinal muscular atrophy: From clinical description to molecular mapping

    SciTech Connect

    Baumbach, L.; Schiavi, A.

    1994-09-01

    The proximal spinal muscular atrophies (PSMA), one of the most common forms of lower motor neuron disease in children, are characterized by progressive muscle weakness due to loss of anterior horn cells. All three autosomal recessive forms have been mapped to chromosome 5q11.2-11.3, implying an allelic association between these disorders. Recent evidence from our laboratories, as well as others, suggests that a distinct form of lethal neonatal spinal muscular atrophy, associated with early onset contractures, is determined by a gene on the X chromosome. We report our efforts in mapping this disease locus. Our original studies have focused on two unrelated multigenerational families with similar clinical presentations of severe hypotonia, muscle weakness, and a disease course similar to Werdnig Hoffman except for the additional finding of congenital or early onset contractures. Muscle biopsy and/or autopsy were indicative of anterior horn cell loss in affected males. Disease occurrence in each of the families was consistent with an X-linked recessive mode of inheritance. Subsequently, two additional families have been identified, as well as several sporadic male cases. Linkage analysis has been completed in one of these families using highly polymorphic repeats dispersed 10 cM on the X chromosome. Interpretation of results was achieved using an automated data acquisition program. Analysis of over 300 haplotypes generated using PCR-based DNA markers have identified two 16 cM regions on Xp with complete concordance to the disease phenotype. Our currents efforts are focused on the region surrounding the Kallman gene, in attempts to better define a candidate region, as well as analyze possible candidate genes within this region.

  14. Impaired Muscle Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Myogenesis in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Ripolone, Michela; Ronchi, Dario; Violano, Raffaella; Vallejo, Dionis; Fagiolari, Gigliola; Barca, Emanuele; Lucchini, Valeria; Colombo, Irene; Villa, Luisa; Berardinelli, Angela; Balottin, Umberto; Morandi, Lucia; Mora, Marina; Bordoni, Andreina; Fortunato, Francesco; Corti, Stefania; Parisi, Daniela; Toscano, Antonio; Sciacco, Monica; DiMauro, Salvatore; Comi, Giacomo P.; Moggio, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    IMPORTANCE The important depletion of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the general depression of mitochondrial respiratory chain complex levels (including complex II) have been confirmed, implying an increasing paucity of mitochondria in the muscle from patients with types I, II, and III spinal muscular atrophy (SMA-I, -II, and -III, respectively). OBJECTIVE To investigate mitochondrial dysfunction in a large series of muscle biopsy samples from patients with SMA. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS We studied quadriceps muscle samples from 24 patients with genetically documented SMA and paraspinal muscle samples from 3 patients with SMA-II undergoing surgery for scoliosis correction. Postmortem muscle samples were obtained from 1 additional patient. Age-matched controls consisted of muscle biopsy specimens from healthy children aged 1 to 3 years who had undergone analysis for suspected myopathy. Analyses were performed at the Neuromuscular Unit, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Foundation Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico-Milano, from April 2011 through January 2015. EXPOSURES We used histochemical, biochemical, and molecular techniques to examine the muscle samples. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Respiratory chain activity and mitochondrial content. RESULTS Results of histochemical analysis revealed that cytochrome-c oxidase (COX) deficiency was more evident in muscle samples from patients with SMA-I and SMA-II. Residual activities for complexes I, II, and IV in muscles from patients with SMA-I were 41%, 27%, and 30%, respectively, compared with control samples (P < .005). Muscle mtDNA content and cytrate synthase activity were also reduced in all 3 SMA types (P < .05). We linked these alterations to downregulation of peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor coactivator 1α, the transcriptional activators nuclear respiratory factor 1 and nuclear respiratory factor 2, mitochondrial transcription factor A, and their downstream targets

  15. Molecular and phenotypic characterization of a mouse model of oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy reveals severe muscular atrophy restricted to fast glycolytic fibres.

    PubMed

    Trollet, Capucine; Anvar, Seyed Yahya; Venema, Andrea; Hargreaves, Iain P; Foster, Keith; Vignaud, Alban; Ferry, Arnaud; Negroni, Elisa; Hourde, Christophe; Baraibar, Martin A; 't Hoen, Peter A C; Davies, Janet E; Rubinsztein, David C; Heales, Simon J; Mouly, Vincent; van der Maarel, Silvère M; Butler-Browne, Gillian; Raz, Vered; Dickson, George

    2010-06-01

    Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) is an adult-onset disorder characterized by ptosis, dysphagia and proximal limb weakness. Autosomal-dominant OPMD is caused by a short (GCG)(8-13) expansions within the first exon of the poly(A)-binding protein nuclear 1 gene (PABPN1), leading to an expanded polyalanine tract in the mutated protein. Expanded PABPN1 forms insoluble aggregates in the nuclei of skeletal muscle fibres. In order to gain insight into the different physiological processes affected in OPMD muscles, we have used a transgenic mouse model of OPMD (A17.1) and performed transcriptomic studies combined with a detailed phenotypic characterization of this model at three time points. The transcriptomic analysis revealed a massive gene deregulation in the A17.1 mice, among which we identified a significant deregulation of pathways associated with muscle atrophy. Using a mathematical model for progression, we have identified that one-third of the progressive genes were also associated with muscle atrophy. Functional and histological analysis of the skeletal muscle of this mouse model confirmed a severe and progressive muscular atrophy associated with a reduction in muscle strength. Moreover, muscle atrophy in the A17.1 mice was restricted to fast glycolytic fibres, containing a large number of intranuclear inclusions (INIs). The soleus muscle and, in particular, oxidative fibres were spared, even though they contained INIs albeit to a lesser degree. These results demonstrate a fibre-type specificity of muscle atrophy in this OPMD model. This study improves our understanding of the biological pathways modified in OPMD to identify potential biomarkers and new therapeutic targets.

  16. De novo and inherited deletions of the 5q13 region in spinal muscular atrophies

    SciTech Connect

    Melki, J.; Lefebvre, S.; Burglen, L.; Burlet, P.; Clermont, O.; Reboullet, S.; Benichou, B.; Zeviani, M. ); Millasseau, P. ); Le Paslier, D. )

    1994-06-03

    Spinal muscular atrophies (SMAs) represent the second most common fatal autosomal recessive disorder after cystic fibrosis. Childhood spinal muscular atrophies are divided into severe (type I) and mild forms (types II and III). By a combination of genetic and physical mapping, a yeast artificial chromosome contig of the 5q13 region spanning the disease locus was constructed that showed the presence of low copy repeats in this region. Allele segregation was analyzed at the closest genetic loci detected by markers C212 and C272 in 201 SMA families. Inherited and de novo deletions were observed in nine unrelated SMA patients. Moreover, deletions were strongly suggested in at least 18 percent of SMA type I patients by the observation of marked heterozygosity deficiency for the loci studied. These results indicate that deletion events are statistically associated with the severe form of spinal muscular atrophy. 25 refs., 5 figs.

  17. Clinical Trials in Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy-Past, Present, and Future.

    PubMed

    Weydt, Patrick; Sagnelli, Anna; Rosenbohm, Angela; Fratta, Pietro; Pradat, Pierre-François; Ludolph, Albert C; Pareyson, Davide

    2016-03-01

    Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy (SBMA), also known as Kennedy's disease, is a rare adult-onset lower motor neuron disorder with a classic X-linked inheritance pattern. It is caused by the abnormal expansion of the CAG-repeat tract in the androgen receptor gene. Despite important progress in the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis and the availability of a broad set of model organisms, successful translation of these insights into clinical interventions remains elusive. Here we review the available information on clinical trials in SBMA and discuss the challenges and pitfalls that impede therapy development. Two important factors are the variability of the complex neuro-endocrinological phenotype and the comparatively low incidence of the disease that renders recruitment for clinical trials demanding. We propose that these challenges can be and need to be overcome by fostering closer collaborations between clinical research centers, the patient communities and the industry and non-industry sponsors of clinical trials.

  18. [Anti-androgen therapy for spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA)].

    PubMed

    Katsuno, Masahisa; Banno, Haruhiko; Suzuki, Keisuke; Hashizume, Atsushi; Adachi, Hiroaki; Tanaka, Fumiaki; Sobue, Gen

    2012-01-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), or Kennedy's disease, is an adult-onset lower motor neuron disease caused by the expansion of a trinucleotide CAG repeat encoding a polyglutamine tract within the first exon of the androgen receptor (AR) gene. The testosterone-dependent nuclear accumulation of polyglutamine-expanded AR protein is central to the pathogenesis. This hypothesis is supported by pre-clinical studies showing that testosterone deprivation ameliorates motor neuron degeneration in animal modes of SBMA. In a randomized placebo-controlled multi-centric clinical trial, leuprorelin, which suppresses secretion of testosterone, showed no definite effect on motor functions, although there was the improvement of swallowing function in a subgroup of patients whose disease duration was less than 10 years. Elucidation of the entire disease mechanism, early initiation of therapeutic intervention, and sensitive outcome measures to evaluate drug effect appear to be the key to a successful translational research on SBMA.

  19. Pathogenesis and molecular targeted therapy of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA).

    PubMed

    Banno, Haruhiko; Katsuno, Masahisa; Suzuki, Keisuke; Tanaka, Fumiaki; Sobue, Gen

    2012-07-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), also known as Kennedy's disease, is an adult-onset, X-linked motor neuron disease characterized by muscle atrophy, weakness, contraction fasciculations, and bulbar involvement. SBMA is caused by the expansion of a CAG triplet repeat, encoding a polyglutamine tract within the first exon of the androgen receptor (AR) gene. The histopathological finding in SBMA is the loss of lower motor neurons in the anterior horn of the spinal cord as well as in the brainstem motor nuclei. There is no established disease-modifying therapy for SBMA. Animal studies have revealed that the pathogenesis of SBMA depends on the level of serum testosterone, and that androgen deprivation mitigates neurodegeneration through inhibition of nuclear accumulation and/or stabilization of the pathogenic AR. Heat shock proteins, the ubiquitin-proteasome system and transcriptional regulation are also potential targets for development of therapy for SBMA. Among these therapeutic approaches, the luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone analogue, leuprorelin, prevents nuclear translocation of aberrant AR proteins, resulting in a significant improvement of disease phenotype in a mouse model of SBMA. In a phase 2 clinical trial of leuprorelin, the patients treated with this drug exhibited decreased mutant AR accumulation in scrotal skin biopsy. Phase 3 clinical trial showed the possibility that leuprorelin treatment is associated with improved swallowing function particularly in patients with a disease duration less than 10 years. These observations suggest that pharmacological inhibition of the toxic accumulation of mutant AR is a potential therapy for SBMA.

  20. [Disease-modifying therapy for spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA)].

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Keisuke; Banno, Haruhiko; Katsuno, Masahisa; Adachi, Hiroaki; Tanaka, Fumiaki; Sobue, Gen

    2012-03-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases have long been construed as incurable disorders. However, therapeutic developments for these diseases are now facing a turning point, that is, analyses of cellular and animal models have provided insights into the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases and have indicated rational therapeutic approaches. Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is an adult-onset motor neuron disease characterized by slowly progressive muscle weakness and atrophy. This disease is caused by the expansion of a trinucleotide CAG repeat within the androgen receptor (AR) gene. The results of animal studies suggest that testosterone-dependent nuclear accumulation of the pathogenic AR protein is a fundamental step in the neurodegenerative process. Androgen deprivation with a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) analogue suppresses the toxicity of the mutant AR in animal models of SBMA. In a phase 3 trial, 48 weeks of treatment with leuprorelin acetate, an LHRH analogue, tended to improve swallowing function in a subgroup of SBMA patients with disease duration less than 10 years but did not significantly affect the total population. Disease duration might influence the efficacy of leuprorelin acetate, and therefore, a further clinical trial that involves sensitive outcome measures is in progress. Advances in basic and clinical research on SBMA are now paving the way for the clinical application of pathogenesis-targeting therapies. To optimize translational research related to the process of testing candidate therapies in humans, it is important to identify biomarkers that can be used as surrogate endpoints in clinical trials for neurodegenerative diseases.

  1. Pathogenesis-targeting therapeutics for spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA).

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Keisuke; Kastuno, Masahisa; Banno, Haruhiko; Sobue, Gen

    2009-08-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is an hereditary, adult-onset, lower motor neuron disease caused by an aberrant elongation of a trinucleotide CAG repeat, which encodes the polyglutamine tract, in the first exon of the androgen receptor (AR) gene. The main symptoms are slowly progressive muscle weakness and atrophy of bulbar, facial and limb muscles. The cardinal histopathological findings of SBMA are an extensive loss of lower motor neurons in the anterior horn of the spinal cord as well as in brainstem motor nuclei and intranuclear accumulations of mutant AR protein in the residual motor neurons. Androgen deprivation therapy rescues neuronal dysfunction in animal models of SBMA, suggesting that the molecular basis for motor neuron degeneration in this disorder is testosterone-dependent nuclear accumulation of the mutant AR. Suppression of disease progression by leuprorelin acetate has also been demonstrated in a phase 2 clinical trial. In addition, the clarification of pathophysiology leads to appearance of candidate drugs to treat this devastating disease: heat shock protein (HSP) inducer, Hsp90 inhibitor, and histone deacetylase inhibitor. Advances in basic and clinical research on SBMA are now paving the way for clinical application of pathogenesis-targeting therapeutics.

  2. [Molecular-targeted therapy for spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA)].

    PubMed

    Sobue, Gen

    2010-11-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disease characterized by slowly progressive muscle weakness and atrophy. The cause of SBMA is the expansion of a trinucleotide CAG repeat, which encodes the polyglutamine tract, within the first exon of the androgen receptor (AR) gene. SBMA exclusively occurs in males, whereas both heterozygous and homozygous females are usually asymptomatic. In a transgenic mouse model of SBMA, neuromuscular symptoms are markedly pronounced in the male mice, but far less severe in the female counterparts. Androgen deprivation through both surgical and chemical castration substantially suppresses nuclear accumulation of the pathogenic AR, and thereby improves symptoms in the male mice. Since the nuclear translocation of AR is ligand-dependent, testosterone appears to show toxic effects by accelerating nuclear translocation of the pathogenic AR. In a phase 2 clinical trial, 12-month treatment with leuprorelin significantly diminished the serum level of creatine kinase, and suppressed nuclear accumulation of the pathogenic AR. The ligand-dependent accumulation of the pathogenic AR, an initial step in the neurodegenerative process in SBMA, is followed by several downstream molecular events such as transcriptional dysregulation, axonal transport disruption, and mitochondrial insufficiency, indicating that both upstream and downstream molecular abnormalities should be corrected.

  3. Columbia SMA Project: A Randomized, Control Trial of the Effects of Exercise on Motor Function and Strength in Patients With Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-06-01

    www.CQillmbiasma.org No. 1994 ?. 2 Musc::ular Dystrophy Assoc1at1on (hUAJ Clinic Spinal Muscular Atrophy Clinical (SMA) Research Center Nan<:y E. Strauss, M.D...3 ~ COLUMBIA UNIVERSIT~ 0 ~ Muscutar Dystrophy Association (MDA) Clinic \\WI M C Spinal Muscular Atrophy Clinical {SMA) - EDICAL ENTER Research...9lu mbi~_rlli:’U~t9 0000000000 p.1 Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Clinic Spinal Muscular Atrophy Clinical (SMA) Research Center Nancy E

  4. The zinc finger protein ZPR1 is a potential modifier of spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Saif; Wang, Yi; Shaik, Gouse M.; Burghes, Arthur H.; Gangwani, Laxman

    2012-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by mutation of the Survival Motor Neurons 1 (SMN1) gene and is characterized by degeneration of spinal motor neurons. The severity of SMA is primarily influenced by the copy number of the SMN2 gene. Additional modifier genes that lie outside the SMA locus exist and one gene that could modify SMA is the Zinc Finger Protein (ZPR1) gene. To test the significance of ZPR1 downregulation in SMA, we examined the effect of reduced ZPR1 expression in mice with mild and severe SMA. We report that the reduced ZPR1 expression causes increase in the loss of motor neurons, hypermyelination in phrenic nerves, increase in respiratory distress and disease severity and reduces the lifespan of SMA mice. The deficiency of SMN-containing sub-nuclear bodies correlates with the severity of SMA. ZPR1 is required for the accumulation of SMN in sub-nuclear bodies. Further, we report that ZPR1 overexpression increases levels of SMN and promotes accumulation of SMN in sub-nuclear bodies in SMA patient fibroblasts. ZPR1 stimulates neurite growth and rescues axonal growth defects in SMN-deficient spinal cord neurons from SMA mice. These data suggest that the severity of disease correlates negatively with ZPR1 levels and ZPR1 may be a protective modifier of SMA. PMID:22422766

  5. Increased mitophagy in the skeletal muscle of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy patients.

    PubMed

    Borgia, Doriana; Malena, Adriana; Spinazzi, Marco; Andrea Desbats, Maria; Salviati, Leonardo; Russell, Aaron P; Miotto, Giovanni; Tosatto, Laura; Pegoraro, Elena; Sorarù, Gianni; Pennuto, Maria; Vergani, Lodovica

    2017-01-13

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a neuromuscular disorder caused by polyglutamine expansion in the androgen receptor (AR) and characterized by the loss of lower motor neurons. Here we investigated pathological processes occurring in muscle biopsy specimens derived from SBMA patients and, as controls, age-matched healthy subjects and patients suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and neurogenic atrophy. We detected atrophic fibers in the muscle of SBMA, ALS and neurogenic atrophy patients. In addition, SBMA muscle was characterized by the presence of a large number of hypertrophic fibers, with oxidative fibers having a larger size compared to glycolytic fibers. Polyglutamine-expanded AR expression was decreased in whole muscle, yet enriched in the nucleus, and localized to mitochondria. Ultrastructural analysis revealed myofibrillar disorganization and streaming in zones lacking mitochondria and degenerating mitochondria. Using molecular (mtDNA copy number), biochemical (citrate synthase and respiratory chain enzymes) and morphological (dark blue area in NADH-stained muscle cross sections) analyses, we found a depletion of the mitochondria associated with enhanced mitophagy. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed an increase of phosphatidylethanolamines and phosphatidylserines in mitochondria isolated from SBMA muscles, as well as a 50% depletion of cardiolipin associated with decreased expression of the cardiolipin synthase gene. These observations suggest a causative link between nuclear polyglutamine-expanded AR accumulation, depletion of mitochondrial mass, increased mitophagy and altered mitochondrial membrane composition in SBMA muscle patients. Given the central role of mitochondria in cell bioenergetics, therapeutic approaches towards improving the mitochondrial network are worth considering to support SBMA patients.

  6. Aquatic Therapy for a Child with Type III Spinal Muscular Atrophy: A Case Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salem, Yasser; Gropack, Stacy Jaffee

    2010-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disorder characterized by degeneration of alpha motor neurons. This case report describes an aquatic therapy program and the outcomes for a 3-year-old girl with type III SMA. Motor skills were examined using the 88-item Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM), the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales…

  7. Refinement of the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Locus by Genetic and Physical Mapping

    PubMed Central

    Wang, C. H.; Kleyn, P. W.; Vitale, E.; Ross, B. M.; Lien, L.; Xu, J.; Carter, T. A.; Brzustowicz, L. M.; Obici, S.; Selig, S.; Pavone, L.; Parano, E.; Penchaszadeh, G. K.; Munsat, T.; Kunkel, L. M.; Gilliam, T. C.

    1995-01-01

    We report the mapping and characterization of 12 microsatellite markers including 11 novel markers. All markers were generated from overlapping YAC clones that span the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) locus. PCR amplification of 32 overlapping YAC clones shows that 9 of the new markers (those set in italics) map to the interval between the two previous closest flanking markers (D5S629 and D5S557): cen - D5S6 - D5S125 - D5S435 - D5S1407-D5S629-D5S1410-D5S1411/D5S1412-D5S1413-D5S1414-D5Z8-D5Z9-CATT1-D5Z10/D5Z6-D5S557-D5S1408-D5S1409-D5S637-D5S351-MAP1B-tel. Four of these new markers detect multiple loci in and out of the SMA gene region. Genetic analysis of recombinant SMA families indicates that D5S1413 is a new proximal flanking locus for the SMA gene. Interestingly, among the 40 physically mapped loci, the 14 multilocus markers map contiguously to a genomic region that overlaps, and perhaps helps define, the minimum genetic region encompassing the SMA gene(s). ImagesFigure 2Figure 5 PMID:7825579

  8. Genetic correction of human induced pluripotent stem cells from patients with spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Corti, Stefania; Nizzardo, Monica; Simone, Chiara; Falcone, Marianna; Nardini, Martina; Ronchi, Dario; Donadoni, Chiara; Salani, Sabrina; Riboldi, Giulietta; Magri, Francesca; Menozzi, Giorgia; Bonaglia, Clara; Rizzo, Federica; Bresolin, Nereo; Comi, Giacomo P

    2012-12-19

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is among the most common genetic neurological diseases that cause infant mortality. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) generated from skin fibroblasts from SMA patients and genetically corrected have been proposed to be useful for autologous cell therapy. We generated iPSCs from SMA patients (SMA-iPSCs) using nonviral, nonintegrating episomal vectors and used a targeted gene correction approach based on single-stranded oligonucleotides to convert the survival motor neuron 2 (SMN2) gene into an SMN1-like gene. Corrected iPSC lines contained no exogenous sequences. Motor neurons formed by differentiation of uncorrected SMA-iPSCs reproduced disease-specific features. These features were ameliorated in motor neurons derived from genetically corrected SMA-iPSCs. The different gene splicing profile in SMA-iPSC motor neurons was rescued after genetic correction. The transplantation of corrected motor neurons derived from SMA-iPSCs into an SMA mouse model extended the life span of the animals and improved the disease phenotype. These results suggest that generating genetically corrected SMA-iPSCs and differentiating them into motor neurons may provide a source of motor neurons for therapeutic transplantation for SMA.

  9. Natural history of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA): a study of 223 Japanese patients.

    PubMed

    Atsuta, Naoki; Watanabe, Hirohisa; Ito, Mizuki; Banno, Haruhiko; Suzuki, Keisuke; Katsuno, Masahisa; Tanaka, Fumiaki; Tamakoshi, Akiko; Sobue, Gen

    2006-06-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is an adult-onset motoneuron disease caused by a CAG-repeat expansion in the androgen receptor (AR) gene and for which no curative therapy exists. However, since recent research may provide opportunities for medical treatment, information concerning the natural history of SBMA would be beneficial in planning future clinical trials. We investigated the natural course of SBMA as assessed by nine activities of daily living (ADL) milestones in 223 Japanese SBMA patients (mean age at data collection = 55.2 years; range = 30-87 years) followed from 1 to 20 years. All the patients were diagnosed by genetic analysis. Hand tremor was an early event that was noticed at a median age of 33 years. Muscular weakness occurred predominantly in the lower limbs, and was noticed at a median age of 44 years, followed by the requirement of a handrail to ascend stairs at 49, dysarthria at 50, dysphagia at 54, use of a cane at 59 and a wheelchair at 61 years. Twenty-one of the patients developed pneumonia at a median age of 62 and 15 of them died at a median age of 65 years. The most common cause of death in these cases was pneumonia and respiratory failure. The ages at onset of each ADL milestone were strongly correlated with the length of CAG repeats in the AR gene. However CAG-repeat length did not correlate with the time intervals between each ADL milestone, suggesting that although the onset age of each ADL milestone depends on the CAG-repeat length in the AR gene, the rate of disease progression does not. The levels of serum testosterone, an important triggering factor for polyglutamine-mediated motoneuron degeneration, were maintained at relatively high levels even at advanced ages. These results provide beneficial information for future clinical therapeutic trials, although further detailed prospective studies are also needed.

  10. Plastin-3 extends survival and reduces severity in mouse models of spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Kaifer, Kevin A.; Osman, Erkan Y.; Glascock, Jacqueline J.; Arnold, Laura L.; Cornelison, D.D.W.; Lorson, Christian L.

    2017-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a leading genetic cause of infantile death and is caused by the loss of survival motor neuron-1 (SMN1). Importantly, a nearly identical gene is present called SMN2; however, the majority of SMN2-derived transcripts are alternatively spliced and encode a truncated, dysfunctional protein. Recently, several compounds designed to increase SMN protein have entered clinical trials, including antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs), traditional small molecules, and gene therapy. Expanding beyond SMN-centric therapeutics is important, as it is likely that the breadth of the patient spectrum and the inherent complexity of the disease will be difficult to address with a single therapeutic strategy. Several SMN-independent pathways that could impinge upon the SMA phenotype have been examined with varied success. To identify disease-modifying pathways that could serve as stand-alone therapeutic targets or could be used in combination with an SMN-inducing compound, we investigated adeno-associated virus–mediated (AAV-mediated) gene therapy using plastin-3 (PLS3). Here, we report that AAV9-PLS3 extends survival in an intermediate model of SMA mice as well as in a pharmacologically induced model of SMA using a splice-switching ASO that increases SMN production. PLS3 coadministration improves the phenotype beyond the ASO, demonstrating the potential utility of combinatorial therapeutics in SMA that target SMN-independent and SMN-dependent pathways. PMID:28289706

  11. Spinal muscular atrophy during human development: where are the early pathogenic findings?

    PubMed

    Tizzano, Eduardo

    2009-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder that affects motor neurons. It is caused by mutations in the survival motor neuron gene 1 (SMN1). The SMN2 gene, which is the highly homologous SMN1 copy that is present in all patients, is unable to prevent the disease. SMA patients can be classified into four groups based on age at onset and acquired milestones (type I or severe acute disease, with onset before 6 months; type II, before 18 months; type III, after 18 months and type IV, in adult life). The human developmental period is believed to play an essential role in SMA pathogenesis. However, the neuropathologic study of SMA comes largely from postnatal necropsy samples, which describe the end-stage of the disease. With the exception of severe congenital SMA (or Type 0 SMA), type I patients tend to present a short but variable presymptomatic period after birth. Our main interest lies in studying SMA during human development so as to gain insight into the mechanism of the disease in the prenatal-presymptomatic stage. In fetuses of 12-15 weeks' gestational age we systematically studied histology, cell death and gene expression in spinal cord and muscle, the key tissues involved in the disease. Furthermore, ultrasound parameters were investigated at these stages. These studies may help to delineate an early intervention in SMA, in particular during the potential therapeutic window.

  12. [Association of post-radiation focal muscular atrophy and hypertrophy].

    PubMed

    Serratrice, G; Sangla, I; Pouget, J; Azulay, J P

    1993-01-01

    We report a 48 year old woman who had radiotherapy for uterine carcinoma and who developed amyotrophy and muscle hypertrophy in one lower limb. Very few cases of post-radiation monomelic amyotrophy have been reported. On the other hand denervation hypertrophy was presumed to be well known. The seat of the lesions was presumed to be radicular and spinal. The mechanism of atrophy and hypertrophy is discussed.

  13. Mapping of retrotransposon sequences in the unstable region surrounding the spinal muscular atrophy locus in 5q13

    SciTech Connect

    Francis, M.J.; Nesbit, M.A.; Theodosiou, A.M.

    1995-05-20

    The mutation that underlies the autosomal recessive disorder spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is located on chromosome 5q13. Recent studies show that SMA patients frequently have deletions and rearrangements in this region compared to normal controls. During the isolation of candidate cDNAs for the disease, the authors identified a sequence that shows high homology to the THE-1 retrotransposon gene family. Using YAC fragmentation techniques, they have refined the localization of this sequence to the domain known to show instability in SMA patients. The implication of these results for the mechanism of the mutation in SMA is discussed. 20 refs., 1 fig.

  14. Systemic peptide-mediated oligonucleotide therapy improves long-term survival in spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Hazell, Gareth; Shabanpoor, Fazel; Saleh, Amer F.; Bowerman, Melissa; Meijboom, Katharina E.; Zhou, Haiyan; Muntoni, Francesco; Talbot, Kevin; Gait, Michael J.; Wood, Matthew J. A.

    2016-01-01

    The development of antisense oligonucleotide therapy is an important advance in the identification of corrective therapy for neuromuscular diseases, such as spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Because of difficulties of delivering single-stranded oligonucleotides to the CNS, current approaches have been restricted to using invasive intrathecal single-stranded oligonucleotide delivery. Here, we report an advanced peptide-oligonucleotide, Pip6a-morpholino phosphorodiamidate oligomer (PMO), which demonstrates potent efficacy in both the CNS and peripheral tissues in severe SMA mice following systemic administration. SMA results from reduced levels of the ubiquitously expressed survival motor neuron (SMN) protein because of loss-of-function mutations in the SMN1 gene. Therapeutic splice-switching oligonucleotides (SSOs) modulate exon 7 splicing of the nearly identical SMN2 gene to generate functional SMN protein. Pip6a-PMO yields SMN expression at high efficiency in peripheral and CNS tissues, resulting in profound phenotypic correction at doses an order-of-magnitude lower than required by standard naked SSOs. Survival is dramatically extended from 12 d to a mean of 456 d, with improvement in neuromuscular junction morphology, down-regulation of transcripts related to programmed cell death in the spinal cord, and normalization of circulating insulin-like growth factor 1. The potent systemic efficacy of Pip6a-PMO, targeting both peripheral as well as CNS tissues, demonstrates the high clinical potential of peptide-PMO therapy for SMA. PMID:27621445

  15. Multiple founder effects in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA, Kennedy disease) around the world.

    PubMed

    Lund, A; Udd, B; Juvonen, V; Andersen, P M; Cederquist, K; Davis, M; Gellera, C; Kölmel, C; Ronnevi, L O; Sperfeld, A D; Sörensen, S A; Tranebjaerg, L; Van Maldergem, L; Watanabe, M; Weber, M; Yeung, L; Savontaus, M L

    2001-06-01

    SBMA (spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy), also called Kennedy disease, is an X-chromosomal recessive adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder caused by death of the spinal and bulbar motor neurones and dorsal root ganglia. Patients may also show signs of partial androgen insensitivity. SBMA is caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the first exon of the androgen receptor (AR) gene on the X-chromosome. Our previous study suggested that all the Nordic patients with SBMA originated from an ancient Nordic founder mutation, but the new intragenic SNP marker ARd12 revealed that the Danish patients derive their disease chromosome from another ancestor. In search of relationships between patients from different countries, we haplotyped altogether 123 SBMA families from different parts of the world for two intragenic markers and 16 microsatellites spanning 25 cM around the AR gene. The fact that different SBMA founder haplotypes were found in patients from around the world implies that the CAG repeat expansion mutation has not been a unique event. No expansion-prone haplotype could be detected. Trinucleotide diseases often show correlation between the repeat length and the severity and earlier onset of the disease. The longer the repeat, the more severe the symptoms are and the onset of the disease is earlier. A negative correlation between the CAG repeat length and the age of onset was found in the 95 SBMA patients with defined ages at onset.

  16. Apparent autosomal recessive inheritance in families with proximal spinal muscular atrophy affecting individuals in two generations

    SciTech Connect

    Rudnik-Schoeneborn, S.; Zerres, K.; Hahnen, E.

    1996-11-01

    With the evidence that deletions in the region responsible for childhood- and juvenile-onset proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) are on chromosome 5 it is now possible to confirm autosomal recessive inheritance in most patients (denoted {open_quotes}SMA 5q{close_quotes}). Homozygous deletions in the telomeric copy of the survival motor neuron (SMN) gene can be detected in 95%-98% of patients with early-onset SMA (types I and II), whereas as many as 10%-20% of patients with the milder, juvenile-onset form (type III SMA) do not show deletions. In families with affected subjects in two generations, it is difficult to decide whether they are autosomal dominantly inherited or caused by three independent recessive mutations (pseudodominant inheritance). Given an incidence of >1/10,000 of SMA 5q, patients with autosomal recessive SMA have an {approximately}1% recurrence risk to their offspring. Although the dominant forms are not linked to chromosome 5q, pseudodominant families can now be identified by the presence of homozygous deletions in the SMN gene. 5 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  17. Lentivector-mediated SMN replacement in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Azzouz, Mimoun; Le, Thanh; Ralph, G Scott; Walmsley, Lucy; Monani, Umrao R; Lee, Debbie C P; Wilkes, Fraser; Mitrophanous, Kyriacos A; Kingsman, Susan M; Burghes, Arthur H M; Mazarakis, Nicholas D

    2004-12-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a frequent recessive autosomal disorder. It is caused by mutations or deletion of the telomeric copy of the survival motor neuron (SMN) gene, leading to depletion in SMN protein levels. The treatment rationale for SMA is to halt or delay the degeneration of motor neurons, but to date there are no effective drug treatments for this disease. We have previously demonstrated that pseudotyping of the nonprimate equine infectious anemia virus (using the lentivector gene transfer system) with the glycoprotein of the Evelyn-Rokitnicki-Abelseth strain of the rabies virus confers retrograde axonal transport on these vectors. Here, we report that lentivector expressing human SMN was successfully used to restore SMN protein levels in SMA type 1 fibroblasts. Multiple single injections of a lentiviral vector expressing SMN in various muscles of SMA mice restored SMN to motor neurons, reduced motor neuron death, and increased the life expectancy by an average of 3 and 5 days (20% and 38%) compared with LacZ and untreated animals, respectively. Further extension of survival by SMN expression constructs will likely require a knowledge of when and/or where high levels of SMN are needed.

  18. SMN deficiency in severe models of spinal muscular atrophy causes widespread intron retention and DNA damage.

    PubMed

    Jangi, Mohini; Fleet, Christina; Cullen, Patrick; Gupta, Shipra V; Mekhoubad, Shila; Chiao, Eric; Allaire, Norm; Bennett, C Frank; Rigo, Frank; Krainer, Adrian R; Hurt, Jessica A; Carulli, John P; Staropoli, John F

    2017-03-21

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disease, is the leading monogenic cause of infant mortality. Homozygous loss of the gene survival of motor neuron 1 (SMN1) causes the selective degeneration of lower motor neurons and subsequent atrophy of proximal skeletal muscles. The SMN1 protein product, survival of motor neuron (SMN), is ubiquitously expressed and is a key factor in the assembly of the core splicing machinery. The molecular mechanisms by which disruption of the broad functions of SMN leads to neurodegeneration remain unclear. We used an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO)-based inducible mouse model of SMA to investigate the SMN-specific transcriptome changes associated with neurodegeneration. We found evidence of widespread intron retention, particularly of minor U12 introns, in the spinal cord of mice 30 d after SMA induction, which was then rescued by a therapeutic ASO. Intron retention was concomitant with a strong induction of the p53 pathway and DNA damage response, manifesting as γ-H2A.X positivity in neurons of the spinal cord and brain. Widespread intron retention and markers of the DNA damage response were also observed with SMN depletion in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells and human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived motor neurons. We also found that retained introns, high in GC content, served as substrates for the formation of transcriptional R-loops. We propose that defects in intron removal in SMA promote DNA damage in part through the formation of RNA:DNA hybrid structures, leading to motor neuron death.

  19. SMN deficiency in severe models of spinal muscular atrophy causes widespread intron retention and DNA damage

    PubMed Central

    Jangi, Mohini; Fleet, Christina; Cullen, Patrick; Gupta, Shipra V.; Mekhoubad, Shila; Chiao, Eric; Allaire, Norm; Bennett, C. Frank; Rigo, Frank; Krainer, Adrian R.; Hurt, Jessica A.; Carulli, John P.; Staropoli, John F.

    2017-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disease, is the leading monogenic cause of infant mortality. Homozygous loss of the gene survival of motor neuron 1 (SMN1) causes the selective degeneration of lower motor neurons and subsequent atrophy of proximal skeletal muscles. The SMN1 protein product, survival of motor neuron (SMN), is ubiquitously expressed and is a key factor in the assembly of the core splicing machinery. The molecular mechanisms by which disruption of the broad functions of SMN leads to neurodegeneration remain unclear. We used an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO)-based inducible mouse model of SMA to investigate the SMN-specific transcriptome changes associated with neurodegeneration. We found evidence of widespread intron retention, particularly of minor U12 introns, in the spinal cord of mice 30 d after SMA induction, which was then rescued by a therapeutic ASO. Intron retention was concomitant with a strong induction of the p53 pathway and DNA damage response, manifesting as γ-H2A.X positivity in neurons of the spinal cord and brain. Widespread intron retention and markers of the DNA damage response were also observed with SMN depletion in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells and human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived motor neurons. We also found that retained introns, high in GC content, served as substrates for the formation of transcriptional R-loops. We propose that defects in intron removal in SMA promote DNA damage in part through the formation of RNA:DNA hybrid structures, leading to motor neuron death. PMID:28270613

  20. [Alternative treatment forms used by patients with muscular atrophy. A questionnaire study of the use of alternative treatment by 345 patients with muscular atrophy].

    PubMed

    Hunsballe, J M; Mortensen, F V

    1990-04-30

    An investigation about the use of alternative treatment by a group of persons with muscular atrophy revealed that 24% had employed alternative treatment during the period 1.1.1983-1.4.1986. This is probably a greater proportion than in the Danish population as a whole. Patients with muscular atrophy were subdivided into three groups on the basis of their ability to function in daily life. No significant connection was found between the degree of loss of function and alternative treatment as regards the frequencies of alternative treatment and the numbers of treatments employed. A given form form of treatment was most frequently recommended by an unaffected acquaintance. Physical forms of treatment such as zone therapy and chiropractics were employed more frequently than chemical forms of therapy. Less than half of the patients were satisfied with the results of treatment. Treatment was often concluded in a negative manner. Patients considered that, in contrast to the alternative therapist, the doctor performs the best and most thorough examination and provides them with the best information about their condition.

  1. Upper limb module in non-ambulant patients with spinal muscular atrophy: 12 month changes.

    PubMed

    Sivo, Serena; Mazzone, Elena; Antonaci, Laura; De Sanctis, Roberto; Fanelli, Lavinia; Palermo, Concetta; Montes, Jacqueline; Pane, Marika; Mercuri, Eugenio

    2015-03-01

    Recent studies have suggested that in non-ambulant patients affected by spinal muscular atrophy the Upper Limb Module can increase the range of activities assessed by the Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale Expanded. The aim of this study was to establish 12-month changes in the Upper Limb Module in a cohort of non-ambulant spinal muscular atrophy patients and their correlation with changes on the Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale Expanded. The Upper Limb Module scores ranged between 0 and 17 (mean 10.23, SD 4.81) at baseline and between 1 and 17 at 12 months (mean 10.27, SD 4.74). The Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale Expanded scores ranged between 0 and 34 (mean 12.43, SD 9.13) at baseline and between 0 and 34 at 12 months (mean 12.08, SD 9.21). The correlation betweeen the two scales was 0.65 at baseline and 0.72 on the 12 month changes. Our results confirm that the Upper Limb Module can capture functional changes in non-ambulant spinal muscular atrophy patients not otherwise captured by the other scale and that the combination of the two measures allows to capture changes in different subgroups of patients in whom baseline scores and functional changes may be influenced by several variables such as age.

  2. Vitamin D Intake Is Inadequate in Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type I Cohort: Correlations With Bone Health

    PubMed Central

    Aton, Jennifer; Hurst Davis, Rebecca; Jordan, Kristine C.; Scott, Charles B.; Swoboda, Kathryn J.

    2014-01-01

    Children with type I spinal muscular atrophy commonly demonstrate reduced bone mineral density. Our objectives were to evaluate and assess adequacy of vitamin D intake, serum levels, and association with bone mineral density. Assessments were completed using 3-day food records and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry scans. The spinal muscular atrophy type I cohort included 22 males and 18 females (N = 40), with a mean age of 18.6 months. Data collection occurred from 2001 to 2011. Seventy-five percent of patients had inadequate intake of vitamin D at the initial visit. Using mixed-effects analyses, vitamin D and calcium intakes correlated positively with bone mineral density (r = 0.31 and r = 0.53, respectively). Increased vitamin D and calcium consumption were associated with an increase in bone mineral density (P = .04 and P = .01, respectively). Vitamin D intake correlated positively with serum levels (r = 0.65). Further study is needed to determine optimal intakes of vitamin D and calcium in the spinal muscular atrophy type I population. PMID:23334077

  3. Stathmin, a microtubule-destabilizing protein, is dysregulated in spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Wen, Hsin-Lan; Lin, Yuan-Ta; Ting, Chen-Hung; Lin-Chao, Sue; Li, Hung; Hsieh-Li, Hsiu Mei

    2010-05-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a motor neuron degeneration disorder, is caused by either mutations or deletions of survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene which result in insufficient SMN protein. Here, we describe a potential link between stathmin and microtubule defects in SMA. Stathmin was identified by screening Smn-knockdown NSC34 cells through proteomics analysis. We found that stathmin was aberrantly upregulated in vitro and in vivo, leading to a decreased level of polymerized tubulin, which was correlated with disease severity. Reduced microtubule densities and beta(III)-tubulin levels in distal axons of affected SMA-like mice and an impaired microtubule network in Smn-deficient cells were observed, suggesting an involvement of stathmin in those microtubule defects. Furthermore, knockdown of stathmin restored the microtubule network defects of Smn-deficient cells, promoted axon outgrowth and reduced the defect in mitochondria transport in SMA-like motor neurons. We conclude that aberrant stathmin levels may play a detrimental role in SMA; this finding suggests a novel approach to treating SMA by enhancing microtubule stability.

  4. Systemic restoration of UBA1 ameliorates disease in spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Powis, Rachael A.; Karyka, Evangelia; Boyd, Penelope; Côme, Julien; Jones, Ross A.; Zheng, Yinan; Szunyogova, Eva; Groen, Ewout J.N.; Hunter, Gillian; Thomson, Derek; Wishart, Thomas M.; Becker, Catherina G.; Parson, Simon H.; Martinat, Cécile; Azzouz, Mimoun; Gillingwater, Thomas H.

    2016-01-01

    The autosomal recessive neuromuscular disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by loss of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. Molecular pathways that are disrupted downstream of SMN therefore represent potentially attractive therapeutic targets for SMA. Here, we demonstrate that therapeutic targeting of ubiquitin pathways disrupted as a consequence of SMN depletion, by increasing levels of one key ubiquitination enzyme (ubiquitin-like modifier activating enzyme 1 [UBA1]), represents a viable approach for treating SMA. Loss of UBA1 was a conserved response across mouse and zebrafish models of SMA as well as in patient induced pluripotent stem cell–derive motor neurons. Restoration of UBA1 was sufficient to rescue motor axon pathology and restore motor performance in SMA zebrafish. Adeno-associated virus serotype 9–UBA1 (AAV9-UBA1) gene therapy delivered systemic increases in UBA1 protein levels that were well tolerated over a prolonged period in healthy control mice. Systemic restoration of UBA1 in SMA mice ameliorated weight loss, increased survival and motor performance, and improved neuromuscular and organ pathology. AAV9-UBA1 therapy was also sufficient to reverse the widespread molecular perturbations in ubiquitin homeostasis that occur during SMA. We conclude that UBA1 represents a safe and effective therapeutic target for the treatment of both neuromuscular and systemic aspects of SMA. PMID:27699224

  5. Is spinal muscular atrophy a disease of the motor neurons only: pathogenesis and therapeutic implications?

    PubMed

    Simone, Chiara; Ramirez, Agnese; Bucchia, Monica; Rinchetti, Paola; Rideout, Hardy; Papadimitriou, Dimitra; Re, Diane B; Corti, Stefania

    2016-03-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic neurological disease that causes infant mortality; no effective therapies are currently available. SMA is due to homozygous mutations and/or deletions in the survival motor neuron 1 gene and subsequent reduction of the SMN protein, leading to the death of motor neurons. However, there is increasing evidence that in addition to motor neurons, other cell types are contributing to SMA pathology. In this review, we will discuss the involvement of non-motor neuronal cells, located both inside and outside the central nervous system, in disease onset and progression. Even if SMN restoration in motor neurons is needed, it has been shown that optimal phenotypic amelioration in animal models of SMA requires a more widespread SMN correction. It has been demonstrated that non-motor neuronal cells are also involved in disease pathogenesis and could have important therapeutic implications. For these reasons it will be crucial to take this evidence into account for the clinical translation of the novel therapeutic approaches.

  6. ISS-N1 makes the First FDA-approved Drug for Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Ottesen, Eric W.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is one of the leading genetic diseases of children and infants. SMA is caused by deletions or mutations of Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. SMN2, a nearly identical copy of SMN1, cannot compensate for the loss of SMN1 due to predominant skipping of exon 7. While various regulatory elements that modulate SMN2 exon 7 splicing have been proposed, intronic splicing silencer N1 (ISS-N1) has emerged as the most promising target thus far for antisense oligonucleotide-mediated splicing correction in SMA. Upon procuring exclusive license from the University of Massachussets Medical School in 2010, Ionis Pharmaceuticals (formerly ISIS Pharamaceuticals) began clinical development of Spinraza™ (synonyms: Nusinersen, IONIS-SMNRX, ISIS-SMNRX), an antisense drug based on ISS-N1 target. Spinraza™ showed very promising results at all steps of the clinical development and was approved by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 23, 2016. Spinraza™ is the first FDA-approved treatment for SMA and the first antisense drug to restore expression of a fully functional protein via splicing correction. The success of Spinraza™ underscores the potential of intronic sequences as promising therapeutic targets and sets the stage for further improvement of antisense drugs based on advanced oligonucleotide chemistries and delivery protocols.

  7. Correlation of clinical and molecular features in spinal bulbar muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Nirmalananthan, Niranjanan; Masset, Luc; Skorupinska, Iwona; Collins, Toby; Cortese, Andrea; Pemble, Sally; Malaspina, Andrea; Fisher, Elizabeth M.C.; Greensmith, Linda; Hanna, Michael G.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: To characterize the clinical and genetic features of spinal bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), a rare neurodegenerative disorder caused by the expansion of a CAG repeat in the first exon of the androgen receptor gene, in the United Kingdom. Methods: We created a national register for SBMA in the United Kingdom and recruited 61 patients between 2005 and 2013. In our cross-sectional study, we assessed, by direct questioning, impairment of activities of daily living (ADL) milestones, functional rating, and subjective disease impact, and performed correlations with both CAG repeat size and degree of somatic mosaicism. Ten patients were deceased, 46 patients participated in the study, and 5 declined. Results: Subjects had an average age at onset of 43.4 years, and weakness onset most frequently occurred in the lower limbs (87%). Impaired mobility was the most frequently reported problem by patients, followed by bulbar dysfunction. Age distribution of the impairment of ADL milestones showed remarkable overlap with a Japanese study. We have identified a significant correlation between the number of CAG repeats and both age at onset and ADL milestones. Somatic mosaicism also showed a correlation with CAG expansion size and age at onset. Conclusions: Clinical features in SBMA show a substantial overlap when comparing populations with different genetic backgrounds. This finding has major implications, because multicenter trials will be necessary to obtain sufficient power in future clinical trials. Clinical-genetic correlations are strong in SBMA and should inform any clinical research strategy in this condition. PMID:24814851

  8. Neuromuscular junctions are pathological but not denervated in two mouse models of spinal bulbar muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Poort, Jessica E; Rheuben, Mary B; Breedlove, S Marc; Jordan, Cynthia L

    2016-09-01

    Spinal bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a progressive, late onset neuromuscular disease causing motor dysfunction in men. While the morphology of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is typically affected by neuromuscular disease, whether NMJs in SBMA are similarly affected by disease is not known. Such information will shed light on whether defective NMJs might contribute to the loss of motor function and represent a potential therapeutic target for treating symptoms of SBMA. To address this gap in information, the morphology of NMJs was examined in two mouse models of SBMA, a myogenic model that overexpresses wildtype androgen receptor (AR) exclusively in muscle fibres and a knockin (KI) model expressing a humanized mutant AR gene. The tripartite motor synapse consisting of motor nerve terminal, terminal Schwann cells (tSCs) and postsynaptic specialization were visualized and analysed using confocal microscopy. Counter to expectation, we found no evidence of denervation in either model, but junctions in both models show pathological fragmentation and an abnormal synaptophysin distribution consistent with functionally weak synapses. Neurofilament accumulations were observed only in the myogenic model, even though axonal transport dysfunction is characteristic of both models. The ultrastructure of NMJs revealed additional pathology, including deficits in docked vesicles presynaptically, wider synaptic clefts, and simpler secondary folds postsynaptically. The observed pathology of NMJs in diseased SBMA mice is likely the morphological correlates of defects in synaptic function which may underlie motor impairments associated with SBMA.

  9. Convenient diagnosis of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy using a microchip electrophoresis system.

    PubMed

    Maruyama, Hirofumi; Morino, Hiroyuki; Izumi, Yuishin; Noda, Kouichi; Kawakami, Hideshi

    2013-01-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a slowly progressive motor neuron disease. Lower and primary sensory neuronopathy is one of the major neuropathological changes that occurs in SBMA. However, many sings are common to SBMA and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and SBMA patients are sometimes diagnosed with ALS. Leuprorelin may be used to treat SBMA, but an accurate diagnosis is necessary for treatment and care. Genetic diagnosis can be performed to detect the expansion of a CAG repeat in the androgen receptor gene in SBMA patients. To screen for this expansion, we used a microchip electrophoresis system. The discrepancy between the actual repeat length and that found by the microchip electrophoresis system was roughly dependent on the repeat length. The mean difference was -6.8 base pairs (bp) in SBMA patients, -0.30 bp in controls. The microchip electrophoresis results were approximately 2 CAG repeats shorter than the actual repeat length in SBMA patients. Using this method, we screened our ALS samples (31 were familial, 271 were sporadic): 4 subjects were diagnosed with SBMA; 2 had familial ALS, and 2 had sporadic ALS (0.7%). The microchip electrophoresis system is semi-quantitative, convenient and useful for screening a large number of samples.

  10. Founder effect in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) in Scandinavia.

    PubMed

    Lund, A; Udd, B; Juvonen, V; Andersen, P M; Cederquist, K; Ronnevi, L O; Sistonen, P; Sörensen, S A; Tranebjaerg, L; Wallgren-Pettersson, C; Savontaus, M L

    2000-08-01

    We haplotyped 13 Finnish, 10 Swedish, 12 Danish and 2 Norwegian SBMA (spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, Kennedy disease) families with a total of 45 patients and 7 carriers for 17 microsatellite markers spanning a 25.2 cM region around the androgen receptor gene on chromosome Xq11-q12 in search of a genetic founder effect. In addition, the haplotypes of 50 Finnish, 20 Danish and 22 Swedish control males were examined. All the Scandinavian SBMA families shared the same 18 repeat allele for the intragenic GGC repeat, which was present in only 24% of the controls. Linkage disequilibrium was also seen for the closest microsatellite markers. In addition, extended haplotypes of the Finnish, Swedish and Danish SBMA families revealed country-specific common founder haplotypes, which over time became gradually shortened by recombinations. No common haplotype was found among the controls. The data suggest that the SBMA mutation was introduced into western Finland 20 generations ago. Haplotype analysis implies a common ancestor for the majority of Scandinavian SBMA patients.

  11. Splicing regulation in spinal muscular atrophy by an RNA structure formed by long-distance interactions.

    PubMed

    Singh, Natalia N; Lee, Brian M; Singh, Ravindra N

    2015-04-01

    Humans carry two copies of the survival motor neuron gene: SMN1 and SMN2. Loss of SMN1 coupled with skipping of SMN2 exon 7 causes spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic disease associated with infant mortality. Our discovery of intronic splicing silencer N1 (ISS-N1) is a promising target, currently in a phase III clinical trial, for an antisense oligonucleotide-mediated splicing correction in SMA. We have recently shown that the first residue of ISS-N1 is locked in a unique RNA structure that we term ISTL1 (internal stem through long-distance interaction-1). Complementary strands of ISTL1 are separated from each other by 279 nucleotides. Using site-specific mutations and chemical structure probing, we confirmed the formation and functional significance of ISTL1. Located in the middle of intron 7, the 3' strand of ISTL1 falls within an inhibitory region that we term ISS-N2. We demonstrate that an antisense oligonucleotide-mediated sequestration of ISS-N2 fully corrects SMN2 exon 7 splicing and restores high levels of SMN in SMA patient cells. These results underscore the therapeutic potential of the regulatory information present in a secondary and high-order RNA structure of a human intron.

  12. Evidence of autosomal dominant mutations in childhood-onset proximal spinal muscular atrophy

    SciTech Connect

    Rudnik-Schoeneborn, S.; Wirth, B.; Zerres, K. )

    1994-07-01

    Autosomal recessive and dominant inheritance of proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) are well documented. Several genetic studies found a significant deviation from the assumption of recessive inheritance in SMA, with affected children in one generation. The existence of new autosomal dominant mutations has been assumed as the most suitable explanation, which is supported by three observations of this study: (1) The segregation ratio calculated in 333 families showed a significant deviation from autosomal recessive inheritance in the milder forms of SMA (= .09[+-].06 for onset at 10-36 mo and .13[+-].07 for onset at >36 mo; and P = .09[+-]0.7 for SMA IIIa and .12[+-].07 for SMA IIIb). (2) Three families with affected subjects in two generations are reported, in whom the disease could have started as an autosomal dominant mutation. (3) Linkage studies with chromosome 5q markers showed that in 5 (5.4%) of 93 informative families the patient shared identical haplotypes with at least one healthy sib. Other mechanisms, such as the existence of phenocopies, pseudodominance, or a second autosomal recessive gene locus, cannot be excluded in single families. The postulation of spontaneous mutations, however, is a suitable explanation for all three observations. Estimated risk figures for genetic counseling are given. 29 refs., 2 figs., 5 tabs.

  13. Plastin 3 Expression Does Not Modify Spinal Muscular Atrophy Severity in the ∆7 SMA Mouse.

    PubMed

    McGovern, Vicki L; Massoni-Laporte, Aurélie; Wang, Xueyong; Le, Thanh T; Le, Hao T; Beattie, Christine E; Rich, Mark M; Burghes, Arthur H M

    2015-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy is caused by loss of the SMN1 gene and retention of SMN2. The SMN2 copy number inversely correlates with phenotypic severity and is a modifier of disease outcome. The SMN2 gene essentially differs from SMN1 by a single nucleotide in exon 7 that modulates the incorporation of exon 7 into the final SMN transcript. The majority of the SMN2 transcripts lack exon 7 and this leads to a SMN protein that does not effectively oligomerize and is rapidly degraded. However the SMN2 gene does produce some full-length SMN and the SMN2 copy number along with how much full-length SMN the SMN2 gene makes correlates with severity of the SMA phenotype. However there are a number of discordant SMA siblings that have identical haplotypes and SMN2 copy number yet one has a milder form of SMA. It has been suggested that Plastin3 (PLS3) acts as a sex specific phenotypic modifier where increased expression of PLS3 modifies the SMA phenotype in females. To test the effect of PLS3 overexpression we have over expressed full-length PLS3 in SMA mice. To ensure no disruption of functionality or post-translational processing of PLS3 we did not place a tag on the protein. PLS3 protein was expressed under the Prion promoter as we have shown previously that SMN expression under this promoter can rescue SMA mice. High levels of PLS3 mRNA were expressed in motor neurons along with an increased level of PLS3 protein in total spinal cord, yet there was no significant beneficial effect on the phenotype of SMA mice. Specifically, neither survival nor the fundamental electrophysiological aspects of the neuromuscular junction were improved upon overexpression of PLS3 in neurons.

  14. Plastin 3 Expression Does Not Modify Spinal Muscular Atrophy Severity in the ∆7 SMA Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xueyong; Le, Thanh T.; Le, Hao T.; Beattie, Christine E.; Rich, Mark M.; Burghes, Arthur H. M.

    2015-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy is caused by loss of the SMN1 gene and retention of SMN2. The SMN2 copy number inversely correlates with phenotypic severity and is a modifier of disease outcome. The SMN2 gene essentially differs from SMN1 by a single nucleotide in exon 7 that modulates the incorporation of exon 7 into the final SMN transcript. The majority of the SMN2 transcripts lack exon 7 and this leads to a SMN protein that does not effectively oligomerize and is rapidly degraded. However the SMN2 gene does produce some full-length SMN and the SMN2 copy number along with how much full-length SMN the SMN2 gene makes correlates with severity of the SMA phenotype. However there are a number of discordant SMA siblings that have identical haplotypes and SMN2 copy number yet one has a milder form of SMA. It has been suggested that Plastin3 (PLS3) acts as a sex specific phenotypic modifier where increased expression of PLS3 modifies the SMA phenotype in females. To test the effect of PLS3 overexpression we have over expressed full-length PLS3 in SMA mice. To ensure no disruption of functionality or post-translational processing of PLS3 we did not place a tag on the protein. PLS3 protein was expressed under the Prion promoter as we have shown previously that SMN expression under this promoter can rescue SMA mice. High levels of PLS3 mRNA were expressed in motor neurons along with an increased level of PLS3 protein in total spinal cord, yet there was no significant beneficial effect on the phenotype of SMA mice. Specifically, neither survival nor the fundamental electrophysiological aspects of the neuromuscular junction were improved upon overexpression of PLS3 in neurons. PMID:26134627

  15. Genetics Home Reference: spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy

    MedlinePlus

    ... chromosomes. In males (who have only one X chromosome ), a mutation in the only copy of the gene in ... the disorder than females (who have two X chromosomes). Females with a mutation in one copy of the AR gene in ...

  16. Quantifiable diagnosis of muscular dystrophies and neurogenic atrophies through network analysis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The diagnosis of neuromuscular diseases is strongly based on the histological characterization of muscle biopsies. However, this morphological analysis is mostly a subjective process and difficult to quantify. We have tested if network science can provide a novel framework to extract useful information from muscle biopsies, developing a novel method that analyzes muscle samples in an objective, automated, fast and precise manner. Methods Our database consisted of 102 muscle biopsy images from 70 individuals (including controls, patients with neurogenic atrophies and patients with muscular dystrophies). We used this to develop a new method, Neuromuscular DIseases Computerized Image Analysis (NDICIA), that uses network science analysis to capture the defining signature of muscle biopsy images. NDICIA characterizes muscle tissues by representing each image as a network, with fibers serving as nodes and fiber contacts as links. Results After a ‘training’ phase with control and pathological biopsies, NDICIA was able to quantify the degree of pathology of each sample. We validated our method by comparing NDICIA quantification of the severity of muscular dystrophies with a pathologist’s evaluation of the degree of pathology, resulting in a strong correlation (R = 0.900, P <0.00001). Importantly, our approach can be used to quantify new images without the need for prior ‘training’. Therefore, we show that network science analysis captures the useful information contained in muscle biopsies, helping the diagnosis of muscular dystrophies and neurogenic atrophies. Conclusions Our novel network analysis approach will serve as a valuable tool for assessing the etiology of muscular dystrophies or neurogenic atrophies, and has the potential to quantify treatment outcomes in preclinical and clinical trials. PMID:23514382

  17. ROCK inhibition as a therapy for spinal muscular atrophy: understanding the repercussions on multiple cellular targets.

    PubMed

    Coque, Emmanuelle; Raoul, Cédric; Bowerman, Mélissa

    2014-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the most common genetic disease causing infant death, due to an extended loss of motoneurons. This neuromuscular disorder results from deletions and/or mutations within the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, leading to a pathological decreased expression of functional full-length SMN protein. Emerging studies suggest that the small GTPase RhoA and its major downstream effector Rho kinase (ROCK), which both play an instrumental role in cytoskeleton organization, contribute to the pathology of motoneuron diseases. Indeed, an enhanced activation of RhoA and ROCK has been reported in the spinal cord of an SMA mouse model. Moreover, the treatment of SMA mice with ROCK inhibitors leads to an increased lifespan as well as improved skeletal muscle and neuromuscular junction pathology, without preventing motoneuron degeneration. Although motoneurons are the primary target in SMA, an increasing number of reports show that other cell types inside and outside the central nervous system contribute to SMA pathogenesis. As administration of ROCK inhibitors to SMA mice was systemic, the improvement in survival and phenotype could therefore be attributed to specific effects on motoneurons and/or on other non-neuronal cell types. In the present review, we will present the various roles of the RhoA/ROCK pathway in several SMA cellular targets including neurons, myoblasts, glial cells, cardiomyocytes and pancreatic cells as well as discuss how ROCK inhibition may ameliorate their health and function. It is most likely a concerted influence of ROCK modulation on all these cell types that ultimately lead to the observed benefits of pharmacological ROCK inhibition in SMA mice.

  18. TBCE Mutations Cause Early-Onset Progressive Encephalopathy with Distal Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Sferra, Antonella; Baillat, Gilbert; Rizza, Teresa; Barresi, Sabina; Flex, Elisabetta; Tasca, Giorgio; D'Amico, Adele; Bellacchio, Emanuele; Ciolfi, Andrea; Caputo, Viviana; Cecchetti, Serena; Torella, Annalaura; Zanni, Ginevra; Diodato, Daria; Piermarini, Emanuela; Niceta, Marcello; Coppola, Antonietta; Tedeschi, Enrico; Martinelli, Diego; Dionisi-Vici, Carlo; Nigro, Vincenzo; Dallapiccola, Bruno; Compagnucci, Claudia; Tartaglia, Marco; Haase, Georg; Bertini, Enrico

    2016-10-06

    Tubulinopathies constitute a family of neurodevelopmental/neurodegenerative disorders caused by mutations in several genes encoding tubulin isoforms. Loss-of-function mutations in TBCE, encoding one of the five tubulin-specific chaperones involved in tubulin folding and polymerization, cause two rare neurodevelopmental syndromes, hypoparathyroidism-retardation-dysmorphism and Kenny-Caffey syndrome. Although a missense mutation in Tbce has been associated with progressive distal motor neuronopathy in the pmn/pmn mice, no similar degenerative phenotype has been recognized in humans. We report on the identification of an early-onset and progressive neurodegenerative encephalopathy with distal spinal muscular atrophy resembling the phenotype of pmn/pmn mice and caused by biallelic TBCE mutations, with the c.464T>A (p.Ile155Asn) change occurring at the heterozygous/homozygous state in six affected subjects from four unrelated families originated from the same geographical area in Southern Italy. Western blot analysis of patient fibroblasts documented a reduced amount of TBCE, suggestive of rapid degradation of the mutant protein, similarly to what was observed in pmn/pmn fibroblasts. The impact of TBCE mutations on microtubule polymerization was determined using biochemical fractionation and analyzing the nucleation and growth of microtubules at the centrosome and extracentrosomal sites after treatment with nocodazole. Primary fibroblasts obtained from affected subjects displayed a reduced level of polymerized α-tubulin, similarly to tail fibroblasts of pmn/pmn mice. Moreover, markedly delayed microtubule re-polymerization and abnormal mitotic spindles with disorganized microtubule arrangement were also documented. Although loss of function of TBCE has been documented to impact multiple developmental processes, the present findings provide evidence that hypomorphic TBCE mutations primarily drive neurodegeneration.

  19. A large animal model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy and correction of phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Duque, Sandra I.; Arnold, W. David; Odermatt, Philipp; Li, Xiaohui; Porensky, Paul N.; Schmelzer, Leah; Meyer, Kathrin; Kolb, Stephen J.; Schümperli, Daniel; Kaspar, Brian K.; Burghes, Arthur H. M.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by reduced levels of SMN which results in motoneuron loss. Therapeutic strategies to increase SMN levels including drug compounds, antisense oligonucleotides or scAAV9 gene therapy have proved effective in mice. We wished to determine whether reduction of SMN in postnatal motoneurons resulted in SMA in a large animal model, whether SMA could be corrected after development of muscle weakness and the response of clinically relevant biomarkers. Methods Using intrathecal delivery of scAAV9 expressing a shRNA targeting pig SMN1, SMN was knocked down in motoneurons postnatally to SMA levels. This resulted in an SMA phenotype representing the first large animal model of SMA. Restoration of SMN was performed at different time points with scAAV9 expressing human SMN (scAAV9-SMN) and electrophysiology measures and pathology were performed. Results Knockdown of SMN in postnatal motoneurons results in overt proximal weakness, fibrillations on electromyography (EMG) indicating active denervation, and reduced compound muscle action potential (CMAP) and motor unit number estimates (MUNE), like human SMA. Neuropathology showed loss of motoneurons and motor axons. Pre-symptomatic delivery of scAAV9-SMN prevented SMA symptoms indicating all changes are SMN dependent. Delivery of scAAV9-SMN after symptom onset had a marked impact on phenotype, electrophysiological measures and pathology. Interpretation High SMN levels are critical in postnatal motoneurons and reduction of SMN results in a SMA phenotype which is SMN dependent. Importantly, clinically relevant biomarkers including CMAP and MUNE are responsive to SMN restoration and abrogation of phenotype can be achieved even after symptom onset. PMID:25516063

  20. Abnormal mitochondrial transport and morphology as early pathological changes in human models of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chong-Chong; Denton, Kyle R; Wang, Zhi-Bo; Zhang, Xiaoqing; Li, Xue-Jun

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), characterized by specific degeneration of spinal motor neurons, is caused by mutations in the survival of motor neuron 1, telomeric (SMN1) gene and subsequent decreased levels of functional SMN. How the deficiency of SMN, a ubiquitously expressed protein, leads to spinal motor neuron-specific degeneration in individuals affected by SMA remains unknown. In this study, we examined the role of SMN in mitochondrial axonal transport and morphology in human motor neurons by generating SMA type 1 patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and differentiating these cells into spinal motor neurons. The initial specification of spinal motor neurons was not affected, but these SMA spinal motor neurons specifically degenerated following long-term culture. Moreover, at an early stage in SMA spinal motor neurons, but not in SMA forebrain neurons, the number of mitochondria, mitochondrial area and mitochondrial transport were significantly reduced in axons. Knocking down of SMN expression led to similar mitochondrial defects in spinal motor neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells, confirming that SMN deficiency results in impaired mitochondrial dynamics. Finally, the application of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) mitigated the impairment in mitochondrial transport and morphology and rescued motor neuron degeneration in SMA long-term cultures. Furthermore, NAC ameliorated the reduction in mitochondrial membrane potential in SMA spinal motor neurons, suggesting that NAC might rescue apoptosis and motor neuron degeneration by improving mitochondrial health. Overall, our data demonstrate that SMN deficiency results in abnormal mitochondrial transport and morphology and a subsequent reduction in mitochondrial health, which are implicated in the specific degeneration of spinal motor neurons in SMA.

  1. Novel mutations expand the clinical spectrum of DYNC1H1-associated spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Scoto, Mariacristina; Rossor, Alexander M.; Harms, Matthew B.; Cirak, Sebahattin; Calissano, Mattia; Robb, Stephanie; Manzur, Adnan Y.; Martínez Arroyo, Amaia; Rodriguez Sanz, Aida; Mansour, Sahar; Fallon, Penny; Hadjikoumi, Irene; Klein, Andrea; Yang, Michele; De Visser, Marianne; Overweg-Plandsoen, W.C.G. (Truus); Baas, Frank; Taylor, J. Paul; Benatar, Michael; Connolly, Anne M.; Al-Lozi, Muhammad T.; Nixon, John; de Goede, Christian G.E.L.; Foley, A. Reghan; Mcwilliam, Catherine; Pitt, Matthew; Sewry, Caroline; Phadke, Rahul; Hafezparast, Majid; Chong, W.K. “Kling”; Mercuri, Eugenio; Baloh, Robert H.; Reilly, Mary M.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To expand the clinical phenotype of autosomal dominant congenital spinal muscular atrophy with lower extremity predominance (SMA-LED) due to mutations in the dynein, cytoplasmic 1, heavy chain 1 (DYNC1H1) gene. Methods: Patients with a phenotype suggestive of a motor, non–length-dependent neuronopathy predominantly affecting the lower limbs were identified at participating neuromuscular centers and referred for targeted sequencing of DYNC1H1. Results: We report a cohort of 30 cases of SMA-LED from 16 families, carrying mutations in the tail and motor domains of DYNC1H1, including 10 novel mutations. These patients are characterized by congenital or childhood-onset lower limb wasting and weakness frequently associated with cognitive impairment. The clinical severity is variable, ranging from generalized arthrogryposis and inability to ambulate to exclusive and mild lower limb weakness. In many individuals with cognitive impairment (9/30 had cognitive impairment) who underwent brain MRI, there was an underlying structural malformation resulting in polymicrogyric appearance. The lower limb muscle MRI shows a distinctive pattern suggestive of denervation characterized by sparing and relative hypertrophy of the adductor longus and semitendinosus muscles at the thigh level, and diffuse involvement with relative sparing of the anterior-medial muscles at the calf level. Proximal muscle histopathology did not always show classic neurogenic features. Conclusion: Our report expands the clinical spectrum of DYNC1H1-related SMA-LED to include generalized arthrogryposis. In addition, we report that the neurogenic peripheral pathology and the CNS neuronal migration defects are often associated, reinforcing the importance of DYNC1H1 in both central and peripheral neuronal functions. PMID:25609763

  2. Evidence of reduced frequency of spinal muscular atrophy type I in the Cuban population.

    PubMed

    Zaldívar, T; Montejo, Y; Acevedo, A M; Guerra, R; Vargas, J; Garofalo, N; Alvarez, R; Alvarez, M A; Hardiman, O

    2005-08-23

    The authors reviewed all cases of type I spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in Cuba over a 6-year period. The incidence of SMA type I was 3.53 per 100,000 livebirths. When the population was classified according to self-reported ethnicity, the incidence was eight per 100,000 for whites; 0.89 per 100,000 for blacks, and 0.96 per 100,000 for those of mixed ethnicity. Type 1 SMA may occur less frequently in individuals of African ancestry.

  3. Air stacking: effects on pulmonary function in patients with spinal muscular atrophy and in patients with congenital muscular dystrophy*,**

    PubMed Central

    Marques, Tanyse Bahia Carvalho; Neves, Juliana de Carvalho; Portes, Leslie Andrews; Salge, João Marcos; Zanoteli, Edmar; Reed, Umbertina Conti

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Respiratory complications are the main causes of morbidity and mortality in patients with neuromuscular disease (NMD). The objectives of this study were to determine the effects that routine daily home air-stacking maneuvers have on pulmonary function in patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and in patients with congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD), as well as to identify associations between spinal deformities and the effects of the maneuvers. METHODS: Eighteen NMD patients (ten with CMD and eight with SMA) were submitted to routine daily air-stacking maneuvers at home with manual resuscitators for four to six months, undergoing pulmonary function tests before and after that period. The pulmonary function tests included measurements of FVC; PEF; maximum insufflation capacity (MIC); and assisted and unassisted peak cough flow (APCF and UPCF, respectively) with insufflations. RESULTS: After the use of home air-stacking maneuvers, there were improvements in the APCF and UPCF. In the patients without scoliosis, there was also a significant increase in FVC. When comparing patients with and without scoliosis, the increases in APCF and UPCF were more pronounced in those without scoliosis. CONCLUSIONS: Routine daily air-stacking maneuvers with a manual resuscitator appear to increase UPCF and APCF in patients with NMD, especially in those without scoliosis. PMID:25410841

  4. X-linked spinal muscular atrophy in mice caused by autonomous loss of ATP7A in the motor neuron

    PubMed Central

    Hodgkinson, Victoria L.; Dale, Jeffery M.; Garcia, Michael L.; Weisman, Gary A.; Lee, Jaekwon; Gitlin, Jonathan D.; Petris, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    ATP7A is a copper transporting P-type ATPase that is essential for cellular copper homeostasis. Loss-of-function mutations in the ATP7A gene result in Menkes disease, a fatal neurodegenerative disorder resulting in seizures, hypotonia, and failure to thrive due to systemic copper deficiency. Most recently, rare missense mutations in ATP7A that do not impact systemic copper homeostasis have been shown to cause X-linked Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 3 (SMAX3), a distal hereditary motor neuropathy. An understanding of the mechanistic and pathophysiological basis of SMAX3 is currently lacking, in part because the disease-causing mutations have been shown to confer both loss- and gain-of-function properties to ATP7A, and because there is currently no animal model of the disease. In this study, the Atp7a gene was specifically deleted in the motor neurons of mice resulting in a degenerative phenotype consistent with the clinical features in affected patients with SMAX3, including the progressive deterioration of gait, age-dependent muscle atrophy, denervation of neuromuscular junctions, and a loss of motor neuron cell bodies. Taken together these data reveal autonomous requirements for ATP7A that reveal essential roles for copper in the maintenance and function of the motor neuron, and suggest that SMAX3 is caused by a loss of ATP7A function that specifically impacts in the spinal motor neuron. PMID:25639447

  5. X-linked spinal muscular atrophy in mice caused by autonomous loss of ATP7A in the motor neuron.

    PubMed

    Hodgkinson, Victoria L; Dale, Jeffery M; Garcia, Michael L; Weisman, Gary A; Lee, Jaekwon; Gitlin, Jonathan D; Petris, Michael J

    2015-06-01

    ATP7A is a copper-transporting P-type ATPase that is essential for cellular copper homeostasis. Loss-of-function mutations in the ATP7A gene result in Menkes disease, a fatal neurodegenerative disorder resulting in seizures, hypotonia and failure to thrive, due to systemic copper deficiency. Most recently, rare missense mutations in ATP7A that do not impact systemic copper homeostasis have been shown to cause X-linked spinal muscular atrophy type 3 (SMAX3), a distal hereditary motor neuropathy. An understanding of the mechanistic and pathophysiological basis of SMAX3 is currently lacking, in part because the disease-causing mutations have been shown to confer both loss- and gain-of-function properties to ATP7A, and because there is currently no animal model of the disease. In this study, the Atp7a gene was specifically deleted in the motor neurons of mice, resulting in a degenerative phenotype consistent with the clinical features in affected patients with SMAX3, including the progressive deterioration of gait, age-dependent muscle atrophy, denervation of neuromuscular junctions and a loss of motor neuron cell bodies. Taken together, these data reveal autonomous requirements for ATP7A that reveal essential roles for copper in the maintenance and function of the motor neuron, and suggest that SMAX3 is caused by a loss of ATP7A function that specifically impacts the spinal motor neuron.

  6. [Susceptibility gene in multiple system atrophy (MSA)].

    PubMed

    Tsuji, Shoji

    2014-01-01

    To elucidate molecular bases of multiple system atrophy (MSA), we first focused on recently identified MSA multiplex families. Though linkage analyses followed by whole genome resequencing, we have identified a causative gene, COQ2, for MSA. We then conducted comprehensive nucleotide sequence analysis of COQ2 of sporadic MSA cases and controls, and found that functionally deleterious COQ2 variants confer a strong risk for developing MSA. COQ2 encodes an enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of coenzyme Q10. Decreased synthesis of coenzyme Q10 is considered to be involved in the pathogenesis of MSA through decreased electron transport in mitochondria and increased vulnerability to oxidative stress.

  7. Linking amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy through RNA-transcriptome homeostasis: a genomics perspective.

    PubMed

    Gama-Carvalho, Margarida; L Garcia-Vaquero, Marina; R Pinto, Francisco; Besse, Florence; Weis, Joachim; Voigt, Aaron; Schulz, Jörg B; De Las Rivas, Javier

    2017-04-01

    In this review, we present our most recent understanding of key biomolecular processes that underlie two motor neuron degenerative disorders, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and spinal muscular atrophy. We focus on the role of four multifunctional proteins involved in RNA metabolism (TDP-43, FUS, SMN, and Senataxin) that play a causal role in these diseases. Recent results have led to a novel scenario of intricate connections between these four proteins, bringing transcriptome homeostasis into the spotlight as a common theme in motor neuron degeneration. We review reported functional and physical interactions between these four proteins, highlighting their common association with nuclear bodies and small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle biogenesis and function. We discuss how these interactions are turning out to be particularly relevant for the control of transcription and chromatin homeostasis, including the recent identification of an association between SMN and Senataxin required to ensure the resolution of DNA-RNA hybrid formation and proper termination by RNA polymerase II. These connections strongly support the existence of common pathways underlying the spinal muscular atrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis phenotype. We also discuss the potential of genome-wide expression profiling, in particular RNA sequencing derived data, to contribute to unravelling the underlying mechanisms. We provide a review of publicly available datasets that have addressed both diseases using these approaches, and highlight the value of investing in cross-disease studies to promote our understanding of the pathways leading to neurodegeneration.

  8. Advances in gene therapy for muscular dystrophies

    PubMed Central

    Abdul-Razak, Hayder; Malerba, Alberto; Dickson, George

    2016-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a recessive lethal inherited muscular dystrophy caused by mutations in the gene encoding dystrophin, a protein required for muscle fibre integrity. So far, many approaches have been tested from the traditional gene addition to newer advanced approaches based on manipulation of the cellular machinery either at the gene transcription, mRNA processing or translation levels. Unfortunately, despite all these efforts, no efficient treatments for DMD are currently available. In this review, we highlight the most advanced therapeutic strategies under investigation as potential DMD treatments. PMID:27594988

  9. Activin Receptor Type IIB Inhibition Improves Muscle Phenotype and Function in a Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Barton, Elisabeth R.; Sweeney, H. Lee

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder that causes progressive muscle atrophy and weakness. Using adeno-associated virus-mediated gene transfer, we evaluated the potential to improve skeletal muscle weakness via systemic, postnatal inhibition of either myostatin or all signaling via the activin receptor type IIB (ActRIIB). After demonstrating elevated p-SMAD3 content and differential content of ActRIIB ligands, 4-week-old male C/C SMA model mice were treated intraperitoneally with 1x1012 genome copies of pseudotype 2/8 virus encoding a soluble form of the ActRIIB extracellular domain (sActRIIB) or protease-resistant myostatin propeptide (dnMstn) driven by a liver specific promoter. At 12 weeks of age, muscle mass and function were improved in treated C/C mice by both treatments, compared to controls. The fast fiber type muscles had a greater response to treatment than did slow muscles, and the greatest therapeutic effects were found with sActRIIB treatment. Myostatin/activin inhibition, however, did not rescue C/C mice from the reduction in motor unit numbers of the tibialis anterior muscle. Collectively, this study indicates that myostatin/activin inhibition represents a potential therapeutic strategy to increase muscle mass and strength, but not neuromuscular junction defects, in less severe forms of SMA. PMID:27870893

  10. Study of 962 patients indicates progressive muscular atrophy is a form of ALS

    PubMed Central

    Kim, W -K.; Liu, X; Sandner, J; Pasmantier, M; Andrews, J; Rowland, L P.; Mitsumoto, H

    2009-01-01

    Background: Progressive muscular atrophy (PMA) is clinically characterized by signs of lower motor neuron dysfunction and may evolve into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Whether PMA is actually a form of ALS has important consequences clinically and for therapeutic trials. We compared the survival of patients with PMA or ALS to analyze the clinical features that influence survival in PMA. Methods: We reviewed the medical records of patients with PMA (n = 91) or ALS (n = 871) from our ALS Center and verified survival by telephoning the families or using the National Death Index. Results: In PMA, patients were more likely to be male (p < 0.001), older (p = 0.007), and lived longer (p = 0.01) than in ALS. Cox model analysis suggested that the risk of death increased with age at onset in both patient groups (p < 0.005). Upper motor neuron (UMN) signs developed in 22% of patients with PMA within 61 months after diagnosis. Demographic and other clinical variables did not differ at diagnosis between those who did or did not develop UMN signs. In PMA, the factors present at diagnosis that predicted shorter survival were greater number of body regions affected, lower forced vital capacity, and lower ALS Functional Rating Scale–Revised score. Noninvasive ventilation and gastrostomy were used frequently in PMA. Conclusion: Although patients with progressive muscular atrophy (PMA) tended to live longer than those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), shorter survival in PMA is associated with the same risk factors that predict poor survival in ALS. Additionally, PMA is relentlessly progressive, and UMN involvement can occur, as also reported in imaging and postmortem studies. For these reasons, PMA should be considered a form of ALS. GLOSSARY ALS = amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; ALSFRS-R = ALS Functional Rating Scale–Revised; CI = confidence interval; FVC = forced vital capacity; HR = hazard ratio; LMN = lower motor neuron; MND = motor neuron disease; MRS

  11. Juvenile distal spinal muscular atrophy of upper extremities in Chinese males: a single fibre electromyographic study of arms and legs.

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Y W; Kay, R; Schwartz, M S

    1991-01-01

    Single fibre electromyography (SFEMG) was performed on six young Chinese males with distal spinal muscular atrophy of the upper extremities. Abnormal SFEMG findings of increased fibre density, jitter and blocking were recorded over both arms and legs in all patients, suggesting a more generalised disturbance than would appear clinically. Images PMID:2019844

  12. Insulinlike growth factor (IGF)-1 administration ameliorates disease manifestations in a mouse model of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Rinaldi, Carlo; Bott, Laura C; Chen, Ke-lian; Harmison, George G; Katsuno, Masahisa; Sobue, Gen; Pennuto, Maria; Fischbeck, Kenneth H

    2012-12-06

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy is an X-linked motor neuron disease caused by polyglutamine expansion in the androgen receptor. Patients develop slowly progressive proximal muscle weakness, muscle atrophy and fasciculations. Affected individuals often show gynecomastia, testicular atrophy and reduced fertility as a result of mild androgen insensitivity. No effective disease-modifying therapy is currently available for this disease. Our recent studies have demonstrated that insulinlike growth factor (IGF)-1 reduces the mutant androgen receptor toxicity through activation of Akt in vitro, and spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy transgenic mice that also overexpress a noncirculating muscle isoform of IGF-1 have a less severe phenotype. Here we sought to establish the efficacy of daily intraperitoneal injections of mecasermin rinfabate, recombinant human IGF-1 and IGF-1 binding protein 3, in a transgenic mouse model expressing the mutant androgen receptor with an expanded 97 glutamine tract. The study was done in a controlled, randomized, blinded fashion, and, to reflect the clinical settings, the injections were started after the onset of disease manifestations. The treatment resulted in increased Akt phosphorylation and reduced mutant androgen receptor aggregation in muscle. In comparison to vehicle-treated controls, IGF-1-treated transgenic mice showed improved motor performance, attenuated weight loss and increased survival. Our results suggest that peripheral tissue can be targeted to improve the spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy phenotype and indicate that IGF-1 warrants further investigation in clinical trials as a potential treatment for this disease.

  13. Neuromuscular Junctions as Key Contributors and Therapeutic Targets in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Boido, Marina; Vercelli, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a recessive autosomal neuromuscular disease, representing the most common fatal pediatric pathology. Even though, classically and in a simplistic way, it is categorized as a motor neuron (MN) disease, there is an increasing general consensus that its pathogenesis is more complex than expected. In particular, neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) are affected by dramatic alterations, including immaturity, denervation and neurofilament accumulation, associated to impaired synaptic functions: these abnormalities may in turn have a detrimental effect on MN survival. Here, we provide a description of NMJ development/maintenance/maturation in physiological conditions and in SMA, focusing on pivotal molecules and on the time-course of pathological events. Moreover, since NMJs could represent an important target to be exploited for counteracting the pathology progression, we also describe several therapeutic strategies that, directly or indirectly, aim at NMJs. PMID:26869891

  14. Perceptions of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies by Parents and Children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Lemke, Danielle; Rothwell, Erin; Newcomb, Tara M.; Swoboda, Kathryn J.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose To identify the physical and psychosocial effects of equine assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) on children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) from the perspective of the child and their parents. Methods The families of all eligible children with SMA, who reported participation in EAAT, from a western metropolitan academic center were contacted and invited to participate. This study implemented qualitative, semi-structured interviews of children with SMA and their parents. Results Three themes emerged from the qualitative content analysis: physical/psychosocial benefits; relationship development with the horses, instructors, and children; and barriers to continued EAAT engagement. Conclusions The data suggest the overall EAAT experience was a source of enjoyment, self-confidence, and normalcy for the children with SMA. The results of this study provide preliminary support for the use of EAAT among children with SMA. PMID:24675128

  15. Linkage analysis in the spinal muscular atrophy type of facioscapulohumeral disease.

    PubMed Central

    Siddique, T; Roper, H; Pericak-Vance, M A; Shaw, J; Warner, K L; Hung, W Y; Phillips, K L; Lunt, P; Cumming, W J; Roses, A D

    1989-01-01

    Facioscapulohumeral disease is probably a heterogeneous disorder. We have ascertained and sampled two multigeneration families with the neurogenic form of this disorder, considered to be a type of spinal muscular atrophy (FSHSMA). The two families have 36 affected members. Linkage studies with 10 expressed and seven DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) markers failed to show significant linkage (Zmax greater than or equal to 3.00). However, two areas of probable linkage were defined on chromosomes 1p and 4q with the markers MNS (Zmax = 1.47 at theta max = 0.10) and PGM1 (Zmax = 0.94 at theta max = 0.001) respectively. We are using additional RFLPs from these and other areas of the human genome to screen these families for linkage to FSHSMA. PMID:2570155

  16. Small Molecules in Development for the Treatment of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Calder, Alyssa N; Androphy, Elliot J; Hodgetts, Kevin J

    2016-11-23

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease resulting from pathologically low levels of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. The majority of mRNA from the SMN2 allele undergoes alternative splicing and excludes critical codons, causing an SMN protein deficiency. While there is currently no FDA-approved treatment for SMA, early therapeutic efforts have focused on testing repurposed drugs such as phenylbutyrate (2), valproic acid (3), riluzole (6), hydroxyurea (7), and albuterol (9), none of which has demonstrated clinical effectiveness. More recently, clinical trials have focused on novel small-molecule compounds identified from high-throughput screening and medicinal chemistry optimization such as olesoxime (11), CK-2127107, RG7800, LMI070, and RG3039 (17). In this paper, we review both repurposed drugs and small-molecule compounds discovered following medicinal chemistry optimization for the potential treatment of SMA.

  17. Spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress syndrome (SMARD1): Case report and review of literature

    PubMed Central

    Lingappa, Lokesh; Shah, Nikit; Motepalli, Ananth Sagar; Shaik, Farhan

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress syndrome (SMARD1) is a rare cause of early infantile respiratory failure and death. No cases have been currently described from India. Two low-birth-weight infants presented prior to 6 months of age with recurrent apnea and respiratory distress. Both required prolonged ventilation, and had distal arthrogryposis and diaphragmatic eventration. Nerve conduction study revealed motor sensory axonopathy. Genetic testing confirmed mutations in immunoglobulin mu binding protein (IGHMBP2). These two cases establish presence of SMARD1 in our population. Both infants died on discontinuation of ventilation. Antenatal diagnoses done in one pregnancy. Though rare, high index of suspicion is essential in view of poor outcome and aid antenatal counseling. PMID:27570397

  18. [Somatic mosaicism of expanded CAG trinucleotide repeat in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA)].

    PubMed

    Tanaka, F; Ito, Y; Sobue, G

    1999-04-01

    The CAG repeat in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is relatively stable in mitotic and meiotic processes as compared with other CAG repeat diseases. Previous reports indicate that SBMA does not manifest somatic mosaicism. However, detailed analysis in various tissues from 20 SBMA including 4 autopsied patients revealed the presence of the tissue-specific pattern of mosaicism. The prominent somatic mosaicism was observed in the cardiac and skeletal muscles, which are predominantly composed of postmitotic cells, and in the skin, prostate, and testis. The central nervous system (CNS) tissues, liver, and spleen showed smallest mosaicism. Such tissue-specific pattern of somatic mosaicism in SBMA is not explained by cell composition with different cell turnover rates. Other cell specific factors are likely more important for the somatic mosaicism in SBMA.

  19. Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA): somatic stability of an expanded CAG repeat in fetal tissues.

    PubMed

    Jedele, K B; Wahl, D; Chahrokh-Zadeh, S; Wirtz, A; Murken, J; Holinski-Feder, E

    1998-08-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a rare X-linked motor neuron degenerative disease caused by an expanded trinucleotide repeat. Unlike most other trinucleotide repeat diseases, SBMA shows limited meiotic instability, and evidence thus far indicates absence of somatic instability in adults. Data regarding the presence of fetal tissue somatic mosaicism is unavailable. We present a family in which a woman whose father had SBMA requested prenatal testing. After informed consent. molecular genetic evaluation showed the male fetus to carry the SBMA repeat elongation. Testing of fetal tissues after elective pregnancy termination showed no somatic mosaicism in the CAG repeat length. This is the first report of molecular genetic analysis of multiple tissues in an affected fetus, and only the second report of prenatal diagnosis in SBMA.

  20. Early functional impairment of sensory-motor connectivity in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Mentis, George Z.; Blivis, Dvir; Liu, Wenfang; Drobac, Estelle; Crowder, Melissa E.; Kong, Lingling; Alvarez, Francisco J.; Sumner, Charlotte J.; O'Donovan, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY To define alterations of neuronal connectivity that occur during motor neuron degeneration, we characterized the function and structure of spinal circuitry in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) model mice. SMA motor neurons show reduced proprioceptive reflexes that correlate with decreased number and function of synapses on motor neuron somata and proximal dendrites. These abnormalities occur at an early stage of disease in motor neurons innervating proximal hindlimb muscles and medial motor neurons innervating axial muscles, but only at end-stage disease in motor neurons innervating distal hindlimb muscles. Motor neuron loss follows afferent synapse loss with the same temporal and topographical pattern. Trichostatin A, which improves motor behavior and survival of SMA mice, partially restores spinal reflexes illustrating the reversibility of these synaptic defects. De-afferentation of motor neurons is an early event in SMA and may be a primary cause of motor dysfunction that is amenable to therapeutic intervention. PMID:21315257

  1. Early functional impairment of sensory-motor connectivity in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Mentis, George Z; Blivis, Dvir; Liu, Wenfang; Drobac, Estelle; Crowder, Melissa E; Kong, Lingling; Alvarez, Francisco J; Sumner, Charlotte J; O'Donovan, Michael J

    2011-02-10

    To define alterations of neuronal connectivity that occur during motor neuron degeneration, we characterized the function and structure of spinal circuitry in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) model mice. SMA motor neurons show reduced proprioceptive reflexes that correlate with decreased number and function of synapses on motor neuron somata and proximal dendrites. These abnormalities occur at an early stage of disease in motor neurons innervating proximal hindlimb muscles and medial motor neurons innervating axial muscles, but only at end-stage disease in motor neurons innervating distal hindlimb muscles. Motor neuron loss follows afferent synapse loss with the same temporal and topographical pattern. Trichostatin A, which improves motor behavior and survival of SMA mice, partially restores spinal reflexes, illustrating the reversibility of these synaptic defects. Deafferentation of motor neurons is an early event in SMA and may be a primary cause of motor dysfunction that is amenable to therapeutic intervention.

  2. [Self-produced locomotion and spatial cognition: a new light from spinal muscular atrophy].

    PubMed

    Rivière, J

    2007-03-01

    Various studies have shown that occurrence of locomotion in infancy is correlated with the development of visuospatial cognitive competencies, suggesting that locomotor experience might play a central role in spatial development, especially in the realm of manual search for hidden objects. However, recent studies indicate that young children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a hereditary neuromuscular disease which results in severe motor impairments, excel in some spatial cognitive skills. Indeed, striking cognitive performances are exhibited by young SMA children in some areas such as the ability to search successfully for hidden objects and the acquisition of the spatial vocabulary. The performances of SMA children suggest that, despite their total deprivation of locomotor experience, they have the capacity to acquire and use rich spatial representations. As a result, locomotor impairment does not appear to be a key risk factor for dramatic slowing down or deviation in the development of spatial search skills.

  3. Transcriptional activator TAp63 is upregulated in muscular atrophy during ALS and induces the pro-atrophic ubiquitin ligase Trim63

    PubMed Central

    von Grabowiecki, Yannick; Abreu, Paula; Blanchard, Orphee; Palamiuc, Lavinia; Benosman, Samir; Mériaux, Sophie; Devignot, Véronique; Gross, Isabelle; Mellitzer, Georg; Gonzalez de Aguilar, José L; Gaiddon, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Mechanisms of muscle atrophy are complex and their understanding might help finding therapeutic solutions for pathologies such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We meta-analyzed transcriptomic experiments of muscles of ALS patients and mouse models, uncovering a p53 deregulation as common denominator. We then characterized the induction of several p53 family members (p53, p63, p73) and a correlation between the levels of p53 family target genes and the severity of muscle atrophy in ALS patients and mice. In particular, we observed increased p63 protein levels in the fibers of atrophic muscles via denervation-dependent and -independent mechanisms. At a functional level, we demonstrated that TAp63 and p53 transactivate the promoter and increased the expression of Trim63 (MuRF1), an effector of muscle atrophy. Altogether, these results suggest a novel function for p63 as a contributor to muscular atrophic processes via the regulation of multiple genes, including the muscle atrophy gene Trim63. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10528.001 PMID:26919175

  4. Enhanced aggregation of androgen receptor in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons from spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Nihei, Yoshihiro; Ito, Daisuke; Okada, Yohei; Akamatsu, Wado; Yagi, Takuya; Yoshizaki, Takahito; Okano, Hideyuki; Suzuki, Norihiro

    2013-03-22

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is an X-linked motor neuron disease caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the androgen receptor (AR) gene. Ligand-dependent nuclear accumulation of mutant AR protein is a critical characteristic of the pathogenesis of SBMA. SBMA has been modeled in AR-overexpressing animals, but precisely how the polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion leads to neurodegeneration is unclear. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are a new technology that can be used to model human diseases, study pathogenic mechanisms, and develop novel drugs. We established SBMA patient-derived iPSCs, investigated their cellular biochemical characteristics, and found that SBMA-iPSCs can differentiate into motor neurons. The CAG repeat numbers in the AR gene of SBMA-iPSCs and also in the atrophin-1 gene of iPSCs derived from another polyQ disease, dentato-rubro-pallido-luysian atrophy (DRPLA), remain unchanged during reprogramming, long term passage, and differentiation, indicating that polyQ disease-associated CAG repeats are stable during maintenance of iPSCs. The level of AR expression is up-regulated by neuronal differentiation and treatment with the AR ligand dihydrotestosterone. Filter retardation assays indicated that aggregation of ARs following dihydrotestosterone treatment in neurons derived from SBMA-iPSCs increases significantly compared with neurological control iPSCs, easily recapitulating the pathological feature of mutant ARs in SBMA-iPSCs. This phenomenon was not observed in iPSCs and fibroblasts, thereby showing the neuron-dominant phenotype of this disease. Furthermore, the HSP90 inhibitor 17-allylaminogeldanamycin sharply decreased the level of aggregated AR in neurons derived from SBMA-iPSCs, indicating a potential for discovery and validation of candidate drugs. We found that SBMA-iPSCs possess disease-specific biochemical features and could thus open new avenues of research into not only SBMA, but also other polyglutamine diseases.

  5. Decreasing disease severity in symptomatic, Smn(-/-);SMN2(+/+), spinal muscular atrophy mice following scAAV9-SMN delivery.

    PubMed

    Glascock, Jacqueline J; Osman, Erkan Y; Wetz, Mary J; Krogman, Megan M; Shababi, Monir; Lorson, Christian L

    2012-03-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disorder, is the leading genetic cause of infant mortality. SMA is caused by the homozygous loss of Survival Motor Neuron-1 (SMN1). In humans, a nearly identical copy gene is present, SMN2. SMN2 is retained in all SMA patients and encodes the same protein as SMN1. However, SMN1 and SMN2 differ by a silent C-to-T transition at the 5' end of exon 7, causing alternative splicing of SMN2 transcripts and low levels of full-length SMN. SMA is monogenic and therefore well suited for gene-replacement strategies. Recently, self-complementary adeno-associated virus (scAAV) vectors have been used to deliver the SMN cDNA to an animal model of disease, the SMNΔ7 mouse. In this study, we examine a severe model of SMA, Smn(-/-);SMN2(+/+), to determine whether gene replacement is viable in a model in which disease development begins in utero. Using two delivery paradigms, intracerebroventricular injections and intravenous injections, we delivered scAAV9-SMN and demonstrated a two to four fold increase in survival, in addition to improving many of the phenotypic parameters of the model. This represents the longest extension in survival for this severe model for any therapeutic intervention and suggests that postsymptomatic treatment of SMA may lead to significant improvement of disease severity.

  6. SMN2 copy number predicts acute or chronic spinal muscular atrophy but does not account for intrafamilial variability in siblings.

    PubMed

    Cuscó, I; Barceló, M J; Rojas-García, R; Illa, I; Gámez, J; Cervera, C; Pou, A; Izquierdo, G; Baiget, M; Tizzano, E F

    2006-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder that affects motor neurons. It is caused by mutations in the survival motor neuron gene 1 (SMN1). The SMN2 gene, which is the highly homologous SMN1 copy that is present in all the patients, is unable to prevent the disease. An SMN2 dosage method was applied to 45 patients with the three SMA types (I-III) and to four pairs of siblings with chronic SMA (II-III) and different phenotypes. Our results confirm that the SMN2 copy number plays a key role in predicting acute or chronic SMA. However, siblings with different SMA phenotypes show an identical SMN2 copy number and identical markers, indicating that the genetic background around the SMA locus is insufficient to account for the intrafamilial variability. In our results, age of onset appears to be the most important predictor of disease severity in affected members of the same family. Given that SMN2 is regarded as a target for potential pharmacological therapies in SMA, the identification of genetic factors other than the SMN genes is necessary to better understand the pathogenesis of the disease in order to implement additional therapeutic approaches.

  7. Reorganization of Cajal bodies and nucleolar targeting of coilin in motor neurons of type I spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Tapia, Olga; Bengoechea, Rocío; Palanca, Ana; Arteaga, Rosa; Val-Bernal, J Fernando; Tizzano, Eduardo F; Berciano, María T; Lafarga, Miguel

    2012-05-01

    Type I spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by loss or mutations of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. The reduction in SMN protein levels in SMA leads to degeneration and death of motor neurons. In this study, we have analyzed the nuclear reorganization of Cajal bodies, PML bodies and nucleoli in type I SMA motor neurons with homozygous deletion of exons 7 and 8 of the SMN1 gene. Western blot analysis is is revealed a marked reduction of SMN levels compared to the control sample. Using a neuronal dissociation procedure to perform a careful immunocytochemical and quantitative analysis of nuclear bodies, we demonstrated a severe decrease in the mean number of Cajal bodies per neuron and in the proportion of motor neurons containing these structures in type I SMA. Moreover, most Cajal bodies fail to recruit SMN and spliceosomal snRNPs, but contain the proteasome activator PA28, a molecular marker associated with the cellular stress response. Neuronal stress in SMA motor neurons also increases PML body number. The existence of chromatolysis and eccentric nuclei in SMA motor neurons correlates with Cajal body disruption and nucleolar relocalization of coil in, a Cajal body marker. Our results indicate that the Cajal body is a pathophysiological target in type I SMA motor neurons. They also suggest the Cajal body-dependent dysfunction of snRNP biogenesis and, therefore, pre-mRNA splicing in these neurons seems to be an essential component for SMA pathogenesis.

  8. Spinal muscular atrophy phenotype is ameliorated in human motor neurons by SMN increase via different novel RNA therapeutic approaches.

    PubMed

    Nizzardo, Monica; Simone, Chiara; Dametti, Sara; Salani, Sabrina; Ulzi, Gianna; Pagliarani, Serena; Rizzo, Federica; Frattini, Emanuele; Pagani, Franco; Bresolin, Nereo; Comi, Giacomo; Corti, Stefania

    2015-06-30

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a primary genetic cause of infant mortality due to mutations in the Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) 1 gene. No cure is available. Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) aimed at increasing SMN levels from the paralogous SMN2 gene represent a possible therapeutic strategy. Here, we tested in SMA human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and iPSC-differentiated motor neurons, three different RNA approaches based on morpholino antisense targeting of the ISSN-1, exon-specific U1 small nuclear RNA (ExSpeU1), and Transcription Activator-Like Effector-Transcription Factor (TALE-TF). All strategies act modulating SMN2 RNA: ASO affects exon 7 splicing, TALE-TF increase SMN2 RNA acting on the promoter, while ExSpeU1 improves pre-mRNA processing. These approaches induced up-regulation of full-length SMN mRNA and differentially affected the Delta-7 isoform: ASO reduced this isoform, while ExSpeU1 and TALE-TF increased it. All approaches upregulate the SMN protein and significantly improve the in vitro SMA motor neurons survival. Thus, these findings demonstrate that therapeutic tools that act on SMN2 RNA are able to rescue the SMA disease phenotype. Our data confirm the feasibility of SMA iPSCs as in vitro disease models and we propose novel RNA approaches as potential therapeutic strategies for treating SMA and other genetic neurological disorders.

  9. Androgen-dependent impairment of myogenesis in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Malena, Adriana; Pennuto, Maria; Tezze, Caterina; Querin, Giorgia; D'Ascenzo, Carla; Silani, Vincenzo; Cenacchi, Giovanna; Scaramozza, Annarita; Romito, Silvia; Morandi, Lucia; Pegoraro, Elena; Russell, Aaron P; Sorarù, Gianni; Vergani, Lodovica

    2013-07-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is an inherited neuromuscular disease caused by expansion of a polyglutamine (polyQ) tract in the androgen receptor (AR). SBMA is triggered by the interaction between polyQ-AR and its natural ligands, testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). SBMA is characterized by the loss of lower motor neurons and skeletal muscle fasciculations, weakness, and atrophy. To test the hypothesis that the interaction between polyQ-AR and androgens exerts cell-autonomous toxicity in skeletal muscle, we characterized the process of myogenesis and polyQ-AR expression in DHT-treated satellite cells obtained from SBMA patients and age-matched healthy control subjects. Treatment with androgens increased the size and number of myonuclei in myotubes from control subjects, but not from SBMA patients. Myotubes from SBMA patients had a reduced number of nuclei, suggesting impaired myotube fusion and altered contractile structures. The lack of anabolic effects of androgens on myotubes from SBMA patients was not due to defects in myoblast proliferation, differentiation or apoptosis. DHT treatment of myotubes from SBMA patients increased nuclear accumulation of polyQ-AR and decreased the expression of interleukin-4 (IL-4) when compared to myotubes from control subjects. Following DHT treatment, exposure of myotubes from SBMA patients with IL-4 treatment rescued myonuclear number and size to control levels. This supports the hypothesis that androgens alter the fusion process in SBMA myogenesis. In conclusion, these results provide evidence of an androgen-dependent impairment of myogenesis in SBMA that could contribute to disease pathogenesis.

  10. [Cascade of gene activation in Landouzy Dejerine muscular dystrophy].

    PubMed

    Belayew, A

    2010-01-01

    Our laboratory studies the Landouzy Dejerine muscular dystrophy or FSHD, a genetic disease which affects 7 in 100,000 individuals. The genetic defect is a deletion on chromosome 4 that decreases the copy number of a repeated DNA element, disturbs chromatin structure and activates the expression of neighbouring genes. The originality of our team has been to identify a gene within the repeated element itself and to show its activation in FSHD muscle cells. This gene expresses DUX4, a transcription factor that targets tens of genes, some of which express other transcription factors which target other genes, leading to a general deregulation. This DUX4-mediated cascade recapitulates by itself the major pathological features of FSHD: muscle atrophy, differentiation defect, oxidative stress... The homologous DUX4c gene located 42 kb from the repeat array expresses a protein that triggers myoblast proliferation. Its high expression level in severe cases of FSHD most probably contributes to the pathology by interfering with myoblast fusion with the muscle fibers at the last steps of muscle regeneration. We are performing global analyses of proteins and metabolites in healthy and FSHD myotubes (collaboration R Wattiez and JM Colet, UMONS) to identify abnormalities and their links with DUX4 or DUX4C.

  11. Distinct domains of the spinal muscular atrophy protein SMN are required for targeting to Cajal bodies in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Renvoisé, Benoît; Khoobarry, Kevinee; Gendron, Marie-Claude; Cibert, Christian; Viollet, Louis; Lefebvre, Suzie

    2006-02-15

    Mutations of the survival motor neuron gene SMN1 cause the inherited disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). The ubiquitous SMN protein facilitates the biogenesis of spliceosomal small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs). The protein is detected in the cytoplasm, nucleoplasm and enriched with snRNPs in nuclear Cajal bodies. It is structurally divided into at least an amino-terminal region rich in basic amino acid residues, a central Tudor domain, a self-association tyrosine-glycine-box and an exon7-encoded C-terminus. To examine the domains required for the intranuclear localization of SMN, we have used fluorescently tagged protein mutants transiently overexpressed in mammalian cells. The basic amino acid residues direct nucleolar localization of SMN mutants. The Tudor domain promotes localization of proteins in the nucleus and it cooperates with the basic amino acid residues and the tyrosine-glycine-box for protein localization in Cajal bodies. Moreover, the most frequent disease-linked mutant SMNDeltaex7 reduces accumulation of snRNPs in Cajal bodies, suggesting that the C-terminus of SMN participates in targeting to Cajal bodies. A reduced number of Cajal bodies in patient fibroblasts associates with the absence of snRNPs in Cajal bodies, revealing that intranuclear snRNA organization is modified in disease. These results indicate that direct and indirect mechanisms regulate localization of SMN in Cajal bodies.

  12. Muscle expression of mutant androgen receptor accounts for systemic and motor neuron disease phenotypes in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Cortes, Constanza J; Ling, Shuo-Chien; Guo, Ling T; Hung, Gene; Tsunemi, Taiji; Ly, Linda; Tokunaga, Seiya; Lopez, Edith; Sopher, Bryce L; Bennett, C Frank; Shelton, G Diane; Cleveland, Don W; La Spada, Albert R

    2014-04-16

    X-linked spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is characterized by adult-onset muscle weakness and lower motor neuron degeneration. SBMA is caused by CAG-polyglutamine (polyQ) repeat expansions in the androgen receptor (AR) gene. Pathological findings include motor neuron loss, with polyQ-AR accumulation in intranuclear inclusions. SBMA patients exhibit myopathic features, suggesting a role for muscle in disease pathogenesis. To determine the contribution of muscle, we developed a BAC mouse model featuring a floxed first exon to permit cell-type-specific excision of human AR121Q. BAC fxAR121 mice develop systemic and neuromuscular phenotypes, including shortened survival. After validating termination of AR121 expression and full rescue with ubiquitous Cre, we crossed BAC fxAR121 mice with Human Skeletal Actin-Cre mice. Muscle-specific excision prevented weight loss, motor phenotypes, muscle pathology, and motor neuronopathy and dramatically extended survival. Our results reveal a crucial role for muscle expression of polyQ-AR in SBMA and suggest muscle-directed therapies as effective treatments.

  13. Decreased Peak Expiratory Flow Associated with Muscle Fiber-Type Switching in Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Yamada, Shinichiro; Hashizume, Atsushi; Hijikata, Yasuhiro; Inagaki, Tomonori; Suzuki, Keisuke; Kondo, Naohide; Kawai, Kaori; Noda, Seiya; Nakanishi, Hirotaka; Banno, Haruhiko; Hirakawa, Akihiro; Koike, Haruki; Halievski, Katherine; Jordan, Cynthia L.; Katsuno, Masahisa; Sobue, Gen

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to characterize the respiratory function profile of subjects with spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), and to explore the underlying pathological mechanism by comparing the clinical and biochemical indices of this disease with those of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We enrolled male subjects with SBMA (n = 40) and ALS (n = 25) along with 15 healthy control subjects, and assessed their respiratory function, motor function, and muscle strength. Predicted values of peak expiratory flow (%PEF) and forced vital capacity were decreased in subjects with SBMA compared with controls. In SBMA, both values were strongly correlated with the trunk subscores of the motor function tests and showed deterioration relative to disease duration. Compared with activities of daily living (ADL)-matched ALS subjects, %PEF, tongue pressure, and grip power were substantially decreased in subjects with SBMA. Both immunofluorescence and RT-PCR demonstrated a selective decrease in the expression levels of the genes encoding the myosin heavy chains specific to fast-twitch fibers in SBMA subjects. The mRNA levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta were up-regulated in SBMA compared with ALS and controls. In conclusion, %PEF is a disease-specific respiratory marker for the severity and progression of SBMA. Explosive muscle strength, including %PEF, was selectively affected in subjects with SBMA and was associated with activation of the mitochondrial biogenesis-related molecular pathway in skeletal muscles. PMID:28005993

  14. Decreased Peak Expiratory Flow Associated with Muscle Fiber-Type Switching in Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Shinichiro; Hashizume, Atsushi; Hijikata, Yasuhiro; Inagaki, Tomonori; Suzuki, Keisuke; Kondo, Naohide; Kawai, Kaori; Noda, Seiya; Nakanishi, Hirotaka; Banno, Haruhiko; Hirakawa, Akihiro; Koike, Haruki; Halievski, Katherine; Jordan, Cynthia L; Katsuno, Masahisa; Sobue, Gen

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to characterize the respiratory function profile of subjects with spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), and to explore the underlying pathological mechanism by comparing the clinical and biochemical indices of this disease with those of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We enrolled male subjects with SBMA (n = 40) and ALS (n = 25) along with 15 healthy control subjects, and assessed their respiratory function, motor function, and muscle strength. Predicted values of peak expiratory flow (%PEF) and forced vital capacity were decreased in subjects with SBMA compared with controls. In SBMA, both values were strongly correlated with the trunk subscores of the motor function tests and showed deterioration relative to disease duration. Compared with activities of daily living (ADL)-matched ALS subjects, %PEF, tongue pressure, and grip power were substantially decreased in subjects with SBMA. Both immunofluorescence and RT-PCR demonstrated a selective decrease in the expression levels of the genes encoding the myosin heavy chains specific to fast-twitch fibers in SBMA subjects. The mRNA levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta were up-regulated in SBMA compared with ALS and controls. In conclusion, %PEF is a disease-specific respiratory marker for the severity and progression of SBMA. Explosive muscle strength, including %PEF, was selectively affected in subjects with SBMA and was associated with activation of the mitochondrial biogenesis-related molecular pathway in skeletal muscles.

  15. Morphological changes of skeletal muscle in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), Kennedy's disease: a case report.

    PubMed

    Acewicz, Albert; Wierzba-Bobrowicz, Teresa; Lewandowska, Eliza; Sienkiewicz-Jarosz, Halina; Sulek, Anna; Antczak, Jakub; Rakowicz, Maria; Ryglewicz, Danuta

    2015-01-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA, Kennedy's disease) is an X-linked recessive disease affecting lower motor neurons. In the present case report, we describe morphological changes in a muscle biopsy obtained from a 62-year-old patient with gynecomastia and with the following neurological symptoms: dysphagia, dysarthria, wasting and fasciculation of the tongue, proximal weakness, fasciculations in the limb muscles, and an absence of all tendon reflexes. Neurogenic alternations were predominantly observed using light and electron microscopy. The angulated atrophic muscle fibers formed bundles. The numerous nuclei were pyknotic or pale, some of them were also ubiquitin positive; they were grouped inside so-called "nuclear sacks". At the ultrastructural level, atrophic muscle fibers revealed disruption and loss of sarcomeres, duplication of Z-line, and rod-like structures. The nuclei, often with irregular shapes, revealed varying degrees of chromatin condensation, from dispersed to highly condensed, like pyknotic nuclei. Occasionally electron-dense inclusions in the nuclei were found. Some myogenic features like hypertrophic muscle fibers and proliferation of connective tissue were also visible. The neurogenic and myogenic pathological changes suggested SBMA, which was confirmed with genetic analysis (trinucleotide CAG (glutamie)-repeat expansion in the androgen-receptor gene).

  16. A Mutation in the Vesicle-Trafficking Protein VAPB Causes Late-Onset Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Nishimura, Agnes L.; Mitne-Neto, Miguel; Silva, Helga C. A.; Richieri-Costa, Antônio; Middleton, Susan; Cascio, Duilio; Kok, Fernando; Oliveira, João R. M.; Gillingwater, Tom; Webb, Jeanette; Skehel, Paul; Zatz, Mayana

    2004-01-01

    Motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are a group of neurodegenerative disorders with involvement of upper and/or lower motor neurons, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), progressive bulbar palsy, and primary lateral sclerosis. Recently, we have mapped a new locus for an atypical form of ALS/MND (atypical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS8]) at 20q13.3 in a large white Brazilian family. Here, we report the finding of a novel missense mutation in the vesicle-associated membrane protein/synaptobrevin-associated membrane protein B (VAPB) gene in patients from this family. Subsequently, the same mutation was identified in patients from six additional kindreds but with different clinical courses, such as ALS8, late-onset SMA, and typical severe ALS with rapid progression. Although it was not possible to link all these families, haplotype analysis suggests a founder effect. Members of the vesicle-associated proteins are intracellular membrane proteins that can associate with microtubules and that have been shown to have a function in membrane transport. These data suggest that clinically variable MNDs may be caused by a dysfunction in intracellular membrane trafficking. PMID:15372378

  17. Adenylyl cyclase activating polypeptide reduces phosphorylation and toxicity of the polyglutamine-expanded androgen receptor in spinobulbar muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Polanco, Maria Josè; Parodi, Sara; Piol, Diana; Stack, Conor; Chivet, Mathilde; Contestabile, Andrea; Miranda, Helen C; Lievens, Patricia M-J; Espinoza, Stefano; Jochum, Tobias; Rocchi, Anna; Grunseich, Christopher; Gainetdinov, Raul R; Cato, Andrew C B; Lieberman, Andrew P; La Spada, Albert R; Sambataro, Fabio; Fischbeck, Kenneth H; Gozes, Illana; Pennuto, Maria

    2016-12-21

    Spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is an X-linked neuromuscular disease caused by polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion in the androgen receptor (AR) gene. SBMA belongs to the family of polyQ diseases, which are fatal neurodegenerative disorders mainly caused by protein-mediated toxic gain-of-function mechanisms and characterized by deposition of misfolded proteins in the form of aggregates. The neurotoxicity of the polyQ proteins can be modified by phosphorylation at specific sites, thereby providing the rationale for the development of disease-specific treatments. We sought to identify signaling pathways that modulate polyQ-AR phosphorylation for therapy development. We report that cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) phosphorylates polyQ-AR specifically at Ser(96) Phosphorylation of polyQ-AR by CDK2 increased protein stabilization and toxicity and is negatively regulated by the adenylyl cyclase (AC)/protein kinase A (PKA) signaling pathway. To translate these findings into therapy, we developed an analog of pituitary adenylyl cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP), a potent activator of the AC/PKA pathway. Chronic intranasal administration of the PACAP analog to knock-in SBMA mice reduced Ser(96) phosphorylation, promoted polyQ-AR degradation, and ameliorated disease outcome. These results provide proof of principle that noninvasive therapy based on the use of PACAP analogs is a therapeutic option for SBMA.

  18. Beta-agonist stimulation ameliorates the phenotype of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy mice and patient-derived myotubes

    PubMed Central

    Milioto, Carmelo; Malena, Adriana; Maino, Eleonora; Polanco, Maria J.; Marchioretti, Caterina; Borgia, Doriana; Pereira, Marcelo Gomes; Blaauw, Bert; Lieberman, Andrew P.; Venturini, Roberta; Plebani, Mario; Sambataro, Fabio; Vergani, Lodovica; Pegoraro, Elena; Sorarù, Gianni; Pennuto, Maria

    2017-01-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a neuromuscular disease characterized by the loss of lower motor neurons. SBMA is caused by expansions of a polyglutamine tract in the gene coding for androgen receptor (AR). Expression of polyglutamine-expanded AR causes damage to motor neurons and skeletal muscle cells. Here we investigated the effect of β-agonist stimulation in SBMA myotube cells derived from mice and patients, and in knock-in mice. We show that treatment of myotubes expressing polyglutamine-expanded AR with the β-agonist clenbuterol increases their size. Clenbuterol activated the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway and decreased the accumulation of polyglutamine-expanded AR. Treatment of SBMA knock-in mice with clenbuterol, which was started at disease onset, ameliorated motor function and extended survival. Clenbuterol improved muscle pathology, attenuated the glycolytic-to-oxidative metabolic alterations occurring in SBMA muscles and induced hypertrophy of both glycolytic and oxidative fibers. These results indicate that β-agonist stimulation is a novel therapeutic strategy for SBMA. PMID:28117338

  19. Beta-agonist stimulation ameliorates the phenotype of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy mice and patient-derived myotubes.

    PubMed

    Milioto, Carmelo; Malena, Adriana; Maino, Eleonora; Polanco, Maria J; Marchioretti, Caterina; Borgia, Doriana; Pereira, Marcelo Gomes; Blaauw, Bert; Lieberman, Andrew P; Venturini, Roberta; Plebani, Mario; Sambataro, Fabio; Vergani, Lodovica; Pegoraro, Elena; Sorarù, Gianni; Pennuto, Maria

    2017-01-24

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a neuromuscular disease characterized by the loss of lower motor neurons. SBMA is caused by expansions of a polyglutamine tract in the gene coding for androgen receptor (AR). Expression of polyglutamine-expanded AR causes damage to motor neurons and skeletal muscle cells. Here we investigated the effect of β-agonist stimulation in SBMA myotube cells derived from mice and patients, and in knock-in mice. We show that treatment of myotubes expressing polyglutamine-expanded AR with the β-agonist clenbuterol increases their size. Clenbuterol activated the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway and decreased the accumulation of polyglutamine-expanded AR. Treatment of SBMA knock-in mice with clenbuterol, which was started at disease onset, ameliorated motor function and extended survival. Clenbuterol improved muscle pathology, attenuated the glycolytic-to-oxidative metabolic alterations occurring in SBMA muscles and induced hypertrophy of both glycolytic and oxidative fibers. These results indicate that β-agonist stimulation is a novel therapeutic strategy for SBMA.

  20. [The role of RNA splicing in the pathogenesis of spinal muscular atrophy and development of its therapeutics].

    PubMed

    Sahashi, Kentaro; Sobue, Gen

    2014-12-01

    Loss-of-function mutations in SMN1 cause spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic cause of infant mortality. Degeneration of alpha-motor neurons that results in progressive paralysis is a pathological hallmark of SMA. Recently, peripheral-tissue involvement has also been reported in SMA. Patients have low levels of functional SMN which is attributed to alternative splicing in SMN2, a gene closely-related to SMN1. This decrease in the expression of SMN, a ubiquitously expressed protein involved in promoting snRNP assembly required for splicing, is responsible for SMA. However, the mechanism through which decrease in SMN levels causes SMA remains unclear. Currently, no curative treatment is available for SMA, but SMN restoration is thought to be necessary and sufficient for cure. Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) can be designed to specifically alter splicing patterns of target pre-mRNAs. We identified an ASO that redirects SMN2 splicing and is currently in clinical trials for use as RNA-targeting therapeutics. Further, we have also reported a novel application of splicing-modulating ASOs--creation of animal phenocopy models of diseases by inducing mis-splicing. Exploring the relationship between the spatial and temporal effects of therapeutic and pathogenic ASOs yields relevant insights into the roles of SMN in SMA pathogenesis and into its normal physiological functions. This knowledge, in turn, contributes to the ongoing development of targeted therapeutics.

  1. Aquatic therapy for a child with type III spinal muscular atrophy: a case report.

    PubMed

    Salem, Yasser; Gropack, Stacy Jaffee

    2010-11-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disorder characterized by degeneration of alpha motor neurons. This case report describes an aquatic therapy program and the outcomes for a 3-year-old girl with type III SMA. Motor skills were examined using the 88-item Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM), the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales (PDMS-2), and the GAITRite system. The child received aquatic therapy twice per week for 45-min sessions, for 14 weeks. The intervention included aquatic activities designed to improve gross motor skills and age-appropriate functional mobility. The GMFM total score improved by 11% following the intervention. The Standing Dimension score improved by 28% and the Walking, Running, and Jumping Dimension score improved by 18%. The gross motor quotient for the PDMS-2 improved from 66 to 74. The child's gait showed improvement in walking velocity, stride length, and single-limb support time as a percentage of the gait cycle. The outcomes of this case report demonstrate the successful improvement of gross motor function and gait in a 3-year-old child with SMA. This study provides clinical information for therapists utilizing aquatic therapy as a modality for children with neuromuscular disorders.

  2. ML372 blocks SMN ubiquitination and improves spinal muscular atrophy pathology in mice

    PubMed Central

    Abera, Mahlet B.; Xiao, Jingbo; Nofziger, Jonathan; Titus, Steve; Moritz, Kasey E.; Ferrer, Marc; Cherry, Jonathan J.; Androphy, Elliot J.; Wang, Amy; Xu, Xin; Austin, Christopher; Fischbeck, Kenneth H.; Marugan, Juan J.; Burnett, Barrington G.

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disease and one of the leading inherited causes of infant mortality. SMA results from insufficient levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, and studies in animal models of the disease have shown that increasing SMN protein levels ameliorates the disease phenotype. Our group previously identified and optimized a new series of small molecules, with good potency and toxicity profiles and reasonable pharmacokinetics, that were able to increase SMN protein levels in SMA patient–derived cells. We show here that ML372, a representative of this series, almost doubles the half-life of residual SMN protein expressed from the SMN2 locus by blocking its ubiquitination and subsequent degradation by the proteasome. ML372 increased SMN protein levels in muscle, spinal cord, and brain tissue of SMA mice. Importantly, ML372 treatment improved the righting reflex and extended survival of a severe mouse model of SMA. These results demonstrate that slowing SMN degradation by selectively inhibiting its ubiquitination can improve the motor phenotype and lifespan of SMA model mice. PMID:27882347

  3. Prospective cohort study of spinal muscular atrophy types 2 and 3

    PubMed Central

    Kaufmann, Petra; McDermott, Michael P.; Darras, Basil T.; Finkel, Richard S.; Sproule, Douglas M.; Kang, Peter B.; Oskoui, Maryam; Constantinescu, Andrei; Gooch, Clifton L.; Foley, A. Reghan; Yang, Michele L.; Tawil, Rabi; Chung, Wendy K.; Martens, William B.; Montes, Jacqueline; Battista, Vanessa; O'Hagen, Jessica; Dunaway, Sally; Flickinger, Jean; Quigley, Janet; Riley, Susan; Glanzman, Allan M.; Benton, Maryjane; Ryan, Patricia A.; Punyanitya, Mark; Montgomery, Megan J.; Marra, Jonathan; Koo, Benjamin

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To characterize the natural history of spinal muscular atrophy type 2 and type 3 (SMA 2/3) beyond 1 year and to report data on clinical and biological outcomes for use in trial planning. Methods: We conducted a prospective observational cohort study of 79 children and young adults with SMA 2/3 who participated in evaluations for up to 48 months. Clinically, we evaluated motor and pulmonary function, quality of life, and muscle strength. We also measured SMN2 copy number, hematologic and biochemical profiles, muscle mass by dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and the compound motor action potential (CMAP) in a hand muscle. Data were analyzed for associations between clinical and biological/laboratory characteristics cross-sectionally, and for change over time in outcomes using all available data. Results: In cross-sectional analyses, certain biological measures (specifically, CMAP, DXA fat-free mass index, and SMN2 copy number) and muscle strength measures were associated with motor function. Motor and pulmonary function declined over time, particularly at time points beyond 12 months of follow-up. Conclusion: The intermediate and mild phenotypes of SMA show slow functional declines when observation periods exceed 1 year. Whole body muscle mass, hand muscle compound motor action potentials, and muscle strength are associated with clinical measures of motor function. The data from this study will be useful for clinical trial planning and suggest that CMAP and DXA warrant further evaluation as potential biomarkers. PMID:23077013

  4. TIA1 prevents skipping of a critical exon associated with spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Singh, Natalia N; Seo, Joonbae; Ottesen, Eric W; Shishimorova, Maria; Bhattacharya, Dhruva; Singh, Ravindra N

    2011-03-01

    Prevention of skipping of exon 7 during pre-mRNA splicing of Survival Motor Neuron 2 (SMN2) holds the promise for cure of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic cause of infant mortality. Here, we report T-cell-restricted intracellular antigen 1 (TIA1) and TIA1-related (TIAR) proteins as intron-associated positive regulators of SMN2 exon 7 splicing. We show that TIA1/TIAR stimulate exon recognition in an entirely novel context in which intronic U-rich motifs are separated from the 5' splice site by overlapping inhibitory elements. TIA1 and TIAR are modular proteins with three N-terminal RNA recognition motifs (RRMs) and a C-terminal glutamine-rich (Q-rich) domain. Our results reveal that any one RRM in combination with a Q domain is necessary and sufficient for TIA1-associated regulation of SMN2 exon 7 splicing in vivo. We also show that increased expression of TIA1 counteracts the inhibitory effect of polypyrimidine tract binding protein, a ubiquitously expressed factor recently implicated in regulation of SMN exon 7 splicing. Our findings expand the scope of TIA1/TIAR in genome-wide regulation of alternative splicing under normal and pathological conditions.

  5. CNS uptake of bortezomib is enhanced by P-glycoprotein inhibition: implications for spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Foran, Emily; Kwon, Deborah Y; Nofziger, Jonathan H; Arnold, Eveline S; Hall, Matthew D; Fischbeck, Kenneth H; Burnett, Barrington G

    2016-04-01

    The development of therapeutics for neurological disorders is constrained by limited access to the central nervous system (CNS). ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, particularly P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP), are expressed on the luminal surface of capillaries in the CNS and transport drugs out of the endothelium back into the blood against the concentration gradient. Survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, which is deficient in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), is a target of the ubiquitin proteasome system. Inhibiting the proteasome in a rodent model of SMA with bortezomib increases SMN protein levels in peripheral tissues but not the CNS, because bortezomib has poor CNS penetrance. We sought to determine if we could inhibit SMN degradation in the CNS of SMA mice with a combination of bortezomib and the ABC transporter inhibitor tariquidar. In cultured cells we show that bortezomib is a substrate of P-gp. Mass spectrometry analysis demonstrated that intraperitoneal co-administration of tariquidar increased the CNS penetrance of bortezomib, and reduced proteasome activity in the brain and spinal cord. This correlated with increased SMN protein levels and improved survival and motor function of SMA mice. These findings show that CNS penetrance of treatment for this neurological disorder can be improved by inhibiting drug efflux at the blood-brain barrier.

  6. MiR-298 Counteracts Mutant Androgen Receptor Toxicity in Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Pourshafie, Naemeh; Lee, Philip R; Chen, Ke-Lian; Harmison, George G; Bott, Laura C; Katsuno, Masahisa; Sobue, Gen; Burnett, Barrington G; Fischbeck, Kenneth H; Rinaldi, Carlo

    2016-05-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a currently untreatable adult-onset neuromuscular disease caused by expansion of a polyglutamine repeat in the androgen receptor (AR). In SBMA, as in other polyglutamine diseases, a toxic gain of function in the mutant protein is an important factor in the disease mechanism; therefore, reducing the mutant protein holds promise as an effective treatment strategy. In this work, we evaluated a microRNA (miRNA) to reduce AR expression. From a list of predicted miRNAs that target human AR, we selected microRNA-298 (miR-298) for its ability to downregulate AR mRNA and protein levels when transfected in cells overexpressing wild-type and mutant AR and in SBMA patient-derived fibroblasts. We showed that miR-298 directly binds to the 3'-untranslated region of the human AR transcript, and counteracts AR toxicity in vitro. Intravenous delivery of miR-298 with adeno-associated virus serotype 9 vector resulted in efficient transduction of muscle and spinal cord and amelioration of the disease phenotype in SBMA mice. Our findings support the development of miRNAs as a therapeutic strategy for SBMA and other neurodegenerative disorders caused by toxic proteins.

  7. MiR-298 Counteracts Mutant Androgen Receptor Toxicity in Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Pourshafie, Naemeh; Lee, Philip R; Chen, Ke-lian; Harmison, George G; Bott, Laura C; Katsuno, Masahisa; Sobue, Gen; Burnett, Barrington G; Fischbeck, Kenneth H; Rinaldi, Carlo

    2016-01-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a currently untreatable adult-onset neuromuscular disease caused by expansion of a polyglutamine repeat in the androgen receptor (AR). In SBMA, as in other polyglutamine diseases, a toxic gain of function in the mutant protein is an important factor in the disease mechanism; therefore, reducing the mutant protein holds promise as an effective treatment strategy. In this work, we evaluated a microRNA (miRNA) to reduce AR expression. From a list of predicted miRNAs that target human AR, we selected microRNA-298 (miR-298) for its ability to downregulate AR mRNA and protein levels when transfected in cells overexpressing wild-type and mutant AR and in SBMA patient-derived fibroblasts. We showed that miR-298 directly binds to the 3'-untranslated region of the human AR transcript, and counteracts AR toxicity in vitro. Intravenous delivery of miR-298 with adeno-associated virus serotype 9 vector resulted in efficient transduction of muscle and spinal cord and amelioration of the disease phenotype in SBMA mice. Our findings support the development of miRNAs as a therapeutic strategy for SBMA and other neurodegenerative disorders caused by toxic proteins. PMID:26755334

  8. [Clinical features of a genetically identified spinal and 
bulbar muscular atrophy pedigree].

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhe; Chen, Qihua; Li, Qiuxiang; Bi, Fangfang

    2016-10-28

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a rare X-linked motor neuron disease with significant phenotypic viability. Here, we present a genetically identified SBMA family without bulbar paralysis or androgen insensitivity. All four male patients presented with progressive lower motor neuron paralysis in all limbs, with distal extremities more dominant. None of them had bulbar palsy or androgen insensitivity. A consistently mild elevated blood creatine phosphokinase (CPK) levels were detected in all patients and the EMG showed a chronic neurogenic damage. Muscle biopsy of propositus indicated a typical neurogenic amyotrophy. Genetic testing for SMA of mutation in SMN1 was negative, while for SBMA of androgen receptor showed the increased CAG repeat in exon 1, suggesting that although bulbar symptoms and androgen insensitivity are characteristic symptoms of SBMA, they are not obligatory for the diagnosis. In adult males with a chronic motor neuron syndrome without upper motor neuron signs, even in absence of the classical features of androgen insensitivity or bulbar findings, genetic testing for SBMA should be strongly considered.

  9. Minor cognitive disturbances in X-linked spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, Kennedy's disease.

    PubMed

    Kasper, Elisabeth; Wegrzyn, Martin; Marx, Ivo; Korp, Christin; Kress, Wolfram; Benecke, Reiner; Teipel, Stefan J; Prudlo, Johannes

    2014-03-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), Kennedy's disease, is an adult-onset hereditary neurodegenerative disorder, associated predominantly with a lower motor neuron syndrome and eventually endocrine and sensory disturbances. In contrast to other motor neuron diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the impairment of cognition in SBMA is not well documented. We conducted a systematic cross-sectional neuropsychological study in order to investigate cognition in SBMA patients more thoroughly. We investigated 20 genetically proven SBMA patients compared to 20 age- and education-matched control subjects using a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery, measuring executive functioning, attention, memory and visuospatial abilities. The SBMA patients performed significantly worse than healthy controls in three sub-tests in the executive and attention domains. This low performance was in the working memory (digit span backward task), verbal fluency category (single letter fluency task) and memory storage capacity (digit span forward task). No disturbances were detected in other cognitive domains. The impairments were subclinical and not relevant to the patients' everyday functioning. In addition, no correlations were found between cognitive scores and the CAG repeat length. In conclusion, we found minor cognitive disturbances in patients with SBMA, which could indicate subtle frontal lobe dysfunction. These findings extend our neurobiological understanding of SBMA.

  10. Focal cervical poliopathy causing juvenile muscular atrophy of distal upper extremity: a pathological study.

    PubMed Central

    Hirayama, K; Tomonaga, M; Kitano, K; Yamada, T; Kojima, S; Arai, K

    1987-01-01

    A new clinical entity under the name of "juvenile muscular atrophy of unilateral upper extremity" was first described in 1959. Although about 150 cases in Japan, and several additional cases in other countries, have been clinically reported in the literature, the pathology has remained unknown because of the benign course of the disease. The first necropsy findings are reported, obtained from a patient with this disease, who died of lung cancer at the age of 38, 23 years after the onset of the disease. The lesions existed only in the anterior horns of the spinal cord at C5 approximately T1, particularly marked at C7 and C8, showing shrinkage and necrosis, degeneration of various degrees of large and small nerve cells, and mild gliosis. The pathological findings differ from those of reported cases of spinal vascular disorders, but some circulatory insufficiency in the territory of the spinal cord would seem to be suggested, although the underlying aetiology remains unknown. Images PMID:3559609

  11. Survival motor neuron protein in motor neurons determines synaptic integrity in spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Martinez, Tara L; Kong, Lingling; Wang, Xueyong; Osborne, Melissa A; Crowder, Melissa E; Van Meerbeke, James P; Xu, Xixi; Davis, Crystal; Wooley, Joe; Goldhamer, David J; Lutz, Cathleen M; Rich, Mark M; Sumner, Charlotte J

    2012-06-20

    The inherited motor neuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by deficient expression of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein and results in severe muscle weakness. In SMA mice, synaptic dysfunction of both neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and central sensorimotor synapses precedes motor neuron cell death. To address whether this synaptic dysfunction is due to SMN deficiency in motor neurons, muscle, or both, we generated three lines of conditional SMA mice with tissue-specific increases in SMN expression. All three lines of mice showed increased survival, weights, and improved motor behavior. While increased SMN expression in motor neurons prevented synaptic dysfunction at the NMJ and restored motor neuron somal synapses, increased SMN expression in muscle did not affect synaptic function although it did improve myofiber size. Together these data indicate that both peripheral and central synaptic integrity are dependent on motor neurons in SMA, but SMN may have variable roles in the maintenance of these different synapses. At the NMJ, it functions at the presynaptic terminal in a cell-autonomous fashion, but may be necessary for retrograde trophic signaling to presynaptic inputs onto motor neurons. Importantly, SMN also appears to function in muscle growth and/or maintenance independent of motor neurons. Our data suggest that SMN plays distinct roles in muscle, NMJs, and motor neuron somal synapses and that restored function of SMN at all three sites will be necessary for full recovery of muscle power.

  12. Dysregulation of ubiquitin homeostasis and β-catenin signaling promote spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Wishart, Thomas M.; Mutsaers, Chantal A.; Riessland, Markus; Reimer, Michell M.; Hunter, Gillian; Hannam, Marie L.; Eaton, Samantha L.; Fuller, Heidi R.; Roche, Sarah L.; Somers, Eilidh; Morse, Robert; Young, Philip J.; Lamont, Douglas J.; Hammerschmidt, Matthias; Joshi, Anagha; Hohenstein, Peter; Morris, Glenn E.; Parson, Simon H.; Skehel, Paul A.; Becker, Thomas; Robinson, Iain M.; Becker, Catherina G.; Wirth, Brunhilde; Gillingwater, Thomas H.

    2014-01-01

    The autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) results from low levels of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein; however, it is unclear how reduced SMN promotes SMA development. Here, we determined that ubiquitin-dependent pathways regulate neuromuscular pathology in SMA. Using mouse models of SMA, we observed widespread perturbations in ubiquitin homeostasis, including reduced levels of ubiquitin-like modifier activating enzyme 1 (UBA1). SMN physically interacted with UBA1 in neurons, and disruption of Uba1 mRNA splicing was observed in the spinal cords of SMA mice exhibiting disease symptoms. Pharmacological or genetic suppression of UBA1 was sufficient to recapitulate an SMA-like neuromuscular pathology in zebrafish, suggesting that UBA1 directly contributes to disease pathogenesis. Dysregulation of UBA1 and subsequent ubiquitination pathways led to β-catenin accumulation, and pharmacological inhibition of β-catenin robustly ameliorated neuromuscular pathology in zebrafish, Drosophila, and mouse models of SMA. UBA1-associated disruption of β-catenin was restricted to the neuromuscular system in SMA mice; therefore, pharmacological inhibition of β-catenin in these animals failed to prevent systemic pathology in peripheral tissues and organs, indicating fundamental molecular differences between neuromuscular and systemic SMA pathology. Our data indicate that SMA-associated reduction of UBA1 contributes to neuromuscular pathogenesis through disruption of ubiquitin homeostasis and subsequent β-catenin signaling, highlighting ubiquitin homeostasis and β-catenin as potential therapeutic targets for SMA. PMID:24590288

  13. Arrhythmia and cardiac defects are a feature of spinal muscular atrophy model mice.

    PubMed

    Heier, Christopher R; Satta, Rosalba; Lutz, Cathleen; DiDonato, Christine J

    2010-10-15

    Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the leading genetic cause of infant mortality. Traditionally, SMA has been described as a motor neuron disease; however, there is a growing body of evidence that arrhythmia and/or cardiomyopathy may present in SMA patients at an increased frequency. Here, we ask whether SMA model mice possess such phenotypes. We find SMA mice suffer from severe bradyarrhythmia characterized by progressive heart block and impaired ventricular depolarization. Echocardiography further confirms functional cardiac deficits in SMA mice. Additional investigations show evidence of both sympathetic innervation defects and dilated cardiomyopathy at late stages of disease. Based upon these data, we propose a model in which decreased sympathetic innervation causes autonomic imbalance. Such imbalance would be characterized by a relative increase in the level of vagal tone controlling heart rate, which is consistent with bradyarrhythmia and progressive heart block. Finally, treatment with the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A, a drug known to benefit phenotypes of SMA model mice, produces prolonged maturation of the SMA heartbeat and an increase in cardiac size. Treated mice maintain measures of motor function throughout extended survival though they ultimately reach death endpoints in association with a progression of bradyarrhythmia. These data represent the novel identification of cardiac arrhythmia as an early and progressive feature of murine SMA while providing several new, quantitative indices of mouse health. Together with clinical cases that report similar symptoms, this reveals a new area of investigation that will be important to address as we move SMA therapeutics towards clinical success.

  14. Contractile dysfunction in muscle may underlie androgen-dependent motor dysfunction in spinal bulbar muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Oki, Kentaro; Halievski, Katherine; Vicente, Laura; Xu, Youfen; Zeolla, Donald; Poort, Jessica; Katsuno, Masahisa; Adachi, Hiroaki; Sobue, Gen; Wiseman, Robert W; Breedlove, S Marc; Jordan, Cynthia L

    2015-04-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is characterized by progressive muscle weakness linked to a polyglutamine expansion in the androgen receptor (AR). Current evidence indicates that mutant AR causes SBMA by acting in muscle to perturb its function. However, information about how muscle function is impaired is scant. One fundamental question is whether the intrinsic strength of muscles, an attribute of muscle independent of its mass, is affected. In the current study, we assess the contractile properties of hindlimb muscles in vitro from chronically diseased males of three different SBMA mouse models: a transgenic (Tg) model that broadly expresses a full-length human AR with 97 CAGs (97Q), a knock-in (KI) model that expresses a humanized AR containing a CAG expansion in the first exon, and a Tg myogenic model that overexpresses wild-type AR only in skeletal muscle fibers. We found that hindlimb muscles in the two Tg models (97Q and myogenic) showed marked losses in their intrinsic strength and resistance to fatigue, but were minimally affected in KI males. However, diseased muscles of all three models showed symptoms consistent with myotonic dystrophy type 1, namely, reduced resting membrane potential and deficits in chloride channel mRNA. These data indicate that muscle dysfunction is a core feature of SBMA caused by at least some of the same pathogenic mechanisms as myotonic dystrophy. Thus mechanisms controlling muscle function per se independent of mass are prime targets for SBMA therapeutics.

  15. Abnormal motor phenotype in the SMNΔ7 mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Butchbach, Matthew E. R.; Edwards, Jonathan D.; Burghes, Arthur H. M.

    2009-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is recessive motor neuron disease that affects motor neurons in the anterior horn of the spinal cord. SMA results from the reduction of SMN (survival motor neuron) protein. Even though SMN is ubiquitously expressed, motor neurons are more sensitive to the reduction in SMN than other cell types. We have previously generated mouse models of SMA with varying degrees of clinical severity. So as to more clearly understand the pathogenesis of motor neuron degeneration in SMA, we have characterized the phenotype of the SMNΔ7 SMA mouse which normally lives for 13.6 ± 0.7 days. These mice are smaller than their non-SMA littermates and begin to lose body mass at 10.4 ± 0.4 days. SMNΔ7 SMA mice exhibit impaired responses to surface righting, negative geotaxis and cliff aversion but not to tactile stimulation. Spontaneous motor activity and grip strength are also significantly impaired in SMNΔ7 SMA mice. In summary, we have demonstrated an impairment of neonatal motor responses in SMNΔ7 SMA mice. This phenotype characterization could be used to assess the effectiveness of potential therapies for SMA. PMID:17561409

  16. Effect of prolonged ischaemic time on muscular atrophy and regenerating nerve fibres in transplantation of the rat hind limb.

    PubMed

    Tsuji, Naoko; Yamashita, Shuji; Sugawara, Yasushi; Kobayashi, Eiji

    2012-09-01

    Our aim was to test the influence of cold ischaemia on replanted limbs, focusing on muscular atrophy and neurological recovery. Inbred wild-type and green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic (Tg) Lewis rats aged 8-10 weeks were used. The amputated limbs were transplanted at several cold ischaemic times (0, 1, 8, 12, 24, 48, and 72 hours). An arterial ischaemic model and a denervation model were used as controls. To study nerve regeneration, a GFP limb was transplanted on to the syngenic wild Lewis rat. These animals were evaluated histologically, electrophysiologically, and immunohistochemically. The longer the ischaemic time, the more evident was atrophy of the muscles. Electrophysiological investigation showed that the latency at 3 weeks was longer in the transplantation models than in the normal controls, particularly in the longer ischaemia group. Larger numbers of migrating Schwann cells were seen in the group with no delay than in the group that had been preserved for 12 hours. Ischaemia after amputation of a limb causes muscle cells to necrose and atrophy, and these changes worsen in proportion to the ischaemic preservation time. A delay in nerve regeneration and incomplete paralysis caused by malregeneration also affect muscular atrophy.

  17. Candidate Proteins, Metabolites and Transcripts in the Biomarkers for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (BforSMA) Clinical Study

    PubMed Central

    Finkel, Richard S.; Crawford, Thomas O.; Swoboda, Kathryn J.; Kaufmann, Petra; Juhasz, Peter; Li, Xiaohong; Guo, Yu; Li, Rebecca H.; Trachtenberg, Felicia; Forrest, Suzanne J.; Kobayashi, Dione T.; Chen, Karen S.; Joyce, Cynthia L.; Plasterer, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Background Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a neurodegenerative motor neuron disorder resulting from a homozygous mutation of the survival of motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. The gene product, SMN protein, functions in RNA biosynthesis in all tissues. In humans, a nearly identical gene, SMN2, rescues an otherwise lethal phenotype by producing a small amount of full-length SMN protein. SMN2 copy number inversely correlates with disease severity. Identifying other novel biomarkers could inform clinical trial design and identify novel therapeutic targets. Objective: To identify novel candidate biomarkers associated with disease severity in SMA using unbiased proteomic, metabolomic and transcriptomic approaches. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional single evaluation was performed in 108 children with genetically confirmed SMA, aged 2–12 years, manifesting a broad range of disease severity and selected to distinguish factors associated with SMA type and present functional ability independent of age. Blood and urine specimens from these and 22 age-matched healthy controls were interrogated using proteomic, metabolomic and transcriptomic discovery platforms. Analyte associations were evaluated against a primary measure of disease severity, the Modified Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale (MHFMS) and to a number of secondary clinical measures. Results A total of 200 candidate biomarkers correlate with MHFMS scores: 97 plasma proteins, 59 plasma metabolites (9 amino acids, 10 free fatty acids, 12 lipids and 28 GC/MS metabolites) and 44 urine metabolites. No transcripts correlated with MHFMS. Discussion In this cross-sectional study, “BforSMA” (Biomarkers for SMA), candidate protein and metabolite markers were identified. No transcript biomarker candidates were identified. Additional mining of this rich dataset may yield important insights into relevant SMA-related pathophysiology and biological network associations. Additional prospective studies are needed to confirm

  18. Rescue of a Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy With Respiratory Distress Type 1 by AAV9-IGHMBP2 Is Dose Dependent.

    PubMed

    Shababi, Monir; Feng, Zhihua; Villalon, Eric; Sibigtroth, Christine M; Osman, Erkan Y; Miller, Madeline R; Williams-Simon, Patricka A; Lombardi, Abby; Sass, Thalia H; Atkinson, Arleigh K; Garcia, Michael L; Ko, Chien-Ping; Lorson, Christian L

    2016-05-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress type 1 (SMARD1) is an autosomal recessive disease occurring during childhood. The gene responsible for disease development is a ubiquitously expressed protein, IGHMBP2. Mutations in IGHMBP2 result in the loss of α-motor neurons leading to muscle atrophy in the distal limbs accompanied by respiratory complications. Although genetically and clinically distinct, proximal SMA is also caused by the loss of a ubiquitously expressed gene (SMN). Significant preclinical success has been achieved in proximal SMA using viral-based gene replacement strategies. We leveraged the technologies employed in SMA to demonstrate gene replacement efficacy in an SMARD1 animal model. Intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of single-stranded AAV9 expressing the full-length cDNA of IGHMBP2 in a low dose led to a significant level of rescue in treated SMARD1 animals. Consistent with drastically increased survival, weight gain, and strength, the rescued animals demonstrated a significant improvement in muscle, NMJ, motor neurons, and axonal pathology. In addition, increased levels of IGHMBP2 in lumbar motor neurons verified the efficacy of the virus to transduce the target tissues. Our results indicate that AAV9-based gene replacement is a viable strategy for SMARD1, although dosing effects and potential negative impacts of high dose and ICV injection should be thoroughly investigated.

  19. Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and efficacy of a small-molecule SMN2 splicing modifier in mouse models of spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Xin; Feng, Zhihua; Ling, Karen K. Y.; Mollin, Anna; Sheedy, Josephine; Yeh, Shirley; Petruska, Janet; Narasimhan, Jana; Dakka, Amal; Welch, Ellen M.; Karp, Gary; Chen, Karen S.; Metzger, Friedrich; Ratni, Hasane; Lotti, Francesco; Tisdale, Sarah; Naryshkin, Nikolai A.; Pellizzoni, Livio; Paushkin, Sergey; Ko, Chien-Ping; Weetall, Marla

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by the loss or mutation of both copies of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. The related SMN2 gene is retained, but due to alternative splicing of exon 7, produces insufficient levels of the SMN protein. Here, we systematically characterize the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics properties of the SMN splicing modifier SMN-C1. SMN-C1 is a low-molecular weight compound that promotes the inclusion of exon 7 and increases production of SMN protein in human cells and in two transgenic mouse models of SMA. Furthermore, increases in SMN protein levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and skin correlate with those in the central nervous system (CNS), indicating that a change of these levels in blood or skin can be used as a non-invasive surrogate to monitor increases of SMN protein levels in the CNS. Consistent with restored SMN function, SMN-C1 treatment increases the levels of spliceosomal and U7 small-nuclear RNAs and corrects RNA processing defects induced by SMN deficiency in the spinal cord of SMNΔ7 SMA mice. A 100% or greater increase in SMN protein in the CNS of SMNΔ7 SMA mice robustly improves the phenotype. Importantly, a ∼50% increase in SMN leads to long-term survival, but the SMA phenotype is only partially corrected, indicating that certain SMA disease manifestations may respond to treatment at lower doses. Overall, we provide important insights for the translation of pre-clinical data to the clinic and further therapeutic development of this series of molecules for SMA treatment. PMID:26931466

  20. Cell-type-specific miR-431 dysregulation in a motor neuron model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Wertz, Mary H; Winden, Kellen; Neveu, Pierre; Ng, Shi-Yan; Ercan, Ebru; Sahin, Mustafa

    2016-06-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal-recessive pediatric neurodegenerative disease characterized by selective loss of spinal motor neurons. It is caused by mutation in the survival of motor neuron 1, SMN1, gene and leads to loss of function of the full-length SMN protein. microRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNAs that are involved in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Prior studies have implicated miRNAs in the pathogenesis of motor neuron disease. We hypothesized that motor neuron-specific miRNA expression changes are involved in their selective vulnerability in SMA. Therefore, we sought to determine the effect of SMN loss on miRNAs and their target mRNAs in spinal motor neurons. We used microarray and RNAseq to profile both miRNA and mRNA expression in primary spinal motor neuron cultures after acute SMN knockdown. By integrating the miRNA:mRNA profiles, a number of dysregulated miRNAs were identified with enrichment in differentially expressed putative mRNA targets. miR-431 expression was highly increased, and a number of its putative mRNA targets were significantly downregulated in motor neurons after SMN loss. Further, we found that miR-431 regulates motor neuron neurite length by targeting several molecules previously identified to play a role in motor neuron axon outgrowth, including chondrolectin. Together, our findings indicate that cell-type-specific dysregulation of miR-431 plays a role in the SMA motor neuron phenotype.

  1. Recapitulation of spinal motor neuron-specific disease phenotypes in a human cell model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhi-Bo; Zhang, Xiaoqing; Li, Xue-Jun

    2013-03-01

    Establishing human cell models of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) to mimic motor neuron-specific phenotypes holds the key to understanding the pathogenesis of this devastating disease. Here, we developed a closely representative cell model of SMA by knocking down the disease-determining gene, survival motor neuron (SMN), in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Our study with this cell model demonstrated that knocking down of SMN does not interfere with neural induction or the initial specification of spinal motor neurons. Notably, the axonal outgrowth of spinal motor neurons was significantly impaired and these disease-mimicking neurons subsequently degenerated. Furthermore, these disease phenotypes were caused by SMN-full length (SMN-FL) but not SMN-Δ7 (lacking exon 7) knockdown, and were specific to spinal motor neurons. Restoring the expression of SMN-FL completely ameliorated all of the disease phenotypes, including specific axonal defects and motor neuron loss. Finally, knockdown of SMN-FL led to excessive mitochondrial oxidative stress in human motor neuron progenitors. The involvement of oxidative stress in the degeneration of spinal motor neurons in the SMA cell model was further confirmed by the administration of N-acetylcysteine, a potent antioxidant, which prevented disease-related apoptosis and subsequent motor neuron death. Thus, we report here the successful establishment of an hESC-based SMA model, which exhibits disease gene isoform specificity, cell type specificity, and phenotype reversibility. Our model provides a unique paradigm for studying how motor neurons specifically degenerate and highlights the potential importance of antioxidants for the treatment of SMA.

  2. Observational study of spinal muscular atrophy type I and implications for clinical trials

    PubMed Central

    McDermott, Michael P.; Kaufmann, Petra; Darras, Basil T.; Chung, Wendy K.; Sproule, Douglas M.; Kang, Peter B.; Foley, A. Reghan; Yang, Michelle L.; Martens, William B.; Oskoui, Maryam; Glanzman, Allan M.; Flickinger, Jean; Montes, Jacqueline; Dunaway, Sally; O'Hagen, Jessica; Quigley, Janet; Riley, Susan; Benton, Maryjane; Ryan, Patricia A.; Montgomery, Megan; Marra, Jonathan; Gooch, Clifton; De Vivo, Darryl C.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: Prospective cohort study to characterize the clinical features and course of spinal muscular atrophy type I (SMA-I). Methods: Patients were enrolled at 3 study sites and followed for up to 36 months with serial clinical, motor function, laboratory, and electrophysiologic outcome assessments. Intervention was determined by published standard of care guidelines. Palliative care options were offered. Results: Thirty-four of 54 eligible subjects with SMA-I (63%) enrolled and 50% of these completed at least 12 months of follow-up. The median age at reaching the combined endpoint of death or requiring at least 16 hours/day of ventilation support was 13.5 months (interquartile range 8.1–22.0 months). Requirement for nutritional support preceded that for ventilation support. The distribution of age at reaching the combined endpoint was similar for subjects with SMA-I who had symptom onset before 3 months and after 3 months of age (p = 0.58). Having 2 SMN2 copies was associated with greater morbidity and mortality than having 3 copies. Baseline electrophysiologic measures indicated substantial motor neuron loss. By comparison, subjects with SMA-II who lost sitting ability (n = 10) had higher motor function, motor unit number estimate and compound motor action potential, longer survival, and later age when feeding or ventilation support was required. The mean rate of decline in The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Infant Test for Neuromuscular Disorders motor function scale was 1.27 points/year (95% confidence interval 0.21–2.33, p = 0.02). Conclusions: Infants with SMA-I can be effectively enrolled and retained in a 12-month natural history study until a majority reach the combined endpoint. These outcome data can be used for clinical trial design. PMID:25080519

  3. Revised Hammersmith Scale for spinal muscular atrophy: A SMA specific clinical outcome assessment tool

    PubMed Central

    Scoto, Mariacristina; Mayhew, Anna; Main, Marion; Mazzone, Elena S.; Montes, Jacqueline; de Sanctis, Roberto; Dunaway Young, Sally; Salazar, Rachel; Glanzman, Allan M.; Pasternak, Amy; Quigley, Janet; Mirek, Elizabeth; Duong, Tina; Gee, Richard; Civitello, Matthew; Tennekoon, Gihan; Pane, Marika; Pera, Maria Carmela; Bushby, Kate; Day, John; Darras, Basil T.; De Vivo, Darryl; Finkel, Richard; Mercuri, Eugenio; Muntoni, Francesco

    2017-01-01

    Recent translational research developments in Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), outcome measure design and demands from regulatory authorities require that clinical outcome assessments are ‘fit for purpose’. An international collaboration (SMA REACH UK, Italian SMA Network and PNCRN USA) undertook an iterative process to address discontinuity in the recorded performance of the Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale Expanded and developed a revised functional scale using Rasch analysis, traditional psychometric techniques and the application of clinical sensibility via expert panels. Specifically, we intended to develop a psychometrically and clinically robust functional clinician rated outcome measure to assess physical abilities in weak SMA type 2 through to strong ambulant SMA type 3 patients. The final scale, the Revised Hammersmith Scale (RHS) for SMA, consisting of 36 items and two timed tests, was piloted in 138 patients with type 2 and 3 SMA in an observational cross-sectional multi-centre study across the three national networks. Rasch analysis demonstrated very good fit of all 36 items to the construct of motor performance, good reliability with a high Person Separation Index PSI 0.98, logical and hierarchical scoring in 27/36 items and excellent targeting with minimal ceiling. The RHS differentiated between clinically different groups: SMA type, World Health Organisation (WHO) categories, ambulatory status, and SMA type combined with ambulatory status (all p < 0.001). Construct and concurrent validity was also confirmed with a strong significant positive correlation with the WHO motor milestones rs = 0.860, p < 0.001. We conclude that the RHS is a psychometrically sound and versatile clinical outcome assessment to test the broad range of physical abilities of patients with type 2 and 3 SMA. Further longitudinal testing of the scale with regards change in scores over 6 and 12 months are required prior to its adoption in clinical trials. PMID:28222119

  4. Hyperleptinemia in children with autosomal recessive spinal muscular atrophy type I-III

    PubMed Central

    Kölbel, Heike; Hauffa, Berthold P.; Wudy, Stefan A.; Bouikidis, Anastasios; Della Marina, Adela; Schara, Ulrike

    2017-01-01

    Background Autosomal-recessive proximal spinal muscular atrophies (SMA) are disorders characterized by a ubiquitous deficiency of the survival of motor neuron protein that leads to a multisystemic disorder, which mostly affects alpha motor neurons. Disease progression is clinically associated with failure to thrive or weight loss, mainly caused by chewing and swallowing difficulties. Although pancreatic involvement has been described in animal models, systematic endocrinological evaluation of the energy metabolism in humans is lacking. Methods In 43 patients with SMA type I-III (8 type I; 22 type II; 13 type III), aged 0.6–21.8 years, auxological parameters, pubertal stage, motor function (Motor Function Measurement 32 –MFM32) as well as levels of leptin, insulin glucose, hemoglobin A1c, Homeostasis Model Assessment index and an urinary steroid profile were determined. Results Hyperleptinemia was found in 15/35 (43%) of our patients; 9/15 (60%) of the hyperleptinemic patients were underweight, whereas 1/15 (7%) was obese. Hyperleptinemia was associated with SMA type (p = 0.018). There was a significant association with decreased motor function (MFM32 total score in hyperleptinemia 28.5%, in normoleptinemia 54.7% p = 0.008, OR 0.969; 95%-CI: 0.946–0.992). In addition, a higher occurrence of hirsutism, premature pubarche and a higher variability of the urinary steroid pattern were found. Conclusion Hyperleptinemia is highly prevalent in underweight children with SMA and is associated with disease severity and decreased motor function. Neuronal degradation of hypothalamic cells or an increase in fat content by muscle remodeling could be the cause of hyperleptinemia. PMID:28278160

  5. Revised Hammersmith Scale for spinal muscular atrophy: A SMA specific clinical outcome assessment tool.

    PubMed

    Ramsey, Danielle; Scoto, Mariacristina; Mayhew, Anna; Main, Marion; Mazzone, Elena S; Montes, Jacqueline; de Sanctis, Roberto; Dunaway Young, Sally; Salazar, Rachel; Glanzman, Allan M; Pasternak, Amy; Quigley, Janet; Mirek, Elizabeth; Duong, Tina; Gee, Richard; Civitello, Matthew; Tennekoon, Gihan; Pane, Marika; Pera, Maria Carmela; Bushby, Kate; Day, John; Darras, Basil T; De Vivo, Darryl; Finkel, Richard; Mercuri, Eugenio; Muntoni, Francesco

    2017-01-01

    Recent translational research developments in Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), outcome measure design and demands from regulatory authorities require that clinical outcome assessments are 'fit for purpose'. An international collaboration (SMA REACH UK, Italian SMA Network and PNCRN USA) undertook an iterative process to address discontinuity in the recorded performance of the Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale Expanded and developed a revised functional scale using Rasch analysis, traditional psychometric techniques and the application of clinical sensibility via expert panels. Specifically, we intended to develop a psychometrically and clinically robust functional clinician rated outcome measure to assess physical abilities in weak SMA type 2 through to strong ambulant SMA type 3 patients. The final scale, the Revised Hammersmith Scale (RHS) for SMA, consisting of 36 items and two timed tests, was piloted in 138 patients with type 2 and 3 SMA in an observational cross-sectional multi-centre study across the three national networks. Rasch analysis demonstrated very good fit of all 36 items to the construct of motor performance, good reliability with a high Person Separation Index PSI 0.98, logical and hierarchical scoring in 27/36 items and excellent targeting with minimal ceiling. The RHS differentiated between clinically different groups: SMA type, World Health Organisation (WHO) categories, ambulatory status, and SMA type combined with ambulatory status (all p < 0.001). Construct and concurrent validity was also confirmed with a strong significant positive correlation with the WHO motor milestones rs = 0.860, p < 0.001. We conclude that the RHS is a psychometrically sound and versatile clinical outcome assessment to test the broad range of physical abilities of patients with type 2 and 3 SMA. Further longitudinal testing of the scale with regards change in scores over 6 and 12 months are required prior to its adoption in clinical trials.

  6. Correlation of insulin resistance and motor function in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Nakatsuji, Hideaki; Araki, Amane; Hashizume, Atsushi; Hijikata, Yasuhiro; Yamada, Shinichiro; Inagaki, Tomonori; Suzuki, Keisuke; Banno, Haruhiko; Suga, Noriaki; Okada, Yohei; Ohyama, Manabu; Nakagawa, Tohru; Kishida, Ken; Funahashi, Tohru; Shimomura, Iichiro; Okano, Hideyuki; Katsuno, Masahisa; Sobue, Gen

    2017-02-22

    This study aimed to evaluate various metabolic parameters in patients with spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), to investigate the association between those indices and disease severity, and to explore the underlying molecular pathogenesis. We compared the degree of obesity, metabolic parameters, and blood pressure in 55 genetically confirmed SBMA patients against those in 483 age- and sex-matched healthy control. In SBMA patients, we investigated the correlation between these factors and motor functional indices. SBMA patients had lower body mass index, blood glucose, and Hemoglobin A1c, but higher blood pressure, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR, a marker of insulin resistance), total cholesterol, and adiponectin levels than the control subjects. There were no differences in visceral fat areas, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), or triglyceride levels in two groups. Revised amyotrophic lateral sclerosis functional rating scale (ALSFRS-R) correlated positively with HDL-C, but negatively with HOMA-IR. Through stepwise multiple regression analysis, we identified HOMA-IR as a significant metabolic determinant of ALSFRS-R. In biochemical analysis, we found that decreased expressions of insulin receptors, insulin receptor substrate-1 and insulin receptor-β, in autopsied muscles and fibroblasts of SBMA patients. This study demonstrates that SBMA patients have insulin resistance, which is associated with the disease severity. The expressions of insulin receptors are attenuated in the skeletal muscle of SBMA, providing a possible pathomechanism of metabolic alterations. These findings suggested that insulin resistance is a metabolic index reflecting disease severity and pathogenesis as well as a potential therapeutic target for SBMA.

  7. A randomized controlled trial of exercise in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Shrader, Joseph A; Kats, Ilona; Kokkinis, Angela; Zampieri, Cris; Levy, Ellen; Joe, Galen O; Woolstenhulme, Joshua G; Drinkard, Bart E; Smith, Michaele R; Ching, Willie; Ghosh, Laboni; Fox, Derrick; Auh, Sungyoung; Schindler, Alice B; Fischbeck, Kenneth H; Grunseich, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    Objective To determine the safety and efficacy of a home-based functional exercise program in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA). Methods Subjects were randomly assigned to participate in 12 weeks of either functional exercises (intervention) or a stretching program (control) at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. A total of 54 subjects enrolled, and 50 completed the study with 24 in the functional exercise group and 26 in the stretching control group. The primary outcome measure was the Adult Myopathy Assessment Tool (AMAT) total score, and secondary measures included total activity by accelerometry, muscle strength, balance, timed up and go, sit-to-stand test, health-related quality of life, creatine kinase, and insulin-like growth factor-1. Results Functional exercise was well tolerated but did not lead to significant group differences in the primary outcome measure or any of the secondary measures. The functional exercise did not produce significantly more adverse events than stretching, and was not perceived to be difficult. To determine whether a subset of the subjects may have benefited, we divided them into high and low functioning based on baseline AMAT scores and performed a post hoc subgroup analysis. Low-functioning individuals receiving the intervention increased AMAT functional subscale scores compared to the control group. Interpretation Although these trial results indicate that functional exercise had no significant effect on total AMAT scores or on mobility, strength, balance, and quality of life, post hoc findings indicate that low-functioning men with SBMA may respond better to functional exercises, and this warrants further investigation with appropriate exercise intensity. PMID:26273686

  8. Adiposity is increased among High-Functioning, Non-Ambulatory Patients with Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Sproule, Douglas M.; Montes, Jacqueline; Dunaway, Sally; Montgomery, Megan; Battista, Vanessa; Koenigsberger, Dorcas; Martens, Bill; Shen, Wei; Punyanitya, Mark; Benton, Maryjane; Butler, Hailly; Caracciolo, Jayson; Mercuri, Eugenio; Finkel, Richard; Darras, Basil; De Vivo, Darryl C.; Kaufmann, Petra

    2010-01-01

    The relationship between body composition and function in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is poorly understood. 53 subjects with SMA were stratified by type and Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale, Expanded score into three cohorts: Low-Functioning Non-Ambulatory (type 2 with Hammersmith score <12, n=19), High-Functioning Non-Ambulatory (type 2 with Hammersmith Score ≥ 12 or non-ambulatory type 3, n=17), and Ambulatory (n=17). Lean and fat mass was estimated using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Anthropometric data was incorporated to measure fat-free (lean mass in kg /stature in m2) and fat (fat mass in kg /stature in m2) mass indices, the latter compared to published age and sex norms. Feeding dysfunction among type 2 subjects was assessed by questionnaire. Fat mass index was increased in the High-Functioning Non-Ambulatory cohort (10.4 ± 4.5) compared with both the ambulatory (7.2 ± 2.1, p = 0.013) and Low-Functioning Non-Ambulatory (7.6 ± 3.1, p = 0.040) cohorts. 12 of 17 subjects (71%) in the High-Functioning Non-Ambulatory cohort had fat mass index >85th percentile for age and gender (connoting “at risk of overweight”) versus 9 of 19 subjects (47%) in the Low-Functioning Non-Ambulatory cohort and 8 of 17 ambulatory subjects (47%). Despite differences in clinical function, a similar proportion of low functioning (7/18, 39%) and high functioning (2/7, 29%) type 2 subjects reported swallowing or feeding dysfunction. Non-ambulatory patients with relatively high clinical function may be at particular risk of excess adiposity, perhaps reflecting access to excess calories despite relative immobility, emphasizing the importance of individualized nutritional management in SMA. PMID:20610154

  9. Differences in F-Wave Characteristics between Spinobulbar Muscular Atrophy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Jia; Cui, Liying; Liu, Mingsheng; Guan, Yuzhou; Li, Xiaoguang; Li, Dawei; Cui, Bo; Shen, Dongchao; Ding, Qingyun

    2016-01-01

    There is limited data on the differences in F-wave characteristics between spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) and lower motor neuron dominant (LMND) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We compared the parameters of F-waves recorded bilaterally from the median, ulnar, tibial, and deep peroneal nerves in 32 SBMA patients, 37 patients with LMND ALS, and 30 normal controls. The maximum F-wave amplitudes, frequencies of giant F-waves, and frequencies of patients with giant F-waves in all nerves examined were significantly higher in the SBMA patients than in the ALS patients and the normal controls. The mean F-wave amplitude, maximum F-wave amplitude, frequency of giant F-waves, and frequency of patients with giant F-waves in the median and deep peroneal nerves were comparable between the ALS patients and normal controls. Giant F-waves were detected in multiple nerves and were often symmetrical in the SBMA patients compared with the ALS patients. The number of nerves with giant F-waves seems to be the most robust variable for differentiation of SBMA from ALS, with an area under the curve of 0.908 (95% CI: 0.835–0.982). A cut-off value of the number of nerves with giant F-waves (≥3) for diagnosing SBMA showed high sensitivity and specificity: 85% sensitivity and 81% specificity vs. ALS patients. No significant correlations were found between the pooled frequency of giant F-waves and disease duration in the SBMA (r = 0.162, P = 0.418) or ALS groups (r = 0.107, P = 0.529). Our findings suggested that F-waves might be used to discriminate SBMA from ALS, even at early stages of disease. PMID:27014057

  10. Differences in F-Wave Characteristics between Spinobulbar Muscular Atrophy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Fang, Jia; Cui, Liying; Liu, Mingsheng; Guan, Yuzhou; Li, Xiaoguang; Li, Dawei; Cui, Bo; Shen, Dongchao; Ding, Qingyun

    2016-01-01

    There is limited data on the differences in F-wave characteristics between spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) and lower motor neuron dominant (LMND) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We compared the parameters of F-waves recorded bilaterally from the median, ulnar, tibial, and deep peroneal nerves in 32 SBMA patients, 37 patients with LMND ALS, and 30 normal controls. The maximum F-wave amplitudes, frequencies of giant F-waves, and frequencies of patients with giant F-waves in all nerves examined were significantly higher in the SBMA patients than in the ALS patients and the normal controls. The mean F-wave amplitude, maximum F-wave amplitude, frequency of giant F-waves, and frequency of patients with giant F-waves in the median and deep peroneal nerves were comparable between the ALS patients and normal controls. Giant F-waves were detected in multiple nerves and were often symmetrical in the SBMA patients compared with the ALS patients. The number of nerves with giant F-waves seems to be the most robust variable for differentiation of SBMA from ALS, with an area under the curve of 0.908 (95% CI: 0.835-0.982). A cut-off value of the number of nerves with giant F-waves (≥3) for diagnosing SBMA showed high sensitivity and specificity: 85% sensitivity and 81% specificity vs. ALS patients. No significant correlations were found between the pooled frequency of giant F-waves and disease duration in the SBMA (r = 0.162, P = 0.418) or ALS groups (r = 0.107, P = 0.529). Our findings suggested that F-waves might be used to discriminate SBMA from ALS, even at early stages of disease.

  11. Fungal Smn and Spf30 homologues are mainly present in filamentous fungi and genomes with many introns: implications for spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Mier, Pablo; Pérez-Pulido, Antonio J

    2012-01-10

    Spinal muscular atrophy is an important rare genetic disease characterized by the loss of motor neurons, where the main gene responsible is smn1. Orthologous genes have only been characterized in a single fungal genome: Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We have searched for putative SMN orthologues in publically available fungal genomes, finding that they are predominately present in filamentous fungi. SMN binding partners and the SPF30 SMN paralogue, which are all involved in mRNA splicing, were found to be present in a similar but non-identical subset of fungal genomes. The Saccharomycces cerevisiae yeast genome contains neither smn1 orthologues nor paralogues and it has been suggested that this might be related to the low number of introns in this yeast. Here we have tested this hypothesis by looking at other fungal genomes. Significantly, we find that fungal genomes with high numbers of introns also possess an SMN orthologue or at least its paralogue, SPF30.

  12. Distinct Etiological Roles for Myocytes and Motor Neurons in a Mouse Model of Kennedy's Disease/Spinobulbar Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Ramzan, Firyal; McPhail, Mike; Rao, Pengcheng; Mo, Kaiguo; Halievski, Katherine; Swift-Gallant, Ashlyn; Mendoza-Viveros, Lucia; Cheng, Hai-Ying M; Monks, D Ashley

    2015-04-22

    Polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion of the androgen receptor (AR) causes Kennedy's disease/spinobulbar muscular atrophy (KD/SBMA) through poorly defined cellular mechanisms. Although KD/SBMA has been thought of as a motor neuron disease, recent evidence indicates a key role for skeletal muscle. To resolve which early aspects of the disease can be caused by neurogenic or myogenic mechanisms, we made use of the tet-On and Cre-loxP genetic systems to selectively and acutely express polyQ AR in either motor neurons (NeuroAR) or myocytes (MyoAR) of transgenic mice. After 4 weeks of transgene induction in adulthood, deficits in gross motor function were seen in NeuroAR mice, but not MyoAR mice. Conversely, reduced size of fast glycolytic fibers and alterations in expression of candidate genes were observed only in MyoAR mice. Both NeuroAR and MyoAR mice exhibited reduced oxidative capacity in skeletal muscles, as well as a shift in fast fibers from oxidative to glycolytic. Markers of oxidative stress were increased in the muscle of NeuroAR mice and were reduced in motor neurons of both NeuroAR and MyoAR mice. Despite secondary pathology in skeletal muscle and behavioral deficits, no pathological signs were observed in motor neurons of NeuroAR mice, possibly due to relatively low levels of polyQ AR expression. These results indicate that polyQ AR in motor neurons can produce secondary pathology in muscle. Results also support both neurogenic and myogenic contributions of polyQ AR to several acute aspects of pathology and provide further evidence for disordered cellular respiration in KD/SBMA skeletal muscle.

  13. Synergic prodegradative activity of Bicalutamide and trehalose on the mutant androgen receptor responsible for spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Giorgetti, Elisa; Rusmini, Paola; Crippa, Valeria; Cristofani, Riccardo; Boncoraglio, Alessandra; Cicardi, Maria E; Galbiati, Mariarita; Poletti, Angelo

    2015-01-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is an X-linked motoneuron disease due to a CAG triplet-repeat expansion in the androgen receptor (AR) gene, which is translated into an elongated polyglutamine (polyQ) tract in AR protein (ARpolyQ). ARpolyQ toxicity is activated by the AR ligand testosterone (or dihydrotestosterone), and the polyQ triggers ARpolyQ misfolding and aggregation in spinal cord motoneurons and muscle cells. In motoneurons, testosterone triggers nuclear toxicity by inducing AR nuclear translocation. Thus, (i) prevention of ARpolyQ nuclear localization, combined with (ii) an increased ARpolyQ cytoplasmic clearance, should reduce its detrimental activity. Using the antiandrogen Bicalutamide (Casodex(®)), which slows down AR activation and nuclear translocation, and the disaccharide trehalose, an autophagy activator, we found that, in motoneurons, the two compounds together reduced ARpolyQ insoluble forms with higher efficiency than that obtained with single treatments. The ARpolyQ clearance was mediated by trehalose-induced autophagy combined with the longer cytoplasmic retention of ARpolyQ bound to Bicalutamide. This allows an increased recognition of misfolded species by the autophagic system prior to their migration into the nucleus. Interestingly, the combinatory use of trehalose and Bicalutamide was also efficient in the removal of insoluble species of AR with a very long polyQ (Q112) tract, which typically aggregates into the cell nuclei. Collectively, these data suggest that the combinatory use of Bicalutamide and trehalose is a novel approach to facilitate ARpolyQ clearance that has to be tested in other cell types target of SBMA (i.e. muscle cells) and in vivo in animal models of SBMA.

  14. Skeletal muscle DNA damage precedes spinal motor neuron DNA damage in a mouse model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).

    PubMed

    Fayzullina, Saniya; Martin, Lee J

    2014-01-01

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a hereditary childhood disease that causes paralysis by progressive degeneration of skeletal muscles and spinal motor neurons. SMA is associated with reduced levels of full-length Survival of Motor Neuron (SMN) protein, due to mutations in the Survival of Motor Neuron 1 gene. The mechanisms by which lack of SMN causes SMA pathology are not known, making it very difficult to develop effective therapies. We investigated whether DNA damage is a perinatal pathological event in SMA, and whether DNA damage and cell death first occur in skeletal muscle or spinal cord of SMA mice. We used a mouse model of severe SMA to ascertain the extent of cell death and DNA damage throughout the body of prenatal and newborn mice. SMA mice at birth (postnatal day 0) exhibited internucleosomal fragmentation in genomic DNA from hindlimb skeletal muscle, but not in genomic DNA from spinal cord. SMA mice at postnatal day 5, compared with littermate controls, exhibited increased apoptotic cell death profiles in skeletal muscle, by hematoxylin and eosin, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling, and electron microscopy. SMA mice had no increased cell death, no loss of choline acetyl transferase (ChAT)-positive motor neurons, and no overt pathology in the ventral horn of the spinal cord. At embryonic days 13 and 15.5, SMA mice did not exhibit statistically significant increases in cell death profiles in spinal cord or skeletal muscle. Motor neuron numbers in the ventral horn, as identified by ChAT immunoreactivity, were comparable in SMA mice and control littermates at embryonic day 15.5 and postnatal day 5. These observations demonstrate that in SMA, disease in skeletal muscle emerges before pathology in spinal cord, including loss of motor neurons. Overall, this work identifies DNA damage and cell death in skeletal muscle as therapeutic targets for SMA.

  15. Label-free proteomics identifies Calreticulin and GRP75/Mortalin as peripherally accessible protein biomarkers for spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disease resulting from mutations in the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. Recent breakthroughs in preclinical research have highlighted several potential novel therapies for SMA, increasing the need for robust and sensitive clinical trial platforms for evaluating their effectiveness in human patient cohorts. Given that most clinical trials for SMA are likely to involve young children, there is a need for validated molecular biomarkers to assist with monitoring disease progression and establishing the effectiveness of therapies being tested. Proteomics technologies have recently been highlighted as a potentially powerful tool for such biomarker discovery. Methods We utilized label-free proteomics to identify individual proteins in pathologically-affected skeletal muscle from SMA mice that report directly on disease status. Quantitative fluorescent western blotting was then used to assess whether protein biomarkers were robustly changed in muscle, skin and blood from another mouse model of SMA, as well as in a small cohort of human SMA patient muscle biopsies. Results By comparing the protein composition of skeletal muscle in SMA mice at a pre-symptomatic time-point with the muscle proteome at a late-symptomatic time-point we identified increased expression of both Calreticulin and GRP75/Mortalin as robust indicators of disease progression in SMA mice. We report that these protein biomarkers were consistently modified in different mouse models of SMA, as well as across multiple skeletal muscles, and were also measurable in skin biopsies. Furthermore, Calreticulin and GRP75/Mortalin were measurable in muscle biopsy samples from human SMA patients. Conclusions We conclude that label-free proteomics technology provides a powerful platform for biomarker identification in SMA, revealing Calreticulin and GRP75/Mortalin as peripherally accessible protein biomarkers capable of reporting on disease progression in

  16. SMA-EUROPE workshop report: opportunities and challenges in developing clinical trials for spinal muscular atrophy in Europe

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the most common lethal recessive disease in childhood, and there is currently no effective treatment to halt disease progression. The translation of scientific advances into effective therapies is hampered by major roadblocks in clinical trials, including the complex regulatory environment in Europe, variations in standards of care, patient ascertainment and enrolment, a narrow therapeutic window and a lack of biomarkers of efficacy. In this context, SMA-Europe organized its first international workshop in July 2012 in Rome, gathering 34 scientists, clinicians and representatives of patient organizations to establish recommendations for improving clinical trials for SMAa. PMID:23514578

  17. Using General Anesthesia plus Muscle Relaxant in a Patient with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type IV: A Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiu-Fen; Wang, Dong-Xin; Ma, Daqing

    2011-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a rare genetic disease characterized by degeneration of spinal cord motor neurons, which results in hypotonia and muscle weakness. Patients with type IV SMA often have onset of weakness from adulthood. Anesthetic management is often difficult in these patients as a result of muscle weakness and hypersensitivity to neuromuscular blocking agents as shown by (Lunn and Wang; 2008, Simic; 2008, and Cifuentes-Diaz et al.; 2002). Herein we report a case of anesthetic management of a patient with SMA type IV for mammectomy and review some other cases of SMA patients receiving different kinds of anesthesia. PMID:22606392

  18. Defects in Neuromuscular Transmission May Underlie Motor Dysfunction in Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Youfen; Halievski, Katherine; Henley, Casey; Atchison, William D.; Katsuno, Masahisa; Adachi, Hiroaki; Sobue, Gen; Breedlove, S. Marc

    2016-01-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) in men is an androgen-dependent neuromuscular disease caused by expanded CAG repeats in the androgen receptor (AR). Whether muscle or motor neuron dysfunction or both underlies motor impairment in SBMA is unknown. Muscles of SBMA mice show significant contractile dysfunction, implicating them as a likely source of motor dysfunction, but whether disease also impairs neuromuscular transmission is an open question. Thus, we examined synaptic function in three well-studied SBMA mouse models—the AR97Q, knock-in (KI), and myogenic141 models—by recording in vitro miniature and evoked end-plate potentials (MEPPs and EPPs, respectively) intracellularly from adult muscle fibers. We found striking defects in neuromuscular transmission suggesting that toxic AR in SBMA impairs both presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms. Notably, SBMA causes neuromuscular synapses to become weak and muscles to become hyperexcitable in all three models. Presynaptic defects included deficits in quantal content, reduced size of the readily releasable pool, and impaired short-term facilitation. Postsynaptic defects included prolonged decay times for both MEPPs and EPPs, marked resistance to μ-conotoxin (a sodium channel blocker), and enhanced membrane excitability. Quantitative PCR revealed robust upregulation of mRNAs encoding neonatal isoforms of the AChR (γ-subunit) and the voltage-gated sodium channel (NaV1.5) in diseased adult muscles of all three models, consistent with the observed slowing of synaptic potentials and resistance to μ-conotoxin. These findings suggest that muscles of SBMA patients regress to an immature state that impairs neuromuscular function. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We have discovered that SBMA is accompanied by marked defects in neuromuscular synaptic transmission involving both presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms. For three different mouse models, we find that diseased synapses are weak, having reduced quantal content

  19. False homozygous deletions of SMN1 exon 7 using Dra I PCR-RFLP caused by a novel mutation in spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Kang, Seong-Ho; Cho, Sung Im; Chae, Jong-Hee; Chung, Kyu Nam; Ra, Eun Kyung; Kim, So Yeon; Seong, Moon-Woo; Kim, Ji Yeon; Park, Sung Sup

    2009-08-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disorder, and about 95% of SMA patients are homozygous for deletions in the SMN1 gene. Herein, classical polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) using DraI yielded false homozygous deletions of SMN1 exon 7 in a patient with SMA, but multiple ligation-dependent probe amplification analysis revealed one remaining copy of SMN1 exon 7. Sequencing showed that this false deletion in the PCR-RFLP resulted from a novel mutation of one SMN1 copy that was not deleted (c.863G > T, p.R288M). This novel sequence variant introduced a mismatch that interfered with primer binding. These findings demonstrate that comprehensive analysis using PCR-RFLP, multiple ligation-dependent probe amplification, and sequencing can reliably and correctly diagnose SMA.

  20. Mapping of human microtubule-associated protein 1B in proximity to the spinal muscular atrophy locus at 5q13

    SciTech Connect

    Lien, L.L. Children's Hospital, Boston, MA ); Boyce, F.M.; Kunkel, L.M. ); Kleyn, P.; Brzustowicz, L.M.; Gilliam, T.C. New York State Psychiatric Inst., New York, NY ); Menninger, J.; Ward, D.C. )

    1991-09-01

    A polyclonal antiserum directed against the C-terminal domain of dystrophin was used to isolate a cDNA clone encoding an antigenically cross-reactive protein, microtubule-associated protein 1B (MAP-1B). Physical mapping of the human MAP-1B locus places its chromosomal location at 5q13, in proximity to the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) locus. SMA is a degenerative disorder primarily affecting motor neurons. Genetic linkage analysis of SMA families using a human dinucleotide repeat polymorphism just 3{prime} of the MAP-1B gene has shown tight linkage to SMA mutations. These mapping data together with the postulated role of MAP-1B in neuronal morphogenesis and its localization in anterior horn motor neurons suggest a possible association with SMA.

  1. Whole transcriptome sequencing in blood provides a diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy with progressive myoclonic epilepsy (SMA-PME).

    PubMed

    Kernohan, Kristin D; Frésard, Laure; Zappala, Zachary; Hartley, Taila; Smith, Kevin S; Wagner, Justin; Xu, Hongbin; McBride, Arran; Bourque, Pierre R; Consortium, Care Rare Canada; Bennett, Steffany A L; Dyment, David A; Boycott, Kym M; Montgomery, Stephen B; Warman-Chardon, Jodi

    2017-03-02

    At least 15% of disease-causing mutations affect mRNA splicing. Many splicing mutations are missed in a clinical setting due to limitations of in silico prediction algorithms or their location in non-coding regions. Whole transcriptome sequencing is a promising new tool to identify these mutations; however, it will be a challenge to obtain disease relevant tissue for RNA. Here, we describe an individual with a sporadic atypical spinal muscular atrophy, in whom clinical DNA sequencing reported one pathogenic ASAH1 mutation (c.458A>G;p.Tyr153Cys). Transcriptome sequencing on patient leukocytes identified a highly significant and atypical ASAH1 isoform not explained by c.458A>G(p<10(-16) ). Subsequent Sanger-sequencing identified the splice mutation responsible for the isoform (c.504A>C;p.Lys168Asn) and provided a molecular diagnosis of autosomal recessive spinal muscular atrophy with progressive myoclonic epilepsy (SMA-PME). Our findings demonstrate the utility of RNA sequencing from blood to identify splice-impacting disease mutations for non-hematological conditions, providing a diagnosis for these otherwise unsolved patients. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  2. Antiandrogen flutamide protects male mice from androgen-dependent toxicity in three models of spinal bulbar muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Renier, Kayla J; Troxell-Smith, Sandra M; Johansen, Jamie A; Katsuno, Masahisa; Adachi, Hiroaki; Sobue, Gen; Chua, Jason P; Sun Kim, Hong; Lieberman, Andrew P; Breedlove, S Marc; Jordan, Cynthia L

    2014-07-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a late-onset, progressive neurodegenerative disease linked to a polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion in the androgen receptor (AR). Men affected by SBMA show marked muscle weakness and atrophy, typically emerging midlife. Given the androgen-dependent nature of this disease, one might expect AR antagonists to have therapeutic value for treating SBMA. However, current work from animal models suggests otherwise, raising questions about whether polyQ-expanded AR exerts androgen-dependent toxicity through mechanisms distinct from normal AR function. In this study, we asked whether the nonsteroidal AR antagonist flutamide, delivered via a time-release pellet, could reverse or prevent androgen-dependent AR toxicity in three different mouse models of SBMA: the AR97Q transgenic (Tg) model, a knock-in (KI) model, and a myogenic Tg model. We find that flutamide protects mice from androgen-dependent AR toxicity in all three SBMA models, preventing or reversing motor dysfunction in the Tg models and significantly extending the life span in KI males. Given that flutamide effectively protects against androgen-dependent disease in three different mouse models of SBMA, our data are proof of principle that AR antagonists have therapeutic potential for treating SBMA in humans and support the notion that toxicity caused by polyQ-expanded AR uses at least some of the same mechanisms as normal AR before diverging to produce disease and muscle atrophy.

  3. SMN1 and SMN2 copy numbers in cell lines derived from patients with spinal muscular atrophy as measured by array digital PCR

    PubMed Central

    Stabley, Deborah L; Harris, Ashlee W; Holbrook, Jennifer; Chubbs, Nicholas J; Lozo, Kevin W; Crawford, Thomas O; Swoboda, Kathryn J; Funanage, Vicky L; Wang, Wenlan; Mackenzie, William; Scavina, Mena; Sol-Church, Katia; Butchbach, Matthew E R

    2015-01-01

    Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an early-onset motor neuron disease characterized by loss of α-motor neurons and associated muscle atrophy. SMA is caused by deletion or other disabling mutation of survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1). In the human genome, a large duplication of the SMN-containing region gives rise to a second copy of this gene (SMN2) that is distinguishable by a single nucleotide change in exon 7. Within the SMA population, there is substantial variation in SMN2 copy number; in general, those individuals with SMA who have a high SMN2 copy number have a milder disease. Because SMN2 functions as a disease modifier, its accurate copy number determination may have clinical relevance. In this study, we describe the development of an assay to assess SMN1 and SMN2 copy numbers in DNA samples using an array-based digital PCR (dPCR) system. This dPCR assay can accurately and reliably measure the number of SMN1 and SMN2 copies in DNA samples. In a cohort of SMA patient-derived cell lines, the assay confirmed a strong inverse correlation between SMN2 copy number and disease severity. Array dPCR is a practical technique to determine, accurately and reliably, SMN1 and SMN2 copy numbers from SMA samples. PMID:26247043

  4. Prospect of gene therapy for cardiomyopathy in hereditary muscular dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Yue, Yongping; Binalsheikh, Ibrahim M.; Leach, Stacey B.; Domeier, Timothy L.; Duan, Dongsheng

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Cardiac involvement is a common feature in muscular dystrophies. It presents as heart failure and/or arrhythmia. Traditionally, dystrophic cardiomyopathy is treated with symptom-relieving medications. Identification of disease-causing genes and investigation on pathogenic mechanisms have opened new opportunities to treat dystrophic cardiomyopathy with gene therapy. Replacing/repairing the mutated gene and/or targeting the pathogenic process/mechanisms using alternative genes may attenuate heart disease in muscular dystrophies. Areas covered Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common muscular dystrophy. Duchenne cardiomyopathy has been the primary focus of ongoing dystrophic cardiomyopathy gene therapy studies. Here, we use Duchenne cardiomyopathy gene therapy to showcase recent developments and to outline the path forward. We also discuss gene therapy status for cardiomyopathy associated with limb-girdle and congenital muscular dystrophies, and myotonic dystrophy. Expert opinion Gene therapy for dystrophic cardiomyopathy has taken a slow but steady path forward. Preclinical studies over the last decades have addressed many fundamental questions. Adeno-associated virus-mediated gene therapy has significantly improved the outcomes in rodent models of Duchenne and limb girdle muscular dystrophies. Validation of these encouraging results in large animal models will pave the way to future human trials. PMID:27340611

  5. Gene Regions Responding to Skeletal Muscle Atrophy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Booth, Frank W.

    1997-01-01

    Our stated specific aims for this project were: 1) Identify the region(s) of the mouse IIb myosin heavy chain (MHC) promoter necessary for in vivo expression in mouse fast-twitch muscle, and 2) Identify the region(s) of the mouse IIb MHC promoter responsive to immobilization in mouse slow-twitch muscle in vivo. We sought to address these specific aims by introducing various MHC IIb promoter/reporter gene constructs directly into the tibialis anterior and gastrocnemius muscles of living mice. Although the method of somatic gene transfer into skeletal muscle by direct injection has been successfully used in our laboratory to study the regulation of the skeletal alpha actin gene in chicken skeletal muscle, we had many difficulties utilizing this procedure in the mouse. Because of the small size of the mouse soleus and the difficulty in obtaining consistent results, we elected not to study this muscle as first proposed. Rather, our MHC IIb promoter deletion experiments were performed in the gastrocnemius. Further, we decided to use hindlimb unloading via tail suspension to induce an upregulation of the MHC IIb gene, rather than immobilization of the hindlimbs via plaster casts. This change was made because tail suspension more closely mimics spaceflight, and this procedure in our lab results in a smaller loss of overall body mass than the mouse hindlimb immobilization procedure. This suggests that the stress level during tail suspension is less than during immobilization. This research has provided an important beginning point towards understanding the molecular regulation of the MHC lIb gene in response to unweighting of skeletal muscle Future work will focus on the regulation of MHC IIb mRNA stability in response to altered loading of skeletal muscle

  6. Discovery and Optimization of Small Molecule Splicing Modifiers of Survival Motor Neuron 2 as a Treatment for Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Woll, Matthew G; Qi, Hongyan; Turpoff, Anthony; Zhang, Nanjing; Zhang, Xiaoyan; Chen, Guangming; Li, Chunshi; Huang, Song; Yang, Tianle; Moon, Young-Choon; Lee, Chang-Sun; Choi, Soongyu; Almstead, Neil G; Naryshkin, Nikolai A; Dakka, Amal; Narasimhan, Jana; Gabbeta, Vijayalakshmi; Welch, Ellen; Zhao, Xin; Risher, Nicole; Sheedy, Josephine; Weetall, Marla; Karp, Gary M

    2016-07-14

    The underlying cause of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a deficiency of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. Starting from hits identified in a high-throughput screening campaign and through structure-activity relationship investigations, we have developed small molecules that potently shift the alternative splicing of the SMN2 exon 7, resulting in increased production of the full-length SMN mRNA and protein. Three novel chemical series, represented by compounds 9, 14, and 20, have been optimized to increase the level of SMN protein by >50% in SMA patient-derived fibroblasts at concentrations of <160 nM. Daily administration of these compounds to severe SMA Δ7 mice results in an increased production of SMN protein in disease-relevant tissues and a significant increase in median survival time in a dose-dependent manner. Our work supports the development of an orally administered small molecule for the treatment of patients with SMA.

  7. Effect of the butyrate prodrug pivaloyloxymethyl butyrate (AN9) on a mouse model for spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Jonathan D.; Butchbach, Matthew E. R.

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an early-onset motor neuron disease that leads to loss of muscle function. Butyrate (BA)-based compounds markedly improve the survival and motor phenotype of SMA mice. In this study, we examine the protective effects of the BA prodrug pivaloyloxymethyl butyrate (AN9) on the survival of SMNΔ7 SMA mice. Oral administration of AN9 beginning at PND04 almost doubled the average lifespan of SMNΔ7 SMA mice. AN9 treatment also increased the growth rate of SMNΔ7 SMA mice when compared to vehicle-treated SMNΔ7 SMA mice. In conclusion, BA prodrugs like AN9 have ameliorative effects on SMNΔ7 SMA mice. PMID:27911337

  8. Feasibility of Using Microsoft Kinect to Assess Upper Limb Movement in Type III Spinal Muscular Atrophy Patients

    PubMed Central

    Siebourg-Polster, Juliane; Wolf, Detlef; Czech, Christian; Bonati, Ulrike; Fischer, Dirk; Khwaja, Omar; Strahm, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Although functional rating scales are being used increasingly as primary outcome measures in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), sensitive and objective assessment of early-stage disease progression and drug efficacy remains challenging. We have developed a game based on the Microsoft Kinect sensor, specifically designed to measure active upper limb movement. An explorative study was conducted to determine the feasibility of this new tool in 18 ambulant SMA type III patients and 19 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Upper limb movement was analysed elaborately through derived features such as elbow flexion and extension angles, arm lifting angle, velocity and acceleration. No significant differences were found in the active range of motion between ambulant SMA type III patients and controls. Hand velocity was found to be different but further validation is necessary. This study presents an important step in the process of designing and handling digital biomarkers as complementary outcome measures for clinical trials. PMID:28122039

  9. Frontotemporal cognitive function in X-linked spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA): a controlled neuropsychological study of 20 patients.

    PubMed

    Soukup, Georg Rüdiger; Sperfeld, Anne-Dorte; Uttner, Ingo; Karitzky, Jochen; Ludolph, Albert Christian; Kassubek, Jan; Schreiber, Herbert

    2009-11-01

    A cross-sectional neuropsychological study of cognitive functions in 20 male patients with genetically proven spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) was performed, with a comparison of their cognitive performance with that of 20 age- and education-matched control subjects. Neuropsychological assessment covered executive functioning, memory, and attentional control. The SBMA patients revealed deficits in verbal and non-verbal fluency as well as concept formation. Additionally, they showed significant memory deficits in all of the investigated domains of working memory, short-term and long-term memory. With respect to attentional control, the SBMA patients underperformed in relevant subtests, although performance differences did not reach significance overall. We conclude that fronto-temporal cognitive functions are impaired in SMBA, although at a subclinical level. Thus, functional deficits in SBMA are not confined to motor neurons but also affect extramotor networks.

  10. Protein Arginine Methyltransferase 6 Enhances Polyglutamine-Expanded Androgen Receptor Function and Toxicity in Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Scaramuzzino, Chiara; Casci, Ian; Parodi, Sara; Lievens, Patricia M.J.; Polanco, Maria J.; Milioto, Carmelo; Chivet, Mathilde; Monaghan, John; Mishra, Ashutosh; Badders, Nisha; Aggarwal, Tanya; Grunseich, Christopher; Sambataro, Fabio; Basso, Manuela; Fackelmayer, Frank O.; Taylor, J. Paul; Pandey, Udai Bhan; Pennuto, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Summary Polyglutamine expansion in androgen receptor (AR) is responsible for spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) that leads to selective loss of lower motor neurons. Using SBMA as a model, we explored the relationship between protein structure/function and neurodegeneration in polyglutamine diseases. We show here that protein arginine methyltransferase 6 (PRMT6) is a specific co-activator of normal and mutant AR and that the interaction of PRMT6 with AR is significantly enhanced in the AR mutant. AR and PRMT6 interaction occurs through the PRMT6 steroid receptor interaction motif, LXXLL, and the AR activating function 2 surface. AR transactivation requires PRMT6 catalytic activity and involves methylation of arginine residues at Akt consensus site motifs, which is mutually exclusive with serine phosphorylation by Akt. The enhanced interaction of PRMT6 and mutant AR leads to neurodegeneration in cell and fly models of SBMA. These findings demonstrate a direct role of arginine methylation in polyglutamine disease pathogenesis. PMID:25569348

  11. Native functions of the androgen receptor are essential to pathogenesis in a Drosophila model of spinobulbar muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Nedelsky, Natalia B.; Pennuto, Maria; Smith, Rebecca B.; Palazzolo, Isabella; Moore, Jennifer; Nie, Zhiping; Neale, Geoffrey; Taylor, J. Paul

    2012-01-01

    Summary Spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by expansion of a polyglutamine tract in the androgen receptor (AR). This mutation confers toxic function to AR through unknown mechanisms. Mutant AR toxicity requires binding of its hormone ligand, suggesting that pathogenesis involves ligand-induced changes in AR. However, whether toxicity is mediated by native AR function or a novel AR function is unknown. We systematically investigated events downstream of ligand-dependent AR activation in a Drosophila model of SBMA. We show that nuclear translocation of AR is necessary but not sufficient for toxicity and that DNA binding by AR is necessary for toxicity. Mutagenesis studies demonstrated that a functional AF-2 domain is essential for toxicity, a finding corroborated by a genetic screen that identified AF-2 interactors as dominant modifiers of degeneration. These findings indicate that SBMA pathogenesis is mediated by misappropriation of native protein function, a mechanism that may apply broadly to polyglutamine diseases. PMID:20869592

  12. Feasibility of Using Microsoft Kinect to Assess Upper Limb Movement in Type III Spinal Muscular Atrophy Patients.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xing; Siebourg-Polster, Juliane; Wolf, Detlef; Czech, Christian; Bonati, Ulrike; Fischer, Dirk; Khwaja, Omar; Strahm, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Although functional rating scales are being used increasingly as primary outcome measures in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), sensitive and objective assessment of early-stage disease progression and drug efficacy remains challenging. We have developed a game based on the Microsoft Kinect sensor, specifically designed to measure active upper limb movement. An explorative study was conducted to determine the feasibility of this new tool in 18 ambulant SMA type III patients and 19 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Upper limb movement was analysed elaborately through derived features such as elbow flexion and extension angles, arm lifting angle, velocity and acceleration. No significant differences were found in the active range of motion between ambulant SMA type III patients and controls. Hand velocity was found to be different but further validation is necessary. This study presents an important step in the process of designing and handling digital biomarkers as complementary outcome measures for clinical trials.

  13. Aberrant Autophagic Response in The Muscle of A Knock-in Mouse Model of Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Rusmini, Paola; Polanco, Maria Josefa; Cristofani, Riccardo; Cicardi, Maria Elena; Meroni, Marco; Galbiati, Mariarita; Piccolella, Margherita; Messi, Elio; Giorgetti, Elisa; Lieberman, Andrew P; Milioto, Carmelo; Rocchi, Anna; Aggarwal, Tanya; Pennuto, Maria; Crippa, Valeria; Poletti, Angelo

    2015-10-22

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is characterized by loss of motoneurons and sensory neurons, accompanied by atrophy of muscle cells. SBMA is due to an androgen receptor containing a polyglutamine tract (ARpolyQ) that misfolds and aggregates, thereby perturbing the protein quality control (PQC) system. Using SBMA AR113Q mice we analyzed proteotoxic stress-induced alterations of HSPB8-mediated PQC machinery promoting clearance of misfolded proteins by autophagy. In muscle of symptomatic AR113Q male mice, we found expression upregulation of Pax-7, myogenin, E2-ubiquitin ligase UBE2Q1 and acetylcholine receptor (AchR), but not of MyoD, and of two E3-ligases (MuRF-1 and Cullin3). TGFβ1 and PGC-1α were also robustly upregulated. We also found a dramatic perturbation of the autophagic response, with upregulation of most autophagic markers (Beclin-1, ATG10, p62/SQSTM1, LC3) and of the HSPB8-mediated PQC response. Both HSPB8 and its co-chaperone BAG3 were robustly upregulated together with other specific HSPB8 interactors (HSPB2 and HSPB3). Notably, the BAG3:BAG1 ratio increased in muscle suggesting preferential misfolded proteins routing to autophagy rather than to proteasome. Thus, mutant ARpolyQ induces a potent autophagic response in muscle cells. Alteration in HSPB8-based PQC machinery may represent muscle-specific biomarkers useful to assess SBMA progression in mice and patients in response to pharmacological treatments.

  14. Aberrant Autophagic Response in The Muscle of A Knock-in Mouse Model of Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Rusmini, Paola; Polanco, Maria Josefa; Cristofani, Riccardo; Cicardi, Maria Elena; Meroni, Marco; Galbiati, Mariarita; Piccolella, Margherita; Messi, Elio; Giorgetti, Elisa; Lieberman, Andrew P.; Milioto, Carmelo; Rocchi, Anna; Aggarwal, Tanya; Pennuto, Maria; Crippa, Valeria; Poletti, Angelo

    2015-01-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is characterized by loss of motoneurons and sensory neurons, accompanied by atrophy of muscle cells. SBMA is due to an androgen receptor containing a polyglutamine tract (ARpolyQ) that misfolds and aggregates, thereby perturbing the protein quality control (PQC) system. Using SBMA AR113Q mice we analyzed proteotoxic stress-induced alterations of HSPB8-mediated PQC machinery promoting clearance of misfolded proteins by autophagy. In muscle of symptomatic AR113Q male mice, we found expression upregulation of Pax-7, myogenin, E2-ubiquitin ligase UBE2Q1 and acetylcholine receptor (AchR), but not of MyoD, and of two E3-ligases (MuRF-1 and Cullin3). TGFβ1 and PGC-1α were also robustly upregulated. We also found a dramatic perturbation of the autophagic response, with upregulation of most autophagic markers (Beclin-1, ATG10, p62/SQSTM1, LC3) and of the HSPB8-mediated PQC response. Both HSPB8 and its co-chaperone BAG3 were robustly upregulated together with other specific HSPB8 interactors (HSPB2 and HSPB3). Notably, the BAG3:BAG1 ratio increased in muscle suggesting preferential misfolded proteins routing to autophagy rather than to proteasome. Thus, mutant ARpolyQ induces a potent autophagic response in muscle cells. Alteration in HSPB8-based PQC machinery may represent muscle-specific biomarkers useful to assess SBMA progression in mice and patients in response to pharmacological treatments. PMID:26490709

  15. Nosology of Juvenile Muscular Atrophy of Distal Upper Extremity: From Monomelic Amyotrophy to Hirayama Disease—Indian Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Hassan, Kaukab Maqbool; Sahni, Hirdesh

    2013-01-01

    Since its original description by Keizo Hirayama in 1959, “juvenile muscular atrophy of the unilateral upper extremity” has been described under many nomenclatures from the east. Hirayama disease (HD), also interchangeably referred to as monomelic amyotrophy, has been more frequently recognised in the west only in the last two decades. HD presents in adolescence and young adulthood with insidious onset unilateral or bilateral asymmetric atrophy of hand and forearm with sparing of brachioradialis giving the characteristic appearance of oblique amyotrophy. Symmetrically bilateral disease has also been recognized. Believed to be a cervical flexion myelopathy, HD differs from motor neuron diseases because of its nonprogressive course and pathologic findings of chronic microcirculatory changes in the lower cervical cord. Electromyography shows features of acute and/or chronic denervation in C7, C8, and T1 myotomes in clinically affected limb and sometimes also in clinically unaffected contralateral limb. Dynamic forward displacement of dura in flexion causes asymmetric flattening of lower cervical cord. While dynamic contrast magnetic resonance imaging is diagnostic, routine study has high predictive value. There is a need to lump all the nomenclatures under the rubric of HD as prognosis in this condition is benign and prompt diagnosis is important to institute early collar therapy. PMID:24063005

  16. Nosology of juvenile muscular atrophy of distal upper extremity: from monomelic amyotrophy to Hirayama disease--Indian perspective.

    PubMed

    Hassan, Kaukab Maqbool; Sahni, Hirdesh

    2013-01-01

    Since its original description by Keizo Hirayama in 1959, "juvenile muscular atrophy of the unilateral upper extremity" has been described under many nomenclatures from the east. Hirayama disease (HD), also interchangeably referred to as monomelic amyotrophy, has been more frequently recognised in the west only in the last two decades. HD presents in adolescence and young adulthood with insidious onset unilateral or bilateral asymmetric atrophy of hand and forearm with sparing of brachioradialis giving the characteristic appearance of oblique amyotrophy. Symmetrically bilateral disease has also been recognized. Believed to be a cervical flexion myelopathy, HD differs from motor neuron diseases because of its nonprogressive course and pathologic findings of chronic microcirculatory changes in the lower cervical cord. Electromyography shows features of acute and/or chronic denervation in C7, C8, and T1 myotomes in clinically affected limb and sometimes also in clinically unaffected contralateral limb. Dynamic forward displacement of dura in flexion causes asymmetric flattening of lower cervical cord. While dynamic contrast magnetic resonance imaging is diagnostic, routine study has high predictive value. There is a need to lump all the nomenclatures under the rubric of HD as prognosis in this condition is benign and prompt diagnosis is important to institute early collar therapy.

  17. IPLEX administration improves motor neuron survival and ameliorates motor functions in a severe mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Murdocca, Michela; Malgieri, Arianna; Luchetti, Andrea; Saieva, Luciano; Dobrowolny, Gabriella; de Leonibus, Elvira; Filareto, Antonio; Quitadamo, Maria Chiara; Novelli, Giuseppe; Musarò, Antonio; Sangiuolo, Federica

    2012-09-25

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder and the first genetic cause of death in childhood. SMA is caused by low levels of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein that induce selective loss of α-motor neurons (MNs) in the spinal cord, resulting in progressive muscle atrophy and consequent respiratory failure. To date, no effective treatment is available to counteract the course of the disease. Among the different therapeutic strategies with potential clinical applications, the evaluation of trophic and/or protective agents able to antagonize MNs degeneration represents an attractive opportunity to develop valid therapies. Here we investigated the effects of IPLEX (recombinant human insulinlike growth factor 1 [rhIGF-1] complexed with recombinant human IGF-1 binding protein 3 [rhIGFBP-3]) on a severe mouse model of SMA. Interestingly, molecular and biochemical analyses of IGF-1 carried out in SMA mice before drug administration revealed marked reductions of IGF-1 circulating levels and hepatic mRNA expression. In this study, we found that perinatal administration of IPLEX, even if does not influence survival and body weight of mice, results in reduced degeneration of MNs, increased muscle fiber size and in amelioration of motor functions in SMA mice. Additionally, we show that phenotypic changes observed are not SMN-dependent, since no significant SMN modification was addressed in treated mice. Collectively, our data indicate IPLEX as a good therapeutic candidate to hinder the progression of the neurodegenerative process in SMA.

  18. Preclinical studies for gene therapy of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Odom, Guy L; Banks, Glen B; Schultz, Brian R; Gregorevic, Paul; Chamberlain, Jeffrey S

    2010-09-01

    The muscular dystrophies are a diverse group of genetic disorders without an effective treatment. Because they are caused by mutations in various genes, the most direct way to treat them involves correcting the underlying gene defect (ie, gene therapy). Such a gene therapy approach involves delivering a therapeutic gene cassette to essentially all the muscles of the body in a safe and efficacious manner. The authors describe gene delivery methods using vectors derived from adeno-associated virus that are showing great promise in preclinical studies for treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It is hoped that variations on these methods might be applicable for most, if not all, of the different types of muscular dystrophy.

  19. The Use of Korean Medicine to Treat Patients with Spinobulbar Muscular Atrophy, Kennedy’s Disease - A Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Seongjin; Cha, Eunhye; Lee, Jongcheol; Lee, Jongdeok; Song, Inja

    2017-01-01

    Objectives: Studies involving patients with spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), which is often referred to as Kennedy’s disease, similar to those involving patients with progressive muscular disease (PMD), are rare. This paper reports a case study involving the use of Korean medicine to treat a patient with SBMA. Methods: We treated a patient with SBMA with unique symptoms by using various kinds of pharmacopuncture and herbal medicines for about two and a half years. After the treatment had ended, we evaluated the patient’s conditions and the side effects of the treatment. Results: After treatment, the patient’s symptoms were stabilized, and the patient suffered no abnormalities or side effects. No special changes in condition were noted during treatment period, and the patient was very satisfied with his response to treatment. Conclusion: Existing treatments have some considerable after effects and are difficult to apply in domestic clinics. In this regard, our findings should open possibilities for new clinical guidelines. Nevertheless, the limitations associated with this case study should be resolved, and more studies need to be conducted. PMID:28392964

  20. Efficacy and biodistribution analysis of intracerebroventricular administration of an optimized scAAV9-SMN1 vector in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Armbruster, Nicole; Lattanzi, Annalisa; Jeavons, Matthieu; Van Wittenberghe, Laetitia; Gjata, Bernard; Marais, Thibaut; Martin, Samia; Vignaud, Alban; Voit, Thomas; Mavilio, Fulvio; Barkats, Martine; Buj-Bello, Ana

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disease of variable severity caused by mutations in the SMN1 gene. Deficiency of the ubiquitous SMN function results in spinal cord α-motor neuron degeneration and proximal muscle weakness. Gene replacement therapy with recombinant adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors showed therapeutic efficacy in several animal models of SMA. Here, we report a study aimed at analyzing the efficacy and biodistribution of a serotype-9, self-complementary AAV vector expressing a codon-optimized human SMN1 coding sequence (coSMN1) under the control of the constitutive phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK) promoter in neonatal SMNΔ7 mice, a severe animal model of the disease. We administered the scAAV9-coSMN1 vector in the intracerebroventricular (ICV) space in a dose-escalating mode, and analyzed survival, vector biodistribution and SMN protein expression in the spinal cord and peripheral tissues. All treated mice showed a significant, dose-dependent rescue of lifespan and growth with a median survival of 346 days. Additional administration of vector by an intravenous route (ICV+IV) did not improve survival, and vector biodistribution analysis 90 days postinjection indicated that diffusion from the cerebrospinal fluid to the periphery was sufficient to rescue the SMA phenotype. These results support the preclinical development of SMN1 gene therapy by CSF vector delivery.

  1. Taurine depletion caused by knocking out the taurine transporter gene leads to cardiomyopathy with cardiac atrophy.

    PubMed

    Ito, Takashi; Kimura, Yasushi; Uozumi, Yoriko; Takai, Mika; Muraoka, Satoko; Matsuda, Takahisa; Ueki, Kei; Yoshiyama, Minoru; Ikawa, Masahito; Okabe, Masaru; Schaffer, Stephen W; Fujio, Yasushi; Azuma, Junichi

    2008-05-01

    The sulfur-containing beta-amino acid, taurine, is the most abundant free amino acid in cardiac and skeletal muscle. Although its physiological function has not been established, it is thought to play an important role in ion movement, calcium handling, osmoregulation and cytoprotection. To begin examining the physiological function of taurine, we generated taurine transporter- (TauT-) knockout mice (TauTKO), which exhibited a deficiency in myocardial and skeletal muscle taurine content compared with their wild-type littermates. The TauTKO heart underwent ventricular remodeling, characterized by reductions in ventricular wall thickness and cardiac atrophy accompanied with the smaller cardiomyocytes. Associated with the structural changes in the heart was a reduction in cardiac output and increased expression of heart cardiac failure (fetal) marker genes, such as ANP, BNP and beta-MHC. Moreover, ultrastructural damage to the myofilaments and mitochondria was observed. Further, the skeletal muscle of the TauTKO mice also exhibited decreased cell volume, structural defects and a reduction of exercise endurance capacity. Importantly, the expression of Hsp70, ATA2 and S100A4, which are upregulated by osmotic stress, was elevated in both heart and skeletal muscle of the TauTKO mice. Taurine depletion causes cardiomyocyte atrophy, mitochondrial and myofiber damage and cardiac dysfunction, effects likely related to the actions of taurine. Our data suggest that multiple actions of taurine, including osmoregulation, regulation of mitochondrial protein expression and inhibition of apoptosis, collectively ensure proper maintenance of cardiac and skeletal muscular structure and function.

  2. Hybrids monosomal for human chromosome 5 reveal the presence of a spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) carrier with two SMN1 copies on one chromosome.

    PubMed

    Mailman, M D; Hemingway, T; Darsey, R L; Glasure, C E; Huang, Y; Chadwick, R B; Heinz, J W; Papp, A C; Snyder, P J; Sedra, M S; Schafer, R W; Abuelo, D N; Reich, E W; Theil, K S; Burghes, A H; de la Chapelle, A; Prior, T W

    2001-02-01

    We have analyzed the survival motor neuron gene (SMN1) dosage in 100 parents of children with homozygous SMN1 deletions. Of these parents, 96 (96%) demonstrated the expected one-copy SMN1 carrier genotype. However, four parents (4%) were observed to have a normal two-copy SMN1 dosage. The presence of two intact SMN1 genes in the parent of an affected child indicates either the occurrence of a de novo mutation event or a situation in which one chromosome has two copies of SMN1, whereas the other is null. We have separated individual chromosomes from two of these parents with two-copy SMN1 dosage by somatic cell hybridization and have employed a modified quantitative dosage assay to provide direct evidence that one parent is a two-copy/ zero-copy SMN1 carrier, whereas the other parent had an affected child as the result of a de novo mutation. These findings are important for assessing the recurrence risk of parents of children with spinal muscular atrophy and for providing accurate family counseling.

  3. RNA-sequencing of a mouse-model of spinal muscular atrophy reveals tissue-wide changes in splicing of U12-dependent introns

    PubMed Central

    Doktor, Thomas Koed; Hua, Yimin; Andersen, Henriette Skovgaard; Brøner, Sabrina; Liu, Ying Hsiu; Wieckowska, Anna; Dembic, Maja; Bruun, Gitte Hoffmann; Krainer, Adrian R.; Andresen, Brage Storstein

    2017-01-01

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disorder caused by insufficient levels of the Survival of Motor Neuron (SMN) protein. SMN is expressed ubiquitously and functions in RNA processing pathways that include trafficking of mRNA and assembly of snRNP complexes. Importantly, SMA severity is correlated with decreased snRNP assembly activity. In particular, the minor spliceosomal snRNPs are affected, and some U12-dependent introns have been reported to be aberrantly spliced in patient cells and animal models. SMA is characterized by loss of motor neurons, but the underlying mechanism is largely unknown. It is likely that aberrant splicing of genes expressed in motor neurons is involved in SMA pathogenesis, but increasing evidence indicates that pathologies also exist in other tissues. We present here a comprehensive RNA-seq study that covers multiple tissues in an SMA mouse model. We show elevated U12-intron retention in all examined tissues from SMA mice, and that U12-dependent intron retention is induced upon siRNA knock-down of SMN in HeLa cells. Furthermore, we show that retention of U12-dependent introns is mitigated by ASO treatment of SMA mice and that many transcriptional changes are reversed. Finally, we report on missplicing of several Ca2+ channel genes that may explain disrupted Ca2+ homeostasis in SMA and activation of Cdk5. PMID:27557711

  4. Transcriptomic comparison of Drosophila snRNP biogenesis mutants reveals mutant-specific changes in pre-mRNA processing: implications for spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Eric L; Wen, Ying; Praveen, Kavita; Matera, A Gregory

    2016-08-01

    Survival motor neuron (SMN) functions in the assembly of spliceosomal small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) that catalyze pre-mRNA splicing. Here, we used disruptions in Smn and two additional snRNP biogenesis genes, Phax and Ars2, to classify RNA processing differences as snRNP-dependent or gene-specific in Drosophila Phax and Smn mutants exhibited comparable reductions in snRNAs, and comparison of their transcriptomes uncovered shared sets of RNA processing changes. In contrast, Ars2 mutants displayed only small decreases in snRNA levels, and RNA processing changes in these mutants were generally distinct from those identified in Phax and Smn animals. Instead, RNA processing changes in Ars2 mutants support the known interaction of Ars2 protein with the cap-binding complex, as splicing changes showed a clear bias toward the first intron. Bypassing disruptions in snRNP biogenesis, direct knockdown of spliceosomal proteins caused similar changes in the splicing of snRNP-dependent events. However, these snRNP-dependent events were largely unaltered in three Smn mutants expressing missense mutations that were originally identified in human spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) patients. Hence, findings here clarify the contributions of Phax, Smn, and Ars2 to snRNP biogenesis in Drosophila, and loss-of-function mutants for these proteins reveal differences that help disentangle cause and effect in SMA model flies.

  5. Dexamethasone-induced muscular atrophy is mediated by functional expression of connexin-based hemichannels.

    PubMed

    Cea, Luis A; Balboa, Elisa; Puebla, Carlos; Vargas, Aníbal A; Cisterna, Bruno A; Escamilla, Rosalba; Regueira, Tomás; Sáez, Juan C

    2016-10-01

    Long-term treatment with high glucocorticoid doses induces skeletal muscle atrophy. However, the molecular mechanism of such atrophy remains unclear. We evaluated the possible involvement of connexin-based hemichannels (Cx HCs) in muscle atrophy induced by dexamethasone (DEX), a synthetic glucocorticoid, on control (Cx43(fl/fl)Cx45(fl/fl)) and Cx43/Cx45 expression-deficient (Cx43(fl/fl)Cx45(fl/fl):Myo-Cre) skeletal myofibers. Myofibers of Cx43(fl/fl)Cx45(fl/fl) mice treated with DEX (5h) expressed several proteins that form non-selective membrane channels (Cx39, Cx43, Cx45, Panx1, P2X7 receptor and TRPV2). After 5h DEX treatment in vivo, myofibers of Cx43(fl/fl)Cx45(fl/fl) mice showed Evans blue uptake, which was absent in myofibers of Cx43(fl/fl)Cx45(fl/fl):Myo-Cre mice. Similar results were obtained in vitro using ethidium as an HC permeability probe, and DEX-induced dye uptake in control myofibers was blocked by P2X7 receptor inhibitors. DEX also induced a significant increase in basal intracellular Ca(2+) signal and a reduction in resting membrane potential in Cx43(fl/fl)Cx45(fl/fl) myofibers, changes that were not elicited by myofibers deficient in Cx43/Cx45 expression. Moreover, treatment with DEX induced NFκB activation and increased mRNA levels of TNF-α in control but not in Cx43/Cx45 expression-deficient myofibers. Finally, a prolonged DEX treatment (7days) increased atrogin-1 and Murf-1 and reduced the cross sectional area of Cx43(fl/fl)Cx45(fl/fl) myofibers, but these parameters remained unaffected in Cx43(fl/fl)Cx45(fl/fl):Myo-Cre myofibers. Therefore, DEX-induced expression of Cx43 and Cx45 plays a critical role in early sarcolemma changes that lead to atrophy. Consequently, this side effect of chronic glucocorticoid treatment might be avoided by co-administration with a Cx HC blocker.

  6. Neurocognitive Profiles in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Gene Mutation Site

    PubMed Central

    D’Angelo, Maria Grazia; Lorusso, Maria Luisa; Civati, Federica; Comi, Giacomo Pietro; Magri, Francesca; Del Bo, Roberto; Guglieri, Michela; Molteni, Massimo; Turconi, Anna Carla; Bresolin, Nereo

    2011-01-01

    The presence of nonprogressive cognitive impairment is recognized as a common feature in a substantial proportion of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. To investigate the possible role of mutations along the dystrophin gene affecting different brain dystrophin isoforms and specific cognitive profiles, 42 school-age children affected with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, subdivided according to sites of mutations along the dystrophin gene, underwent a battery of tests tapping a wide range of intellectual, linguistic, and neuropsychologic functions. Full-scale intelligence quotient was approximately 1 S.D. below the population average in the whole group of dystrophic children. Patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and mutations located in the distal portion of the dystrophin gene (involving the 140-kDa brain protein isoform, called Dp140) were generally more severely affected and expressed different patterns of strengths and impairments, compared with patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and mutations located in the proximal portion of the dystrophin gene (not involving Dp140). Patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and distal mutations demonstrated specific impairments in visuospatial functions and visual memory (which seemed intact in proximally mutated patients) and greater impairment in syntactic processing. PMID:22000308

  7. Non-neural phenotype of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy: results from a large cohort of Italian patients

    PubMed Central

    Querin, Giorgia; Bertolin, Cinzia; Da Re, Elisa; Volpe, Marco; Zara, Gabriella; Pegoraro, Elena; Caretta, Nicola; Foresta, Carlo; Silvano, Maria; Corrado, Domenico; Iafrate, Massimo; Angelini, Lorenzo; Sartori, Leonardo; Pennuto, Maria; Gaiani, Alessandra; Bello, Luca; Semplicini, Claudio; Pareyson, Davide; Silani, Vincenzo; Ermani, Mario; Ferlin, Alberto; Sorarù, Gianni

    2016-01-01

    Objective To carry out a deep characterisation of the main androgen-responsive tissues involved in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA). Methods 73 consecutive Italian patients underwent a full clinical protocol including biochemical and hormonal analyses, genitourinary examination, bone metabolism and densitometry, cardiological evaluation and muscle pathology. Results Creatine kinase levels were slightly to markedly elevated in almost all cases (68 of the 73; 94%). 30 (41%) patients had fasting glucose above the reference limit, and many patients had total cholesterol (40; 54.7%), low-density lipoproteins cholesterol (29; 39.7%) and triglyceride (35; 48%) levels above the recommended values. Although testosterone, luteinising hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone values were generally normal, in one-third of cases we calculated an increased Androgen Sensitivity Index reflecting the presence of androgen resistance in these patients. According to the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), 7/70 (10%) patients reported severe lower urinal tract symptoms (IPSS score >19), and 21/73 (30%) patients were moderately symptomatic (IPSS score from 8 to 19). In addition, 3 patients were carriers of an indwelling bladder catheter. Videourodynamic evaluation indicated that 4 of the 7 patients reporting severe urinary symptoms had an overt prostate-unrelated bladder outlet obstruction. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan data were consistent with low bone mass in 25/61 (41%) patients. Low bone mass was more frequent at the femoral than at the lumbar level. Skeletal muscle biopsy was carried out in 20 patients and myogenic changes in addition to the neurogenic atrophy were mostly observed. Conclusions Our study provides evidence of a wide non-neural clinical phenotype in SBMA, suggesting the need for comprehensive multidisciplinary protocols for these patients. PMID:26503015

  8. Gene therapy for duchenne muscular dystrophy: expectations and challenges.

    PubMed

    Rodino-Klapac, Louise R; Chicoine, Louis G; Kaspar, Brian K; Mendell, Jerry R

    2007-09-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a debilitating X-linked disease with limited treatment options. We examined the possibility of moving forward with gene therapy, an approach that demonstrates promise for treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Gene therapy is not limited to replacement of defective genes but also includes strategies using surrogate genes with alternative but effective means of improving cellular function or repairing gene mutations. The first viral-mediated gene transfer for any muscle disease was carried out at Columbus Children's Research Institute and Ohio State University for limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2D, and the first viral-mediated trial of gene transfer for Duchenne muscular dystrophy is under way at the same institutions. These studies, consisting of intramuscular injection of virus into a single muscle, are limited in scope and represent phase 1 clinical trials with safety as the primary end point. These initial clinical studies lay the foundation for future studies, providing important information about dosing, immunogenicity, and viral serotype in humans. This article highlights the challenges and potential pitfalls as the field advances this treatment modality to clinical reality.

  9. A young man with spinal muscular atrophy and impending respiratory arrest.

    PubMed

    Winters, Janine Penfield; Weisleder, Pedro

    2011-02-01

    From a statutory standpoint, the decision-making capacity of adolescents differs significantly from that of adults because adolescents are considered to lack the experience and judgment necessary to make legally binding decisions. Furthermore, in the case of minors, the principle of protection of life tends to outweigh the principle of autonomy. Here we present the hypothetical case of a 16-year-old boy with spinalmuscular atrophy type II who was admitted to the intensive care unit for severe respiratory distress. We focus on the tension that developed among the patient, his parents, and his physicians when the need for emergency mechanical ventilation became apparent. We review the legal and ethical premises under which adolescents are permitted to make legally binding decisions, ie, the emancipated minor and the mature minor doctrines. Finally, we discuss the concepts of protectionism and liberationism as they apply to adolescents' decision-making capacity.

  10. A Perturbed MicroRNA Expression Pattern Characterizes Embryonic Neural Stem Cells Derived from a Severe Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

    PubMed Central

    Luchetti, Andrea; Ciafrè, Silvia Anna; Murdocca, Michela; Malgieri, Arianna; Masotti, Andrea; Sanchez, Massimo; Farace, Maria Giulia; Novelli, Giuseppe; Sangiuolo, Federica

    2015-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an inherited neuromuscular disorder and the leading genetic cause of death in infants. Despite the disease-causing gene, survival motor neuron (SMN1), encodes a ubiquitous protein, SMN1 deficiency preferentially affects spinal motor neurons (MNs), leaving the basis of this selective cell damage still unexplained. As neural stem cells (NSCs) are multipotent self-renewing cells that can differentiate into neurons, they represent an in vitro model for elucidating the pathogenetic mechanism of neurodegenerative diseases such as SMA. Here we characterize for the first time neural stem cells (NSCs) derived from embryonic spinal cords of a severe SMNΔ7 SMA mouse model. SMNΔ7 NSCs behave as their wild type (WT) counterparts, when we consider neurosphere formation ability and the expression levels of specific regional and self-renewal markers. However, they show a perturbed cell cycle phase distribution and an increased proliferation rate compared to wild type cells. Moreover, SMNΔ7 NSCs are characterized by the differential expression of a limited number of miRNAs, among which miR-335-5p and miR-100-5p, reduced in SMNΔ7 NSCs compared to WT cells. We suggest that such miRNAs may be related to the proliferation differences characterizing SMNΔ7 NSCs, and may be potentially involved in the molecular mechanisms of SMA. PMID:26258776

  11. A Perturbed MicroRNA Expression Pattern Characterizes Embryonic Neural Stem Cells Derived from a Severe Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).

    PubMed

    Luchetti, Andrea; Ciafrè, Silvia Anna; Murdocca, Michela; Malgieri, Arianna; Masotti, Andrea; Sanchez, Massimo; Farace, Maria Giulia; Novelli, Giuseppe; Sangiuolo, Federica

    2015-08-06

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an inherited neuromuscular disorder and the leading genetic cause of death in infants. Despite the disease-causing gene, survival motor neuron (SMN1), encodes a ubiquitous protein, SMN1 deficiency preferentially affects spinal motor neurons (MNs), leaving the basis of this selective cell damage still unexplained. As neural stem cells (NSCs) are multipotent self-renewing cells that can differentiate into neurons, they represent an in vitro model for elucidating the pathogenetic mechanism of neurodegenerative diseases such as SMA. Here we characterize for the first time neural stem cells (NSCs) derived from embryonic spinal cords of a severe SMNΔ7 SMA mouse model. SMNΔ7 NSCs behave as their wild type (WT) counterparts, when we consider neurosphere formation ability and the expression levels of specific regional and self-renewal markers. However, they show a perturbed cell cycle phase distribution and an increased proliferation rate compared to wild type cells. Moreover, SMNΔ7 NSCs are characterized by the differential expression of a limited number of miRNAs, among which miR-335-5p and miR-100-5p, reduced in SMNΔ7 NSCs compared to WT cells. We suggest that such miRNAs may be related to the proliferation differences characterizing SMNΔ7 NSCs, and may be potentially involved in the molecular mechanisms of SMA.

  12. Systems biology investigation of cAMP modulation to increase SMN levels for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Mack, Sean G; Cook, Daniel J; Dhurjati, Prasad; Butchbach, Matthew E R

    2014-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic cause of infant death worldwide, is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by the loss of SMN1 (survival motor neuron 1), which encodes the protein SMN. The loss of SMN1 causes a deficiency in SMN protein levels leading to motor neuron cell death in the anterior horn of the spinal cord. SMN2, however, can also produce some functional SMN to partially compensate for loss of SMN1 in SMA suggesting increasing transcription of SMN2 as a potential therapy to treat patients with SMA. A cAMP response element was identified on the SMN2 promoter, implicating cAMP activation as a step in the transcription of SMN2. Therefore, we investigated the effects of modulating the cAMP signaling cascade on SMN production in vitro and in silico. SMA patient fibroblasts were treated with the cAMP signaling modulators rolipram, salbutamol, dbcAMP, epinephrine and forskolin. All of the modulators tested were able to increase gem formation, a marker for SMN protein in the nucleus, in a dose-dependent manner. We then derived two possible mathematical models simulating the regulation of SMN2 expression by cAMP signaling. Both models fit well with our experimental data. In silico treatment of SMA fibroblasts simultaneously with two different cAMP modulators resulted in an additive increase in gem formation. This study shows how a systems biology approach can be used to develop potential therapeutic targets for treating SMA.

  13. Assessing Function and Endurance in Adults with Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy: Validity of the Adult Myopathy Assessment Tool

    PubMed Central

    Harris-Love, Michael O.; Fernandez-Rhodes, Lindsay; Joe, Galen; Shrader, Joseph A.; Kokkinis, Angela; La Pean Kirschner, Alison; Auh, Sungyoung; Chen, Cheunju; Li, Li; Levy, Ellen; Davenport, Todd E.; Di Prospero, Nicholas A.; Fischbeck, Kenneth H.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. The adult myopathy assessment tool (AMAT) is a performance-based battery comprised of functional and endurance subscales that can be completed in approximately 30 minutes without the use of specialized equipment. The purpose of this study was to determine the construct validity and internal consistency of the AMAT with a sample of adults with spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA). Methods. AMAT validity was assessed in 56-male participants with genetically confirmed SBMA (mean age, 53 ± 10 years). The participants completed the AMAT and assessments for disease status, strength, and functional status. Results. Lower AMAT scores were associated with longer disease duration (r = −0.29; P < 0.03) and lower serum androgen levels (r = 0.49–0.59; P < 0.001). The AMAT was significantly correlated with strength and functional status (r = 0.82–0.88; P < 0.001). The domains of the AMAT exhibited good internal consistency (Cronbach's α = 0.77–0.89; P < 0.001). Conclusions. The AMAT is a standardized, performance-based tool that may be used to assess functional limitations and muscle endurance. The AMAT has good internal consistency, and the construct validity of the AMAT is supported by its significant associations with hormonal, strength, and functional characteristics of adults with SBMA. This trial is registered with Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT00303446. PMID:24876969

  14. Severe impairment of male reproductive organ development in a low SMN expressing mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Ottesen, Eric W; Howell, Matthew D; Singh, Natalia N; Seo, Joonbae; Whitley, Elizabeth M; Singh, Ravindra N

    2016-02-02

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by low levels of survival motor neuron (SMN), a multifunctional protein essential for higher eukaryotes. While SMN is one of the most scrutinized proteins associated with neurodegeneration, its gender-specific role in vertebrates remains unknown. We utilized a mild SMA model (C/C model) to examine the impact of low SMN on growth and development of mammalian sex organs. We show impaired testis development, degenerated seminiferous tubules, reduced sperm count and low fertility in C/C males, but no overt sex organ phenotype in C/C females. Underscoring an increased requirement for SMN expression, wild type testis showed extremely high levels of SMN protein compared to other tissues. Our results revealed severe perturbations in pathways critical to C/C male reproductive organ development and function, including steroid biosynthesis, apoptosis, and spermatogenesis. Consistent with enhanced apoptosis in seminiferous tubules of C/C testes, we recorded a drastic increase in cells with DNA fragmentation. SMN was expressed at high levels in adult C/C testis due to an adult-specific splicing switch, but could not compensate for low levels during early testicular development. Our findings uncover novel hallmarks of SMA disease progression and link SMN to general male infertility.

  15. Severe impairment of male reproductive organ development in a low SMN expressing mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Ottesen, Eric W.; Howell, Matthew D.; Singh, Natalia N.; Seo, Joonbae; Whitley, Elizabeth M.; Singh, Ravindra N.

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by low levels of survival motor neuron (SMN), a multifunctional protein essential for higher eukaryotes. While SMN is one of the most scrutinized proteins associated with neurodegeneration, its gender-specific role in vertebrates remains unknown. We utilized a mild SMA model (C/C model) to examine the impact of low SMN on growth and development of mammalian sex organs. We show impaired testis development, degenerated seminiferous tubules, reduced sperm count and low fertility in C/C males, but no overt sex organ phenotype in C/C females. Underscoring an increased requirement for SMN expression, wild type testis showed extremely high levels of SMN protein compared to other tissues. Our results revealed severe perturbations in pathways critical to C/C male reproductive organ development and function, including steroid biosynthesis, apoptosis, and spermatogenesis. Consistent with enhanced apoptosis in seminiferous tubules of C/C testes, we recorded a drastic increase in cells with DNA fragmentation. SMN was expressed at high levels in adult C/C testis due to an adult-specific splicing switch, but could not compensate for low levels during early testicular development. Our findings uncover novel hallmarks of SMA disease progression and link SMN to general male infertility. PMID:26830971

  16. A common spinal muscular atrophy deletion mutation is present on a single founder haplotype in the US Hutterites.

    PubMed

    Chong, Jessica X; Oktay, A Afşin; Dai, Zunyan; Swoboda, Kathryn J; Prior, Thomas W; Ober, Carole

    2011-10-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive (AR) neuromuscular disease that is one of the most common lethal genetic disorders in children, with carrier frequencies as high as ∼1 in 35 in US Whites. As part of our genetic studies in the Hutterites from South Dakota, we identified a large 22 Mb run of homozygosity, spanning the SMA locus in an affected child, of which 10 Mb was also homozygous in three affected Hutterites from Montana, supporting a single founder origin for the mutation. We developed a haplotype-based method for identifying carriers of the SMN1 deletion that leveraged existing genome-wide SNP genotype data for ∼1400 Hutterites. In combination with two direct PCR-based assays, we identified 176 carriers of the SMN1 deletion, one asymptomatic homozygous adult and three carriers of a de novo deletion. This corresponds to a carrier frequency of one in eight (12.5%) in the South Dakota Hutterites, representing the highest carrier frequency reported to date for SMA and for an AR disease in the Hutterite population. Lastly, we show that 26 SNPs can be used to predict SMA carrier status in the Hutterites, with 99.86% specificity and 99.71% sensitivity.

  17. Sleep disorders in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (Kennedy's disease): a controlled polysomnographic and self-reported questionnaires study.

    PubMed

    Romigi, Andrea; Liguori, Claudio; Placidi, Fabio; Albanese, Maria; Izzi, Francesca; Uasone, Elisabetta; Terracciano, Chiara; Marciani, Maria Grazia; Mercuri, Nicola Biagio; Ludovisi, Raffaella; Massa, Roberto

    2014-05-01

    No data are available regarding the occurrence of sleep disorders in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA). We investigated the sleep-wake cycle in SBMA patients compared with healthy subjects. Nine SBMA outpatients and nine age-matched and sex-matched healthy controls were evaluated. Subjective quality of sleep was assessed by means of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). The Epworth Sleepiness Scale was used in order to evaluate excessive daytime sleepiness. All participants underwent a 48-h polysomnography followed by the multiple sleep latency test. Time in bed, total sleep time and sleep efficiency were significantly lower in SBMA than controls. Furthermore, the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) was significantly higher in SBMA than controls. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA: AHI >5/h) was evident in 6/9 patients (66.6 %). REM sleep without atonia was evident in three patients also affected by OSA and higher AHI in REM; 2/9 (22.2 %) SBMA patients showed periodic limb movements in sleep. The global PSQI score was higher in SBMA versus controls. Sleep quality in SBMA is poorer than in controls. OSA is the most common sleep disorder in SBMA. The sleep impairment could be induced both by OSA or/and the neurodegenerative processes involving crucial areas regulating the sleep-wake cycle.

  18. Sensory neurons do not induce motor neuron loss in a human stem cell model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Schwab, Andrew J; Ebert, Allison D

    2014-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder leading to paralysis and early death due to reduced SMN protein. It is unclear why there is such a profound motor neuron loss, but recent evidence from fly and mouse studies indicate that cells comprising the whole sensory-motor circuit may contribute to motor neuron dysfunction and loss. Here, we used induced pluripotent stem cells derived from SMA patients to test whether sensory neurons directly contribute to motor neuron loss. We generated sensory neurons from SMA induced pluripotent stem cells and found no difference in neuron generation or survival, although there was a reduced calcium response to depolarizing stimuli. Using co-culture of SMA induced pluripotent stem cell derived sensory neurons with control induced pluripotent stem cell derived motor neurons, we found no significant reduction in motor neuron number or glutamate transporter boutons on motor neuron cell bodies or neurites. We conclude that SMA sensory neurons do not overtly contribute to motor neuron loss in this human stem cell system.

  19. Motor unit loss estimation by the multipoint incremental MUNE method in children with spinal muscular atrophy--a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Gawel, Malgorzata; Kostera-Pruszczyk, Anna; Lusakowska, Anna; Jedrzejowska, Maria; Ryniewicz, Barbara; Lipowska, Marta; Gawel, Damian; Kaminska, Anna

    2015-03-01

    Quantitative EMG reflects denervation of muscles after lower motor neuron degeneration in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) but does not reflect actual motor unit loss. The aim of our study was to assess the value of the multipoint incremental motor unit number estimation (MUNE) method in the modification by Shefner in estimating motor unit loss in SMA. The number of motor units, the mean amplitude of an average surface-detected single motor unit potential (SMUP), and the amplitude of compound motor action potentials (CMAP) were estimated in 14 children with SMA in the abductor pollicis brevis (ABP). Significant differences in MUNE values and SMUP and CMAP amplitude were found between the SMA and control groups (P < 0.0001). MUNE values correlated with Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale (HFMS) scores (P < 0.05). Increased SMUP amplitude values correlated with decreased HFMS scores (P < 0.05). The study confirms that MUNE method in the modification by Shefner is a useful tool reflecting motor unit loss in SMA, and it is easy to perform and well tolerated. MUNE and SMUP amplitude seemed to be sensitive parameters reflecting motor dysfunction in SMA but a longitudinal study in a larger number of subjects is needed.

  20. Gene therapy for muscular dystrophy: current progress and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Trollet, Capucine; Athanasopoulos, Takis; Popplewell, Linda; Malerba, Alberto; Dickson, George

    2009-07-01

    Muscular dystrophies refer to a group of inherited disorders characterized by progressive muscle weakness, wasting and degeneration. So far, there is no effective treatment but new gene-based therapies are currently being developed with particular noted advances in using conventional gene replacement strategies, RNA-based approaches, or cell-based gene therapy with a main focus on Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). DMD is the most common and severe form of muscular dystrophy and current treatments are far from adequate. However, genetic and cell-based therapies, in particular exon skipping induced by antisense strategies, and corrective gene therapy via functionally engineered dystrophin genes hold great promise, with several clinical trials ongoing. Proof-of-concept of exon skipping has been obtained in animal models, and most recently in clinical trials; this approach represents a promising therapy for a subset of patients. In addition, gene-delivery-based strategies exist both for antisense-induced reading frame restoration, and for highly efficient delivery of functional dystrophin mini- and micro-genes to muscle fibres in vivo and muscle stem cells ex-vivo. In particular, AAV-based vectors show efficient systemic gene delivery to skeletal muscle directly in vivo, and lentivirus-based vectors show promise of combining ex vivo gene modification strategies with cell-mediated therapies.

  1. Intragenic telSMN mutations: frequency, distribution, evidence of a founder effect, and modification of the spinal muscular atrophy phenotype by cenSMN copy number.

    PubMed Central

    Parsons, D W; McAndrew, P E; Iannaccone, S T; Mendell, J R; Burghes, A H; Prior, T W

    1998-01-01

    The autosomal recessive neuromuscular disorder proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by the loss or mutation of the survival motor neuron (SMN) gene, which exists in two nearly identical copies, telomeric SMN (telSMN) and centromeric SMN (cenSMN). Exon 7 of the telSMN gene is homozygously absent in approximately 95% of SMA patients, whereas loss of cenSMN does not cause SMA. We searched for other telSMN mutations among 23 SMA compound heterozygotes, using heteroduplex analysis. We identified telSMN mutations in 11 of these unrelated SMA-like individuals who carry a single copy of telSMN: these include two frameshift mutations (800ins11 and 542delGT) and three missense mutations (A2G, S262I, and T274I). The telSMN mutations identified to date cluster at the 3' end, in a region containing sites for SMN oligomerization and binding of Sm proteins. Interestingly, the novel A2G missense mutation occurs outside this conserved carboxy-terminal domain, closely upstream of an SIP1 (SMN-interacting protein 1) binding site. In three patients, the A2G mutation was found to be on the same allele as a rare polymorphism in the 5' UTR, providing evidence for a founder chromosome; Ag1-CA marker data also support evidence of an ancestral origin for the 800ins11 and 542delGT mutations. We note that telSMN missense mutations are associated with milder disease in our patients and that the severe type I SMA phenotype caused by frameshift mutations can be ameliorated by an increase in cenSMN gene copy number. PMID:9837824

  2. Mutations in Subunits of the Activating Signal Cointegrator 1 Complex Are Associated with Prenatal Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Congenital Bone Fractures

    PubMed Central

    Knierim, Ellen; Hirata, Hiromi; Wolf, Nicole I.; Morales-Gonzalez, Susanne; Schottmann, Gudrun; Tanaka, Yu; Rudnik-Schöneborn, Sabine; Orgeur, Mickael; Zerres, Klaus; Vogt, Stefanie; van Riesen, Anne; Gill, Esther; Seifert, Franziska; Zwirner, Angelika; Kirschner, Janbernd; Goebel, Hans Hilmar; Hübner, Christoph; Stricker, Sigmar; Meierhofer, David; Stenzel, Werner; Schuelke, Markus

    2016-01-01

    Transcriptional signal cointegrators associate with transcription factors or nuclear receptors and coregulate tissue-specific gene transcription. We report on recessive loss-of-function mutations in two genes (TRIP4 and ASCC1) that encode subunits of the nuclear activating signal cointegrator 1 (ASC-1) complex. We used autozygosity mapping and whole-exome sequencing to search for pathogenic mutations in four families. Affected individuals presented with prenatal-onset spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), multiple congenital contractures (arthrogryposis multiplex congenita), respiratory distress, and congenital bone fractures. We identified homozygous and compound-heterozygous nonsense and frameshift TRIP4 and ASCC1 mutations that led to a truncation or the entire absence of the respective proteins and cosegregated with the disease phenotype. Trip4 and Ascc1 have identical expression patterns in 17.5-day-old mouse embryos with high expression levels in the spinal cord, brain, paraspinal ganglia, thyroid, and submandibular glands. Antisense morpholino-mediated knockdown of either trip4 or ascc1 in zebrafish disrupted the highly patterned and coordinated process of α-motoneuron outgrowth and formation of myotomes and neuromuscular junctions and led to a swimming defect in the larvae. Immunoprecipitation of the ASC-1 complex consistently copurified cysteine and glycine rich protein 1 (CSRP1), a transcriptional cofactor, which is known to be involved in spinal cord regeneration upon injury in adult zebrafish. ASCC1 mutant fibroblasts downregulated genes associated with neurogenesis, neuronal migration, and pathfinding (SERPINF1, DAB1, SEMA3D, SEMA3A), as well as with bone development (TNFRSF11B, RASSF2, STC1). Our findings indicate that the dysfunction of a transcriptional coactivator complex can result in a clinical syndrome affecting the neuromuscular system. PMID:26924529

  3. Gene therapy for muscular dystrophy: lessons learned and path forward.

    PubMed

    Mendell, Jerry R; Rodino-Klapac, Louise; Sahenk, Zarife; Malik, Vinod; Kaspar, Brian K; Walker, Christopher M; Clark, K Reed

    2012-10-11

    Our Translational Gene Therapy Center has used small molecules for exon skipping and mutation suppression and gene transfer to replace or provide surrogate genes as tools for molecular-based approaches for the treatment of muscular dystrophies. Exon skipping is targeted at the pre-mRNA level allowing one or more exons to be omitted to restore the reading frame. In Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), clinical trials have been performed with two different oligomers, a 2'O-methyl-ribo-oligonucleoside-phosphorothioate (2'OMe) and a phosphorodiamidate morpholino (PMO). Both have demonstrated early evidence of efficacy. A second molecular approach involves suppression of stop codons to promote readthrough of the DMD gene. We have been able to establish proof of principle for mutation suppression using the aminoglycoside, gentamicin. A safer, orally administered, alternative agent referred to as Ataluren (PTC124) has been used in clinical trials and is currently under consideration for approval by the FDA. Using a gene therapy approach, we have completed two trials and have initiated a third. For DMD, we used a mini-dystrophin transferred in adeno-associated virus (AAV). In this trial an immune response was seen directed against transgene product, a quite unexpected outcome that will help guide further studies. For limb girdle muscular dystrophy 2D (alpha-sarcoglycan deficiency), the transgene was again transferred using AAV but in this study, a muscle specific creatine kinase promoter controlled gene expression that persisted for six months. A third gene therapy trial has been initiated with transfer of the follistatin gene in AAV directly to the quadriceps muscle. Two diseases with selective quadriceps muscle weakness are undergoing gene transfer including sporadic inclusion body myositis (sIBM) and Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD). Increasing the size and strength of the muscle is the goal of this study. Most importantly, no adverse events have been encountered in any of

  4. Gene therapy for muscular dystrophy: moving the field forward.

    PubMed

    Al-Zaidy, Samiah; Rodino-Klapac, Louise; Mendell, Jerry R

    2014-11-01

    Gene therapy for the muscular dystrophies has evolved as a promising treatment for this progressive group of disorders. Although corticosteroids and/or supportive treatments remain the standard of care for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, loss of ambulation, respiratory failure, and compromised cardiac function is the inevitable outcome. Recent developments in genetically mediated therapies have allowed for personalized treatments that strategically target individual muscular dystrophy subtypes based on disease pathomechanism and phenotype. In this review, we highlight the therapeutic progress with emphasis on evolving preclinical data and our own experience in completed clinical trials and others currently underway. We also discuss the lessons we have learned along the way and the strategies developed to overcome limitations and obstacles in this field.

  5. Clinical and molecular cross-sectional study of a cohort of adult type III spinal muscular atrophy patients: clues from a biomarker study

    PubMed Central

    Tiziano, Francesco D; Lomastro, Rosa; Di Pietro, Lorena; Barbara Pasanisi, Maria; Fiori, Stefania; Angelozzi, Carla; Abiusi, Emanuela; Angelini, Corrado; Sorarù, Gianni; Gaiani, Alessandra; Mongini, Tiziana; Vercelli, Liliana; Vasco, Gessica; Vita, Giuseppe; Luca Vita, Gian; Messina, Sonia; Politano, Luisa; Passamano, Luigia; Di Gregorio, Grazia; Montomoli, Cristina; Orsi, Chiara; Campanella, Angela; Mantegazza, Renato; Morandi, Lucia

    2013-01-01

    Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disorder caused by mutations of the SMN1 gene. Based on severity, three forms of SMA are recognized (types I–III). All patients usually have 2–4 copies of a highly homologous gene (SMN2), which produces insufficient levels of functional survival motor neuron (SMN) protein due to the alternative splicing of exon 7. The availability of potential candidates to the treatment of SMA has raised a number of issues, including the availability of biomarkers. This study was aimed at evaluating whether the quantification of SMN2 products in peripheral blood is a suitable biomarker for SMA. Forty-five adult type III patients were evaluated by Manual Muscle Testing, North Star Ambulatory Assessment scale, 6-min walk test, myometry, forced vital capacity, and dual X-ray absorptiometry. Molecular assessments included SMN2 copy number, levels of full-length SMN2 (SMN2-fl) transcripts and those lacking exon 7 and SMN protein. Clinical outcome measures strongly correlated to each other. Lean body mass correlated inversely with years from diagnosis and with several aspects of motor performance. SMN2 copy number and SMN protein levels were not associated with motor performance or transcript levels. SMN2-fl levels correlated with motor performance in ambulant patients. Our results indicate that SMN2-fl levels correlate with motor performance only in patients preserving higher levels of motor function, whereas motor performance was strongly influenced by disease duration and lean body mass. If not taken into account, the confounding effect of disease duration may impair the identification of potential SMA biomarkers. PMID:23073312

  6. Systemic, postsymptomatic antisense oligonucleotide rescues motor unit maturation delay in a new mouse model for type II/III spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Bogdanik, Laurent P.; Osborne, Melissa A.; Davis, Crystal; Martin, Whitney P.; Austin, Andrew; Rigo, Frank; Bennett, C. Frank; Lutz, Cathleen M.

    2015-01-01

    Clinical presentation of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) ranges from a neonatal-onset, very severe disease to an adult-onset, milder form. SMA is caused by the mutation of the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, and prognosis inversely correlates with the number of copies of the SMN2 gene, a human-specific homolog of SMN1. Despite progress in identifying potential therapies for the treatment of SMA, many questions remain including how late after onset treatments can still be effective and what the target tissues should be. These questions can be addressed in part with preclinical animal models; however, modeling the array of SMA severities in the mouse, which lacks SMN2, has proven challenging. We created a new mouse model for the intermediate forms of SMA presenting with a delay in neuromuscular junction maturation and a decrease in the number of functional motor units, all relevant to the clinical presentation of the disease. Using this new model, in combination with clinical electrophysiology methods, we found that administering systemically SMN-restoring antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) at the age of onset can extend survival and rescue the neurological phenotypes. Furthermore, these effects were also achieved by administration of the ASOs late after onset, independent of the restoration of SMN in the spinal cord. Thus, by adding to the limited repertoire of existing mouse models for type II/III SMA, we demonstrate that ASO therapy can be effective even when administered after onset of the neurological symptoms, in young adult mice, and without being delivered into the central nervous system. PMID:26460027

  7. Association of IgM monoclonal gammopathy with progressive muscular atrophy and multifocal motor neuropathy: a case-control study.

    PubMed

    Vlam, Lotte; Piepers, Sanne; Sutedja, Nadia A; Jacobs, Bart C; Tio-Gillen, Anne P; Stam, Marloes; Franssen, Hessel; Veldink, Jan H; Cats, Elisabeth A; Notermans, Nicolette C; Bloem, Andries C; Wadman, Renske I; van der Pol, W-Ludo; van den Berg, Leonard H

    2015-03-01

    Monoclonal gammopathy in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and related disorders has been reported in small studies but the validity of the reported associations remains uncertain. Presence of monoclonal gammopathy may indicate specific pathogenic pathways and may facilitate the development of novel treatment strategies. The objective of this large case-control study was to determine the prevalence of monoclonal gammopathy in motor neuron diseases (MND) and multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN). Monoclonal gammopathy was determined by immunoelectrophoresis and immunofixation in serum from 445 patients with ALS, 158 patients with progressive muscular atrophy (PMA), 60 patients with primary lateral sclerosis (PLS), 88 patients with MMN and in 430 matched healthy controls. Anti-ganglioside antibody titers were determined in sera from patients with MMN and PMA, and in ALS and PLS patients with monoclonal gammopathy. Logistic regression analysis was used to investigate associations of monoclonal gammopathy with motor neuron diseases and clinical characteristics. Neither ALS nor PLS was associated with monoclonal gammopathy. IgM monoclonal gammopathy was more frequent in patients with PMA (8 %) (OR = 4.2; p = 0.001) and MMN (7 %) (OR = 5.8; p = 0.002) than in controls (2 %). High titers of anti-GM1 IgM antibodies were present in 43 % of MMN patients and 7 % of PMA patients. Patients with PMA and IgM monoclonal gammopathy or anti-GM1 antibodies had a higher age at onset, more often weakness of upper legs and more severe outcome than patients with MMN. PMA and MMN, but not ALS and PLS, are significantly associated with IgM monoclonal gammopathy and anti-GM1 antibodies. These results may indicate that a subset of patients presenting with PMA share pathogenic mechanisms with MMN.

  8. Human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells as a new model of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Dossena, Marta; Bedini, Gloria; Rusmini, Paola; Giorgetti, Elisa; Canazza, Alessandra; Tosetti, Valentina; Salsano, Ettore; Sagnelli, Anna; Mariotti, Caterina; Gellera, Cinzia; Navone, Stefania Elena; Marfia, Giovanni; Alessandri, Giulio; Corsi, Fabio; Parati, Eugenio Agostino; Pareyson, Davide; Poletti, Angelo

    2014-01-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) or Kennedy's disease is an X-linked CAG/polyglutamine expansion motoneuron disease, in which an elongated polyglutamine tract (polyQ) in the N-terminal androgen receptor (ARpolyQ) confers toxicity to this protein. Typical markers of SBMA disease are ARpolyQ intranuclear inclusions. These are generated after the ARpolyQ binds to its endogenous ligands, which promotes AR release from chaperones, activation and nuclear translocation, but also cell toxicity. The SBMA mouse models developed so far, and used in preclinical studies, all contain an expanded CAG repeat significantly longer than that of SBMA patients. Here, we propose the use of SBMA patients adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as a new human in vitro model to study ARpolyQ toxicity. These cells have the advantage to express only ARpolyQ, and not the wild type AR allele. Therefore, we isolated and characterized adipose-derived MSCs from three SBMA patients (ADSC from Kennedy's patients, ADSCK) and three control volunteers (ADSCs). We found that both ADSCs and ADSCKs express mesenchymal antigens, even if only ADSCs can differentiate into the three typical cell lineages (adipocytes, chondrocytes and osteocytes), whereas ADSCKs, from SBMA patients, showed a lower growth potential and differentiated only into adipocyte. Moreover, analysing AR expression on our mesenchymal cultures we found lower levels in all ADSCKs than ADSCs, possibly related to negative pressures exerted by toxic ARpolyQ in ADSCKs. In addition, with proteasome inhibition the ARpolyQ levels increased specifically in ADSCKs, inducing the formation of HSP70 and ubiquitin positive nuclear ARpolyQ inclusions. Considering all of this evidence, SBMA patients adipose-derived MSCs cultures should be considered an innovative in vitro human model to understand the molecular mechanisms of ARpolyQ toxicity and to test novel therapeutic approaches in SBMA.

  9. Ribonucleoprotein assembly defects correlate with spinal muscular atrophy severity and preferentially affect a subset of spliceosomal snRNPs.

    PubMed

    Gabanella, Francesca; Butchbach, Matthew E R; Saieva, Luciano; Carissimi, Claudia; Burghes, Arthur H M; Pellizzoni, Livio

    2007-09-26

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a motor neuron disease caused by reduced levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. SMN together with Gemins2-8 and unrip proteins form a macromolecular complex that functions in the assembly of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) of both the major and the minor splicing pathways. It is not known whether the levels of spliceosomal snRNPs are decreased in SMA. Here we analyzed the consequence of SMN deficiency on snRNP metabolism in the spinal cord of mouse models of SMA with differing phenotypic severities. We demonstrate that the expression of a subset of Gemin proteins and snRNP assembly activity are dramatically reduced in the spinal cord of severe SMA mice. Comparative analysis of different tissues highlights a similar decrease in SMN levels and a strong impairment of snRNP assembly in tissues of severe SMA mice, although the defect appears smaller in kidney than in neural tissue. We further show that the extent of reduction in both Gemin proteins expression and snRNP assembly activity in the spinal cord of SMA mice correlates with disease severity. Remarkably, defective SMN complex function in snRNP assembly causes a significant decrease in the levels of a subset of snRNPs and preferentially affects the accumulation of U11 snRNP--a component of the minor spliceosome--in tissues of severe SMA mice. Thus, impairment of a ubiquitous function of SMN changes the snRNP profile of SMA tissues by unevenly altering the normal proportion of endogenous snRNPs. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that SMN deficiency affects the splicing machinery and in particular the minor splicing pathway of a rare class of introns in SMA.

  10. Non-Aggregating Tau Phosphorylation by Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 5 Contributes to Motor Neuron Degeneration in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Nimrod; Feng, Zhihua; Edens, Brittany M.; Yang, Ben; Shi, Han; Sze, Christie C.; Hong, Benjamin Taige; Su, Susan C.; Cantu, Jorge A.; Topczewski, Jacek; Crawford, Thomas O.; Ko, Chien-Ping; Sumner, Charlotte J.; Ma, Long

    2015-01-01

    Mechanisms underlying motor neuron degeneration in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading inherited cause of infant mortality, remain largely unknown. Many studies have established the importance of hyperphosphorylation of the microtubule-associated protein tau in various neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. However, tau phosphorylation in SMA pathogenesis has yet to be investigated. Here we show that tau phosphorylation on serine 202 (S202) and threonine 205 (T205) is increased significantly in SMA motor neurons using two SMA mouse models and human SMA patient spinal cord samples. Interestingly, phosphorylated tau does not form aggregates in motor neurons or neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), even at late stages of SMA disease, distinguishing it from other tauopathies. Hyperphosphorylation of tau on S202 and T205 is mediated by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) in SMA disease condition, because tau phosphorylation at these sites is significantly reduced in Cdk5 knock-out mice; genetic knock-out of Cdk5 activating subunit p35 in an SMA mouse model also leads to reduced tau phosphorylation on S202 and T205 in the SMA;p35−/− compound mutant mice. In addition, expression of the phosphorylation-deficient tauS202A,T205A mutant alleviates motor neuron defects in a zebrafish SMA model in vivo and mouse motor neuron degeneration in culture, whereas expression of phosphorylation-mimetic tauS202E,T205E promotes motor neuron defects. More importantly, genetic knock-out of tau in SMA mice rescues synapse stripping on motor neurons, NMJ denervation, and motor neuron degeneration in vivo. Altogether, our findings suggest a novel mechanism for SMA pathogenesis in which hyperphosphorylation of non-aggregating tau by Cdk5 contributes to motor neuron degeneration. PMID:25878277

  11. Gene Therapy for Muscular Dystrophies: Progress and Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Donghoon

    2010-01-01

    Muscular dystrophies are groups of inherited progressive diseases of the muscle caused by mutations of diverse genes related to normal muscle function. Although there is no current effective treatment for these devastating diseases, various molecular strategies have been developed to restore the expressions of the associated defective proteins. In preclinical animal models, both viral and nonviral vectors have been shown to deliver recombinant versions of defective genes. Antisense oligonucleotides have been shown to modify the splicing mechanism of mesenger ribonucleic acid to produce an internally deleted but partially functional dystrophin in an experimental model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In addition, chemicals can induce readthrough of the premature stop codon in nonsense mutations of the dystrophin gene. On the basis of these preclinical data, several experimental clinical trials are underway that aim to demonstrate efficacy in treating these devastating diseases. PMID:20944811

  12. A unique case of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A carrying novel compound heterozygous mutations in the human CAPN3 gene.

    PubMed

    Matsubara, E; Tsuchiya, A; Minami, N; Nishino, I; Pappolla, M A; Shoji, M; Abe, K

    2007-07-01

    A unique sib pair afflicted by limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A (LGMD2A) is described showing a slowly progressive autosomal recessive type of muscular dystrophy with onset in the third and fourth decades. The patients had early asymmetric muscle involvement characterized by prominent biceps brachii atrophy with sparing of the knee extensors. Additional findings included elevation of serum creatine kinase level, myopathic EMG changes and dystrophic type of pathology on muscle biopsy. Asymmetrical wasting of muscles in the extremities exhibited uniform and highly selective CT imaging patterns. RNA and DNA analyses confirmed novel compound heterozygous mutations (R147X/L212F) in the human CAPN3 gene.

  13. Analysis of the prion protein gene in multiple system atrophy.

    PubMed

    Chelban, Viorica; Manole, Andreea; Pihlstrøm, Lasse; Schottlaender, Lucia; Efthymiou, Stephanie; OConnor, Emer; Meissner, Wassilios G; Holton, Janice L; Houlden, Henry

    2017-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are a very diverse group of disorders but they share some common mechanisms such as abnormally misfolded proteins with prion-like propagation and aggregation. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is the most prevalent prion disease in humans. In the sporadic form of CJD the only known risk factor is the codon 129 polymorphism. Recent reports suggested that α-synuclein in multiple system atrophy (MSA) has similar pathogenic mechanisms as the prion protein. Here we present 1 Italian family with MSA and prion disease. Also, cases of concurrent MSA and prion pathology in the same individual or family suggest the possibility of molecular interaction between prion protein and α-synuclein in the process of protein accumulation and neurodegeneration, warranting further investigations. We assessed the PRNP gene by whole-exome sequencing in 264 pathologically confirmed MSA cases and 462 healthy controls to determine whether the 2 diseases share similar risk factors. We then analyzed codon 129 polymorphism by Sanger sequencing and compared with previously published results in sporadic CJD. Homozygosity at codon 129 was present in 50% of pathologically confirmed MSA cases and in 58% of normal controls (odds ratio, 0.7 (95% confidence interval of 0.5-0.9)) compared with 88.2% in sporadic CJD. Our data show that the homozygous state of position 129 in the PRNP is not a risk factor for MSA. No other variants in the PRNP gene were associated with increased risk for MSA.

  14. Acute intermittent porphyria presenting as progressive muscular atrophy in a young black man.

    PubMed

    Albertyn, C H; Sonderup, M; Bryer, A; Corrigall, A; Meissner, P; Heckmann, J M

    2014-04-01

    Acute intermittent porphyria, the most common porphyria affecting the nervous system, typically presents with neurovisceral crises followed by a motor neuropathy. We describe a 23-year-old black South African man presenting with a progressive stuttering, lower motor neuron syndrome developing over months. He had not experienced pain or neuropsychiatric symptoms. One year after symptom onset he was bed-bound with a flaccid quadriparesis. There was marked amyotrophy, but without fasciculations. Sensation was intact apart from a hypo-aesthetic patch over the thigh. Electrophysiological investigations showed an active motor axonopathy. Urinary porphyrins, delta-aminolaevulinic acid and porphobilinogen were elevated. Mutation analysis revealed the c445C>T (R149X) mutation in the porphobilinogen deaminase gene. The patient responded dramatically to haem arginate and could walk with assistance 2 weeks later. We identified the first molecularly confirmed acute intermittent porphyria in a black South African. The clinical presentation mimicked a progressive lower motor neuron syndrome.

  15. The Power of Human Protective Modifiers: PLS3 and CORO1C Unravel Impaired Endocytosis in Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Rescue SMA Phenotype.

    PubMed

    Hosseinibarkooie, Seyyedmohsen; Peters, Miriam; Torres-Benito, Laura; Rastetter, Raphael H; Hupperich, Kristina; Hoffmann, Andrea; Mendoza-Ferreira, Natalia; Kaczmarek, Anna; Janzen, Eva; Milbradt, Janine; Lamkemeyer, Tobias; Rigo, Frank; Bennett, C Frank; Guschlbauer, Christoph; Büschges, Ansgar; Hammerschmidt, Matthias; Riessland, Markus; Kye, Min Jeong; Clemen, Christoph S; Wirth, Brunhilde

    2016-09-01

    Homozygous loss of SMN1 causes spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the most common and devastating childhood genetic motor-neuron disease. The copy gene SMN2 produces only ∼10% functional SMN protein, insufficient to counteract development of SMA. In contrast, the human genetic modifier plastin 3 (PLS3), an actin-binding and -bundling protein, fully protects against SMA in SMN1-deleted individuals carrying 3-4 SMN2 copies. Here, we demonstrate that the combinatorial effect of suboptimal SMN antisense oligonucleotide treatment and PLS3 overexpression-a situation resembling the human condition in asymptomatic SMN1-deleted individuals-rescues survival (from 14 to >250 days) and motoric abilities in a severe SMA mouse model. Because PLS3 knockout in yeast impairs endocytosis, we hypothesized that disturbed endocytosis might be a key cellular mechanism underlying impaired neurotransmission and neuromuscular junction maintenance in SMA. Indeed, SMN deficit dramatically reduced endocytosis, which was restored to normal levels by PLS3 overexpression. Upon low-frequency electro-stimulation, endocytotic FM1-43 (SynaptoGreen) uptake in the presynaptic terminal of neuromuscular junctions was restored to control levels in SMA-PLS3 mice. Moreover, proteomics and biochemical analysis revealed CORO1C, another F-actin binding protein, whose direct binding to PLS3 is dependent on calcium. Similar to PLS3 overexpression, CORO1C overexpression restored fluid-phase endocytosis in SMN-knockdown cells by elevating F-actin amounts and rescued the axonal truncation and branching phenotype in Smn-depleted zebrafish. Our findings emphasize the power of genetic modifiers to unravel the cellular pathomechanisms underlying SMA and the power of combinatorial therapy based on splice correction of SMN2 and endocytosis improvement to efficiently treat SMA.

  16. Genome Editing Gene Therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Hotta, Akitsu

    2015-09-22

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe genetic disorder caused by loss of function of the dystrophin gene on the X chromosome. Gene augmentation of dystrophin is challenging due to the large size of the dystrophin cDNA. Emerging genome editing technologies, such as TALEN and CRISPR-Cas9 systems, open a new erain the restoration of functional dystrophin and are a hallmark of bona fide gene therapy. In this review, we summarize current genome editing approaches, properties of target cell types for ex vivo gene therapy, and perspectives of in vivo gene therapy including genome editing in human zygotes. Although technical challenges, such as efficacy, accuracy, and delivery of the genome editing components, remain to be further improved, yet genome editing technologies offer a new avenue for the gene therapy of DMD.

  17. Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    MedlinePlus

    ... Association National Office - 222 S. Riverside Plaza Suite 1500 Chicago IL Chicago, IL 60606 mda@mdausa.org http://www.mda. ... Association National Office - 222 S. Riverside Plaza Suite 1500 Chicago IL Chicago, IL 60606 mda@mdausa.org http:// ...

  18. Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    MedlinePlus

    ... with symptoms and prevent complications. They may include machines to help with breathing, nutritional support, physical therapy, and medicines. NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

  19. Spinal muscular atrophy

    MedlinePlus

    ... type II have less severe symptoms during early infancy, but they become weaker with time. SMA type ... MM, De Vivo DC, eds. Neuromuscular Disorders of Infancy, Childhood, and Adolescence . 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; ...

  20. Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

    MedlinePlus

    ... areas of society: the arts, science, law, management, teaching — you name it. Children with SMA tend to ... or speech therapy consultations • annual flu shots • support groups for those affected, spouses, parents or other caregivers • ...

  1. Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    MedlinePlus

    ... of several hereditary diseases that progressively destroy lower motor neurons—nerve cells in the brain stem and ... such as speaking, walking, breathing, and swallowing. Lower motor neurons control movement in the arms, legs, chest, ...

  2. Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

    MedlinePlus

    ... children with SMA develop spinal deformities, such as scoliosis (sideways curvature of the spine) and kyphosis (front- ... Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Brain and Nervous System Scoliosis Contact Us Print Resources Send to a friend ...

  3. Proteasome-mediated Proteolysis of the Polyglutamine-expanded Androgen Receptor Is a Late Event in Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy (SBMA) Pathogenesis*

    PubMed Central

    Heine, Erin M.; Berger, Tamar R.; Pluciennik, Anna; Orr, Christopher R.; Zboray, Lori; Merry, Diane E.

    2015-01-01

    Proteolysis of polyglutamine-expanded proteins is thought to be a required step in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases. The accepted view for many polyglutamine proteins is that proteolysis of the mutant protein produces a “toxic fragment” that induces neuronal dysfunction and death in a soluble form; toxicity of the fragment is buffered by its incorporation into amyloid-like inclusions. In contrast to this view, we show that, in the polyglutamine disease spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, proteolysis of the mutant androgen receptor (AR) is a late event. Immunocytochemical and biochemical analyses revealed that the mutant AR aggregates as a full-length protein, becoming proteolyzed to a smaller fragment through a process requiring the proteasome after it is incorporated into intranuclear inclusions. Moreover, the toxicity-predicting conformational antibody 3B5H10 bound to soluble full-length AR species but not to fragment-containing nuclear inclusions. These data suggest that the AR is toxic as a full-length protein, challenging the notion of polyglutamine protein fragment-associated toxicity by redefining the role of AR proteolysis in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy pathogenesis. PMID:25795778

  4. Proteasome-mediated proteolysis of the polyglutamine-expanded androgen receptor is a late event in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Heine, Erin M; Berger, Tamar R; Pluciennik, Anna; Orr, Christopher R; Zboray, Lori; Merry, Diane E

    2015-05-15

    Proteolysis of polyglutamine-expanded proteins is thought to be a required step in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases. The accepted view for many polyglutamine proteins is that proteolysis of the mutant protein produces a "toxic fragment" that induces neuronal dysfunction and death in a soluble form; toxicity of the fragment is buffered by its incorporation into amyloid-like inclusions. In contrast to this view, we show that, in the polyglutamine disease spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, proteolysis of the mutant androgen receptor (AR) is a late event. Immunocytochemical and biochemical analyses revealed that the mutant AR aggregates as a full-length protein, becoming proteolyzed to a smaller fragment through a process requiring the proteasome after it is incorporated into intranuclear inclusions. Moreover, the toxicity-predicting conformational antibody 3B5H10 bound to soluble full-length AR species but not to fragment-containing nuclear inclusions. These data suggest that the AR is toxic as a full-length protein, challenging the notion of polyglutamine protein fragment-associated toxicity by redefining the role of AR proteolysis in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy pathogenesis.

  5. [Animal models of neurodegenerative diseases on the road to disease-modifying therapy: spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy].

    PubMed

    Sobue, Gen

    2007-11-01

    SBMA is a hereditary neurodegenerative disease caused by expansion of a trinucleotide CAG repeat, which encodes the polyglutamine tract, in the first exon of the androgen receptor (AR) gene. The phenotypic difference with gender, which is a specific feature of SBMA, has been recapitulated in a transgenic mouse model of SBMA expressing the full-length human AR containing 97 CAGs under the control of a cytomegalovirus enhancer and a chicken beta-actin promoter (AR-97Q). Affected SBMA mice demonstrate small body size, short life span, progressive muscle atrophy and weakness as well as reduced cage activity, all of which are markedly pronounced and accelerated in the male SBMA mice, but either not observed or far less severe in the female SBMA mice. There is increasing evidence that testosterone, the ligand of AR, plays a pivotal role in the neurodegeneration in SBMA. The striking success of androgen deprivation therapy in SBMA mouse models has been translated into phase 2, and then phase 3, clinical trials. Moreover, animal studies have also been revealing key molecules in the pathogenesis of SBMA such as heat shock proteins, transcriptional co-activators, and axon motors, suggesting additional therapeutic targets.

  6. Genetic epidemiology of muscular dystrophies resulting from sarcoglycan gene mutations.

    PubMed Central

    Fanin, M; Duggan, D J; Mostacciuolo, M L; Martinello, F; Freda, M P; Sorarù, G; Trevisan, C P; Hoffman, E P; Angelini, C

    1997-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The autosomal recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophies (LGMDs) are a group of genetically heterogeneous muscle diseases characterised by progressive proximal limb muscle weakness. Six different loci have been mapped and pathogenetic mutations in the genes encoding the sarcoglycan complex components (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-sarcoglycan) have been documented. LGMD patients affected with primary "sarcoglycanopathies" are classified as LGMD2D, 2E, 2C, and 2F, respectively. METHODS: A geographical area in north east Italy (2,319,147 inhabitants) was selected for a genetic epidemiological study on primary sarcoglycanopathies. Within the period 1982 to 1996, all patients living in this region and diagnosed with muscular dystrophy were seen at our centre. Immunohistochemical and immunoblot screening for alpha-sarcoglycan protein deficiency was performed on all muscle biopsies from patients with a progressive muscular dystrophy of unknown aetiology and normal dystrophin. Sarcoglycan mutation analyses were conducted on all patient muscle biopsies shown to have complete or partial absence of alpha-sarcoglycan immunostaining or a decreased quantity of alpha-sarcoglycan protein on immunoblotting. RESULTS: Two hundred and four patient muscle biopsies were screened for alpha-sarcoglycan protein deficiency and 18 biopsies showed a deficiency. Pathogenetic mutations involving one gene for sarcoglycan complex components were identified in 13 patients: alpha-sarcoglycan in seven, beta-sarcoglycan in two, gamma-sarcoglycan in four, and none in the delta-sarcoglycan gene. The overall prevalence of primary sarcoglycanopathies, as of 31 December 1996, was estimated to be 5.6 x 10(-6) inhabitants. CONCLUSION: The prevalence rate estimated in this study is the first to be obtained after biochemical and molecular genetic screening for sarcoglycan defects. PMID:9429136

  7. [Translation and validation of the Egen Klassifikation scale for the Spanish population: functional assessment for non-ambulatory individuals with Duchenne's muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy].

    PubMed

    Fagoaga, Joaquín; Girabent-Farrés, Montserrat; Bagur-Calafat, Caritat; Febrer, Anna; Steffensen, Birgit F

    2013-06-01

    Introduccion. La escala Egen Klassifikation (EK) es un cuestionario que valora la capacidad funcional de personas con distrofia muscular de Duchenne y atrofia muscular espinal no ambulantes y que estan en silla de ruedas. Objetivo. Traducir y validar la EK para la poblacion espanola, como instrumento de medicion de la capacidad funcional en dichos pacientes. Pacientes y metodos. Se realiza, en primer lugar, una traduccion-retrotraduccion de la EK en la poblacion espanola y, posteriormente, se practica el estudio de fiabilidad de la version traducida al espanol de dicha escala. Se llevan a cabo tres mediciones a 30 pacientes con edades comprendidas entre 4 y 67 anos. Dos de estas mediciones se realizan por el mismo observador, y la tercera, por un segundo observador, para evaluar la concordancia intra e interobservador. Resultados. Los valores obtenidos referidos a la puntuacion total de los items de la escala, suma EK, reflejan un indice de fiabilidad del 0,995. Tambien muestran una fiabilidad superior a 0,86 en cada uno de los items, tanto en las observaciones intra como interobservador. Conclusiones. La version espanola de la EK es un instrumento valido y fiable para la poblacion espanola, como herramienta de medicion de la capacidad funcional en pacientes con distrofia muscular de Duchenne y atrofia muscular espinal no ambulantes y que estan en silla de ruedas.

  8. Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene therapy in the canine model.

    PubMed

    Duan, Dongsheng

    2015-03-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked lethal muscle disease caused by dystrophin deficiency. Gene therapy has significantly improved the outcome of dystrophin-deficient mice. Yet, clinical translation has not resulted in the expected benefits in human patients. This translational gap is largely because of the insufficient modeling of DMD in mice. Specifically, mice lacking dystrophin show minimum dystrophic symptoms, and they do not respond to the gene therapy vector in the same way as human patients do. Further, the size of a mouse is hundredfolds smaller than a boy, making it impossible to scale-up gene therapy in a mouse model. None of these limitations exist in the canine DMD (cDMD) model. For this reason, cDMD dogs have been considered a highly valuable platform to test experimental DMD gene therapy. Over the last three decades, a variety of gene therapy approaches have been evaluated in cDMD dogs using a number of nonviral and viral vectors. These studies have provided critical insight for the development of an effective gene therapy protocol in human patients. This review discusses the history, current status, and future directions of the DMD gene therapy in the canine model.

  9. Novel Homozygous Missense Mutation in CAPN3 Gene Detected in a Saudi Arabian Family With Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Type 2A.

    PubMed

    Al-Harbi, Talal M; Abdulmanaʼ, Sameeh O; Dridi, Walid

    2016-12-01

    More than 300 mutations were identified in Calpainopathy (CAPN3) gene in limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A (LGMD2A) patients. LGMD2A type is also known as Calpainopathy, which is characterized by selective atrophy and weakness of proximal limb muscles. We report a Saudi Arabian family with weakness in limb-girdle distribution: waddling gait, positive Gowers' sign, and marked muscle atrophy in the shoulder and pelvic girdle muscles. We sequenced all exonic and intronic regions of the CAPN3 gene and identified c.1699 G>A variant as a novel variant not previously described in other patients. In silico predictions indicate that this is probably a disease-causing mutation. Here, for the first time, we report this c.1699 G>A new variant in the CAPN3 gene that can be considered as a robust genetics factor causing LGMD2A disease.

  10. High resolution physical mapping of the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) region utilizing YAC, PAC, and cosmid clones

    SciTech Connect

    Roy, N.; Yaraghi, Z.; Besner, A.

    1994-09-01

    The childhood SMAs are a group of autosomal recessive disorders characterized by anterior horn cells degeneration resulting in muscular wasting and weakness. All three types have been mapped to a 1.4 Mb region of 5q13.1 flanked centromerically by D5S435 and telomerically by D5S557. Several groups including our own have generated YAC contigs of the region documenting deletion, duplications and repetitive sequences. We have generated a higher resolution contiguous array of cosmid clones encompassing the region containing the microsatellites (MSRs) CATT-1 and CMS-1. These MSRs exist in multiple copies, termed subloci, which are present in a variable number among chromosomes. We have mapped four of the CATT-1 subloci, two of that we have shown to be in linkage disequilibrium with SMA, to a 100 kb interval within our cosmid array. The lack of a representation of all the CMS-1 subloci in our YAC and cosmid clones, in addition to the instability of these MSRs within the YAC clones, has rendered mapping problematic. Due to the reported stability of P1 artificial chromosomes (PAC), we have also constructed a contiguous array of 11 PAC clones spanning this critical interval. The unequivocal orientation of the contig along 5q13 has been confirmed by analysis with 4 genetic markers, 4 single copy probes and 3 STSs. Preliminary analysis has shown greater retention of MSR alleles in the PACs, suggesting their greater stability when compared to YACs. Mapping of cosmid and PAC clones derived from different individuals has allowed us to map the multiple CMS-1 and CATT-1 subloci along 5q13. We have identified a recombination event indicating that the SMA gene lies telomeric to one CMS sublocus. Placement of this sublocus in our physical map has enabled further refinement of the critical SMA region from previous estimates of 700 kb to an approximate 300 kb interval flanked by the markers CMS and D5S557.

  11. [Evolution of functional capacity, assessed with the Egen Klassifikation scale, in the Spanish population with spinal muscular atrophy or Duchenne muscular dystrophy. A three year longitudinal study].

    PubMed

    Fagoaga, J; Girabent-Farres, M; Bagur-Calafat, C; Steffensen, B F

    2015-10-16

    Introduccion. La atrofia muscular espinal (AME) y la distrofia muscular de Duchenne (DMD) son dos enfermedades neuromusculares que evolucionan con perdida progresiva de la fuerza muscular y, en consecuencia, perdida de la capacidad funcional. La valoracion con escalas de medicion permite conocer mejor y cuantificar esta involucion, asi como tomar decisiones terapeuticas para anticiparse a los problemas y mejorar la calidad de vida de las personas afectas de estas patologias. Objetivo. Estudiar los cambios de la capacidad funcional de un grupo de pacientes con AME y DMD en un periodo de tres años. Pacientes y metodos. Diecinueve personas de la poblacion española afectas de AME o DMD, a las que se valoro con la escala Egen Klassifikation en dos ocasiones, en un periodo de tres años. Resultados. Los resultados obtenidos reflejan una disminucion de la capacidad funcional de estas personas durante este periodo de tiempo, con una diferencia significativa en la suma total de la escala (p = 0,003). Todos los items de la escala tuvieron valoraciones inferiores despues de tres años, y se llego a la significacion estadistica en la valoracion de la capacidad de mover las manos y de toser. Conclusion. La capacidad funcional de los pacientes con AME y DMD disminuye de forma significativa en tres años.

  12. GRS defective axonal distribution as a potential contributor to distal spinal muscular atrophy type V pathogenesis in a new model of GRS-associated neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Seo, Ah Jung; Park, Byung Sun; Jung, Junyang

    2014-11-01

    Distal spinal muscular atrophy type V (dSMA-V), a hereditary axonal neuropathy, is a glycyl-tRNA synthetase (GRS)-associated neuropathy caused by a mutation in GRS. In this study, using an adenovirus vector system equipped with a neuron-specific promoter, we constructed a new GRS-associated neuropathy mouse model. We found that wild-type GRS (WT) is distributed in peripheral axons, dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cell bodies, central axon terminals and motor neuron cell bodies in the mouse model. In contrast, the L129P mutant GRS was localized in DRG and motor neuron cell bodies. Thus, we propose that the disease-causing L129P mutant is linked to a distribution defect in peripheral nerves in vivo.

  13. Preservation of VGLUT1 synapses on ventral calbindin-immunoreactive interneurons and normal locomotor function in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Thirumalai, Vatsala; Behrend, Rachel M; Birineni, Swetha; Liu, Wenfang; Blivis, Dvir; O'Donovan, Michael J

    2013-02-01

    Dysfunction in sensorimotor synapses is one of the earliest pathological changes observed in a mouse model [spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)Δ7] of spinal muscular atrophy. Here, we examined the density of proprioceptive and cholinergic synapses on calbindin-immunoreactive interneurons ventral to the lateral motor column. This population includes inhibitory Renshaw interneurons that are known to receive synaptic input from muscle spindle afferents and from motoneurons. At postnatal day (P)13, near the end stage of the disease, the somatic area of calbindin(+) neurons in the L1/L2 and L5/L6 segments was reduced in SMAΔ7 mice compared with controls. In addition, the number and density of terminals expressing the glutamate vesicular transporter (VGLUT1) and the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) were increased on calbindin(+) cells in the L1-L2 but not in the L5-L6 segments of SMAΔ7 mice. In addition, the isolated spinal cord of SMA mice was able to generate locomotor-like activity at P4-P6 in the presence of a drug cocktail or in response to dorsal root stimulation. These results argue against a generalized loss of proprioceptive input to spinal circuits in SMA and suggest that the loss of proprioceptive synapses on motoneurons may be secondary to motoneuron pathology. The increased number of VGLUT1(+) and VAChT(+) synapses on calbindin(+) neurons in the L1/L2 segments may be the result of homeostatic mechanisms. Finally, we have shown that abnormal locomotor network function is unlikely to account for the motor deficits observed in SMA mice at P4-6.

  14. Preservation of VGLUT1 synapses on ventral calbindin-immunoreactive interneurons and normal locomotor function in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Thirumalai, Vatsala; Behrend, Rachel M.; Birineni, Swetha; Liu, Wenfang; Blivis, Dvir

    2013-01-01

    Dysfunction in sensorimotor synapses is one of the earliest pathological changes observed in a mouse model [spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)Δ7] of spinal muscular atrophy. Here, we examined the density of proprioceptive and cholinergic synapses on calbindin-immunoreactive interneurons ventral to the lateral motor column. This population includes inhibitory Renshaw interneurons that are known to receive synaptic input from muscle spindle afferents and from motoneurons. At postnatal day (P)13, near the end stage of the disease, the somatic area of calbindin+ neurons in the L1/L2 and L5/L6 segments was reduced in SMAΔ7 mice compared with controls. In addition, the number and density of terminals expressing the glutamate vesicular transporter (VGLUT1) and the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) were increased on calbindin+ cells in the L1-L2 but not in the L5-L6 segments of SMAΔ7 mice. In addition, the isolated spinal cord of SMA mice was able to generate locomotor-like activity at P4-P6 in the presence of a drug cocktail or in response to dorsal root stimulation. These results argue against a generalized loss of proprioceptive input to spinal circuits in SMA and suggest that the loss of proprioceptive synapses on motoneurons may be secondary to motoneuron pathology. The increased number of VGLUT1+ and VAChT+ synapses on calbindin+ neurons in the L1/L2 segments may be the result of homeostatic mechanisms. Finally, we have shown that abnormal locomotor network function is unlikely to account for the motor deficits observed in SMA mice at P4–6. PMID:23136344

  15. The molecular responses of skeletal muscle satellite cells to continuous expression of IGF-1: implications for the rescue of induced muscular atrophy in aged rats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chakravarthy, M. V.; Booth, F. W.; Spangenburg, E. E.

    2001-01-01

    Approximately 50% of humans older than 85 years have physical frailty due to weak skeletal muscles. This indicates a need for determining mechanisms to combat this problem. A critical cellular factor for postnatal muscle growth is a population of myogenic precursor cells called satellite cells. Given the complex process of sarcopenia, it has been postulated that, at some point in this process, a limited satellite cell proliferation potential could become rate-limiting to the regrowth of old muscles. It is conceivable that if satellite cell proliferative capacity can be maintained or enhanced with advanced age, sarcopenia could potentially be delayed or prevented. Therefore, the purposes of this paper are to describe whether IGF-I can prevent muscular atrophy induced by repeated cycles of hindlimb immobilization, increase the in vitro proliferation in satellite cells from these muscles and, if so, the molecular mechanisms by which IGF-I mediates this increased proliferation. Our results provide evidence that IGF-I can enhance aged muscle regrowth possibly through increased satellite cell proliferation. The results also suggest that IGF-I enhances satellite cell proliferation by decreasing the cell cycle inhibitor, p27Kip1, through the PI3'-K/Akt pathway. These data provide molecular evidence for IGF-I's rescue effect upon aging-associated skeletal muscle atrophy.

  16. Selective loss of alpha motor neurons with sparing of gamma motor neurons and spinal cord cholinergic neurons in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Powis, Rachael A; Gillingwater, Thomas H

    2016-03-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disease characterised primarily by loss of lower motor neurons from the ventral grey horn of the spinal cord and proximal muscle atrophy. Recent experiments utilising mouse models of SMA have demonstrated that not all motor neurons are equally susceptible to the disease, revealing that other populations of neurons can also be affected. Here, we have extended investigations of selective vulnerability of neuronal populations in the spinal cord of SMA mice to include comparative assessments of alpha motor neuron (α-MN) and gamma motor neuron (γ-MN) pools, as well as other populations of cholinergic neurons. Immunohistochemical analyses of late-symptomatic SMA mouse spinal cord revealed that numbers of α-MNs were significantly reduced at all levels of the spinal cord compared with controls, whereas numbers of γ-MNs remained stable. Likewise, the average size of α-MN cell somata was decreased in SMA mice with no change occurring in γ-MNs. Evaluation of other pools of spinal cord cholinergic neurons revealed that pre-ganglionic sympathetic neurons, central canal cluster interneurons, partition interneurons and preganglionic autonomic dorsal commissural nucleus neuron numbers all remained unaffected in SMA mice. Taken together, these findings indicate that α-MNs are uniquely vulnerable among cholinergic neuron populations in the SMA mouse spinal cord, with γ-MNs and other cholinergic neuronal populations being largely spared.

  17. Spinal muscular atrophy type II (intermediary) and III (Kugelberg-Welander). Evolution of 50 patients with physiotherapy and hydrotherapy in a swimming pool.

    PubMed

    Cunha, M C; Oliveira, A S; Labronici, R H; Gabbai, A A

    1996-09-01

    We added hydrotherapy to 50 patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) who were being treated with individual conventional physiotherapy. Hydrotherapy performed at an approximate temperature of 30 degrees Celsius, twice a week, for thirty minutes in children and forty-five minutes in adults during a 2-year period. The outcome derived from this combined modality of treatment was rated according to physiotherapeutic evaluations, the MMT (Manual Muscular Test), and the Barthel Ladder. Patients were reevaluated at 2-month intervals. After two years of ongoing treatment, we were able to observe that the deformities in hip, knee and foot were progressive in all SMA Type II patients, and in some Type III. Muscle strength stabilized in most SMA Type III patients, and improved in some. MMT was not done in SMA Type II. In all patients we were able to detect an improvement in the Barthel Ladder scale. This study suggests that a measurable improvement in the quality of daily living may be obtained in patients with SMA Types II and III subjected to conventional physiotherapy when associated with hydrotherapy.

  18. Translational Studies of GALGT2 Gene Therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-10-01

    Therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Paul T. Martin, PhD CONTRACTING ORGANIZATION: The Research Institute...for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-12-1-0416 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Paul T. Martin...translational studies in support of developing GALGT2 gene therapy for use in Duchenne Muscular dystrophy patients. In year 2, we have completed

  19. Dystrophin gene replacement and gene repair therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 2016.

    PubMed

    Duan, Dongsheng

    2016-03-04

    After years of relentless efforts, gene therapy has now begun to deliver its therapeutic promise in several diseases. A number of gene therapy products have received regulatory approval in Europe and Asia. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked inherited lethal muscle disease. It is caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. Replacing and/or repair the mutated dystrophin gene holds great promises to treated DMD at the genetic level. Last several years have evidenced significant developments in preclinical experimentations in murine and canine models of DMD. There has been a strong interest in moving these promising findings to clinical trials. In light of rapid progress in this field, the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) recently interviewed me on the current status of DMD gene therapy. Here I summarized the interview with PPMD.

  20. Dystrophin Gene Replacement and Gene Repair Therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in 2016: An Interview.

    PubMed

    Duan, Dongsheng

    2016-03-01

    After years of relentless efforts, gene therapy has now begun to deliver its therapeutic promise in several diseases. A number of gene therapy products have received regulatory approval in Europe and Asia. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked inherited lethal muscle disease. It is caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. Replacing and/or repairing the mutated dystrophin gene holds great promises to treated DMD at the genetic level. Last several years have evidenced significant developments in preclinical experimentations in murine and canine models of DMD. There has been a strong interest in moving these promising findings to clinical trials. In light of rapid progress in this field, the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) recently interviewed me on the current status of DMD gene therapy and readiness for clinical trials. Here I summarized the interview with PPMD.

  1. Dystrophin Gene Replacement and Gene Repair Therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in 2016: An Interview

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Dongsheng

    2016-01-01

    After years of relentless efforts, gene therapy has now begun to deliver its therapeutic promise in several diseases. A number of gene therapy products have received regulatory approval in Europe and Asia. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked inherited lethal muscle disease. It is caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. Replacing and/or repairing the mutated dystrophin gene holds great promises to treated DMD at the genetic level. Last several years have evidenced significant developments in preclinical experimentations in murine and canine models of DMD. There has been a strong interest in moving these promising findings to clinical trials. In light of rapid progress in this field, the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) recently interviewed me on the current status of DMD gene therapy and readiness for clinical trials. Here I summarized the interview with PPMD. PMID:27003751

  2. Direct interplay between two candidate genes in FSHD muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Ferri, Giulia; Huichalaf, Claudia H; Caccia, Roberta; Gabellini, Davide

    2015-03-01

    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is one of the most common neuromuscular disorders. The major form of the disease (FSHD1) is linked to decrease in copy number of a 3.3-kb tandem repeated macrosatellite (D4Z4), located on chromosome 4q35. D4Z4 deletion alters chromatin structure of the locus leading to aberrant expression of nearby 4q35 genes. Given the high variability in disease onset and progression, multiple factors could contribute to the pathogenesis of FSHD. Among the FSHD candidate genes are double homeobox 4 (DUX4), encoded by the most telomeric D4Z4 unit, and FSHD region gene 1 (FRG1). DUX4 is a sequence-specific transcription factor. Here, we located putative DUX4 binding sites in the human FRG1 genomic area and we show specific DUX4 association to these regions. We found also that ectopically expressed DUX4 up-regulates the endogenous human FRG1 gene in healthy muscle cells, while DUX4 knockdown leads to a decrease in FRG1 expression in FSHD muscle cells. Moreover, DUX4 binds directly and specifically to its binding site located in the human FRG1 gene and transactivates constructs containing FRG1 genomic regions. Intriguingly, the mouse Frg1 genomic area lacks DUX4 binding sites and DUX4 is unable to activate the endogenous mouse Frg1 gene providing a possible explanation for the lack of muscle phenotype in DUX4 transgenic mice. Altogether, our results demonstrate that FRG1 is a direct DUX4 transcriptional target uncovering a novel regulatory circuit contributing to FSHD.

  3. Direct interplay between two candidate genes in FSHD muscular dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Ferri, Giulia; Huichalaf, Claudia H.; Caccia, Roberta; Gabellini, Davide

    2015-01-01

    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is one of the most common neuromuscular disorders. The major form of the disease (FSHD1) is linked to decrease in copy number of a 3.3-kb tandem repeated macrosatellite (D4Z4), located on chromosome 4q35. D4Z4 deletion alters chromatin structure of the locus leading to aberrant expression of nearby 4q35 genes. Given the high variability in disease onset and progression, multiple factors could contribute to the pathogenesis of FSHD. Among the FSHD candidate genes are double homeobox 4 (DUX4), encoded by the most telomeric D4Z4 unit, and FSHD region gene 1 (FRG1). DUX4 is a sequence-specific transcription factor. Here, we located putative DUX4 binding sites in the human FRG1 genomic area and we show specific DUX4 association to these regions. We found also that ectopically expressed DUX4 up-regulates the endogenous human FRG1 gene in healthy muscle cells, while DUX4 knockdown leads to a decrease in FRG1 expression in FSHD muscle cells. Moreover, DUX4 binds directly and specifically to its binding site located in the human FRG1 gene and transactivates constructs containing FRG1 genomic regions. Intriguingly, the mouse Frg1 genomic area lacks DUX4 binding sites and DUX4 is unable to activate the endogenous mouse Frg1 gene providing a possible explanation for the lack of muscle phenotype in DUX4 transgenic mice. Altogether, our results demonstrate that FRG1 is a direct DUX4 transcriptional target uncovering a novel regulatory circuit contributing to FSHD. PMID:25326393

  4. Follistatin Gene Therapy Improves Ambulation in Becker Muscular Dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Al-Zaidy, Samiah A; Sahenk, Zarife; Rodino-Klapac, Louise R; Kaspar, Brian; Mendell, Jerry R

    2015-09-02

    Follistatin is a ubiquitous secretory propeptide that functions as a potent inhibitor of the myostatin pathway, resulting in an increase in skeletal muscle mass. Its ability to interact with the pituitary activin-inhibin axis and suppress the secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) called for caution in its clinical applicability. This limitation was circumvented by the use of one of the alternatively spliced follistatin variants, FS344, undergoing post-translational modification to FS315. This follistatin isoform is serum-based, and has a 10-fold lower affinity to activin compared to FS288. Preclinical studies of intramuscular delivery of the follistatin gene demonstrated safety and efficacy in enhancing muscle mass. We herein review the evidence supporting the utility of follistatin as a genetic enhancer to improve cellular performance. In addition, we shed light on the results of the first clinical gene transfer trial using the FS344 isoform of follistatin in subjects with Becker muscular dystrophy as well as the future directions for clinical gene therapy trials using follistatin.

  5. Follistatin Gene Therapy Improves Ambulation in Becker Muscular Dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Al-Zaidy, Samiah A.; Sahenk, Zarife; Rodino-Klapac, Louise R.; Kaspar, Brian; Mendell, Jerry R.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Follistatin is a ubiquitous secretory propeptide that functions as a potent inhibitor of the myostatin pathway, resulting in an increase in skeletal muscle mass. Its ability to interact with the pituitary activin-inhibin axis and suppress the secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) called for caution in its clinical applicability. This limitation was circumvented by the use of one of the alternatively spliced follistatin variants, FS344, undergoing post-translational modification to FS315. This follistatin isoform is serum-based, and has a 10-fold lower affinity to activin compared to FS288. Preclinical studies of intramuscular delivery of the follistatin gene demonstrated safety and efficacy in enhancing muscle mass. We herein review the evidence supporting the utility of follistatin as a genetic enhancer to improve cellular performance. In addition, we shed light on the results of the first clinical gene transfer trial using the FS344 isoform of follistatin in subjects with Becker muscular dystrophy as well as the future directions for clinical gene therapy trials using follistatin. PMID:27858738

  6. Codon optimization of the microdystrophin gene for Duchene muscular dystrophy gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Athanasopoulos, Takis; Foster, Helen; Foster, Keith; Dickson, George

    2011-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe muscle wasting X-linked genetic disease caused by dystrophin gene mutations. Gene replacement therapy aims to transfer a functional full-length dystrophin cDNA or a quasi micro/mini-gene into the muscle. A number of AAV vectors carrying microdystrophin genes have been tested in the mdx model of DMD. Further modification/optimization of these microgene vectors may improve the therapeutic potency. In this chapter, we describe a species-specific, codon optimization protocol to improve microdystrophin gene therapy in the mdx model.

  7. Accuracy of marker analysis, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and multiple ligation-dependent probe amplification to determine SMN2 copy number in patients with spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Alías, Laura; Bernal, Sara; Barceló, Maria J; Also-Rallo, Eva; Martínez-Hernández, Rebeca; Rodríguez-Alvarez, Francisco J; Hernández-Chico, Concepción; Baiget, Montserrat; Tizzano, Eduardo F

    2011-09-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disorder caused by absence of or mutations in the survival motor neuron1 gene (SMN1). All SMA patients have a highly homologous copy of SMN1, the SMN2 gene. Severe (type I) SMA patients present one or two SMN2 copies, whereas milder chronic forms (type II-III) usually have three or four SMN2 copies. SMN2 dosage is important to stratify patients for motor function tests and clinical trials. Our aim was to compare three methods, marker analysis, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction using the LightCycler instrument, and multiple ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA), to characterize their accuracy in quantifying SMN2 genes. We studied a group of 62 genetically confirmed SMA patients, 54 with homozygous absence of exons 7 and 8 of SMN1 and 8 with SMN2-SMN1 hybrid genes. A complete correlation using the three methods was observed in 32 patients (51.6%). In the remaining 30 patients, discordances between the three methods were found, including under or overestimation of SMN2 copies by marker analysis with respect to the quantitative methods (LightCycler and MLPA) because of lack of informativeness of markers, 3' deletions of SMN genes, and breakpoints in SMN2-SMN1 hybrid genes. The technical limitations and advantages and disadvantages of these methods are discussed. We conclude that the three methods complement each other in estimating the SMN2 copy number in most cases. However, MLPA offers additional information to characterize SMA cases with particular rearrangements such as partial deletions and hybrid genes.

  8. A Korean Case of Juvenile Muscular Atrophy of Distal Upper Extremity (Hirayama Disease) with Dynamic Cervical Cord Compression

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Ohyun; Lee, Kwang-Woo

    2004-01-01

    We present a Korean case of Hirayama disease with its typical neuroradiological findings of forward displacement of cervical dural sac and compression of the lower cervical cord during neck flexion. A 15-yr-old boy was presented with a one-year history of progressive weakness and atrophy affecting bilateral hands and forearms. The electrodiagnostic findings were compatible with the lesion of the anterior horn cells at the C7, C8, and T1 spinal segments. With neck flexion, cervical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed the anterior shifting of the lower cervical dural sac resulting in the cord compression of those segments. Presumably, this disease might have been prevalent in Korea frequently under the diagnosis of "benign focal amyotrophy". In this regard, we discuss the clinical importance of cervical MRI with neck flexion and anticipate the increasing reports of the case substantiated by its characteristic radiological features. PMID:15483361

  9. Muscular dystrophy in the Japanese Spitz: an inversion disrupts the DMD and RPGR genes.

    PubMed

    Atencia-Fernandez, Sabela; Shiel, Robert E; Mooney, Carmel T; Nolan, Catherine M

    2015-04-01

    An X-linked muscular dystrophy, with deficiency of full-length dystrophin and expression of a low molecular weight dystrophin-related protein, has been described in Japanese Spitz dogs. The aim of this study was to identify the causative mutation and develop a specific test to identify affected cases and carrier animals. Gene expression studies in skeletal muscle of an affected animal indicated aberrant expression of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy (dystrophin) gene and an anomaly in intron 19 of the gene. Genome-walking experiments revealed an inversion that interrupts two genes on the X chromosome, the Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene and the retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator gene. All clinically affected dogs and obligate carriers that were tested had the mutant chromosome, and it is concluded that the inversion is the causative mutation for X-linked muscular dystrophy in the Japanese Spitz breed. A PCR assay that amplifies mutant and wild-type alleles was developed and proved capable of identifying affected and carrier individuals. Unexpectedly, a 7-year-old male animal, which had not previously come to clinical attention, was shown to possess the mutant allele and to have a relatively mild form of the disease. This observation indicates phenotypic heterogeneity in Japanese Spitz muscular dystrophy, a feature described previously in humans and Golden Retrievers. With the availability of a simple, fast and accurate test for Japanese Spitz muscular dystrophy, detection of carrier animals and selected breeding should help eliminate the mutation from the breed.

  10. Mutant superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), a cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, disrupts the recruitment of SMN, the spinal muscular atrophy protein to nuclear Cajal bodies.

    PubMed

    Kariya, Shingo; Re, Diane B; Jacquier, Arnaud; Nelson, Katelyn; Przedborski, Serge; Monani, Umrao R

    2012-08-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are among the most common motor neuron diseases to afflict the human population. A deficiency of the survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein causes SMA and is also reported to be an exacerbating factor in the development of ALS. However, pathways linking the two diseases have yet to be defined and it is not clear precisely how the pathology of ALS is aggravated by reduced SMN or whether mutant proteins underlying familial forms of ALS interfere with SMN-related biochemical pathways to exacerbate the neurodegenerative process. In this study, we show that mutant superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1), a cause of familial ALS, profoundly alters the sub-cellular localization of the SMN protein, preventing the formation of nuclear 'gems' by disrupting the recruitment of the protein to Cajal bodies. Overexpressing the SMN protein in mutant SOD1 mice, a model of familial ALS, alleviates this phenomenon, most likely in a cell-autonomous manner, and significantly mitigates the loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord and in culture dishes. In the mice, the onset of the neuromuscular phenotype is delayed and motor function enhanced, suggestive of a therapeutic benefit for ALS patients treated with agents that augment the SMN protein. Nevertheless, this finding is tempered by an inability to prolong survival, a limitation most likely imposed by the inexorable denervation that characterizes ALS and eventually disrupts the neuromuscular synapses even in the presence of increased SMN.

  11. Heat shock protein 70 chaperone overexpression ameliorates phenotypes of the spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy transgenic mouse model by reducing nuclear-localized mutant androgen receptor protein.

    PubMed

    Adachi, Hiroaki; Katsuno, Masahisa; Minamiyama, Makoto; Sang, Chen; Pagoulatos, Gerassimos; Angelidis, Charalampos; Kusakabe, Moriaki; Yoshiki, Atsushi; Kobayashi, Yasushi; Doyu, Manabu; Sobue, Gen

    2003-03-15

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is an inherited motor neuron disease caused by the expansion of the polyglutamine (polyQ) tract within the androgen receptor (AR). The nuclear inclusions consisting of the mutant AR protein are characteristic and combine with many components of ubiquitin-proteasome and molecular chaperone pathways, raising the possibility that misfolding and altered degradation of mutant AR may be involved in the pathogenesis. We have reported that the overexpression of heat shock protein (HSP) chaperones reduces mutant AR aggregation and cell death in a neuronal cell model (Kobayashi et al., 2000). To determine whether increasing the expression level of chaperone improves the phenotype in a mouse model, we cross-bred SBMA transgenic mice with mice overexpressing the inducible form of human HSP70. We demonstrated that high expression of HSP70 markedly ameliorated the motor function of the SBMA model mice. In double-transgenic mice, the nuclear-localized mutant AR protein, particularly that of the large complex form, was significantly reduced. Monomeric mutant AR was also reduced in amount by HSP70 overexpression, suggesting the enhanced degradation of mutant AR. These findings suggest that HSP70 overexpression ameliorates SBMA phenotypes in mice by reducing nuclear-localized mutant AR, probably caused by enhanced mutant AR degradation. Our study may provide the basis for the development of an HSP70-related therapy for SBMA and other polyQ diseases.

  12. Conservative care of temporomandibular joint disorder in a 35-year-old patient with spinal muscular atrophy type III: a case study☆

    PubMed Central

    Houle, Sébastien; Descarreaux, Martin

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Objective This article describes the chiropractic clinical management and therapeutic benefits accruing to a patient with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder and spinal muscular atrophy type III. Clinical Features A 35-year-old white man presented at the university chiropractic outpatient clinic with a complaint of masseter muscle pain and mouth-opening restriction. Temporomandibular joint range of motion evaluation revealed restricted opening (11 mm interincisival), and pain was rated by the patient at an intensity of 5 on a pain scale of 0 to 10. Intervention and Outcome Chiropractic care was provided and included TMJ mobilization, myofascial therapy, trigger point therapy, and light spinal mobilizations of the upper cervical vertebrae. Final evaluation of TMJ range of motion showed active opening of 12 mm with absence of pain and muscle tenderness of the jaw. Conclusion This case suggests that a patient with musculoskeletal disorders related to underlying neurodegenerative pathologies may benefit from chiropractic management adapted to their condition. In the present case, chiropractic treatment of the TMJ represented a viable, low-cost approach with limited adverse effects compared with surgery. PMID:19948309

  13. The polyglutamine-expanded androgen receptor responsible for spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy inhibits the APC/CCdh1 ubiquitin ligase complex

    PubMed Central

    Bott, Laura C.; Salomons, Florian A.; Maric, Dragan; Liu, Yuhong; Merry, Diane; Fischbeck, Kenneth H.; Dantuma, Nico P.

    2016-01-01

    Polyglutamine expansion in the androgen receptor (AR) causes spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), an X-linked neuromuscular disease that is fully manifest only in males. It has been suggested that proteins with expanded polyglutamine tracts impair ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis due to their propensity to aggregate, but recent studies indicate that the overall activity of the ubiquitin-proteasome system is preserved in SBMA models. Here we report that AR selectively interferes with the function of the ubiquitin ligase anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C), which, together with its substrate adaptor Cdh1, is critical for cell cycle arrest and neuronal architecture. We show that both wild-type and mutant AR physically interact with the APC/CCdh1 complex in a ligand-dependent fashion without being targeted for proteasomal degradation. Inhibition of APC/CCdh1 by mutant but not wild-type AR in PC12 cells results in enhanced neurite outgrowth which is typically followed by rapid neurite retraction and mitotic entry. Our data indicate a role of AR in neuronal differentiation through regulation of APC/CCdh1 and suggest abnormal cell cycle reactivation as a pathogenic mechanism in SBMA. PMID:27312068

  14. A novel role for CARM1 in promoting nonsense-mediated mRNA decay: potential implications for spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Gabriel; Bondy-Chorney, Emma; Laframboise, Janik; Paris, Geneviève; Didillon, Andréanne; Jasmin, Bernard J; Côté, Jocelyn

    2016-04-07

    Loss of 'Survival of Motor Neurons' (SMN) leads to spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a disease characterized by degeneration of spinal cord alpha motor neurons, resulting in muscle weakness, paralysis and death during early childhood. SMN is required for assembly of the core splicing machinery, and splicing defects were documented in SMA. We previously uncovered that Coactivator-Associated Methyltransferase-1 (CARM1) is abnormally up-regulated in SMA, leading to mis-regulation of a number of transcriptional and alternative splicing events. We report here that CARM1 can promote decay of a premature terminating codon (PTC)-containing mRNA reporter, suggesting it can act as a mediator of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). Interestingly, this pathway, while originally perceived as solely a surveillance mechanism preventing expression of potentially detrimental proteins, is now emerging as a highly regulated RNA decay pathway also acting on a subset of normal mRNAs. We further show that CARM1 associates with major NMD factor UPF1 and promotes its occupancy on PTC-containing transcripts. Finally, we identify a specific subset of NMD targets that are dependent on CARM1 for degradation and that are also misregulated in SMA, potentially adding exacerbated targeting of PTC-containing mRNAs to the already complex array of molecular defects associated with this disease.

  15. Muscular reconstruction to improve the deterioration of facial appearance and speech caused by mandibular atrophy: technique and case reports.

    PubMed

    Bosker, H; Wardle, M L

    1999-08-01

    One of the consequences of severe mandibular atrophy is the loss of attachment of the facial muscles that originate from the alveolar process and basal bone. Another is a loss of vestibular depth and reduction in the width of the attached gingiva. The result is reduced ability to chew, a changed and aged appearance, difficulties with pronunciation, and a reduced range of expressions. The traditional goal of treatment has been to improve the ability to chew. We describe a technique by which all these functions can be improved by a combination of insertion of implants and functional reconstruction of the facial muscles and position of the lips. When the muscles are repositioned, the buccal vestibule is deepened, and the incidence of gingival hyperplasia and infrabony pockets along the posts is eliminated. This treatment, which also rejuvenates the face and improves the ability to speak, should help to overcome the loss of self-confidence and self-esteem of these patients by improving their quality of life.

  16. Translational Studies of GALGT2 Gene Therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-10-01

    Gene Therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Paul T. Martin, Ph.D. CONTRACTING ORGANIZATION: The Research...Therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-12-1-0416 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Paul T...maximal specific force and force drop during eccentric contractions (Task 3, Milestone 1 and Task 7, Milestone 2) and EDL and TA muscles for

  17. The paradox of muscle hypertrophy in muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Kornegay, Joe N; Childers, Martin K; Bogan, Daniel J; Bogan, Janet R; Nghiem, Peter; Wang, Jiahui; Fan, Zheng; Howard, James F; Schatzberg, Scott J; Dow, Jennifer L; Grange, Robert W; Styner, Martin A; Hoffman, Eric P; Wagner, Kathryn R

    2012-02-01

    Mutations in the dystrophin gene cause Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy in humans and syndromes in mice, dogs, and cats. Affected humans and dogs have progressive disease that leads primarily to muscle atrophy. Mdx mice progress through an initial phase of muscle hypertrophy followed by atrophy. Cats have persistent muscle hypertrophy. Hypertrophy in humans has been attributed to deposition of fat and connective tissue (pseudohypertrophy). Increased muscle mass (true hypertrophy) has been documented in animal models. Muscle hypertrophy can exaggerate postural instability and joint contractures. Deleterious consequences of muscle hypertrophy should be considered when developing treatments for muscular dystrophy.

  18. Gene replacement therapies for duchenne muscular dystrophy using adeno-associated viral vectors.

    PubMed

    Seto, Jane T; Ramos, Julian N; Muir, Lindsey; Chamberlain, Jeffrey S; Odom, Guy L

    2012-06-01

    The muscular dystrophies collectively represent a major health challenge, as few significant treatment options currently exist for any of these disorders. Recent years have witnessed a proliferation of novel approaches to therapy, spanning increased testing of existing and new pharmaceuticals, DNA delivery (both anti-sense oligonucleotides and plasmid DNA), gene therapies and stem cell technologies. While none of these has reached the point of being used in clinical practice, all show promise for being able to impact different types of muscular dystrophies. Our group has focused on developing direct gene replacement strategies to treat recessively inherited forms of muscular dystrophy, particularly Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy (DMD/BMD). Both forms of dystrophy are caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene and all cases can in theory be treated by gene replacement using synthetic forms of the dystrophin gene. The major challenges for success of this approach are the development of a suitable gene delivery shuttle, generating a suitable gene expression cassette able to be carried by such a shuttle, and achieving safe and effective delivery without elicitation of a destructive immune response. This review summarizes the current state of the art in terms of using adeno-associated viral vectors to deliver synthetic dystrophin genes for the purpose of developing gene therapy for DMD.

  19. The loss of the snoRNP chaperone Nopp140 from Cajal bodies of patient fibroblasts correlates with the severity of spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Renvoisé, Benoît; Colasse, Sabrina; Burlet, Philippe; Viollet, Louis; Meier, U Thomas; Lefebvre, Suzie

    2009-04-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a common autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease caused by reduced survival motor neuron (SMN) levels. The assembly machinery containing SMN is implicated in the biogenesis of the spliceosomal small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs). SMN is present in both the cytoplasm and nucleus, where it transiently accumulates in subnuclear domains named Cajal bodies (CBs) and functions in the maturation of snRNPs and small nucleolar (sno)RNPs. The impact of lowering SMN levels on the composition of CBs in SMA cells is still not completely understood. Here, we analyse the CB composition in immortalized and primary fibroblasts from SMA patients. We show that the U snRNA export factors PHAX and chromosome region maintenance 1 and the box C/D snoRNP core protein fibrillarin concentrate in CBs from SMA cells, whereas the box H/ACA core proteins GAR1 and NAP57/dyskerin show reduced CB localization. Remarkably, the functional deficiency in SMA cells is associated with decreased localization of the snoRNP chaperone Nopp140 in CBs that correlates with disease severity. Indeed, RNA interference knockdown experiments in control fibroblasts demonstrate that SMN is required for accumulation of Nopp140 in CBs. Conversely, overexpression of SMN in SMA cells restores the CB localization of Nopp140, whereas SMN mutants found in SMA patients are defective in promoting the association of Nopp140 with CBs. Taken together, we demonstrate that only a subset of CB functions (as indicated by the association of representative factors) are impaired in SMA cells and, importantly, we identify the decrease of Nopp140 localization in CBs as a phenotypic marker for SMA.

  20. Cross-disease comparison of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy reveals conservation of selective vulnerability but differential neuromuscular junction pathology.

    PubMed

    Comley, Laura H; Nijssen, Jik; Frost-Nylen, Johanna; Hedlund, Eva

    2016-05-01

    Neuromuscular junctions are primary pathological targets in the lethal motor neuron diseases spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Synaptic pathology and denervation of target muscle fibers has been reported prior to the appearance of clinical symptoms in mouse models of both diseases, suggesting that neuromuscular junctions are highly vulnerable from the very early stages, and are a key target for therapeutic intervention. Here we examined neuromuscular pathology longitudinally in three clinically relevant muscle groups in mouse models of ALS and SMA in order to assess their relative vulnerabilities. We show for the first time that neuromuscular junctions of the extraocular muscles (responsible for the control of eye movement) were resistant to degeneration in endstage SMA mice, as well as in late symptomatic ALS mice. Tongue muscle neuromuscular junctions were also spared in both animal models. Conversely, neuromuscular junctions of the lumbrical muscles of the hind-paw were vulnerable in both SMA and ALS, with a loss of neuronal innervation and shrinkage of motor endplates in both diseases. Thus, the pattern of selective vulnerability was conserved across these two models of motor neuron disease. However, the first evidence of neuromuscular pathology occurred at different timepoints of disease progression, with much earlier evidence of presynaptic involvement in ALS, progressing to changes on the postsynaptic side. Conversely, in SMA changes appeared concomitantly at the neuromuscular junction, suggesting that mechanisms of neuromuscular disruption are distinct in these diseases. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1424-1442, 2016. © 2015 The Authors The Journal of Comparative Neurology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. From ventriculomegaly to severe muscular atrophy: expansion of the clinical spectrum related to mutations in AIFM1.

    PubMed

    Kettwig, Matthias; Schubach, Max; Zimmermann, Franz A; Klinge, Lars; Mayr, Johannes A; Biskup, Saskia; Sperl, Wolfgang; Gärtner, Jutta; Huppke, Peter

    2015-03-01

    The apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) functions as a FAD-dependent NADH oxidase in mitochondria. Upon apoptotic stimulation it is released from mitochondria and migrates to the nucleus where it induces chromatin condensation and DNA fragmentation. So far mutations in AIFM1, a X-chromosomal gene coding for AIF, have been described in three families with 11 affected males. We report here on a further patient thereby expanding the clinical and mutation spectrum. In addition, we review the known phenotypes related to AIFM1 mutations. The clinical course in the male patient described here was characterized by phases with rapid deterioration and long phases without obvious progression of disease. At age 2.5 years he developed hearing loss and severe ataxia and at age 10 years muscle wasting, swallowing difficulties, respiratory insufficiency and external opthamoplegia. By next generation sequencing of whole exome we identified a hemizygous missense mutation in the AIFM1 gene, c.727G>T (p.Val243Leu) affecting a highly conserved residue in the FAD-binding domain. Summarizing what is known today, mutations in AIFM1 are associated with a progressive disorder with myopathy, ataxia and neuropathy. Severity varies greatly even within one family with onset of symptoms between birth and adolescence. 3 of 12 patients died before age 5 years while others were still able to walk during young adulthood. Less frequent symptoms were hearing loss, seizures and psychomotor regression. Results from clinical chemistry, brain imaging and muscle biopsy were unspecific and inconsistent.

  2. Transcriptional profile of a myotube starvation model of atrophy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stevenson, Eric J.; Koncarevic, Alan; Giresi, Paul G.; Jackman, Robert W.; Kandarian, Susan C.

    2005-01-01

    Skeletal muscle wasting is a pervasive phenomenon that can result from a wide range of pathological conditions as well as from habitual muscular inactivity. The present work describes a cell-culture condition that induces significant atrophy in skeletal muscle C2C12 myotubes. The failure to replenish differentiation media in mature myotubes leads to rapid atrophy (53% in diameter), which is referred to here as starvation. Affymetrix microarrays were used to develop a transcriptional profile of control (fed) vs. atrophied (nonfed) myotubes. Myotube starvation was characterized by an upregulation of genes involved in translational inhibition, amino acid biosynthesis and transport, and cell cycle arrest/apoptosis, among others. Downregulated genes included several structural and regulatory elements of the extracellular matrix as well as several elements of Wnt/frizzled and TGF-beta signaling pathways. Interestingly, the characteristic transcriptional upregulation of the ubiquitin-proteasome system, calpains, and cathepsins known to occur in multiple in vivo models of atrophy were not seen during myotube starvation. With the exception of the downregulation of extracellular matrix genes, serine protease inhibitor genes, and the upregulation of the translation initiation factor PHAS-I, this model of atrophy in cell culture has a transcriptional profile quite distinct from any study published to date with atrophy in whole muscle. These data show that, although the gross morphology of atrophied muscle fibers may be similar in whole muscle vs. myotube culture, the processes by which this phenotype is achieved differ markedly.

  3. Patterns of gene expression in atrophying skeletal muscles: response to food deprivation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jagoe, R. Thomas; Lecker, Stewart H.; Gomes, Marcelo; Goldberg, Alfred L.

    2002-01-01

    During fasting and many systemic diseases, muscle undergoes rapid loss of protein and functional capacity. To define the transcriptional changes triggering muscle atrophy and energy conservation in fasting, we used cDNA microarrays to compare mRNAs from muscles of control and food-deprived mice. Expression of >94% of genes did not change, but interesting patterns emerged among genes that were differentially expressed: 1) mRNAs encoding polyubiquitin, ubiquitin extension proteins, and many (but not all) proteasome subunits increased, which presumably contributes to accelerated protein breakdown; 2) a dramatic increase in mRNA for the ubiquitin ligase, atrogin-1, but not most E3s; 3) a significant suppression of mRNA for myosin binding protein H (but not other myofibrillar proteins) and IGF binding protein 5, which may favor cell protein loss; 4) decreases in mRNAs for several glycolytic enzymes and phosphorylase kinase subunits, and dramatic increases in mRNAs for pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 and glutamine synthase, which should promote glucose sparing and gluconeogenesis. During fasting, metallothionein mRNA increased dramatically, mRNAs for extracellular matrix components fell, and mRNAs that may favor cap-independent mRNA translation rose. Significant changes occurred in mRNAs for many growth-related proteins and transcriptional regulators. These transcriptional changes indicate a complex adaptive program that should favor protein degradation and suppress glucose oxidation in muscle. Similar analysis of muscles atrophying for other causes is allowing us to identify a set of atrophy-specific changes in gene expression.

  4. Identification of genes that elicit disuse muscle atrophy via the transcription factors p50 and Bcl-3.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chia-Ling; Kandarian, Susan C; Jackman, Robert W

    2011-01-13

    Skeletal muscle atrophy is a debilitating condition associated with weakness, fatigue, and reduced functional capacity. Nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) transcription factors play a critical role in atrophy. Knockout of genes encoding p50 or the NF-κB co-transactivator, Bcl-3, abolish disuse atrophy and thus they are NF-κB factors required for disuse atrophy. We do not know however, the genes targeted by NF-κB that produce the atrophied phenotype. Here we identify the genes required to produce disuse atrophy using gene expression profiling in wild type compared to Nfkb1 (gene encodes p50) and Bcl-3 deficient mice. There were 185 and 240 genes upregulated in wild type mice due to unloading, that were not upregulated in Nfkb1⁻/⁻ and Bcl-3⁻/⁻ mice, respectively, and so these genes were considered direct or indirect targets of p50 and Bcl-3. All of the p50 gene targets were contained in the Bcl-3 gene target list. Most genes were involved with protein degradation, signaling, translation, transcription, and transport. To identify direct targets of p50 and Bcl-3 we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation of selected genes previously shown to have roles in atrophy. Trim63 (MuRF1), Fbxo32 (MAFbx), Ubc, Ctsl, Runx1, Tnfrsf12a (Tweak receptor), and Cxcl10 (IP-10) showed increased Bcl-3 binding to κB sites in unloaded muscle and thus were direct targets of Bcl-3. p50 binding to the same sites on these genes either did not change or increased, supporting the idea of p50:Bcl-3 binding complexes. p65 binding to κB sites showed decreased or no binding to these genes with unloading. Fbxo9, Psma6, Psmc4, Psmg4, Foxo3, Ankrd1 (CARP), and Eif4ebp1 did not show changes in p65, p50, or Bcl-3 binding to κB sites, and so were considered indirect targets of p50 and Bcl-3. This work represents the first study to use a global approach to identify genes required to produce the atrophied phenotype with disuse.

  5. Refinement of the spinal muscular atrophy locus to the interval between D5S435 and MAP1B

    SciTech Connect

    Soares, V.M.; Brzustowicz, L.M.; Kleyn, P.W.; Knowles, J.A.; Palmer, D.A.; Asokan, S.; Penchaszadeh, G.K.; Gilliam, T.C. ); Munsat, T.L. )

    1993-02-01

    The childhood-onset SMA locus has been mapped to chromosome 5q13, in a region bounded by the proximal locus, D5S6, and the closely linked distal loci, D5S112 and MAP1B. We now describe a highly polymorphic, tightly linked microsatellite marker (D5S435) that is very likely the closet proximal marker to the SMA locus. Multipoint linkage analysis firmly establishes the following order of markers at 5q13; centromere-D5S76-D5S6-D5S435-MAP1B/D5S112-D5S39-telomere. The data indicate that SMA resides in an approximately 0.7-cM (range 01.-2.1) region between D5S435 and MAP1B. This finding reduces by approximately fourfold the genetic region that most likely harbors the SMA locus and will facilitate the physical mapping and cloning of the disease gene region. 24 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  6. The ChIP-seq-Defined Networks of Bcl-3 Gene Binding Support Its Required Role in Skeletal Muscle Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Jackman, Robert W.; Wu, Chia-Ling; Kandarian, Susan C.

    2012-01-01

    NF-kappaB transcriptional activation is required for skeletal muscle disuse atrophy. We are continuing to study how the activation of NF-kB regulates the genes that encode the protein products that cause atrophy. Using ChIP-sequencing we found that Bcl-3, an NF-kB transcriptional activator required for atrophy, binds to the promoters of a number of genes whose collective function describes two major aspects of muscle wasting. By means of bioinformatics analysis of ChIP-sequencing data we found Bcl-3 to be directing transcription networks of proteolysis and energy metabolism. The proteolytic arm of the Bcl-3 networks includes many E3 ligases associated with proteasomal protein degradation, including that of the N-end rule pathway. The metabolic arm appears to be involved in organizing the change from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis in atrophying muscle. For one gene, MuRF1, ChIP-sequencing data identified the location of Bcl-3 and p50 binding in the promoter region which directed the creation of deletant and base-substitution mutations of MuRF1 promoter constructs to determine the effect on gene transcription. The results provide the first direct confirmation that the NF-kB binding site is involved in the muscle unloading regulation of MuRF1. Finally, we have combined the ChIP-sequencing results with gene expression microarray data from unloaded muscle to map several direct targets of Bcl-3 that are transcription factors whose own targets describe a set of indirect targets for NF-kB in atrophy. ChIP-sequencing provides the first molecular explanation for the finding that Bcl3 knockout mice are resistant to disuse muscle atrophy. Mapping the transcriptional regulation of muscle atrophy requires an unbiased analysis of the whole genome, which we show is now possible with ChIP-sequencing. PMID:23251550

  7. From "glycosyltransferase" to "congenital muscular dystrophy": integrating knowledge from NCBI Entrez Gene and the Gene Ontology.

    PubMed

    Sahoo, Satya S; Zeng, Kelly; Bodenreider, Olivier; Sheth, Amit

    2007-01-01

    Entrez Gene (EG), Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) and the Gene Ontology (GO) are three complementary knowledge resources that can be used to correlate genomic data with disease information. However, bridging between genotype and phenotype through these resources currently requires manual effort or the development of customized software. In this paper, we argue that integrating EG and GO provides a robust and flexible solution to this problem. We demonstrate how the Resource Description Framework (RDF) developed for the Semantic Web can be used to represent and integrate these resources and enable seamless access to them as a unified resource. We illustrate the effectiveness of our approach by answering a real-world biomedical query linking a specific molecular function, glycosyltransferase, to the disorder congenital muscular dystrophy.

  8. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Gene Expression in Normal and Diseased Human Muscle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oronzi Scott, M.; Sylvester, J. E.; Heiman-Patterson, T.; Shi, Y.-J.; Fieles, W.; Stedman, H.; Burghes, A.; Ray, P.; Worton, R.; Fischbeck, K. H.

    1988-03-01

    A probe for the 5' end of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene was used to study expression of the gene in normal human muscle, myogenic cell cultures, and muscle from patients with DMD. Expression was found in RNA from normal fetal muscle, adult cardiac and skeletal muscle, and cultured muscle after myoblast fusion. In DMD muscle, expression of this portion of the gene was also revealed by in situ RNA hybridization, particularly in regenerating muscle fibers.

  9. A Comparative Study of SMN Protein and mRNA in Blood and Fibroblasts in Patients with Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Healthy Controls

    PubMed Central

    Wadman, Renske I.; Stam, Marloes; Jansen, Marc D.; van der Weegen, Yana; Wijngaarde, Camiel A.; Harschnitz, Oliver; Sodaar, Peter; Braun, Kees P. J.; Dooijes, Dennis; Lemmink, Henny H.; van den Berg, Leonard H.; van der Pol, W. Ludo

    2016-01-01

    Background Clinical trials to test safety and efficacy of drugs for patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) are currently underway. Biomarkers that document treatment-induced effects are needed because disease progression in childhood forms of SMA is slow and clinical outcome measures may lack sensitivity to detect meaningful changes in motor function in the period of 1–2 years of follow-up during randomized clinical trials. Objective To determine and compare SMN protein and mRNA levels in two cell types (i.e. PBMCs and skin-derived fibroblasts) from patients with SMA types 1–4 and healthy controls in relation to clinical characteristics and SMN2 copy numbers. Materials and methods We determined SMN1, SMN2-full length (SMN2-FL), SMN2-delta7 (SMN2-Δ7), GAPDH and 18S mRNA levels and SMN protein levels in blood and fibroblasts from a total of 150 patients with SMA and 293 healthy controls using qPCR and ELISA. We analyzed the association with clinical characteristics including disease severity and duration, and SMN2 copy number. Results SMN protein levels in PBMCs and fibroblasts were higher in controls than in patients with SMA (p<0.01). Stratification for SMA type did not show differences in SMN protein (p>0.1) or mRNA levels (p>0.05) in either cell type. SMN2 copy number was associated with SMN protein levels in fibroblasts (p = 0.01), but not in PBMCs (p = 0.06). Protein levels in PBMCs declined with age in patients (p<0.01) and controls (p<0.01)(power 1-beta = 0.7). Ratios of SMN2-Δ7/SMN2-FL showed a broad range, primarily explained by the variation in SMN2-Δ7 levels, even in patients with a comparable SMN2 copy number. Levels of SMN2 mRNA did not correlate with SMN2 copy number, SMA type or age in blood (p = 0.7) or fibroblasts (p = 0.09). Paired analysis between blood and fibroblasts did not show a correlation between the two different tissues with respect to the SMN protein or mRNA levels. Conclusions SMN protein levels differ considerably between

  10. RNAi-based Gene Therapy for Dominant Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophies

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jian; Harper, Scott Q.

    2014-01-01

    Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD) refers to a group of 25 genetic diseases linked by common clinical features, including wasting of muscles supporting the pelvic and shoulder girdles. Cardiac involvement may also occur. Like other muscular dystrophies, LGMDs are currently incurable, but prospective gene replacement therapies targeting recessive forms have shown promise in pre-clinical and clinical studies. In contrast, little attention has been paid to developing gene therapy approaches for dominant forms of LGMD, which would likely benefit from disease gene silencing. Despite the lack of focus to date on developing gene therapies for dominant LGMDs, the field is not starting at square one, since translational studies on recessive LGMDs provided a framework that can be applied to treating dominant forms of the disease. In this manuscript, we discuss the prospects of treating dominantly inherited forms of LGMD with gene silencing approaches. PMID:22856606

  11. Accurate assessment of intragenic recombination frequency within the Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene.

    PubMed

    Abbs, S; Roberts, R G; Mathew, C G; Bentley, D R; Bobrow, M

    1990-08-01

    Polymorphic loci that lie at the two extremities of the Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy (DMD/BMD) gene have been used to estimate intragenic recombination rates. Multipoint linkage analysis of the CEPH panel of families suggests a total intragenic recombination frequency of nearly 0.12 (confidence intervals 0.041-0.226) over the genomic length of approximately 2 Mb.

  12. Overexpression of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy region gene 1 causes primary defects in myogenic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Xynos, Alexandros; Neguembor, Maria Victoria; Caccia, Roberta; Licastro, Danilo; Nonis, Alessandro; Di Serio, Clelia; Stupka, Elia; Gabellini, Davide

    2013-05-15

    Overexpression of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy region gene 1 (FRG1) in mice, frogs and worms leads to muscular and vascular abnormalities. Nevertheless, the mechanism that follows FRG1 overexpression and finally leads to muscular defects is currently unknown. Here, we show that the earliest phenotype displayed by mice overexpressing FRG1 is a postnatal muscle-growth defect. Long before the development of muscular dystrophy, FRG1 mice also exhibit a muscle regeneration impairment. Ex vivo and in vivo experiments revealed that FRG1 overexpression causes myogenic stem cell activation and proliferative, clonogenic and differentiation defects. A comparative gene expression profiling of muscles from young pre-dystrophic wild-type and FRG1 mice identified differentially expressed genes in several gene categories and networks that could explain the emerging tissue and myogenic stem cell defects. Overall, our study provides new insights into the pathways regulated by FRG1 and suggests that muscle stem cell defects could contribute to the pathology of FRG1 mice.

  13. Clinical, pathological, and genetic features of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A with new calpain 3 gene mutations in seven patients from three Japanese families.

    PubMed

    Kawai, H; Akaike, M; Kunishige, M; Inui, T; Adachi, K; Kimura, C; Kawajiri, M; Nishida, Y; Endo, I; Kashiwagi, S; Nishino, H; Fujiwara, T; Okuno, S; Roudaut, C; Richard, I; Beckmann, J S; Miyoshi, K; Matsumoto, T

    1998-11-01

    We report on the clinical, pathological, and genetic features of 7 patients with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A (LGMD2A) from three Japanese families. The mean age of onset was 9.7+/-3.1 years (mean+/-SD), and loss of ambulance occurred at 38.5+/-2.1 years. Muscle atrophy was predominant in the pelvic and shoulder girdles, and proximal limb muscles. Muscle pathology revealed dystrophic changes. In two families, an identical G to C mutation at position 1080 the in calpain 3 gene was identified, and a frameshift mutation (1796insA) was found in the third family. The former mutation results in a W360R substitution in the proteolytic site of calpain 3, and the latter in a deletion of the Ca2+-binding domain.

  14. Progress and prospects of gene therapy clinical trials for the muscular dystrophies.

    PubMed

    Bengtsson, Niclas E; Seto, Jane T; Hall, John K; Chamberlain, Jeffrey S; Odom, Guy L

    2016-04-15

    Clinical trials represent a critical avenue for new treatment development, where early phases (I, I/II) are designed to test safety and effectiveness of new therapeutics or diagnostic indicators. A number of recent advances have spurred renewed optimism toward initiating clinical trials and developing refined therapies for the muscular dystrophies (MD's) and other myogenic disorders. MD's encompass a heterogeneous group of degenerative disorders often characterized by progressive muscle weakness and fragility. Many of these diseases result from mutations in genes encoding proteins of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC). The most common and severe form among children is Duchenne muscular dystrophy, caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene, with an average life expectancy around 25 years of age. Another group of MD's referred to as the limb-girdle muscular dystrophies (LGMDs) can affect boys or girls, with different types caused by mutations in different genes. Mutation of the α-sarcoglycan gene, also a DGC component, causes LGMD2D and represents the most common form of LGMD. Early preclinical and clinical trial findings support the feasibility of gene therapy via recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors as a viable treatment approach for many MDs. In this mini-review, we present an overview of recent progress in clinical gene therapy trials of the MD's and touch upon promising preclinical advances.

  15. Muscular Dystrophy

    MedlinePlus

    ... affects about 1 out of every 3,500 boys. (Girls can carry the gene that causes the disease, ... and heart problems. Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy affects boys and girls equally. Symptoms usually start when kids are between ...

  16. Relatively low proportion of dystrophin gene deletions in Israeili Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy patients

    SciTech Connect

    Shomrat, R.; Gluck, E.; Legum, C.; Shiloh, Y.

    1994-02-15

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) are allelic disorders caused by mutations in the X-linked dystrophin gene. The most common mutations in western populations are deletions that are spread non-randomly throughout the gene. Molecular analysis of the dystrophin gene structure by hybridization of the full length cDNA to Southern blots and by PCR in 62 unrelated Israeli male DMD/BMD patients showed deletions in 23 (37%). This proportion is significantly lower than that found in European and North American populations (55-65%). Seventy-eight percent of the deletions were confined to exons 44-52, half of these exons 44-45, and the remaining 22% to exons 1 and 19. There was no correlation between the size of the deletion and the severity of the disease. All the deletions causing frameshift resulted in the DMD phenotypes. 43 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  17. Safety and efficacy of AAV-mediated calpain 3 gene transfer in a mouse model of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A.

    PubMed

    Bartoli, Marc; Roudaut, Carinne; Martin, Samia; Fougerousse, Françoise; Suel, Laurence; Poupiot, Jérôme; Gicquel, Evelyne; Noulet, Fanny; Danos, Olivier; Richard, Isabelle

    2006-02-01

    Calpainopathy (limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A, LGMD2A) is a recessive muscular disorder caused by deficiency in the calcium-dependent cysteine protease calpain 3. To date, no treatment exists for this disease. We evaluated the potential of recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors for gene therapy in a murine model for LGMD2A. To drive the expression of calpain 3, we used rAAV2/1 pseudotyped vectors and muscle-specific promoters to avoid calpain 3 cell toxicity. We report efficient and stable transgene expression in muscle with restoration of the proteolytic activity and without evident toxicity. In addition, calpain 3 was correctly targeted to the sarcomere. Moreover, its presence resulted in improvement of the histological features and in therapeutic efficacy at the physiological levels, including correction of atrophy and full rescue of the contractile force deficits. Our results establish the feasibility of AAV-mediated calpain 3 gene transfer as a therapeutic approach.

  18. Spermine oxidase maintains basal skeletal muscle gene expression and fiber size and is strongly repressed by conditions that cause skeletal muscle atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Bongers, Kale S.; Fox, Daniel K.; Kunkel, Steven D.; Stebounova, Larissa V.; Murry, Daryl J.; Pufall, Miles A.; Ebert, Scott M.; Dyle, Michael C.; Bullard, Steven A.; Dierdorff, Jason M.

    2014-01-01

    Skeletal muscle atrophy is a common and debilitating condition that remains poorly understood at the molecular level. To better understand the mechanisms of muscle atrophy, we used mouse models to search for a skeletal muscle protein that helps to maintain muscle mass and is specifically lost during muscle atrophy. We discovered that diverse causes of muscle atrophy (limb immobilization, fasting, muscle denervation, and aging) strongly reduced expression of the enzyme spermine oxidase. Importantly, a reduction in spermine oxidase was sufficient to induce muscle fiber atrophy. Conversely, forced expression of spermine oxidase increased muscle fiber size in multiple models of muscle atrophy (immobilization, fasting, and denervation). Interestingly, the reduction of spermine oxidase during muscle atrophy was mediated by p21, a protein that is highly induced during muscle atrophy and actively promotes muscle atrophy. In addition, we found that spermine oxidase decreased skeletal muscle mRNAs that promote muscle atrophy (e.g., myogenin) and increased mRNAs that help to maintain muscle mass (e.g., mitofusin-2). Thus, in healthy skeletal muscle, a relatively low level of p21 permits expression of spermine oxidase, which helps to maintain basal muscle gene expression and fiber size; conversely, during conditions that cause muscle atrophy, p21 expression rises, leading to reduced spermine oxidase expression, disruption of basal muscle gene expression, and muscle fiber atrophy. Collectively, these results identify spermine oxidase as an important positive regulator of muscle gene expression and fiber size, and elucidate p21-mediated repression of spermine oxidase as a key step in the pathogenesis of skeletal muscle atrophy. PMID:25406264

  19. Spermine oxidase maintains basal skeletal muscle gene expression and fiber size and is strongly repressed by conditions that cause skeletal muscle atrophy.

    PubMed

    Bongers, Kale S; Fox, Daniel K; Kunkel, Steven D; Stebounova, Larissa V; Murry, Daryl J; Pufall, Miles A; Ebert, Scott M; Dyle, Michael C; Bullard, Steven A; Dierdorff, Jason M; Adams, Christopher M

    2015-01-15

    Skeletal muscle atrophy is a common and debilitating condition that remains poorly understood at the molecular level. To better understand the mechanisms of muscle atrophy, we used mouse models to search for a skeletal muscle protein that helps to maintain muscle mass and is specifically lost during muscle atrophy. We discovered that diverse causes of muscle atrophy (limb immobilization, fasting, muscle denervation, and aging) strongly reduced expression of the enzyme spermine oxidase. Importantly, a reduction in spermine oxidase was sufficient to induce muscle fiber atrophy. Conversely, forced expression of spermine oxidase increased muscle fiber size in multiple models of muscle atrophy (immobilization, fasting, and denervation). Interestingly, the reduction of spermine oxidase during muscle atrophy was mediated by p21, a protein that is highly induced during muscle atrophy and actively promotes muscle atrophy. In addition, we found that spermine oxidase decreased skeletal muscle mRNAs that promote muscle atrophy (e.g., myogenin) and increased mRNAs that help to maintain muscle mass (e.g., mitofusin-2). Thus, in healthy skeletal muscle, a relatively low level of p21 permits expression of spermine oxidase, which helps to maintain basal muscle gene expression and fiber size; conversely, during conditions that cause muscle atrophy, p21 expression rises, leading to reduced spermine oxidase expression, disruption of basal muscle gene expression, and muscle fiber atrophy. Collectively, these results identify spermine oxidase as an important positive regulator of muscle gene expression and fiber size, and elucidate p21-mediated repression of spermine oxidase as a key step in the pathogenesis of skeletal muscle atrophy.

  20. Muscle cell atrophy induced by HSP gene silencing was counteracted by HSP overexpression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Inho; Lee, Joo-Hee; Nikawa, Takeshi; Gwag, Taesik; Park, Kyoungsook; Park, Junsoo

    Heat shock proteins (HSP), as molecular chaperones, are known to assist protein quality control under various stresses. Although overexpression of HSP70 was found to contribute to muscle size retention under an unloading condition, it remains largely unclarified whether muscle atrophy is induced by active suppression of HSP expression. In this study, we pre-treated Hsp70 siRNA to rat L6 cells for the HSP gene silencing, and determined myotube diameter, HSP72 expression and anabolic and catabolic signaling activities in the absence or presence of triterpene celastrol (CEL), the HSP70 inducer. Relative to a negative control (NC), muscle cell diameter was reduced 0.89-fold in the siRNA-treated group, increased 1.2-fold in the CEL-treated group and retained at the size of NC in the siRNA+CEL group. HSP72 expression was decreased 0.35-fold by siRNA whereas the level was increased 6- to 8-fold in the CEL and siRNA+CEL groups. Expression of FoxO3 and atrogin-1 was increased 1.8- to 4.8-fold by siRNA, which was abolished by CEL treatment. Finally, phosphorylation of Akt1, S6K and ERK1/2 was not affected by siRNA, but was elevated 2- to 6-fold in the CEL and siRNA+CEL groups. Taken together, HSP downregulation by Hsp gene silencing led to muscle cell atrophy principally via increases in catabolic activities and that such anti-atrophic effect was counteracted by HSP overexpression.

  1. Progressive retinal atrophy in Schapendoes dogs: mutation of the newly identified CCDC66 gene.

    PubMed

    Dekomien, Gabriele; Vollrath, Conni; Petrasch-Parwez, Elisabeth; Boevé, Michael H; Akkad, Denis A; Gerding, Wanda M; Epplen, Jörg T

    2010-05-01

    Canine generalized progressive retinal atrophy (gPRA) is characterized by continuous degeneration of photoreceptor cells leading to night blindness and progressive vision loss. Until now, mutations in 11 genes have been described that account for gPRA in dogs, mostly following an autosomal recessive inheritance mode. Here, we describe a gPRA locus comprising the newly identified gene coiled-coil domain containing 66 (CCDC66) on canine chromosome 20, as identified via linkage analysis in the Schapendoes breed. Mutation screening of the CCDC66 gene revealed a 1-bp insertion in exon 6 leading to a stop codon as the underlying cause of disease. The insertion is present in all affected dogs in the homozygous state as well as in all obligatory mutation carriers in the heterozygous state. The CCDC66 gene is evolutionarily conserved in different vertebrate species and exhibits a complex pattern of differential RNA splicing resulting in various isoforms in the retina. Immunohistochemically, CCDC66 protein is detected mainly in the inner segments of photoreceptors in mouse, dog, and man. The affected Schapendoes retina lacks CCDC66 protein. Thus this natural canine model for gPRA yields superior potential to understand functional implications of this newly identified protein including its physiology, and it opens new perspectives for analyzing different aspects of the general pathophysiology of gPRA.

  2. Vaginal Atrophy

    MedlinePlus

    Vaginal atrophy Overview By Mayo Clinic Staff Vaginal atrophy (atrophic vaginitis) is thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to your body having less estrogen. Vaginal atrophy occurs most ...

  3. ISPD gene mutations are a common cause of congenital and limb-girdle muscular dystrophies.

    PubMed

    Cirak, Sebahattin; Foley, Aileen Reghan; Herrmann, Ralf; Willer, Tobias; Yau, Shu; Stevens, Elizabeth; Torelli, Silvia; Brodd, Lina; Kamynina, Alisa; Vondracek, Petr; Roper, Helen; Longman, Cheryl; Korinthenberg, Rudolf; Marrosu, Gianni; Nürnberg, Peter; Michele, Daniel E; Plagnol, Vincent; Hurles, Matt; Moore, Steven A; Sewry, Caroline A; Campbell, Kevin P; Voit, Thomas; Muntoni, Francesco

    2013-01-01

    Dystroglycanopathies are a clinically and genetically diverse group of recessively inherited conditions ranging from the most severe of the congenital muscular dystrophies, Walker-Warburg syndrome, to mild forms of adult-onset limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. Their hallmark is a reduction in the functional glycosylation of α-dystroglycan, which can be detected in muscle biopsies. An important part of this glycosylation is a unique O-mannosylation, essential for the interaction of α-dystroglycan with extracellular matrix proteins such as laminin-α2. Mutations in eight genes coding for proteins in the glycosylation pathway are responsible for ∼50% of dystroglycanopathy cases. Despite multiple efforts using traditional positional cloning, the causative genes for unsolved dystroglycanopathy cases have escaped discovery for several years. In a recent collaborative study, we discovered that loss-of-function recessive mutations in a novel gene, called isoprenoid synthase domain containing (ISPD), are a relatively common cause of Walker-Warburg syndrome. In this article, we report the involvement of the ISPD gene in milder dystroglycanopathy phenotypes ranging from congenital muscular dystrophy to limb-girdle muscular dystrophy and identified allelic ISPD variants in nine cases belonging to seven families. In two ambulant cases, there was evidence of structural brain involvement, whereas in seven, the clinical manifestation was restricted to a dystrophic skeletal muscle phenotype. Although the function of ISPD in mammals is not yet known, mutations in this gene clearly lead to a reduction in the functional glycosylation of α-dystroglycan, which not only causes the severe Walker-Warburg syndrome but is also a common cause of the milder forms of dystroglycanopathy.

  4. Differential alterations in gene expression profiles contribute to time-dependent effects of nandrolone to prevent denervation atrophy

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Anabolic steroids, such as nandrolone, slow muscle atrophy, but the mechanisms responsible for this effect are largely unknown. Their effects on muscle size and gene expression depend upon time, and the cause of muscle atrophy. Administration of nandrolone for 7 days beginning either concomitantly with sciatic nerve transection (7 days) or 29 days later (35 days) attenuated denervation atrophy at 35 but not 7 days. We reasoned that this model could be used to identify genes that are regulated by nandrolone and slow denervation atrophy, as well as genes that might explain the time-dependence of nandrolone effects on such atrophy. Affymetrix microarrays were used to profile gene expression changes due to nandrolone at 7 and 35 days and to identify major gene expression changes in denervated muscle between 7 and 35 days. Results Nandrolone selectively altered expression of 124 genes at 7 days and 122 genes at 35 days, with only 20 genes being regulated at both time points. Marked differences in biological function of genes regulated by nandrolone at 7 and 35 days were observed. At 35, but not 7 days, nandrolone reduced mRNA and protein levels for FOXO1, the mTOR inhibitor REDD2, and the calcineurin inhibitor RCAN2 and increased those for ApoD. At 35 days, correlations between mRNA levels and the size of denervated muscle were negative for RCAN2, and positive for ApoD. Nandrolone also regulated genes for Wnt signaling molecules. Comparison of gene expression at 7 and 35 days after denervation revealed marked alterations in the expression of 9 transcriptional coregulators, including Ankrd1 and 2, and many transcription factors and kinases. Conclusions Genes regulated in denervated muscle after 7 days administration of nandrolone are almost entirely different at 7 versus 35 days. Alterations in levels of FOXO1, and of genes involved in signaling through calcineurin, mTOR and Wnt may be linked to the favorable action of nandrolone on denervated muscle. Marked

  5. Expression of the Murine Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Gene in Muscle and Brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chamberlain, Jeffrey S.; Pearlman, Joel A.; Muzny, Donna M.; Gibbs, Richard A.; Ranier, Joel E.; Reeves, Alice A.; Caskey, C. Thomas

    1988-03-01

    Complementary DNA clones were isolated that represent the 5' terminal 2.5 kilobases of the murine Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Dmd) messenger RNA (mRNA). Mouse Dmd mRNA was detectable in skeletal and cardiac muscle and at a level approximately 90 percent lower in brain. Dmd mRNA is also present, but at much lower than normal levels, in both the muscle and brain of three different strains of dystrophic mdx mice. The identification of Dmd mRNA in brain raises the possibility of a relation between human Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene expression and the mental retardation found in some DMD males. These results also provide evidence that the mdx mutations are allelic variants of mouse Dmd gene mutations.

  6. miR-182 attenuates atrophy-related gene expression by targeting FoxO3 in skeletal muscle.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Matthew B; Rahnert, Jill A; Zheng, Bin; Woodworth-Hobbs, Myra E; Franch, Harold A; Price, S Russ

    2014-08-15

    Skeletal muscle atrophy occurs in response to a variety of conditions including chronic kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, and elevated glucocorticoids. MicroRNAs (miR) may play a role in the wasting process. Activation of the forkhead box O3 (FoxO3) transcription factor causes skeletal muscle atrophy in patients, animals, and cultured cells by increasing the expression of components of the ubiquitin-proteasome and autophagy-lysosome proteolytic systems. To identify microRNAs that potentially modulate the atrophy process, an in silico target analysis was performed and miR-182 was predicted to target FoxO3 mRNA. Using a combination of immunoblot analysis, quantitative real-time RT-PCR, and FoxO3 3'-UTR luciferase reporter genes, miR-182 was confirmed to regulate FoxO3 expression in C2C12 myotubes. Transfection of miR-182 into muscle cells decreased FoxO3 mRNA 30% and FoxO3 protein 67% (P < 0.05) and also prevented a glucocorticoid-induced upregulation of multiple FoxO3 gene targets including MAFbx/atrogin-1, autophagy-related protein 12 (ATG12), cathepsin L, and microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3). Treatment of C2C12 myotubes with dexamethasone (Dex) (1 μM, 6 h) to induce muscle atrophy decreased miR-182 expression by 63% (P < 0.05). Similarly, miR-182 was decreased 44% (P < 0.05) in the gastrocnemius muscle of rats injected with streptozotocin to induce diabetes compared with controls. Finally, miR-182 was present in exosomes isolated from the media of C2C12 myotubes and Dex increased its abundance. These data identify miR-182 as an important regulator of FoxO3 expression that participates in the control of atrophy-inducing genes during catabolic diseases.

  7. Gene expression of muscular and neuronal pathways is cooperatively dysregulated in patients with idiopathic achalasia

    PubMed Central

    Palmieri, Orazio; Mazza, Tommaso; Merla, Antonio; Fusilli, Caterina; Cuttitta, Antonello; Martino, Giuseppina; Latiano, Tiziana; Corritore, Giuseppe; Bossa, Fabrizio; Palumbo, Orazio; Muscarella, Lucia Anna; Carella, Massimo; Graziano, Paolo; Andriulli, Angelo; Latiano, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Idiopathic achalasia is characterized by the absence of peristalsis secondary to loss of neurons in the myenteric plexus that hampers proper relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter. Achalasia can be considered a multifactorial disorder as it occurs in related individuals and is associated with HLA class II genes, thereby suggesting genetic influence. We used microarray technology and advanced in-silico functional analyses to perform the first genome-wide expression profiling of mRNA in tissue samples from 12 achalasia and 5 control patients. It revealed 1,728 differentially expressed genes, of these, 837 (48.4%) were up-regulated in cases. In particular, genes participating to the smooth muscle contraction biological function were mostly up-regulated. Functional analysis revealed a significant enrichment of neuronal/muscular and neuronal/immunity processes. Upstream regulatory analysis of 180 genes involved in these processes suggested TLR4 and IL18 as critical key-players. Two functional gene networks were significantly over-represented: one involved in organ morphology, skeletal muscle system development and function, and neurological diseases, and the other participating in cell morphology, humoral immune response and cellular movement. These results highlight on pivotal genes that may play critical roles in neuronal/muscular and neuronal/immunity processes, and that may contribute to the onset and development of achalasia. PMID:27511445

  8. Missense mutations in the adhalin gene linked to autosomal recessive muscular dystrophy

    SciTech Connect

    Roberds, S.L.; Anderson, R.D.; Lim, L.E.

    1994-09-01

    Adhalin, the 50-kDa dystrophin-associated glycoprotein, is deficient in skeletal muscle of patients having severe childhood autosomal recessive muscular dystrophy (SCARMD). In several North African families, SCARMD has been linked to markers in the pericentromeric region of chromosome l3q, but SCARMD has been excluded from linkage to this locus in other families. To determine whether the adhalin gene might be involved in SCARMD, human adhalin cDNA and large portions of the adhalin gene were cloned. Adhalin is a transmembrane glycoprotein with an extracellular domain bearing limited homology to domains of entactin and nerve growth factor receptor, suggesting that adhalin may serve as a receptor for an extracellular matrix protein. The adhalin gene was mapped to chromosome 17q12-q21.33, excluding the gene from involvement in 13q-linked SCARMD. A polymorphic microsatellite was identified within intron 6 of the adhalin gene, and one allelic variant of this marker cosegregated with the disease phenotype in a large French family with a lod score of 3.61 at 0 recombination. Adhalin is undetectable in skeletal muscle from affected members of this family. Missense mutations were identified within the adhalin gene that might cause SCARMD in this family. Thus, genetic defects in at least two components, dystrophin and adhalin, of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex can independently cause muscular dystrophies.

  9. Conservation of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene in mice and humans

    SciTech Connect

    Hoffman, E.P.; Monaco, A.P.; Feener, C.C.; Kunkel, L.M.

    1987-10-16

    A portion of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene transcript from human fetal skeletal muscle and mouse adult heart was sequence, representing approximately 25 percent of the total, 14-kb DMD transcript. The nucleic acid and predicted amino acid sequences from the two species are nearly 90 percent homologous. The amino acid sequence that is predicted from this portion of the DMD gene indicates that the protein product might serve a structural role in muscle, but the abundance and tissue distribution of the messenger RNA suggest that the DMD protein is not nebulin.

  10. An ex vivo gene therapy approach to treat muscular dystrophy using inducible pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Filareto, Antonio; Parker, Sarah; Darabi, Radbod; Borges, Luciene; Iacovino, Michelina; Schaaf, Tory; Mayerhofer, Timothy; Chamberlain, Jeffrey S; Ervasti, James M; McIvor, R Scott; Kyba, Michael; Perlingeiro, Rita C R

    2013-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a progressive and incurable neuromuscular disease caused by genetic and biochemical defects of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex. Here we show the regenerative potential of myogenic progenitors derived from corrected dystrophic induced pluripotent stem cells generated from fibroblasts of mice lacking both dystrophin and utrophin. We correct the phenotype of dystrophic induced pluripotent stem cells using a Sleeping Beauty transposon system carrying the micro-utrophin gene, differentiate these cells into skeletal muscle progenitors and transplant them back into dystrophic mice. Engrafted muscles displayed large numbers of micro-utrophin-positive myofibers, with biochemically restored dystrophin-glycoprotein complex and improved contractile strength. The transplanted cells seed the satellite cell compartment, responded properly to injury and exhibit neuromuscular synapses. We also detect muscle engraftment after systemic delivery of these corrected progenitors. These results represent an important advance towards the future treatment of muscular dystrophies using genetically corrected autologous induced pluripotent stem cells.

  11. Differential cloning of novel intestine-specific genes whose expression is altered under conditions of villus atrophy.

    PubMed

    Hodin, R A; Meng, S; Shei, A

    1995-07-01

    Atrophy of the small intestinal villi occurs in a variety of disease states and is associated with diarrhea, malabsorption, and impaired barrier function. We have previously demonstrated that villus atrophy is associated with an increase in lactase and a decrease in intestinal alkaline phosphatase gene expression. Given these changes in enterocyte phenotype with villus atrophy, we speculated that there may be other intestine-specific genes whose expression is altered as a function of epithelial growth state. We have employed two molecular techniques in order to identify and clone complementary DNAs (cDNA) which are differentially expressed in atrophic compared to normal small intestinal mucosa. In differential cDNA library (+/-) screening, duplicate filters of a normal jejunal cDNA library are hybridized with radiolabeled cDNA probes from either atrophic or control tissues. Comparisons of the intensities of hybridized clones allows for the identification of differentially expressed gene products. In the mRNA differential display system, RT-PCR is used to randomly amplify mRNA species. Similar to cDNA library screening, comparisons of radiolabeled bands on a polyacrylamide sequencing gel allow for the identification of differentially expressed genes. Using these methods, we have identified a novel cDNA, called D9, which appears to be expressed exclusively in the intestinal mucosa. Northern analyses have confirmed that the expression of the D9 mRNA is dramatically decreased under conditions of villus atrophy, suggesting an underlying relationship with epithelial growth state. DNA sequence analysis (GenBank) reveals no identity to previously cloned genes.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  12. Celastrol overcomes HSP72 gene silencing-mediated muscle atrophy and induces myofiber preservation.

    PubMed

    Gwag, T; Park, K; Park, J; Lee, J-H; Nikawa, T; Choi, I

    2015-04-01

    To elucidate a potential anabolic role of heat shock proteins (HSPs) in myofiber preservation, we assessed the effect of HSP70 gene silencing versus its overexpression on skeletal muscle atrophy or rescue. HSP72 gene expression was silenced by pre-treatment with HSP72 siRNA in cultured rat L6 myotubes, and the pro-anabolic effect of HSPs was examined in the absence or presence of the HSP inducer celastrol (CEL). Compared to the negative control (NC), both nuclear accumulation and phosphorylation of heat shock transcription factor 1 remained high under the 6-h treatment of CEL. The HSP72 siRNA treatment significantly decreased HSP72 mRNA and protein expression and myotube diameter. CEL treatment, however, markedly increased the HSP72 expression and rendered the myotube size recovered to the NC level even in the siRNA-treated cells. Moreover, the HSP72 siRNA upregulated forkhead box O3 (FoxO3) expression in the nucleus while CEL increased p-FoxO3 exclusively in the cytoplasm, thus leaving the p-FoxO3/FoxO3 balanced to the NC level by siRNA + CEL treatment. The atrophic effect of HSP72 siRNA was consistent with the upregulation of atrogin-1 and proteasome activity but CEL treatment abrogated such effect by activation of Akt1, ribosomal S6 kinase (S6K) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), irrespective of HSP72 silencing. These results suggest that CEL-mediated overexpression of HSP72 overcomes the atrophic effect of HSP72 gene silencing via both enhancement of FoxO3 phosphorylation and activation of Akt1-ERK1/2 signaling pathway.

  13. Immunological identification of a high molecular weight protein as a condidate for the product of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene

    SciTech Connect

    Kao, L.; Krstenansky, J.; Mendell, J.; Rammohan, K.W.; Gruenstein, E. )

    1988-06-01

    An oligopeptide was synthesized based on translation of the nucleotide sequence of the putative exon region of clone pERT87-25 from the gene for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Immunization of rabbits with this oligopeptide induced the formation of antibodies directed against a protein present in human, rat, and rabbit skeletal muscle. This protein, which is missing in the skeletal muscle of two patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, has a molecular mass of {approx}320-420 kDa and is clearly different from the putative Duchenne muscular dystrophy-related protein nebulin. The data suggest that this 320-420-kDa protein is produced by the Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene.

  14. [Research progress on disease models and gene therapy of Duchenne muscular dystrophy].

    PubMed

    Li, Tongyu; Liang, Ping

    2016-05-25

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked, recessive and lethal genetic disease, which usually caused by gene mutations and the underlying mechanisms are complicated and diverse. The causal gene of DMD is the largest one in human that locates in the region of Xp21.2, encoding dystrophin. Currently there is no effective treatment for DMD patients. The treatment of DMD depends on gene mutation and molecular mechanism study of the disease, which requires reliable disease models such as mdx mouse model. Recently, researchers have increasingly discovered gene therapy strategies for DMD, and the efficacy has been demonstrated in DMD animal models. In addition, induced pluripotent stem cell technology can provide patient-specific cell source, offering a new platform for mechanism and therapy study of DMD.

  15. Perspectives of stem cell therapy in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Meregalli, Mirella; Farini, Andrea; Belicchi, Marzia; Parolini, Daniele; Cassinelli, Letizia; Razini, Paola; Sitzia, Clementina; Torrente, Yvan

    2013-09-01

    Muscular dystrophies are heritable and heterogeneous neuromuscular disorders characterized by the primary wasting of skeletal muscle, usually caused by mutations in the proteins forming the link between the cytoskeleton and the basal lamina. As a result of mutations in the dystrophin gene, Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients suffer from progressive muscle atrophy and an exhaustion of muscular regenerative capacity. No efficient therapies are available. The evidence that adult stem cells were capable of participating in the regeneration of more than their resident organ led to the development of potential stem cell treatments for degenerative disorder. In the present review, we describe the different types of myogenic stem cells and their possible use for the progression of cell therapy in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

  16. Insulin-like growth factor-I gene transfer by electroporation prevents skeletal muscle atrophy in glucocorticoid-treated rats.

    PubMed

    Schakman, O; Gilson, H; de Coninck, V; Lause, P; Verniers, J; Havaux, X; Ketelslegers, J M; Thissen, J P

    2005-04-01

    Catabolic states caused by injury are characterized by a loss of skeletal muscle. The anabolic action of IGF-I on muscle and the reduction of its muscle content in response to injury suggest that restoration of muscle IGF-I content might prevent skeletal muscle loss caused by injury. We investigated whether local overexpression of IGF-I protein by gene transfer could prevent skeletal muscle atrophy induced by glucocorticoids, a crucial mediator of muscle atrophy in catabolic states. Localized overexpression of IGF-I in tibialis anterior (TA) muscle was performed by injection of IGF-I cDNA followed by electroporation 3 d before starting dexamethasone injections (0.1 mg/kg.d sc). A control plasmid was electroporated in the contralateral TA muscle. Dexamethasone induced atrophy of the TA muscle as illustrated by reduction in muscle mass (403 +/- 11 vs. 461 +/- 19 mg, P < 0.05) and fiber cross-sectional area (1759 +/- 131 vs. 2517 +/- 93 mum(2), P < 0.05). This muscle atrophy was paralleled by a decrease in the IGF-I muscle content (7.2 +/- 0.9 vs. 15.7 +/- 1.4 ng/g of muscle, P < 0.001). As the result of IGF-I gene transfer, the IGF-I muscle content increased 2-fold (15.8 +/- 1.2 vs. 7.2 +/- 0.9 ng/g of muscle, P < 0.001). In addition, the muscle mass (437 +/- 8 vs. 403 +/- 11 mg, P < 0.01) and the fiber cross-sectional area (2269 +/- 129 vs. 1759 +/- 131 mum(2), P < 0.05) were increased in the TA muscle electroporated with IGF-I DNA, compared with the contralateral muscle electroporated with a control plasmid. Our results show therefore that IGF-I gene transfer by electroporation prevents muscle atrophy in glucocorticoid-treated rats. Our observation supports the important role of decreased muscle IGF-I in the muscle atrophy caused by glucocorticoids.

  17. FHL1 reduces dystrophy in transgenic mice overexpressing FSHD muscular dystrophy region gene 1 (FRG1).

    PubMed

    Feeney, Sandra J; McGrath, Meagan J; Sriratana, Absorn; Gehrig, Stefan M; Lynch, Gordon S; D'Arcy, Colleen E; Price, John T; McLean, Catriona A; Tupler, Rossella; Mitchell, Christina A

    2015-01-01

    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is an autosomal-dominant disease with no effective treatment. The genetic cause of FSHD is complex and the primary pathogenic insult underlying the muscle disease is unknown. Several disease candidate genes have been proposed including DUX4 and FRG1. Expression analysis studies of FSHD report the deregulation of genes which mediate myoblast differentiation and fusion. Transgenic mice overexpressing FRG1 recapitulate the FSHD muscular dystrophy phenotype. Our current study selectively examines how increased expression of FRG1 may contribute to myoblast differentiation defects. We generated stable C2C12 cell lines overexpressing FRG1, which exhibited a myoblast fusion defect upon differentiation. To determine if myoblast fusion defects contribute to the FRG1 mouse dystrophic phenotype, this strain was crossed with skeletal muscle specific FHL1-transgenic mice. We previously reported that FHL1 promotes myoblast fusion in vitro and FHL1-transgenic mice develop skeletal muscle hypertrophy. In the current study, FRG1 mice overexpressing FHL1 showed an improvement in the dystrophic phenotype, including a reduced spinal kyphosis, increased muscle mass and myofiber size, and decreased muscle fibrosis. FHL1 expression in FRG1 mice, did not alter satellite cell number or activation, but enhanced myoblast fusion. Primary myoblasts isolated from FRG1 mice showed a myoblast fusion defect that was rescued by FHL1 expression. Therefore, increased FRG1 expression may contribute to a muscular dystrophy phenotype resembling FSHD by impairing myoblast fusion, a defect that can be rescued by enhanced myoblast fusion via expression of FHL1.

  18. FHL1 Reduces Dystrophy in Transgenic Mice Overexpressing FSHD Muscular Dystrophy Region Gene 1 (FRG1)

    PubMed Central

    Feeney, Sandra J.; McGrath, Meagan J.; Sriratana, Absorn; Gehrig, Stefan M.; Lynch, Gordon S.; D’Arcy, Colleen E.; Price, John T.; McLean, Catriona A.; Tupler, Rossella; Mitchell, Christina A.

    2015-01-01

    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is an autosomal-dominant disease with no effective treatment. The genetic cause of FSHD is complex and the primary pathogenic insult underlying the muscle disease is unknown. Several disease candidate genes have been proposed including DUX4 and FRG1. Expression analysis studies of FSHD report the deregulation of genes which mediate myoblast differentiation and fusion. Transgenic mice overexpressing FRG1 recapitulate the FSHD muscular dystrophy phenotype. Our current study selectively examines how increased expression of FRG1 may contribute to myoblast differentiation defects. We generated stable C2C12 cell lines overexpressing FRG1, which exhibited a myoblast fusion defect upon differentiation. To determine if myoblast fusion defects contribute to the FRG1 mouse dystrophic phenotype, this strain was crossed with skeletal muscle specific FHL1-transgenic mice. We previously reported that FHL1 promotes myoblast fusion in vitro and FHL1-transgenic mice develop skeletal muscle hypertrophy. In the current study, FRG1 mice overexpressing FHL1 showed an improvement in the dystrophic phenotype, including a reduced spinal kyphosis, increased muscle mass and myofiber size, and decreased muscle fibrosis. FHL1 expression in FRG1 mice, did not alter satellite cell number or activation, but enhanced myoblast fusion. Primary myoblasts isolated from FRG1 mice showed a myoblast fusion defect that was rescued by FHL1 expression. Therefore, increased FRG1 expression may contribute to a muscular dystrophy phenotype resembling FSHD by impairing myoblast fusion, a defect that can be rescued by enhanced myoblast fusion via expression of FHL1. PMID:25695429

  19. Perspective on Adeno-Associated Virus Capsid Modification for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Gene Therapy.

    PubMed

    Nance, Michael E; Duan, Dongsheng

    2015-12-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a X-linked, progressive childhood myopathy caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene, one of the largest genes in the genome. It is characterized by skeletal and cardiac muscle degeneration and dysfunction leading to cardiac and/or respiratory failure. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) is a highly promising gene therapy vector. AAV gene therapy has resulted in unprecedented clinical success for treating several inherited diseases. However, AAV gene therapy for DMD remains a significant challenge. Hurdles for AAV-mediated DMD gene therapy include the difficulty to package the full-length dystrophin coding sequence in an AAV vector, the necessity for whole-body gene delivery, the immune response to dystrophin and AAV capsid, and the species-specific barriers to translate from animal models to human patients. Capsid engineering aims at improving viral vector properties by rational design and/or forced evolution. In this review, we discuss how to use the state-of-the-art AAV capsid engineering technologies to overcome hurdles in AAV-based DMD gene therapy.

  20. Automated DNA mutation detection using universal conditions direct sequencing: application to ten muscular dystrophy genes

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background One of the most common and efficient methods for detecting mutations in genes is PCR amplification followed by direct sequencing. Until recently, the process of designing PCR assays has been to focus on individual assay parameters rather than concentrating on matching conditions for a set of assays. Primers for each individual assay were selected based on location and sequence concerns. The two primer sequences were then iteratively adjusted to make the individual assays work properly. This generally resulted in groups of assays with different annealing temperatures that required the use of multiple thermal cyclers or multiple passes in a single thermal cycler making diagnostic testing time-consuming, laborious and expensive. These factors have severely hampered diagnostic testing services, leaving many families without an answer for the exact cause of a familial genetic disease. A search of GeneTests for sequencing analysis of the entire coding sequence for genes that are known to cause muscular dystrophies returns only a small list of laboratories that perform comprehensive gene panels. The hypothesis for the study was that a complete set of universal assays can be designed to amplify and sequence any gene or family of genes using computer aided design tools. If true, this would allow automation and optimization of the mutation detection process resulting in reduced cost and increased throughput. Results An automated process has been developed for the detection of deletions, duplications/insertions and point mutations in any gene or family of genes and has been applied to ten genes known to bear mutations that cause muscular dystrophy: DMD; CAV3; CAPN3; FKRP; TRIM32; LMNA; SGCA; SGCB; SGCG; SGCD. Using this process, mutations have been found in five DMD patients and four LGMD patients (one in the FKRP gene, one in the CAV3 gene, and two likely causative heterozygous pairs of variations in the CAPN3 gene of two other patients). Methods and assay

  1. Exon deletion patterns of the dystrophin gene in 82 Vietnamese Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy patients.

    PubMed

    Tran, Van Khanh; Ta, Van Thanh; Vu, Dung Chi; Nguyen, Suong Thi-Bang; Do, Hai Ngoc; Ta, Minh Hieu; Tran, Thinh Huy; Matsuo, Masafumi

    2013-12-01

    Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies (DMD/BMD) are the most common inherited muscle diseases caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. The reading frame rule explains the genotype-phenotype relationship in DMD/BMD. In Vietnam, extensive mutation analysis has never been conducted in DMD/BMD. Here, 152 Vietnamese muscular dystrophy patients were examined for dystrophin exon deletion by amplifying 19 deletion-prone exons and deletion ends were confirmed by dystrophin cDNA analysis if necessary. The result was that 82 (54%) patients were found to have exon deletions, thus confirming exact deletion ends. A further result was that 37 patterns of deletion were classified. Deletions of exons 45-50 and 49-52 were the most common patterns identified, numbering six cases each (7.3%). The reading frame rule explained the genotype-phenotype relationship, but not five (6.1%) DMD cases. Each of five patients had deletions of exons 11-27 in common. The applicability of the therapy producing semifunctional in frame mRNA in DMD by inducing skipping of a single exon was examined. Induction of exon 51 skipping was ranked at top priority, since 16 (27%) patients were predicted to have semifunctional mRNA skipping. Exons 45 and 53 were the next ranked, with 12 (20%) and 11 (18%) patients, respectively. The largest deletion database of the dystrophin gene, established in Vietnamese DMD/BMD patients, disclosed a strong indication for exon-skipping therapy.

  2. Characterization of the complete porcine MSTN gene and expression levels in pig breeds differing in muscularity.

    PubMed

    Stinckens, A; Luyten, T; Bijttebier, J; Van den Maagdenberg, K; Dieltiens, D; Janssens, S; De Smet, S; Georges, M; Buys, N

    2008-12-01

    Myostatin (MSTN), a transforming growth factor beta superfamily member, is an essential factor for the growth and development of muscle mass. The protein functions as a negative regulator of muscle growth and is related to the so-called double-muscling phenotype in cattle, where a series of mutations renders the gene inactive. One particular breed of pigs, the Belgian Piétrain, also shows a heavily muscled phenotype. The similarity of muscular phenotypes between the double-muscled cattle and Piétrain pigs indicated that MSTN may be a candidate gene for muscular hypertrophy in pigs. In this study, we sequenced and analysed the complete MSTN gene from 45 pigs of five different breeds, including the heavily muscled Piétrain breed at one extreme and the Meishan and Wild boar breeds at the other extreme. In total, 7626 bp of the porcine MSTN gene were sequenced, including the 5' and 3' UTR. Fifteen polymorphic loci were found, three of which were located in the promoter region, five in intron 1 and seven in intron 2. Most mutations were found when comparing the obtained MSTN sequence with porcine MSTN sequences already published. However, one polymorphism located at position 447 of the porcine MSTN promoter had a very high allele frequency in the Piétrain pig breed and disrupted a putative myocyte enhancer factor 3 binding site. Real-time PCR using Sybr Green showed that this mutation was associated with expression levels of the MSTN gene in m. longissimus dorsi at an age of 4 weeks.

  3. Progress on gene therapy, cell therapy, and pharmacological strategies toward the treatment of oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Harish, Pradeep; Malerba, Alberto; Dickson, George; Bachtarzi, Houria

    2015-05-01

    Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) is a muscle-specific, late-onset degenerative disorder whereby muscles of the eyes (causing ptosis), throat (leading to dysphagia), and limbs (causing proximal limb weakness) are mostly affected. The disease is characterized by a mutation in the poly(A)-binding protein nuclear-1 (PABPN1) gene, resulting in a short GCG expansion in the polyalanine tract of PABPN1 protein. Accumulation of filamentous intranuclear inclusions in affected skeletal muscle cells constitutes the pathological hallmark of OPMD. This review highlights the current translational research advances in the treatment of OPMD. In vitro and in vivo disease models are described. Conventional and experimental therapeutic approaches are discussed with emphasis on novel molecular therapies including the use of intrabodies, gene therapy, and myoblast transfer therapy.

  4. Muscular dystrophy candidate gene FRG1 is critical for muscle development.

    PubMed

    Hanel, Meredith L; Wuebbles, Ryan D; Jones, Peter L

    2009-06-01

    The leading candidate gene responsible for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is FRG1 (FSHD region gene 1). However, the correlation of altered FRG1 expression levels with disease pathology has remained controversial and the precise function of FRG1 is unknown. Here, we carried out a detailed analysis of the normal expression patterns and effects of FRG1 misexpression during vertebrate embryonic development using Xenopus laevis. We show that frg1 is expressed in and essential for the development of the tadpole musculature. FRG1 morpholino injection disrupted myotome organization and led to inhibited myotome growth, while elevated FRG1 led to abnormal epaxial and hypaxial muscle formation. Thus, maintenance of normal FRG1 levels is critical for proper muscle development, supportive of FSHD disease models whereby misregulation of FRG1 plays a causal role underlying the pathology exhibited in FSHD patients. Developmental Dynamics 238:1502-1512, 2009. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  5. Research Resource: Hormones, Genes, and Athleticism: Effect of Androgens on the Avian Muscular Transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Fuxjager, Matthew J; Lee, Jae-Hyung; Chan, Tak-Ming; Bahn, Jae Hoon; Chew, Jenifer G; Xiao, Xinshu; Schlinger, Barney A

    2016-02-01

    Male vertebrate social displays vary from physically simple to complex, with the latter involving exquisite motor command of the body and appendages. Studies of these displays have, in turn, provided substantial insight into neuromotor mechanisms. The neotropical golden-collared manakin (Manacus vitellinus) has been used previously as a model to investigate intricate motor skills because adult males of this species perform an acrobatic and androgen-dependent courtship display. To support this behavior, these birds express elevated levels of androgen receptors (AR) in their skeletal muscles. Here we use RNA sequencing to explore how testosterone (T) modulates the muscular transcriptome to support male manakin courtship displays. In addition, we explore how androgens influence gene expression in the muscles of the zebra finch (Taenopygia guttata), a model passerine bird with a limited courtship display and minimal muscle AR. We identify androgen-dependent, muscle-specific gene regulation in both species. In addition, we identify manakin-specific effects that are linked to muscle use during the manakin display, including androgenic regulation of genes associated with muscle fiber contractility, cellular homeostasis, and energetic efficiency. Overall, our results point to numerous genes and gene networks impacted by androgens in male birds, including some that underlie optimal muscle function necessary for performing acrobatic display routines. Manakins are excellent models to explore gene regulation promoting athletic ability.

  6. Research Resource: Hormones, Genes, and Athleticism: Effect of Androgens on the Avian Muscular Transcriptome

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jae-Hyung; Chan, Tak-Ming; Bahn, Jae Hoon; Chew, Jenifer G.

    2016-01-01

    Male vertebrate social displays vary from physically simple to complex, with the latter involving exquisite motor command of the body and appendages. Studies of these displays have, in turn, provided substantial insight into neuromotor mechanisms. The neotropical golden-collared manakin (Manacus vitellinus) has been used previously as a model to investigate intricate motor skills because adult males of this species perform an acrobatic and androgen-dependent courtship display. To support this behavior, these birds express elevated levels of androgen receptors (AR) in their skeletal muscles. Here we use RNA sequencing to explore how testosterone (T) modulates the muscular transcriptome to support male manakin courtship displays. In addition, we explore how androgens influence gene expression in the muscles of the zebra finch (Taenopygia guttata), a model passerine bird with a limited courtship display and minimal muscle AR. We identify androgen-dependent, muscle-specific gene regulation in both species. In addition, we identify manakin-specific effects that are linked to muscle use during the manakin display, including androgenic regulation of genes associated with muscle fiber contractility, cellular homeostasis, and energetic efficiency. Overall, our results point to numerous genes and gene networks impacted by androgens in male birds, including some that underlie optimal muscle function necessary for performing acrobatic display routines. Manakins are excellent models to explore gene regulation promoting athletic ability. PMID:26745669

  7. Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy in the Agarwals: Utility of founder mutations in CAPN3 gene

    PubMed Central

    Khadilkar, Satish V.; Chaudhari, Chetan R.; Dastur, Rashna S.; Gaitonde, Pradnya S.; Yadav, Jayendra G.

    2016-01-01

    Background and Purpose: Diagnostic evaluation of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A (LGMD2A) involves specialized studies on muscle biopsy and mutation analysis. Mutation screening is the gold standard for diagnosis but is difficult as the gene is large and multiple mutations are known. This study evaluates the utility of two known founder mutations as a first-line diagnostic test for LGMD2A in the Agarwals. Materials and Methods: The Agarwals with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) phenotype were analyzed for two founder alleles (intron 18/exon 19 c.2051-1G>T and exon 22 c.2338G>C). Asymptomatic first-degree relatives of patients with genetically confirmed mutations and desirous of counseling were screened for founder mutations. Results: Founder alleles were detected in 26 out of 29 subjects with LGMD phenotype (89%). The most common genotype observed was homozygous for exon 22 c.2338 G>C mutation followed by compound heterozygosity. Single founder allele was identified in two. Single allele was detected in two of the five asymptomatic relatives. Conclusion: Eighty-nine percent of the Agarwals having LGMD phenotype have LGMD2A resulting from founder mutations. Founder allele analysis can be utilized as the initial noninvasive diagnostic step for index cases, carrier detection, and counseling. PMID:27011640

  8. Emerging gene editing strategies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy targeting stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Bertoni, Carmen

    2014-01-01

    The progressive loss of muscle mass characteristic of many muscular dystrophies impairs the efficacy of most of the gene and molecular therapies currently being pursued for the treatment of those disorders. It is becoming increasingly evident that a therapeutic application, to be effective, needs to target not only mature myofibers, but also muscle progenitors cells or muscle stem cells able to form new muscle tissue and to restore myofibers lost as the result of the diseases or during normal homeostasis so as to guarantee effective and lost lasting effects. Correction of the genetic defect using oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) or engineered nucleases holds great potential for the treatment of many of the musculoskeletal disorders. The encouraging results obtained by studying in vitro systems and model organisms have set the groundwork for what is likely to become an emerging field in the area of molecular and regenerative medicine. Furthermore, the ability to isolate and expand from patients various types of muscle progenitor cells capable of committing to the myogenic lineage provides the opportunity to establish cell lines that can be used for transplantation following ex vivo manipulation and expansion. The purpose of this article is to provide a perspective on approaches aimed at correcting the genetic defect using gene editing strategies and currently under development for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the most sever of the neuromuscular disorders. Emphasis will be placed on describing the potential of using the patient own stem cell as source of transplantation and the challenges that gene editing technologies face in the field of regenerative biology. PMID:24795643

  9. Animal models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy: from basic mechanisms to gene therapy.

    PubMed

    McGreevy, Joe W; Hakim, Chady H; McIntosh, Mark A; Duan, Dongsheng

    2015-03-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a progressive muscle-wasting disorder. It is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the dystrophin gene. Currently, there is no cure. A highly promising therapeutic strategy is to replace or repair the defective dystrophin gene by gene therapy. Numerous animal models of DMD have been developed over the last 30 years, ranging from invertebrate to large mammalian models. mdx mice are the most commonly employed models in DMD research and have been used to lay the groundwork for DMD gene therapy. After ~30 years of development, the field has reached the stage at which the results in mdx mice can be validated and scaled-up in symptomatic large animals. The canine DMD (cDMD) model will be excellent for these studies. In this article, we review the animal models for DMD, the pros and cons of each model system, and the history and progress of preclinical DMD gene therapy research in the animal models. We also discuss the current and emerging challenges in this field and ways to address these challenges using animal models, in particular cDMD dogs.

  10. Animal models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy: from basic mechanisms to gene therapy

    PubMed Central

    McGreevy, Joe W.; Hakim, Chady H.; McIntosh, Mark A.; Duan, Dongsheng

    2015-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a progressive muscle-wasting disorder. It is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the dystrophin gene. Currently, there is no cure. A highly promising therapeutic strategy is to replace or repair the defective dystrophin gene by gene therapy. Numerous animal models of DMD have been developed over the last 30 years, ranging from invertebrate to large mammalian models. mdx mice are the most commonly employed models in DMD research and have been used to lay the groundwork for DMD gene therapy. After ~30 years of development, the field has reached the stage at which the results in mdx mice can be validated and scaled-up in symptomatic large animals. The canine DMD (cDMD) model will be excellent for these studies. In this article, we review the animal models for DMD, the pros and cons of each model system, and the history and progress of preclinical DMD gene therapy research in the animal models. We also discuss the current and emerging challenges in this field and ways to address these challenges using animal models, in particular cDMD dogs. PMID:25740330

  11. Role of serum TRAIL level and TRAIL apoptosis gene expression in multiple sclerosis and relation to brain atrophy.

    PubMed

    Tawdy, Mohamed H; Abd El Nasser, Maged M; Abd El Shafy, Sanaa S; Nada, Mona A F; El Sirafy, Mohamed Nasr I; Magd, Amany Hussien Abol

    2014-09-01

    One of the presumed pathological mechanisms of multiple sclerosis (MS) is the failure of apoptosis of autoreactive T lymphocytes. This study aimed to determine the relationship of the tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) mRNA gene expression ratio and serum TRAIL levels with MS and brain atrophy. This study was conducted on 53 relapsing-remitting Egyptian MS patients and 25 matched healthy volunteers. The expression of TRAIL in peripheral blood lymphocytes was analyzed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, serum levels of soluble TRAIL (sTRAIL) were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and brain MRI measured "black holes" and the bicaudate ratio as a measure of brain atrophy in all patients. The serum TRAIL level was lower in MS patients compared to controls but no difference was seen in the TRAIL mRNA gene expression ratio. No significant correlation was detected between the serum TRAIL level and the TRAIL mRNA expression ratio in either group. No statistically significant correlation was found between serum TRAIL levels or the TRAIL mRNA expression ratio with the number of black holes or the bicaudate ratio on MRI. Apoptosis of T lymphocytes is decreased in MS patients, which could be useful when designing treatments. There was no difference in the TRAIL mRNA gene expression ratio between MS patients and controls.

  12. Identification of a Maleimide-Based Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3 (GSK-3) Inhibitor, BIP-135, that Prolongs the Median Survival Time of Δ7 SMA KO Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Chen, Po C; Gaisina, Irina N; El-Khodor, Bassem F; Ramboz, Sylvie; Makhortova, Nina R; Rubin, Lee L; Kozikowski, Alan P

    2012-01-18

    The discovery of upregulated glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) in various pathological conditions has led to the development of a host of chemically diverse small molecule GSK-3 inhibitors, such as BIP-135. GSK-3 inhibition emerged as an alternative therapeutic target for treating spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) when a number of GSK-3 inhibitors were shown to elevate survival motor neuron (SMN) levels in vitro and to rescue motor neurons when their intrinsic SMN level was diminished by SMN-specific short hairpin RNA (shRNA). Despite their cellular potency, the in vivo efficacy of GSK-3 inhibitors has yet to be evaluated in an animal model of SMA. Herein, we disclose that a potent and reasonably selective GSK-3 inhibitor, namely BIP-135, was tested in a transgenic Δ7 SMA KO mouse model of SMA, and found to prolong the median survival of these animals. In addition, this compound was shown to elevate the SMN protein level in SMA patient-derived fibroblast cells as determined by western blot, and was neuroprotective in a cell-based, SMA-related model of oxidative stress-induced neurodegeneration.

  13. Muscles in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy show profound defects in neuromuscular development even in the absence of failure in neuromuscular transmission or loss of motor neurons.

    PubMed

    Lee, Young Il; Mikesh, Michelle; Smith, Ian; Rimer, Mendell; Thompson, Wesley

    2011-08-15

    A mouse model of the devastating human disease "spinal muscular atrophy" (SMA) was used to investigate the severe muscle weakness and spasticity that precede the death of these animals near the end of the 2nd postnatal week. Counts of motor units to the soleus muscle as well as of axons in the soleus muscle nerve showed no loss of motor neurons. Similarly, neither immunostaining of neuromuscular junctions nor the measurement of the tension generated by nerve stimulation gave evidence of any significant impairment in neuromuscular transmission, even when animals were maintained up to 5days longer via a supplementary diet. However, the muscles were clearly weaker, generating less than half their normal tension. Weakness in 3 muscles examined in the study appears due to a severe but uniform reduction in muscle fiber size. The size reduction results from a failure of muscle fibers to grow during early postnatal development and, in soleus, to a reduction in number of fibers generated. Neuromuscular development is severely delayed in these mutant animals: expression of myosin heavy chain isoforms, the elimination of polyneuronal innervation, the maturation in the shape of the AChR plaque, the arrival of SCs at the junctions and their coverage of the nerve terminal, the development of junctional folds. Thus, if SMA in this particular mouse is a disease of motor neurons, it can act in a manner that does not result in their death or disconnection from their targets but nonetheless alters many aspects of neuromuscular development.

  14. Muscles in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy show profound defects in neuromuscular development even in the absence of failure in neuromuscular transmission or loss of motor neurons

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Young il; Mikesh, Michelle; Smith, Ian; Rimer, Mendell; Thompson, Wesley

    2011-01-01

    A mouse model of the devastating human disease "spinal muscular atrophy" (SMA) was used to investigate the severe muscle weakness and spasticity that precedes the death of these animals near the end of the 2nd postnatal week. Counts of motor units to the soleus muscle as well as of axons in the soleus muscle nerve showed no loss of motor neurons. Similarly, neither immunostaining of neuromuscular junctions nor the measurement of the tension generated by nerve stimulation gave evidence of any significant impairment in neuromuscular transmission, even when animals were maintained up to 5 days longer via a supplementary diet. However, the muscles were clearly weaker, generating less than half their normal tension. Weakness in 3 muscles examined in the study appears due to a severe but uniform reduction in muscle fiber size. The size reduction results from a failure of muscle fibers to grow during early postnatal development and, in soleus, to a reduction in number of fibers generated. Neuromuscular development is severely delayed in these mutant animals: expression of myosin heavy chain isoforms, the elimination of polyneuronal innervation, the maturation in the shape of the AChR plaque, the arrival of SCs at the junctions and their coverage of the nerve terminal, the development of junctional folds. Thus, if SMA in this particular mouse is a disease of motor neurons, it can act in a manner that does not result in their death or disconnection from their targets but nonetheless alters many aspects of neuromuscular development. PMID:21658376

  15. [Functional assessment for people unable to walk due to spinal muscular atrophy and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Translation and validation of the Egen Klassifikation 2 scale for the Spanish population].

    PubMed

    Fagoaga, Joaquín; Girabent-Farrés, Montserrat; Bagur-Calafat, Caritat; Febrer, Anna; Steffensen, Birgit F

    2015-05-16

    Introduccion. La escala Egen Klassifikation 2 (EK2), ampliacion de la escala EK, evalua la capacidad funcional de personas con atrofia muscular espinal (AME) y distrofia muscular de Duchenne (DMD) que estan en fase de silla de ruedas. Esta version es mas especifica para la AME que su antecesora. Objetivo. Analizar la validez y fiabilidad de la version española de dicha escala como instrumento de medicion de la capacidad funcional en pacientes afectos de AME y DMD que estan en silla de ruedas. Pacientes y metodos. Primeramente se realizo una traduccion-retrotraduccion al español de la version en ingles de la EK2 y, posteriormente, se estudio la fiabilidad de la version traducida. Para ello, se seleccionaron 39 pacientes, de edades comprendidas entre 4 y 60 años, que fueron valorados por dos observadores. Para evaluar la concordancia intraobservador se realizaron dos evaluaciones por un mismo observador, y para la interobservador, se realizo una tercera evaluacion por un segundo observador. Resultados. Los valores obtenidos referidos a la puntuacion total de los items de la escala (suma EK2) reflejan una fiabilidad intra e interobservador excelente, de 0,993 y 0,988, respectivamente. Asimismo, para cada uno de los items, la fiabilidad fue excelente, a excepcion de un item, en el que fue buena. Conclusiones. La version española de la escala EK2 es un instrumento valido y fiable para la poblacion española como herramienta de medicion de la capacidad funcional en pacientes con AME y DMD que estan en silla de ruedas.

  16. Muscular Dystrophy

    MedlinePlus

    ... depending on the type of muscular dystrophy. Duchenne muscular dystrophy About half of people with muscular dystrophy have ... muscles Muscle pain and stiffness Learning disabilities Becker muscular dystrophy Signs and symptoms are similar to those of ...

  17. Gene correction of a duchenne muscular dystrophy mutation by meganuclease-enhanced exon knock-in.

    PubMed

    Popplewell, Linda; Koo, Taeyoung; Leclerc, Xavier; Duclert, Aymeric; Mamchaoui, Kamel; Gouble, Agnés; Mouly, Vincent; Voit, Thomas; Pâques, Frédéric; Cédrone, Frédéric; Isman, Olga; Yáñez-Muñoz, Rafael J; Dickson, George

    2013-07-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe inherited, muscle-wasting disorder caused by mutations in the DMD gene. Gene therapy development for DMD has concentrated on vector-based DMD minigene transfer, cell-based gene therapy using genetically modified adult muscle stem cells or healthy wild-type donor cells, and antisense oligonucleotide-induced exon-skipping therapy to restore the reading frame of the mutated DMD gene. This study is an investigation into DMD gene targeting-mediated correction of deletions in human patient myoblasts using a target-specific meganuclease (MN) and a homologous recombination repair matrix. The MN was designed to cleave within DMD intron 44, upstream of a deletion hotspot, and integration-competent lentiviral vectors expressing the nuclease (LVcMN) were generated. MN western blotting and deep gene sequencing for LVcMN-induced non-homologous end-joining InDels (microdeletions or microinsertions) confirmed efficient MN expression and activity in transduced DMD myoblasts. A homologous repair matrix carrying exons 45-52 (RM45-52) was designed and packaged into integration-deficient lentiviral vectors (IDLVs; LVdRM45-52). After cotransduction of DMD myoblasts harboring a deletion of exons 45 to 52 with LVcMN and LVdRM45-52 vectors, targeted knock-in of the RM45-52 region in the correct location in DMD intron 44, and expression of full-length, correctly spliced wild-type dystrophin mRNA containing exons 45-52 were observed. This work demonstrates that genome surgery on human DMD gene mutations can be achieved by MN-induced locus-specific genome cleavage and homologous recombination knock-in of deleted exons. The feasibility of human DMD gene repair in patient myoblasts has exciting therapeutic potential.

  18. A missense mutation in the dystrophin gene in a Duchenne muscular dystrophy patient.

    PubMed

    Prior, T W; Papp, A C; Snyder, P J; Burghes, A H; Bartolo, C; Sedra, M S; Western, L M; Mendell, J R

    1993-08-01

    About two thirds of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients have either gene deletions or duplications. The other DMD cases are most likely the result of point mutations that cannot be easily identified by current strategies. Utilizing a heteroduplex technique and direct sequencing of amplified products, we screened our nondeletion/duplication DMD population for point mutations. We now describe what we believe to be the first dystrophin missense mutation in a DMD patient. The mutation results in the substitution of an evolutionarily conserved leucine to arginine in the actin-binding domain. The patient makes a dystrophin protein which is properly localized and is present at a higher level than is observed in DMD patients. This suggests that an intact actin-binding domain is necessary for protein stability and essential for function.

  19. Molecular analysis of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene in Spanish individuals: Deletion detection and familial diagnosis

    SciTech Connect

    Patino, A.; Garcia-Delgado, M.; Narbona, J.

    1995-11-06

    Deletion studies were performed in 26 Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients through amplification of nine different exons by multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR). DNA from paraffin-embedded muscle biopsies was analyzed in 12 of the 26 patients studied. Optimization of this technique is of great utility because it enables analysis of material stored in pathology archives. PCR deletion detection, useful in DMD-affected boys, is problematic in determining the carrier state in female relatives. For this reason, to perform familial linkage diagnosis, we made use of a dinucleotide repeat polymorphism (STRP, or short tandem repeat polymorphism) located in intron 49 of the gene. We designed a new pair of primers that enabled the detection of 22 different alleles in relatives in the 14 DMD families studied. The use of this marker allowed familial diagnosis in 11 of the 14 DMD families and detection of de novo deletions in 3 of the probands. 8 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

  20. Gene therapies that restore dystrophin expression for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Robinson-Hamm, Jacqueline N; Gersbach, Charles A

    2016-09-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy is one of the most common inherited genetic diseases and is caused by mutations to the DMD gene that encodes the dystrophin protein. Recent advances in genome editing and gene therapy offer hope for the development of potential therapeutics. Truncated versions of the DMD gene can be delivered to the affected tissues with viral vectors and show promising results in a variety of animal models. Genome editing with the CRISPR/Cas9 system has recently been used to restore dystrophin expression by deleting one or more exons of the DMD gene in patient cells and in a mouse model that led to functional improvement of muscle strength. Exon skipping with oligonucleotides has been successful in several animal models and evaluated in multiple clinical trials. Next-generation oligonucleotide formulations offer significant promise to build on these results. All these approaches to restoring dystrophin expression are encouraging, but many hurdles remain. This review summarizes the current state of these technologies and summarizes considerations for their future development.

  1. A complex interplay of genetic and epigenetic events leads to abnormal expression of the DUX4 gene in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Gatica, Laura Virginia; Rosa, Alberto Luis

    2016-12-01

    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), a prevalent inherited human myopathy, develops following a complex interplay of genetic and epigenetic events. FSHD1, the more frequent genetic form, is associated with: (1) deletion of an integral number of 3.3 Kb (D4Z4) repeated elements at the chromosomal region 4q35, (2) a specific 4q35 subtelomeric haplotype denominated 4qA, and (3) decreased methylation of cytosines at the 4q35-linked D4Z4 units. FSHD2 is most often caused by mutations at the SMCHD1 (Structural Maintenance of Chromosomes Hinge Domain 1) gene, on chromosome 18p11.32. FSHD2 individuals also carry the 4qA haplotype and decreased methylation of D4Z4 cytosines. Each D4Z4 unit contains a copy of the retrotransposed gene DUX4 (double homeobox containing protein 4). DUX4 gene functionality was questioned in the past because of its pseudogene-like structure, its location on repetitive telomeric DNA sequences (i.e. junk DNA), and the elusive nature of both the DUX4 transcript and the encoded protein, DUX4. It is now known that DUX4 is a nuclear-located transcription factor, which is normally expressed in germinal tissues. Aberrant DUX4 expression triggers a deregulation cascade inhibiting muscle differentiation, sensitizing cells to oxidative stress, and inducing muscle atrophy. A unifying pathogenic model for FSHD emerged with the recognition that the FSHD-permissive 4qA haplotype corresponds to a polyadenylation signal that stabilizes the DUX4 mRNA, allowing the toxic protein DUX4 to be expressed. This working hypothesis for FSHD pathogenesis highlights the intrinsic epigenetic nature of the molecular mechanism underlying FSHD as well as the pathogenic pathway connecting FSHD1 and FSHD2. Pharmacological control of either DUX4 gene expression or the activity of the DUX4 protein constitutes current potential rational therapeutic approaches to treat FSHD.

  2. Entire CAPN3 gene deletion in a patient with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A.

    PubMed

    Jaka, Oihane; Azpitarte, Margarita; Paisán-Ruiz, Coro; Zulaika, Miren; Casas-Fraile, Leire; Sanz, Raúl; Trevisiol, Nathalie; Levy, Nicolas; Bartoli, Marc; Krahn, Martin; López de Munain, Adolfo; Sáenz, Amets

    2014-09-01

    Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A (LGMD2A) due to mutations in the CAPN3 gene is one of the most common of autosomal recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophies. We describe a patient who had a typical LGMD2A phenotype and posterior compartment involvement on MRI. Different genetic analyses were performed, including microarray analysis. There was an apparently homozygous mutation in exon 24, c.2465G>T, p.(*822Leuext62*), and a lack of correlation in the disease segregation analyses. This suggested the presence of a genomic rearrangement. In fact, a heterozygous deletion of the entire CAPN3 gene was found. This novel deletion comprised the terminal region of the GANC gene and the entire CAPN3 gene. This finding points out the need to reconsider and adapt our current strategy of molecular diagnosis in order to detect these types of genomic rearrangements that escape standard mutation screening procedures.

  3. B3GALNT2 is a gene associated with congenital muscular dystrophy with brain malformations.

    PubMed

    Hedberg, Carola; Oldfors, Anders; Darin, Niklas

    2014-05-01

    Congenital muscular dystrophies associated with brain malformations are a group of disorders frequently associated with aberrant glycosylation of α-dystroglycan. They include disease entities such a Walker-Warburg syndrome, muscle-eye-brain disease and various other clinical phenotypes. Different genes involved in glycosylation of α-dystroglycan are associated with these dystroglycanopathies. We describe a 5-year-old girl with psychomotor retardation, ataxia, spasticity, muscle weakness and increased serum creatine kinase levels. Immunhistochemistry of skeletal muscle revealed reduced glycosylated α-dystroglycan. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain at 3.5 years of age showed increased T2 signal from supratentorial and infratentorial white matter, a hypoplastic pons and subcortical cerebellar cysts. By whole exome sequencing, the patient was identified to be compound heterozygous for a one-base duplication and a missense mutation in the gene B3GALNT2 (β-1,3-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 2; B3GalNAc-T2). This patient showed a milder phenotype than previously described patients with mutations in the B3GALNT2 gene.

  4. Are all the previously reported genetic variants in limb girdle muscular dystrophy genes pathogenic?

    PubMed Central

    Di Fruscio, Giuseppina; Garofalo, Arcomaria; Mutarelli, Margherita; Savarese, Marco; Nigro, Vincenzo

    2016-01-01

    Hundreds of variants in autosomal genes associated with the limb girdle muscular dystrophies (LGMDs) have been reported as being causative. However, in most cases the proof of pathogenicity derives from their non-occurrence in hundreds of healthy controls and/or from segregation studies in small families. The limited statistics of the genetic variations in the general population may hamper a correct interpretation of the effect of variants on the protein. To clarify the meaning of low-frequency variants in LGMD genes, we have selected all variants described as causative in the Leiden Open Variation Database and the Human Gene Mutation Database. We have systematically searched for their frequency in the NHLBI GO Exome Sequencing Project (ESP) and in our internal database. Surprisingly, the ESP contains about 4% of the variants previously associated with a dominant inheritance and about 9% of those associated with a recessive inheritance. The putative disease alleles are much more frequent than those estimated considering the disease prevalence. In conclusion, we hypothesize that a number of disease-associated variants are non-pathogenic and that other variations are not fully penetrant, even if they affect the protein function, suggesting a more complex genetic mechanisms for such heterogeneous disorders. PMID:25898921

  5. Characterization of lobulated fibers in limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A by gene expression profiling.

    PubMed

    Keira, Yoko; Noguchi, Satoru; Kurokawa, Rumi; Fujita, Masako; Minami, Narihiro; Hayashi, Yukiko K; Kato, Takashi; Nishino, Ichizo

    2007-04-01

    Limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A (LGMD2A) is caused by mutations in CAPN3, which encodes an intracellular cysteine protease. To elucidate the fundamental molecular changes that may be responsible for the pathological features of LGMD2A, we employed cDNA microarray analysis. We divided LGMD2A muscles into two groups according to specific pathological features: an early-stage group characterized by the presence of active necrosis and a regeneration process and a later-stage group characterized by the presence of lobulated fibers. After comparing the gene expression profiles of the two groups of LGMD2A muscles with control muscles, we identified 29 genes whose mRNA expression profiles were specifically altered in muscles with lobulated fibers. Interestingly, this group included genes that encode actin filament binding and regulatory proteins, such as gelsolin, PDZ and LIM domain 3 (PDLIM3) and troponin I1. Western blot analysis confirmed the upregulation of these proteins. From these results, we propose that abnormal increased expression of actin filament binding proteins may contribute to the changes of the intra-myofiber structures, observed in lobulated fibers in LGMD2A.

  6. Phase 1 gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy using a translational optimized AAV vector.

    PubMed

    Bowles, Dawn E; McPhee, Scott W J; Li, Chengwen; Gray, Steven J; Samulski, Jade J; Camp, Angelique S; Li, Juan; Wang, Bing; Monahan, Paul E; Rabinowitz, Joseph E; Grieger, Joshua C; Govindasamy, Lakshmanan; Agbandje-McKenna, Mavis; Xiao, Xiao; Samulski, R Jude

    2012-02-01

    Efficient and widespread gene transfer is required for successful treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Here, we performed the first clinical trial using a chimeric adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsid variant (designated AAV2.5) derived from a rational design strategy. AAV2.5 was generated from the AAV2 capsid with five mutations from AAV1. The novel chimeric vector combines the improved muscle transduction capacity of AAV1 with reduced antigenic crossreactivity against both parental serotypes, while keeping the AAV2 receptor binding. In a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled phase I clinical study in DMD boys, AAV2.5 vector was injected into the bicep muscle in one arm, with saline control in the contralateral arm. A subset of patients received AAV empty capsid instead of saline in an effort to distinguish an immune response to vector versus minidystrophin transgene. Recombinant AAV genomes were detected in all patients with up to 2.56 vector copies per diploid genome. There was no cellular immune response to AAV2.5 capsid. This trial established that rationally designed AAV2.5 vector was safe and well tolerated, lays the foundation of customizing AAV vectors that best suit the clinical objective (e.g., limb infusion gene delivery) and should usher in the next generation of viral delivery systems for human gene transfer.

  7. Structural genes, not the LTRs, are the primary determinants of reticuloendotheliosis virus A-induced runting and bursal atrophy.

    PubMed

    Filardo, E J; Lee, M F; Humphries, E H

    1994-07-01

    Reticuloendotheliosis virus strain A (REV-A) and chicken syncytial virus (CSV), two replication competent avian retroviruses, differ in the extent to which they induce a runting syndrome that includes anemia, lymphoid organ atrophy, and reduced body size. We have isolated an infectious clone of CSV, the less pathogenic of the two viruses, and compared it to REV-A. Partial DNA sequence analysis suggests that it differs from REV-A by no more than 1 to 2% at the nucleotide level. Analysis of viral interference indicates that these two viruses use the same cell receptor for infection of both fibroblasts and hematopoietic cells, DNA sequence of the CSV and REV-A long terminal repeats (LTRs) reveals that these structures differ principally by two small insertions (5 and 19 bp) present in the U3 region of REV-A. The larger of these may encode enhancer sequences that have been reported to influence transcription rates in vitro. Measurement of steady-state levels of viral RNA in infected cells, however, as well as circulating virus in infected chicks indicates that the different pathogenic responses elicited by these two viruses are not due to large differences in viral transcription or replication. Chimeric viruses were constructed in which the LTRs from one virus were used to express the structural genes of the second virus. Infection of 1-day-old chicks by parental virus as well as the reciprocal chimeric constructs demonstrated that the ability to induce both runting and bursal atrophy segregated with the structural genes of REV-A. Infection of birds with additional chimeric viruses in which the env genes of REV-A and CSV were exchanged indicated that the pathogenic response resulting from REV-A infection was due to at least two regions of the viral genome encoding structural genes.

  8. Familial bulbospinal neuronopathy with optic atrophy: a distinct entity.

    PubMed Central

    Paradiso, G; Micheli, F; Taratuto, A L; Parera, I C

    1996-01-01

    A 61 year old woman and her 58 year old brother presented with the clinical picture of late onset progressive bulbar and spinal muscular atrophy with family history of involvement in successive generations. The sister also had optic neuropathy and the brother developed diabetes mellitus and sex hormone abnormalities. Neurophysiological and histopathological studies showed a pattern of motor and sensory neuronopathy. There was no abnormal expansion of CAG repeats in the androgen receptor gene. This family seems to have a previously unrecognised entity with the bulbospinal neuronopathy phenotype. Images PMID:8708690

  9. Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) region gene 1 (FRG1) is a dynamic nuclear and sarcomeric protein.

    PubMed

    Hanel, Meredith L; Sun, Chia-Yun Jessica; Jones, Takako I; Long, Steven W; Zanotti, Simona; Milner, Derek; Jones, Peter L

    2011-02-01

    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) region gene 1 (FRG1) is a candidate gene for mediating FSHD pathophysiology, however, very little is known about the endogenous FRG1 protein. This study uses immunocytochemistry (ICC) and histology to provide insight into FRG1's role in vertebrate muscle development and address its potential involvement in FSHD pathophysiology. In cell culture, primary myoblast/myotube cultures, and mouse and human muscle sections, FRG1 showed distinct nuclear and cytoplasmic localizations and nuclear shuttling assays indicated the subcellular pools of FRG1 are linked. During myoblast differentiation, FRG1's subcellular distribution changed dramatically with FRG1 eventually associating with the matured Z-discs. This Z-disc localization was confirmed using isolated mouse myofibers and found to be maintained in adult human skeletal muscle biopsies. Thus, FRG1 is not likely involved in the initial assembly and alignment of the Z-disc but may be involved in sarcomere maintenance or signaling. Further analysis of human tissue showed FRG1 is strongly expressed in arteries, veins, and capillaries, the other prominently affected tissue in FSHD. Overall, we show that in mammalian cells, FRG1 is a dynamic nuclear and cytoplasmic protein, however in muscle, FRG1 is also a developmentally regulated sarcomeric protein suggesting FRG1 may perform a muscle-specific function. Thus, FRG1 is the only FSHD candidate protein linked to the muscle contractile machinery and may address why the musculature and vasculature are specifically susceptible in FSHD.

  10. Defining new borders of the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) candidate region by two new microsatellites and isolation of cDNAs

    SciTech Connect

    Wirth, B.; Schoenling, J.; Dadze, A.

    1994-09-01

    A high number of cosmids and phages were identified that contained di-, tri-, and tetranucleotide repeats. These clones were isolated from STSs that map to the SMA region as well as from three cosmid and one phage library that had been prepared from YACs which span the SMA candidate interval. We developed two new microsatellites, A31 (D5S823) and 95/23, which enabled us to define new borders of the SMA region and to reduce it to approximately 700 kb. Physically, the marker A31 maps to the overlapping region of the YACs y116, y55 and y122 at about 550 kb distal to the locus D5S435. A recombination in one SMA type I family places A31 proximal to the SMA gene. The multicopy microsatellite, 95/23, developed from a cosmid including the STS y97U revealed in a consanguine SMA type I family different alleles, while all proximal markers were heterozygous. This suggests a location of 95/23 distal to the SMA gene. Furthermore, we tested 157 German SMA families (100 SMA type I, 50 SMA type II and 20 SMA type III) for linkage disequilibrium with the marker AG1-CA which reveals no recombination with the SMA gene. We found in SMA type I families strong allelic association between the 100 bp allele and the SMA gene. In 7 families we got deletions within the AG1-CA microsatellite. On the way to isolate the SMA gene, we hybridized whole cosmid and YAC inserts to cDNA libraries of spinal cord, brain and muscle. Seven cDNAs were initially identified and cDNA walking was used to begin the isolation of whole transcribed sequences.

  11. Muscular Dystrophy

    MedlinePlus

    ... Devices The Search for a Cure en español Distrofia muscular About MD Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a ... muscles and cause different degrees of muscle weakness. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common and the ...

  12. A phase 1/2a follistatin gene therapy trial for becker muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Mendell, Jerry R; Sahenk, Zarife; Malik, Vinod; Gomez, Ana M; Flanigan, Kevin M; Lowes, Linda P; Alfano, Lindsay N; Berry, Katherine; Meadows, Eric; Lewis, Sarah; Braun, Lyndsey; Shontz, Kim; Rouhana, Maria; Clark, Kelly Reed; Rosales, Xiomara Q; Al-Zaidy, Samiah; Govoni, Alessandra; Rodino-Klapac, Louise R; Hogan, Mark J; Kaspar, Brian K

    2015-01-01

    Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) is a variant of dystrophin deficiency resulting from DMD gene mutations. Phenotype is variable with loss of ambulation in late teenage or late mid-life years. There is currently no treatment for this condition. In this BMD proof-of-principle clinical trial, a potent myostatin antagonist, follistatin (FS), was used to inhibit the myostatin pathway. Extensive preclinical studies, using adeno-associated virus (AAV) to deliver follistatin, demonstrated an increase in strength. For this trial, we used the alternatively spliced FS344 to avoid potential binding to off target sites. AAV1.CMV.FS344 was delivered to six BMD patients by direct bilateral intramuscular quadriceps injections. Cohort 1 included three subjects receiving 3 × 10(11) vg/kg/leg. The distance walked on the 6MWT was the primary outcome measure. Patients 01 and 02 improved 58 meters (m) and 125 m, respectively. Patient 03 showed no change. In Cohort 2, Patients 05 and 06 received 6 × 10(11) vg/kg/leg with improved 6MWT by 108 m and 29 m, whereas, Patient 04 showed no improvement. No adverse effects were encountered. Histological changes corroborated benefit showing reduced endomysial fibrosis, reduced central nucleation, more normal fiber size distribution with muscle hypertrophy, especially at high dose. The results are encouraging for treatment of dystrophin-deficient muscle diseases.

  13. Monitoring duchenne muscular dystrophy gene therapy with epitope-specific monoclonal antibodies.

    PubMed

    Morris, Glenn; Man, Nguyen thi; Sewry, Caroline A

    2011-01-01

    Several molecular approaches to Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) therapy are at or near the point of clinical trial and usually involve attempts to replace the missing dystrophin protein. Although improved muscle function is the ultimate measure of success, assessment of dystrophin levels after therapy is essential to determine whether any improved function is a direct consequence of the treatment or, in the absence of improved function, to determine whether new dystrophin is present, though ineffective. The choice of a monoclonal antibody (mAb) to distinguish successful therapy from naturally occurring "revertant" fibres depends on which dystrophin exons are deleted in the DMD patient. Over the past 20 years, we have produced over 150 "exon-specific" mAbs, mapped them to different regions of dystrophin and made them available through the MDA Monoclonal Antibody Resource for research and for clinical trials tailored to individual patients. In this protocol, we describe the use of these mAb to monitor DMD gene therapy.

  14. The facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD1) gene affects males more severely and more frequently than females.

    PubMed

    Zatz, M; Marie, S K; Cerqueira, A; Vainzof, M; Pavanello, R C; Passos-Bueno, M R

    1998-05-01

    We investigated 52 families of patients with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD1), including 172 patients (104 males and 68 females). Among 273 DNA samples which were analyzed with probe p13E-11, 131 (67 males and 64 females) were shown to carry an EcoRI fragment smaller than 35 kb; 114 among them were examined clinically and neurologically. Results of the present investigation showed that: a) there is no molecular evidence for autosomal or X-linked recessive inheritance of FSHD1; b) an excess of affected males, which is explained by a significantly greater proportion of females than males among asymptomatic cases and a significantly greater proportion of affected sons than daughters observed in the offspring of asymptomatic mothers; c) the penetrance of the FSHD1 gene until age 30 was estimated as 83% for both sexes but was significantly greater for males (95%) than for females (69%); d) new mutations occur significantly more frequently in females than males among somatic/germinal mosaic cases; and e) severely affected cases originated more often through new mutations or were transmitted through maternal than through paternal lines including somatic/germinal mothers. These observations have important implications for understanding the molecular mechanisms responsible for FSHD1 and for genetic and prognostic counseling according to the gender of the affected patient.

  15. A Phase 1/2a Follistatin Gene Therapy Trial for Becker Muscular Dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Mendell, Jerry R; Sahenk, Zarife; Malik, Vinod; Gomez, Ana M; Flanigan, Kevin M; Lowes, Linda P; Alfano, Lindsay N; Berry, Katherine; Meadows, Eric; Lewis, Sarah; Braun, Lyndsey; Shontz, Kim; Rouhana, Maria; Clark, Kelly Reed; Rosales, Xiomara Q; Al-Zaidy, Samiah; Govoni, Alessandra; Rodino-Klapac, Louise R; Hogan, Mark J; Kaspar, Brian K

    2015-01-01

    Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) is a variant of dystrophin deficiency resulting from DMD gene mutations. Phenotype is variable with loss of ambulation in late teenage or late mid-life years. There is currently no treatment for this condition. In this BMD proof-of-principle clinical trial, a potent myostatin antagonist, follistatin (FS), was used to inhibit the myostatin pathway. Extensive preclinical studies, using adeno-associated virus (AAV) to deliver follistatin, demonstrated an increase in strength. For this trial, we used the alternatively spliced FS344 to avoid potential binding to off target sites. AAV1.CMV.FS344 was delivered to six BMD patients by direct bilateral intramuscular quadriceps injections. Cohort 1 included three subjects receiving 3 × 1011 vg/kg/leg. The distance walked on the 6MWT was the primary outcome measure. Patients 01 and 02 improved 58 meters (m) and 125 m, respectively. Patient 03 showed no change. In Cohort 2, Patients 05 and 06 received 6 × 1011 vg/kg/leg with improved 6MWT by 108 m and 29 m, whereas, Patient 04 showed no improvement. No adverse effects were encountered. Histological changes corroborated benefit showing reduced endomysial fibrosis, reduced central nucleation, more normal fiber size distribution with muscle hypertrophy, especially at high dose. The results are encouraging for treatment of dystrophin-deficient muscle diseases. PMID:25322757

  16. Muscle atrophy

    MedlinePlus

    ... damage caused by injury, diabetes, toxins, or alcohol Polio ( poliomyelitis ) Spinal cord injury Although people can adapt to ... Guillain-Barré syndrome Hypotonia Muscle cramps Muscular dystrophy Polio Review Date 1/5/2016 Updated by: Joseph ...

  17. FSHD muscular dystrophy region gene 1 binds Suv4-20h1 histone methyltransferase and impairs myogenesis.

    PubMed

    Neguembor, Maria Victoria; Xynos, Alexandros; Onorati, Maria Cristina; Caccia, Roberta; Bortolanza, Sergia; Godio, Cristina; Pistoni, Mariaelena; Corona, Davide F; Schotta, Gunnar; Gabellini, Davide

    2013-10-01

    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is an autosomal dominant myopathy with a strong epigenetic component. It is associated with deletion of a macrosatellite repeat leading to over-expression of the nearby genes. Among them, we focused on FSHD region gene 1 (FRG1) since its over-expression in mice, Xenopus laevis and Caenorhabditis elegans, leads to muscular dystrophy-like defects, suggesting that FRG1 plays a relevant role in muscle biology. Here we show that, when over-expressed, FRG1 binds and interferes with the activity of the histone methyltransferase Suv4-20h1 both in mammals and Drosophila. Accordingly, FRG1 over-expression or Suv4-20h1 knockdown inhibits myogenesis. Moreover, Suv4-20h KO mice develop muscular dystrophy signs. Finally, we identify the FRG1/Suv4-20h1 target Eid3 as a novel myogenic inhibitor that contributes to the muscle differentiation defects. Our study suggests a novel role of FRG1 as epigenetic regulator of muscle differentiation and indicates that Suv4-20h1 has a gene-specific function in myogenesis.

  18. MicroRNA in skeletal muscle development, growth, atrophy, and disease.

    PubMed

    Kovanda, Anja; Režen, Tadeja; Rogelj, Boris

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNAs that are important global- as well as tissue- and cell-type-specific regulators of gene expression. Muscle-specific miRNAs or myomirs have been shown to control various processes in skeletal muscles, from myogenesis and muscle homeostasis to different responses to environmental stimuli, such as exercise. Importantly, myomirs are also involved in the development of muscle atrophy arising from aging, immobility, prolonged exposure to microgravity, or muscular and neuromuscular disorders. Additionally, muscle atrophy is both induced by and exacerbates many important chronic and infectious diseases. As global yet specific muscle regulators, myomirs are also good candidates for therapeutic use. Understanding the dynamics of myomirs expression and their role in the development of disease is necessary to determine their potential for muscle atrophy prevention.

  19. Contrasting evolutionary histories of two introns of the duchenne muscular dystrophy gene, Dmd, in humans.

    PubMed Central

    Nachman, M W; Crowell, S L

    2000-01-01

    The Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Dmd) locus lies in a region of the X chromosome that experiences a high rate of recombination and is thus expected to be relatively unaffected by the effects of selection on nearby genes. To provide a picture of nucleotide variability at a high-recombination locus in humans, we sequenced 5. 4 kb from two introns of Dmd in a worldwide sample of 41 alleles from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. These same regions were also sequenced in one common chimpanzee and one orangutan. Dramatically different patterns of genetic variation were observed at these two introns, which are separated by >500 kb of DNA. Nucleotide diversity at intron 44 pi = 0.141% was more than four times higher than nucleotide diversity at intron 7 pi = 0.034% despite similar levels of divergence for these two regions. Intron 7 exhibited significant linkage disequilibrium extending over 10 kb and also showed a significant excess of rare polymorphisms. In contrast, intron 44 exhibited little linkage disequilibrium and no skew in the frequency distribution of segregating sites. Intron 7 was much more variable in Africa than in other continents, while intron 44 displayed similar levels of variability in different geographic regions. Comparison of intraspecific polymorphism to interspecific divergence using the HKA test revealed a significant reduction in variability at intron 7 relative to intron 44, and this effect was most pronounced in the non-African samples. These results are best explained by positive directional selection acting at or near intron 7 and demonstrate that even genes in regions of high recombination may be influenced by selection at linked sites. PMID:10924480

  20. CUG-BP1 regulates RyR1 ASI alternative splicing in skeletal muscle atrophy.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yinglong; Wang, Huiwen; Wei, Bin; Guo, Yuting; Gu, Lei; Yang, Zhiguang; Zhang, Qing; Wu, Yanyun; Yuan, Qi; Zhao, Gang; Ji, Guangju

    2015-11-04

    RNA binding protein is identified as an important mediator of aberrant alternative splicing in muscle atrophy. The altered splicing of calcium channels, such as ryanodine receptors (RyRs), plays an important role in impaired excitation-contraction (E-C) coupling in muscle atrophy; however, the regulatory mechanisms of ryanodine receptor 1 (RyR1) alternative splicing leading to skeletal muscle atrophy remains to be investigated. In this study we demonstrated that CUG binding protein 1 (CUG-BP1) was up-regulated and the alternative splicing of RyR1 ASI (exon70) was aberrant during the process of neurogenic muscle atrophy both in human patients and mouse models. The gain and loss of function experiments in vivo demonstrated that altered splicing pattern of RyR1 ASI was directly mediated by an up-regulated CUG-BP1 function. Furthermore, we found that CUG-BP1 affected the calcium release activity in single myofibers and the extent of atrophy was significantly reduced upon gene silencing of CUG-BP1 in atrophic muscle. These findings improve our understanding of calcium signaling related biological function of CUG-BP1 in muscle atrophy. Thus, we provide an intriguing perspective of involvement of mis-regulated RyR1 splicing in muscular disease.

  1. Neuroglobin Gene Therapy Prevents Optic Atrophy and Preserves Durably Visual Function in Harlequin Mice

    PubMed Central

    Lechauve, Christophe; Augustin, Sébastien; Cwerman-Thibault, Hélène; Reboussin, Élodie; Roussel, Delphine; Lai-Kuen, René; Saubamea, Bruno; Sahel, José-Alain; Debeir, Thomas; Corral-Debrinski, Marisol

    2014-01-01

    Neuroglobin (NGB) is considered as an endogenous neuroprotective molecule against stroke, since the protein alleviates the adverse effects of hypoxic and ischemic insults. We previously demonstrated the functional link between NGB and mitochondria since it is required for respiratory chain function. Thus, here, we evaluated the relevance of this effect in the Harlequin (Hq) mouse strain, which exhibits retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss and optic atrophy due to a respiratory chain complex I (CI) defect. A twofold decrease of NGB amounts was observed in Hq retinas. We constructed a recombinant adeno-associated virus which combines to the mouse NGB open reading frame, its 5′ and 3′UTR, for guarantying mRNA stability and translation capacity. The vector was administrated intravitreally to Hq mice and NGB expression was stable for up to 7 months without negative effect on retinal architecture or function. On the contrary, RGCs and their axons were substantially preserved from degeneration; consequently, CI activity in optic nerves was protected conferring improvements in vision. Hence, we established that NGB prevents respiratory chain impairment, therefore, protecting visual function otherwise compromised by mitochondrial energetic failure. PMID:24622090

  2. YAC contigs for 4q35 in the region of the facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) gene

    SciTech Connect

    Weiffenbach, B.; DuBois, J.; Manning, S.; Ma, N.S.; Moir, D. ); Schutte, B.C. ); Altherr, M.R. Los Alamos National Lab., NM ); Jacobsen, S.J. ); Stanton, V.P. Jr. )

    1994-02-01

    The authors report here the construction of a genetic linkage map and an overlapping set of clones containing DNA markers linked to the causative locus for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) on 4q35. Multi-point linkage analysis placed eight loci in the following order with odds greater than 1000:1: cen-D4S171-FXI-D4S426-D4S187-D4S130-D4S163-D4S139-D4F35S1-qter. The most likely position of D4S809 was distal to D4F35S1. Thirty-four yeast artificial chromosomes (YACs) were isolated by PCR-based assays for STSs derived from DNA markers with known genetic and physical order. Walking from the insert ends of 2 YACs identified 7 additional YACs, bridging the gaps between three of the markers. Two new YACs were found by hybridization of a cosmid inter-Alu PCR product to dot blots of inter-Alu PCR products of YAC DNA pools. All YAC clones were positioned using the genetic and physical order of the STSs and inter-Alu PCR fingerprint data. Eleven of the YAC-, and two cosmids were mapped by fluorescence in situ hybridization to confirm the location of the clones and to detect chimerism. The 43 YACs were assembled into two contigs. The larger contig spans approximately 2.4 Mb and contains markers closest to the FSHD gene. 53 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  3. Identification of copy number variation in the gene for autosomal dominant optic atrophy, OPA1, in a Chinese pedigree.

    PubMed

    Jin, X; Chen, Y H; Liu, Z; Deng, Y; Li, N N; Huang, H; Qi, M; Yi, X; Zhu, J

    2015-09-21

    Autosomal dominant optic atrophy (ADOA) is an optic neuropathy characterized by bilateral optic nerve pallor and decreased visual acuity. It has been reported to be associated with two genes, OPA1, OPA3, and the OPA4, OPA5, and OPA8 loci. However, mutations in OPA1 constitute the most prevalent cause of ADOA. The purpose of this study was to identify the underlying genetic defect in a Chinese pedigree with ADOA. DNA from six members of a Chinese pedigree was collected for testing genomic and copy number variation (CNV) by targeted region capture and next generation sequencing (targeted NGS). A new developmental CNV detection method was applied to analyze the sequence data. Further verification of CNV was performed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Three members of the pedigree with clinically diagnosed ADOA were screened for pathogenic genes related to ophthalmic genetic disease. No eligible pathogenic point mutations associated with ADOA disease-causing genes were found in pedigree members with ADOA. Upon further analysis for CNVs, we found a heterozygous deletion in exons 1-9 of OPA1, which was confirmed by real-time PCR. In this study we used a new developmental method to detect CNVs associated with ADOA in a Chinese pedigree. To our knowledge, this is the first case of ADOA caused by a CNV of the OPA1 gene in Chinese patients. The findings suggest that CNVs might be an important mutation type in Chinese patients with ADOA, and that CNV screening should be performed when point mutation screens are negative in these patients.

  4. Isolation and characterization of a full length cDNA for dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA) gene

    SciTech Connect

    Oyake, M.; Onodera, O.; Ikeuchi, T.

    1994-09-01

    Hereditary dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA) is an autosomal dominant spinocerebellar degeneration characterized by anticipation and variable combination of symptoms including myoclonus, epilepsy, cerebellar ataxia, choleoathetosis, and dementia. Recently, we discovered that DRPLA is caused by unstable expansion of a CAG repeat of a B37 gene on chromosome 12. To characterize functions of the DRPLA gene product, we isolated several cDNA clones for the DRPLA gene from human adult and fetus brain cDNA libraries, using an oligonucleotide flanking the CAG repeat. The cDNA spans 4247 bp in length and there is only an open reading frame coding for 986 amino acids. The CAG repeat, which is expanded in DRPLA, is located 291 bp downstream from the initiation methionine and encodes a polyglutamine tract. The deduced amino acid sequence from amino acids residues 582 to 707 has a high homology to published human hippocampus derived expressed sequence (M78755) located at chromosome 1p (63.8% identity), and 3{prime}-untranslated region of the DRPLA cDNA revealed homology to the mouse small nuclear RNA U7 gene (X54165). Northern blot analysis revealed a 4.7 knt transcript which is widely expressed in various tissues including heart, lung, kidney, placenta, skeletal muscle, and brain. In human adult brain, the transcript was broadly expressed including amygdala, caudate nucleus, corpus callosum, hippocampus, hypothalamus, substantia nigra, subthalamic nucleus and thalamus, and was not specific to the dentatorubral-pallidoluysian system. The availability of a full length cDNA will be highly useful for analyzing the pathogenesis of this unique neurodegenerative disease as well as for analyzing other CAG repeat related neurodegenerative diseases.

  5. [Altered expression of myostatin gene in the progressive muscular dystrophy patients].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yong; Chen, Yan; Chen, Jia-Wei; Zhu, Da-Hai

    2005-08-01

    Progressive muscular dystrophy is a group of inherited disorders characterized by progressive skeletal muscle wasting and weakness, which is not of neurogenic origin. Myostatin, a new member of the TGF-beta super-family, is a negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth. To investigate the possible involvement of myostatin in the development of progressive muscular dystrophy, we cloned and sequenced myostatin cDNAs from the progressive muscular dystrophy patients by RT-PCR. Levels of myostatin mRNA and protein in the patients were analyzed by semi-quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot,respectively. We did not find any mutations in the myostatin cDNA sequences from the progressive muscular dystrophy patients in this study. However, we found that the levels of myostatin transcripts were reduced in some patients and the processing and maturation of myostatin protein were inhibited in some patients. Our data demonstrated that the pathogenesis of some types or subtypes of progressive muscular dystrophy is probably associated with the altered myostatin expression and the processing inhibition of myostatin protein.

  6. Types of SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Trials Research Publications Support & Care For Newly Diagnosed Care Packages Information Packets Equipment Pool Living With SMA Medical Issues Palliative Breathing Orthopedics Nutrition Equipment Daily Life At School At Home Adults With SMA Play Travel Grief & Loss Community & ...

  7. Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy mutations: analysis using 2.6 kb of muscle cDNA from the 5' end of the gene.

    PubMed Central

    Smith, T J; Forrest, S M; Cross, G S; Davies, K E

    1987-01-01

    We have isolated overlapping human fetal muscle cDNAs encompassing 2.6kb which are localised very close to the 5' end of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene. Using DNA from patients with deletions of previously reported genomic probes, we have mapped the exons across the region. Investigation of deletions in both DMD and Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) patients shows the deletions to be present in 10% of cases and heterogeneous. Images PMID:3697082

  8. Mutations in the delta-sarcoglycan gene are a rare cause of autosomal recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD2).

    PubMed

    Duggan, D J; Manchester, D; Stears, K P; Mathews, D J; Hart, C; Hoffman, E P

    1997-05-01

    The dystrophin-based membrane cytoskeleton of muscle fibers has emerged as a critical multi-protein complex which seems to impart structural integrity on the muscle fiber plasma membrane. Deficiency of dystrophin causes the most common types of muscular dystrophy, Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies. Muscular dystrophy patients showing normal dystrophin protein and gene analysis are generally isolated cases with a presumed autosomal recessive inheritance pattern (limb-girdle muscular dystrophy). Recently, linkage and candidate gene analyses have shown that some cases of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy can be caused by deficiency of other components of the dystrophin membrane cytoskeleton. The most recently identified component, delta-sarcoglycan, has been found to show mutations in a series of Brazilian muscular dystrophy patients. All patients were homozygous for a protein-truncating carboxy-terminal mutation, and showed a deficiency of the four sarcoglycan proteins. To determine if delta-sarcoglycan deficiency occurred in other world populations, to identify the range of mutations and clinical phenotypes, and to test for the biochemical consequences of delta-sarcoglycan gene mutations, we studied Duchenne-like and limb-girdle muscular dystrophy patients who we had previously shown not to exhibit gene mutations of dystrophin, alpha-, beta-, or gamma-sarcoglycan for delta-sarcoglycan mutations (n = 54). We identified two American patients with novel nonsense mutations of delta-sarcoglycan (W30X, R165X). One was apparently homozygous, and we show likely consanguinity through homozygosity for 13 microsatellite loci covering a 38 cM region of chromosome 5. The second was heterozygous. Both were girls who showed clinical symptoms consistent with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in males. Our data shows that delta-sarcoglycan deficiency occurs in other world populations, and that most or all patients show a deficiency of the entire sarcoglycan complex, adding support to

  9. Refined mapping of a gene responsible for Fukuyama-type congenital muscular dystrophy: Evidence for strong linkage disequilibrium

    SciTech Connect

    Toda, Tatsushi; Ikegawa, Shiro; Okui, Keiko; Nakamura, Yusuke; Kanazawa, Ichiro; Kondo, Eri; Saito, Kayoko; Fukuyama, Yukio; Yoshioka, Mieko; Kumagai, Toshiyuki

    1994-11-01

    Fukuyama-type congenital muscular dystrophy (FCMD), the second most common form of childhood muscular dystrophy in Japan, is an autosomal recessive severe muscular dystrophy associated with an anomaly of the brain. After our initial mapping of the FCMD locus to chromosome 9q31-33, we further defined the locus within a region of {approximately}5 cM between loci D9S127 and CA246, by homozygosity mapping in patients born to consanguineous marriages and by recombination analyses in other families. We also found evidence for strong linkage disequilibrium between FCMD and a polymorphic microsatellite marker, mfd220, which showed no recombination and a lod score of (Z) 17.49. A {open_quotes}111-bp{close_quotes} allele for the mfd220 was observed in 22 (34%) of 64 FCMD chromosomes, but it was present in only 1 of 120 normal chromosomes. This allelic association with FCMD was highly significant ({chi}{sup 2} = 50.7; P < .0001). Hence, we suspect that the FCMD gene could lie within a few hundred kilobases of the mfd220 locus. 32 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs.

  10. A gene for X-linked optic atrophy is closely linked to the Xp11.4-Xp11.2 region of the X chromosome.

    PubMed Central

    Assink, J J; Tijmes, N T; ten Brink, J B; Oostra, R J; Riemslag, F C; de Jong, P T; Bergen, A A

    1997-01-01

    The aim of this study was to identify the chromosomal location of the disease-causing gene in a family apparently segregating X-linked optic atrophy. A large family of 45 individuals with a four-generation history of X-linked optic atrophy was reexamined in a full ophthalmic as well as electrophysiological examination. A DNA linkage analysis of the family was undertaken in order to identify the chromosomal location of the disease-causing gene. Linkage analysis was performed with 26 markers that spanned the entire X chromosome. The affected males showed very early onset and slow progression of the disease. Ophthalmic study of the female carriers did not reveal any abnormalities. Close linkage without recombination was found at the MAOB locus (maximum LOD score [Zmax] 4.19). The Zmax - 1 support interval was found at a recombination fraction of .076 distal and .018 proximal to MAOB. Multipoint linkage analysis placed the optic atrophy-causing gene in the Xp11.4-p11.21 interval between markers DXS993 and DXS991, whereas any other localization along the X chromosome could be excluded. PMID:9382106

  11. Muscular Dystrophy

    MedlinePlus

    ... It Like for Teens With MD? en español Distrofia muscular Aside from seeing the telethon on Labor ... which weakens different muscle groups in various ways: Duchenne (pronounced: due-SHEN) muscular dystrophy (DMD) , the most ...

  12. Muscular Dystrophy

    MedlinePlus

    Muscular dystrophy (MD) is a group of more than 30 inherited diseases. They all cause muscle weakness and ... ability to walk. There is no cure for muscular dystrophy. Treatments can help with the symptoms and prevent ...

  13. Muscular dystrophy

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001190.htm Muscular dystrophy To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Muscular dystrophy is a group of inherited disorders that cause ...

  14. Differential expression of genes involved in the degeneration and regeneration pathways in mouse models for muscular dystrophies.

    PubMed

    Onofre-Oliveira, P C G; Santos, A L F; Martins, P M; Ayub-Guerrieri, D; Vainzof, M

    2012-03-01

    The genetically determined muscular dystrophies are caused by mutations in genes coding for muscle proteins. Differences in the phenotypes are mainly the age of onset and velocity of progression. Muscle weakness is the consequence of myofiber degeneration due to an imbalance between successive cycles of degeneration/regeneration. While muscle fibers are lost, a replacement of the degraded muscle fibers by adipose and connective tissues occurs. Major investigation points are to elicit the involved pathophysiological mechanisms to elucidate how each mutation can lead to a specific degenerative process and how the regeneration is stimulated in each case. To answer these questions, we used four mouse models with different mutations causing muscular dystrophies, Dmd (mdx), SJL/J, Large (myd) and Lama2 (dy2J) /J, and compared the histological changes of regeneration and fibrosis to the expression of genes involved in those processes. For regeneration, the MyoD, Myf5 and myogenin genes related to the proliferation and differentiation of satellite cells were studied, while for degeneration, the TGF-β1 and Pro-collagen 1α2 genes, involved in the fibrotic cascade, were analyzed. The result suggests that TGF-β1 gene is activated in the dystrophic process in all the stages of degeneration, while the activation of the expression of the pro-collagen gene possibly occurs in mildest stages of this process. We also observed that each pathophysiological mechanism acted differently in the activation of regeneration, with distinctions in the induction of proliferation of satellite cells, but with no alterations in stimulation to differentiation. Dysfunction of satellite cells can, therefore, be an important additional mechanism of pathogenesis in the dystrophic muscle.

  15. Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Tawil, Rabi

    2008-10-01

    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), a dominantly inherited disorder, is the third most common dystrophy after Duchenne and myotonic muscular dystrophy. No known effective treatments exist for FSHD. The lack of an understanding of the underlying pathophysiology remains an obstacle in the development of targeted therapeutic interventions. The genetic defect is a loss of a critical number of a repetitive element (D4Z4) in the 4q subtelomeric region. The loss of the repeats results in specific changes in chromatin structure, although neither the molecular nor the cellular consequences of this change are known. Nevertheless, these epigenetic changes in chromatin structure offer a potential therapeutic target. This review discusses current management strategies in FSHD as well as potential therapeutic interventions to slow down or reverse the progressive muscle atrophy and weakness.

  16. Regulation of muscle atrophy in aging and disease.

    PubMed

    Vinciguerra, Manlio; Musaro, Antonio; Rosenthal, Nadia

    2010-01-01

    Muscle aging is characterized by a decline in functional performance and restriction of adaptability, due to progressive loss of muscle tissue coupled with a decrease in strength and force output. Together with selective activation ofapoptotic pathways, a hallmark of age-related muscle loss or sarcopenia is the progressive incapacity of regeneration machinery to replace damaged muscle. These characteristics are shared by pathologies involving muscle wasting, such as muscular dystrophies or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cancer and AIDS, all characterized by alterations in metabolic and physiological parameters, progressive weakness in specific muscle groups. Modulation ofextracellular agonists, receptors, protein kinases, intermediate molecules, transcription factors and tissue-specific gene expression collectively compromise the functionality of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to muscle degeneration and persistent protein degradation through activation ofproteolytic systems, such as calpain, ubiquitin-proteasome and caspase. Additional decrements in muscle growth factors compromise skeletal muscle growth, differentiation, survival and regeneration. A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of muscle atrophy and wasting associated with different diseases has been the objective of numerous studies and represents an important first step for the development of therapeutic approaches. Among these, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) has emerged as a growth factor with a remarkably wide range of actions and a tremendous potential as a therapeutic in attenuating the atrophy and frailty associated with muscle aging and diseases. In this chapter we provide an overview of current concepts in muscle atrophy, focusing specifically on the molecular basis of IGF-1 action and survey current gene and cell therapeutic approaches to rescue muscle atrophy in aging and disease.

  17. Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) Mediated Dystrophin Gene Transfer Studies and Exon Skipping Strategies for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

    PubMed

    Kawecka, Klaudia; Theodoulides, Michael; Hasoglu, Yalin; Jarmin, Susan; Kymalainen, Hanna; Le-Heron, Anita; Popplewell, Linda; Malerba, Alberto; Dickson, George; Athanasopoulos, Takis

    2015-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), an X-linked inherited musclewasting disease primarily affecting young boys with prevalence of between1:3,500- 1:5,000, is a rare genetic disease caused by defects in the gene for dystrophin. Dystrophin protein is critical to the stability of myofibers in skeletal and cardiac muscle. There is currently no cure available to ameliorate DMD and/or its patho-physiology. A number of therapeutic strategies including molecular-based therapeutics that replace or correct the missing or nonfunctional dystrophin protein have been devised to correct the patho-physiological consequences induced by dystrophin absence. We will review the current in vivo experimentation status (including preclinical models and clinical trials) for two of these approaches, namely: 1) Adeno-associated virus (AAV) mediated (micro) dystrophin gene augmentation/ supplementation and 2) Antisense oligonucleotide (AON)-mediated exon skipping strategies.

  18. Thymic atrophy characteristic in transgenic mice that harbor pX genes of human T-cell leukemia virus type I

    SciTech Connect

    Furuta, Yasuhide; Aizawa, Shinichi; Suda, Yoko; Ikawa, Yoji , Ibaraki ); Kishimoto, Hidehiro; Asano, Yoshihiro; Tada, Tomio ); Hikikoshi, Atsuko; Yoshida, Mitsuaki; Seiki, Motoharu )

    1989-07-01

    The human T-cell leukemia viruses (HTLV) are associated with T-cell malignancies in humans. The malignant transformation occurs after a long latency in some carriers, and its mechanism appears to be distinct from that of other classes of retroviruses which induce transformation through viral or cellular oncogenes. A widely postulated explanation is that the products of novel pX genes transactivate endogenous cellular genes which lead to tumor development in T cells. To directly examined the pathological effects of pX genes in vivo, the authors produced transgenic mice harboring the HTLV type I pX genes under several regulatory units: HTLV type I long terminal repeat, immunoglobulin enhancer-simian virus 40 promoter, and mouse mammary tumor virus long terminal repeat. Atrophy of the thymus was characteristic in these mice no matter which regulatory unit directed the expression of the genes.

  19. Knockdown of col22a1 gene in zebrafish induces a muscular dystrophy by disruption of the myotendinous junction.

    PubMed

    Charvet, Benjamin; Guiraud, Alexandre; Malbouyres, Marilyne; Zwolanek, Daniela; Guillon, Emilie; Bretaud, Sandrine; Monnot, Catherine; Schulze, Jörg; Bader, Hannah L; Allard, Bruno; Koch, Manuel; Ruggiero, Florence

    2013-11-01

    The myotendinous junction (MTJ) is the major site of force transfer in skeletal muscle, and defects in its structure correlate with a subset of muscular dystrophies. Col22a1 encodes the MTJ component collagen XXII, the function of which remains unknown. Here, we have cloned and characterized the zebrafish col22a1 gene and conducted morpholino-based loss-of-function studies in developing embryos. We showed that col22a1 transcripts localize at muscle ends when the MTJ forms and that COLXXII protein integrates the junctional extracellular matrix. Knockdown of COLXXII expression resulted in muscular dystrophy-like phenotype, including swimming impairment, curvature of embryo trunk/tail, strong reduction of twitch-contraction amplitude and contraction-induced muscle fiber detachment, and provoked significant activation of the survival factor Akt. Electron microscopy and immunofluorescence studies revealed that absence of COLXXII caused a strong reduction of MTJ folds and defects in myoseptal structure. These defects resulted in reduced contractile force and susceptibility of junctional extracellular matrix to rupture when subjected to repeated mechanical stress. Co-injection of sub-phenotypic doses of morpholinos against col22a1 and genes of the major muscle linkage systems showed a synergistic gene interaction between col22a1 and itga7 (α7β1 integrin) that was not observed with dag1 (dystroglycan). Finally, pertinent to a conserved role in humans, the dystrophic phenotype was rescued by microinjection of recombinant human COLXXII. Our findings indicate that COLXXII contributes to the stabilization of myotendinous junctions and strengthens skeletal muscle attachments during contractile activity.

  20. Multi-parametric MRI at 14T for muscular dystrophy mice treated with AAV vector-mediated gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Park, Joshua; Wicki, Jacqueline; Knoblaugh, Sue E; Chamberlain, Jeffrey S; Lee, Donghoon

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the efficacy of using quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a non-invasive tool for the monitoring of gene therapy for muscular dystrophy. The clinical investigations for this family of diseases often involve surgical biopsy which limits the amount of information that can be obtained due to the invasive nature of the procedure. Thus, other non-invasive tools may provide more opportunities for disease assessment and treatment responses. In order to explore this, dystrophic mdx4cv mice were systemically treated with a recombinant adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector containing a codon-optimized micro-dystrophin gene. Multi-parametric MRI of T2, magnetization transfer, and diffusion effects alongside 3-D volume measurements were then utilized to monitor disease/treatment progression. Mice were imaged at 10 weeks of age for pre-treatment, then again post-treatment at 8, 16, and 24 week time points. The efficacy of treatment was assessed by physiological assays for improvements in function and quantification of expression. Tissues from the hindlimbs were collected for histological analysis after the final time point for comparison with MRI results. We found that introduction of the micro-dystrophin gene restored some aspects of normal muscle histology and pathology such as decreased necrosis and resistance to contraction-induced injury. T2 relaxation values showed percentage decreases across all muscle types measured (tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, and soleus) when treated groups were compared to untreated groups. Additionally, the differences between groups were statistically significant for the tibialis anterior as well. The diffusion measurements showed a wider range of percentage changes and less statistical significance while the magnetization transfer effect measurements showed minimal change. MR images displayed hyper-intense regions of muscle that correlated with muscle pathology in histological

  1. Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A resulting from homozygous G2338C transversion mutation in the calpain-3 gene.

    PubMed

    Peddareddygari, Leema Reddy; Surgan, Victoria; Grewal, Raji P

    2010-12-01

    Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy represents a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of myopathies. Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy Type 2A, which is transmitted in an autosomal-recessive pattern, is caused by mutations in the calpain-3 (CAPN3) gene. A number of mutations have been reported in patients from throughout the world but not in the Asian-Indian population. We describe a genotype/phenotype analysis of an Asian-Indian patient with a history, neurologic examination, and investigations consistent with muscular dystrophy. Genetic analysis of this patient showed a homozygous G2338C transversion resulting in an amino acid change from aspartic acid 780 histidine in the CAPN3 gene confirming Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy Type 2A. Subsequent testing of the patient's family revealed that his parents and sister were heterozygous unaffected carriers. The G2338C transversion was detected as a compound heterozygous mutation in one patient in Germany. We report a homozygous case and expand the clinical spectrum of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy Type 2A to include Asian-Indians.

  2. More deletions in the 5{prime} region than in the central region of the dystrophin gene were identified among Filipino Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy patients

    SciTech Connect

    1995-11-06

    This report describes mutations in the dystrophin gene and the frequency of these mutations in Filipino pedigrees with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy (DMD/BMD). The findings suggest the presence of genetic variability among DMD/BMD patients in different populations. 13 refs., 1 tab.

  3. Effect of vascular endothelial growth factor gene therapy on post-traumatic peripheral nerve regeneration and denervation-related muscle atrophy.

    PubMed

    Moimas, S; Novati, F; Ronchi, G; Zacchigna, S; Fregnan, F; Zentilin, L; Papa, G; Giacca, M; Geuna, S; Perroteau, I; Arnež, Z M; Raimondo, S

    2013-10-01

    Functional recovery after peripheral nerve injury depends on both improvement of nerve regeneration and prevention of denervation-related skeletal muscle atrophy. To reach these goals, in this study we overexpressed vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) by means of local gene transfer with adeno-associated virus (AAV). Local gene transfer in the regenerating peripheral nerve was obtained by reconstructing a 1-cm-long rat median nerve defect using a vein segment filled with skeletal muscle fibers that have been previously injected with either AAV2-VEGF or AAV2-LacZ, and the morphofunctional outcome of nerve regeneration was assessed 3 months after surgery. Surprisingly, results showed that overexpression of VEGF in the muscle-vein-combined guide led to a worse nerve regeneration in comparison with AAV-LacZ controls. Local gene transfer in the denervated muscle was obtained by direct injection of either AAV2-VEGF or AAV2-LacZ in the flexor digitorum sublimis muscle after median nerve transection and results showed a significantly lower progression of muscle atrophy in AAV2-VEGF-treated muscles in comparison with muscles treated with AAV2-LacZ. Altogether, our results suggest that local delivery of VEGF by AAV2-VEGF-injected transplanted muscle fibers do not represent a rational approach to promote axonal regeneration along a venous nerve guide. By contrast, AAV2-VEGF direct local injection in denervated skeletal muscle significantly attenuates denervation-related atrophy, thus representing a promising strategy for improving the outcome of post-traumatic neuromuscular recovery after nerve injury and repair.

  4. Muscle-specific CRISPR/Cas9 dystrophin gene editing ameliorates pathophysiology in a mouse model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Bengtsson, Niclas E.; Hall, John K.; Odom, Guy L.; Phelps, Michael P.; Andrus, Colin R.; Hawkins, R. David; Hauschka, Stephen D.; Chamberlain, Joel R.; Chamberlain, Jeffrey S.

    2017-01-01

    Gene replacement therapies utilizing adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors hold great promise for treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). A related approach uses AAV vectors to edit specific regions of the DMD gene using CRISPR/Cas9. Here we develop multiple approaches for editing the mutation in dystrophic mdx4cv mice using single and dual AAV vector delivery of a muscle-specific Cas9 cassette together with single-guide RNA cassettes and, in one approach, a dystrophin homology region to fully correct the mutation. Muscle-restricted Cas9 expression enables direct editing of the mutation, multi-exon deletion or complete gene correction via homologous recombination in myogenic cells. Treated muscles express dystrophin in up to 70% of the myogenic area and increased force generation following intramuscular delivery. Furthermore, systemic administration of the vectors results in widespread expression of dystrophin in both skeletal and cardiac muscles. Our results demonstrate that AAV-mediated muscle-specific gene editing has significant potential for therapy of neuromuscular disorders. PMID:28195574

  5. Muscle-specific CRISPR/Cas9 dystrophin gene editing ameliorates pathophysiology in a mouse model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Bengtsson, Niclas E; Hall, John K; Odom, Guy L; Phelps, Michael P; Andrus, Colin R; Hawkins, R David; Hauschka, Stephen D; Chamberlain, Joel R; Chamberlain, Jeffrey S

    2017-02-14

    Gene replacement therapies utilizing adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors hold great promise for treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). A related approach uses AAV vectors to edit specific regions of the DMD gene using CRISPR/Cas9. Here we develop multiple approaches for editing the mutation in dystrophic mdx(4cv) mice using single and dual AAV vector delivery of a muscle-specific Cas9 cassette together with single-guide RNA cassettes and, in one approach, a dystrophin homology region to fully correct the mutation. Muscle-restricted Cas9 expression enables direct editing of the mutation, multi-exon deletion or complete gene correction via homologous recombination in myogenic cells. Treated muscles express dystrophin in up to 70% of the myogenic area and increased force generation following intramuscular delivery. Furthermore, systemic administration of the vectors results in widespread expression of dystrophin in both skeletal and cardiac muscles. Our results demonstrate that AAV-mediated muscle-specific gene editing has significant potential for therapy of neuromuscular disorders.

  6. Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) region gene 1 (FRG1) expression and possible function in mouse tooth germ development.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Kana; Wada, Hiroko; Nagata, Kengo; Fujiwara, Hiroaki; Wada, Naohisa; Someya, Hirotaka; Mikami, Yurie; Sakai, Hidetaka; Kiyoshima, Tamotsu

    2016-08-01

    Abnormal expression of Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) region gene 1 (FRG1) is involved in the pathogenesis of FSHD. FRG1 is also important for the normal muscular and vascular development. Our previous study showed that FRG1 is one of the highly expressed genes in the mandible on embryonic day 10.5 (E10.5) than on E12.0. In this study, we investigated the temporospatial expression pattern of FRG1 mRNA and protein during the development of the mouse lower first molar, and also evaluated the subcellular localization of the FRG1 protein in mouse dental epithelial (mDE6) cells. The FRG1 expression was identified in the dental epithelial and mesenchymal cells at the initiation and bud stages. It was detected in the inner enamel epithelium at the cap and early bell stages. At the late bell and root formation stages, these signals were detected in ameloblasts and odontoblasts during the formation of enamel and dentin matrices, respectively. The FRG1 protein was localized in the cytoplasm in the mouse tooth germ in vivo, while FRG1 was detected predominantly in the nucleus and faintly in the cytoplasm in mDE6 cells in vitro. In mDE6 cells treated with bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4), the protein expression of FRG1 increased in cytoplasm, suggesting that FRG1 may translocate to the cytoplasm. These findings suggest that FRG1 is involved in the morphogenesis of the tooth germ, as well as in the formation of enamel and dentin matrices and that FRG1 may play a role in the odontogenesis in the mouse following BMP4 stimulation.

  7. New ATP8A2 gene mutations associated with a novel syndrome: encephalopathy, intellectual disability, severe hypotonia, chorea and optic atrophy.

    PubMed

    Martín-Hernández, Elena; Rodríguez-García, María Elena; Camacho, Ana; Matilla-Dueñas, Antoni; García-Silva, María Teresa; Quijada-Fraile, Pilar; Corral-Juan, Marc; Tejada-Palacios, Pilar; de Las Heras, Rogelio Simón; Arenas, Joaquín; Martín, Miguel A; Martínez-Azorín, Francisco

    2016-10-01

    We report the clinical and biochemical findings from two unrelated patients who presented with a novel syndrome: encephalopathy, intellectual disability, severe hypotonia, chorea and optic atrophy. Whole exome sequencing (WES) uncovered a homozygous mutation in the ATP8A2 gene (NM_016529:c.1287G > T, p.K429N) in one patient and compound heterozygous mutations (c.1630G > C, p.A544P and c.1873C > T, p.R625W) in the other. Only one haploinsufficiency case and a family with a homozygous mutation in ATP8A2 gene (c.1128C > G, p.I376M) have been described so far, with phenotypes that differed slightly from the patients described herein. In conclusion, our data expand both the genetic and phenotypic spectrum associated with ATP8A2 gene mutations.

  8. Histological comparison of the smooth uterine muscle of healthy golden retriever bitches, carriers of the progressive muscular dystrophy (GRMD) gene, and GRMD-affected bitches.

    PubMed

    Brolio, M P; Cima, D S; Miglino, M A; Ambrósio, C E

    2014-11-10

    There is evidence to suggest that weakness of the pelvic and/or uterine musculature may negatively affect the obstetric performance of women who carry the gene for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The golden retriever dog is the ideal animal model for preclinical studies of progressive muscular dystrophy, and this model is referred to as "golden retriever muscular dystrophy (GRMD)". This study evaluated and compared the histopathological aspects of the uterine muscle of eleven dogs: health, n=4; carriers of GRMD gene, n=5; and affected females, n=2. The obtained results showed that the uterine muscle of healthy dogs was exclusively composed of type III collagen, while a predominance of type I collagen and small amounts of type III were observed in the uterine muscle of the carriers. The myometrium of the affected bitches showed small quantities of both collagen types. The differences noted in the three evaluated groups suggest that female carrier and those individuals affected by muscular dystrophy had collagen alteration and muscle fiber commitment in the uterine muscle, a deficiency which could directly influence the composition and function of this tissue. In addition, this information is highly relevant to the reproductive management of these animals. This data open important venues for translate reproductive protocols for women, who carry the dystrophin gene.

  9. Exome sequencing revealed PMM2 gene mutations in a French-Canadian family with congenital atrophy of the cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Noreau, Anne; Beauchemin, Philippe; Dionne-Laporte, Alexandre; Dion, Patrick A; Rouleau, Guy A; Dupré, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Two affected and one unaffected siblings from a French-Canadian family were evaluated in our neurogenetic clinic. The oldest brother had intentional and postural hand tremor while his youngest sister presented mild ataxia, a similar hand tremor and global developmental delay. Brain MRIs of the two affected family members further revealed a significant cerebellar atrophy. For this study we conducted a whole exome sequencing (WES) investigation using genomic DNA prepared from the affected brother and sister, alongside DNA prepared from their unaffected mother, and identified two mutations previously reported to cause a rare disorder known as Congenital Disorder of Glycosylation, type Ia (CDG1A) (OMIM #212065). This study emphasizes how the diagnosis of patients presenting a mild tremor phenotype associated with cerebellar atrophy may benefit from WES in establishing genetic defects associated with their conditions.

  10. PABPN1 overexpression leads to upregulation of genes encoding nuclear proteins that are sequestered in oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy nuclear inclusions.

    PubMed

    Corbeil-Girard, Louis-Philippe; Klein, Arnaud F; Sasseville, A Marie-Josée; Lavoie, Hugo; Dicaire, Marie-Josée; Saint-Denis, Anik; Pagé, Martin; Duranceau, André; Codère, François; Bouchard, Jean-Pierre; Karpati, George; Rouleau, Guy A; Massie, Bernard; Langelier, Yves; Brais, Bernard

    2005-04-01

    Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) is an adult-onset disease caused by expanded (GCN)12-17 stretches encoding the N-terminal polyalanine domain of the poly(A) binding protein nuclear 1 (PABPN1). OPMD is characterized by intranuclear inclusions (INIs) in skeletal muscle fibers, which contain PABPN1, molecular chaperones, ubiquitin, proteasome subunits, and poly(A)-mRNA. We describe an adenoviral model of PABPN1 expression that produces INIs in most cells. Microarray analysis revealed that PABPN1 overexpression reproducibly changed the expression of 202 genes. Sixty percent of upregulated genes encode nuclear proteins, including many RNA and DNA binding proteins. Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that all tested nuclear proteins encoded by eight upregulated genes colocalize with PABPN1 within the INIs: CUGBP1, SFRS3, FKBP1A, HMG2, HNRPA1, PRC1, S100P, and HSP70. In addition, CUGBP1, SFRS3, and FKBP1A were also found in OPMD muscle INIs. This study demonstrates that a large number of nuclear proteins are sequestered in OPMD INIs, which may compromise cellular function.

  11. Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) caused by duplication of exons 3-6 of the dystrophin gene presenting as dilated cardiomyopathy

    SciTech Connect

    Tsai, A.C.; Allingham-Hawkins, D.J.; Becker, L.

    1994-09-01

    X-linked dilated cardiomyopathy (XLCM) is a progressive myocardial disease presenting with congestive heart failure in teenage males without clinical signs of skeletal myopathy. Tight linkage of XLCM to the DMD locus has been demonstrated; it has been suggested that, at least in some families, XLCM is a {open_quotes}dystrophinopathy.{close_quotes} We report a 14-year-old boy who presented with acute heart failure due to dilated cardiomyopathy. He had no history of muscle weakness, but physical examination revealed pseudohypertrophy of the calf muscles. He subsequently received a heart transplantation. Family history was negative. Serum CK level at the time of diagnosis was 10,416. Myocardial biopsy showed no evidence of carditis. Dystrophin staining of cardiac and skeletal muscle with anti-sera to COOH and NH{sub 2}termini showed a patchy distribution of positivity suggestive of Becker muscular dystrophy. Analysis of 18 of the 79 dystrophin exons detected a duplication that included exons 3-6. The proband`s mother has an elevated serum CK and was confirmed to be a carrier of the same duplication. A mutation in the muscle promotor region of the dystrophin gene has been implicated in the etiology of SLCM. However, Towbin et al. (1991) argued that other 5{prime} mutations in the dystrophin gene could cause selective cardiomyopathy. The findings in our patient support the latter hypothesis. This suggests that there are multiple regions in the dystrophin gene which, when disrupted, can cause isolated dilated cardiomyopathy.

  12. A common haplotype associated with the Basque 2362AG --> TCATCT mutation in the muscular calpain-3 gene.

    PubMed

    Cobo, Ana María; Sáenz, Ametz; Poza, Juan José; Urtasun, Miguel; Indakoetxea, Begoña; Urtizberea, Jon Andoni; López de Munain, Adolfo; Calafell, Francesc

    2004-10-01

    Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A (LGMD2A) is caused by any of over 150 mutations in the calpain-3 (CAPN3) gene. Of those, 2362AG --> TCATCT is particularly prevalent in Basque patients, and this mutation was hypothesized to have arisen in the Basque Country. To explore the natural history of this mutation, we genotyped 65 Basque and non-Basque patients with LGMD2A who carry the 2362AG --> TCATCT mutation for four microsatellites within or flanking the gene. A particular haplotype was found in three-fourths of the patients and was assumed to be ancestral. From the average number of recombinations and mutations accumulated from this ancestral haplotype, the age of the 2362AG ----> TCATCT mutation was estimated to be 50 generations (i.e., 1,250 years), which is more recent than the Paleolithic Basque heritage. The subsequent spread of the 2362AG --> TCATCT mutation can be related to gene flow out of the Basque Country, even across a cultural border.

  13. Somatic Therapy of a Mouse SMA Model with a U7 snRNA Gene Correcting SMN2 Splicing

    PubMed Central

    Odermatt, Philipp; Trüb, Judith; Furrer, Lavinia; Fricker, Roger; Marti, Andreas; Schümperli, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy is due to the loss of SMN1 gene function. The duplicate gene SMN2 produces some, but not enough, SMN protein because most transcripts lack exon 7. Thus, promoting the inclusion of this exon is a therapeutic option. We show that a somatic gene therapy using the gene for a modified U7 RNA which stimulates this splicing has a profound and persistent therapeutic effect on the phenotype of a severe Spinal Muscular Atrophy mouse model. To this end, the U7 gene and vector and the production of pure, highly concentrated self-complementary (sc) adenovirus-associated virus 9 vector particles were optimized. Introduction of the functional vector into motoneurons of newborn Spinal Muscular Atrophy mice by intracerebroventricular injection led to a highly significant, dose-dependent increase in life span and improvement of muscle functions. Besides the central nervous system, the therapeutic U7 RNA was expressed in the heart and liver which may additionally have contributed to the observed therapeutic efficacy. This approach provides an additional therapeutic option for Spinal Muscular Atrophy and could also be adapted to treat other diseases of the central nervous system with regulatory small RNA genes. PMID:27456062

  14. FSHD region gene 1 (FRG1) is crucial for angiogenesis linking FRG1 to facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy-associated vasculopathy.

    PubMed

    Wuebbles, Ryan D; Hanel, Meredith L; Jones, Peter L

    2009-01-01

    The genetic lesion that is diagnostic for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) results in an epigenetic misregulation of gene expression, which ultimately leads to the disease pathology. FRG1 (FSHD region gene 1) is a leading candidate for a gene whose misexpression might lead to FSHD. Because FSHD pathology is most prominent in the musculature, most research and therapy efforts focus on muscle cells. Previously, using Xenopus development as a model, we showed that altering frg1 expression levels systemically leads to aberrant muscle development, illustrating the potential for aberrant FRG1 levels to disrupt the musculature. However, 50-75% of FSHD patients also exhibit retinal vasculopathy and FSHD muscles have increased levels of vascular- and endothelial-related FRG1 transcripts, illustrating an underlying vascular component to the disease. To date, no FSHD candidate gene has been proposed to affect the vasculature. Here, we focus on a role for FRG1 expression in the vasculature. We found that endogenous frg1 is expressed in both the developing and adult vasculature in Xenopus. Furthermore, expression of FRG1 was found to be essential for the development of the vasculature, as a knockdown of FRG1 resulted in decreased angiogenesis and reduced expression of the angiogenic regulator DAB2. Conversely, tadpoles subjected to frg1 overexpression displayed the pro-angiogenic phenotypes of increased blood vessel branching and dilation of blood vessels, and developed edemas, suggesting that their circulation was disrupted. Thus, the systemic upregulation of the FRG1 protein shows the potential for acquiring a disrupted vascular phenotype, providing the first link between a FSHD candidate gene and the vascular component of FSHD pathology. Overall, in conjunction with our previous analysis, we show that FRG1 overexpression is capable of disrupting both the musculature and vasculature, recapitulating the two most prominent features of FSHD.

  15. Myogenic Enhancers Regulate Expression of the Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy-Associated DUX4 Gene

    PubMed Central

    Himeda, Charis L.; Debarnot, Céline; Homma, Sachiko; Beermann, Mary Lou; Miller, Jeffrey B.

    2014-01-01

    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is linked to epigenetic dysregulation of the chromosome 4q35 D4Z4 macrosatellite. However, this does not account for the tissue specificity of FSHD pathology, which requires stable expression of an alternative full-length mRNA splice form of DUX4 (DUX4-fl) from the D4Z4 array in skeletal muscle. Here, we describe the identification of two enhancers, DUX4 myogenic enhancer 1 (DME1) and DME2 which activate DUX4-fl expression in skeletal myocytes but not fibroblasts. Analysis of the chromatin revealed histone modifications and RNA polymerase II occupancy consistent with DME1 and DME2 being functional enhancers. Chromosome conformation capture analysis confirmed association of DME1 and DME2 with the DUX4 promoter in vivo. The strong interaction between DME2 and the DUX4 promoter in both FSHD and unaffected primary myocytes was greatly reduced in fibroblasts, suggesting a muscle-specific interaction. Nucleosome occupancy and methylome sequencing analysis indicated that in most FSHD myocytes, both enhancers are associated with nucleosomes but have hypomethylated DNA, consistent with a permissive transcriptional state, sporadic occupancy, and the observed DUX4 expression in rare myonuclei. Our data support a model in which these myogenic enhancers associate with the DUX4 promoter in skeletal myocytes and activate transcription when epigenetically derepressed in FSHD, resulting in the pathological misexpression of DUX4-fl. PMID:24636994

  16. B4GALNT2 (GALGT2) Gene Therapy Reduces Skeletal Muscle Pathology in the FKRP P448L Mouse Model of Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy 2I.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Paul J; Xu, Rui; Martin, Paul T

    2016-09-01

    Overexpression of B4GALNT2 (previously GALGT2) inhibits the development of muscle pathology in mouse models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, congenital muscular dystrophy 1A, and limb girdle muscular dystrophy 2D. In these models, muscle GALGT2 overexpression induces the glycosylation of α dystroglycan with the cytotoxic T cell glycan and increases the overexpression of dystrophin and laminin α2 surrogates known to inhibit disease. Here, we show that GALGT2 gene therapy significantly reduces muscle pathology in FKRP P448Lneo(-) mice, a model for limb girdle muscular dystrophy 2I. rAAVrh74.MCK.GALGT2-treated FKRP P448Lneo(-) muscles showed reduced levels of centrally nucleated myofibers, reduced variance, increased size of myofiber diameters, reduced myofiber immunoglobulin G uptake, and reduced muscle wasting at 3 and 6 months after treatment. GALGT2 overexpression in FKRP P448Lneo(-) muscles did not cause substantial glycosylation of α dystroglycan with the cytotoxic T cell glycan or increased expression of dystrophin and laminin α2 surrogates in mature skeletal myofibers, but it increased the number of embryonic myosin-positive regenerating myofibers. These data demonstrate that GALGT2 overexpression can reduce the extent of muscle pathology in FKRP mutant muscles, but that it may do so via a mechanism that differs from its ability to induce surrogate gene expression.

  17. Production of the 2400 kb Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene transcript; transcription time and cotranscriptional splicing

    SciTech Connect

    Tennyson, C.N.; Worton, R.G.

    1994-09-01

    The largest known gene in any organism is the human DMD gene which has 79 exons that span 2400 kb. The extreme nature of the DMD gene raises questions concerning the time required for transcription and whether splicing begins before transcription is complete. DMD gene transcription is induced as cultured human myoblasts differentiate to form multinucleated myotubes, providing a system for studying the kinetics of transcription and splicing. Using quantitative RT-PCR, transcript accumulation was monitored from four different regions within the gene following induction of expression. By comparing the accumulation of transcripts from the 5{prime} and 3{prime} ends of the gene we have shown that approximately 12 hours are required to transcribe 1770 kb of the gene, extrapolating to a time of 16 hours for the transcription unit expressed in muscle. Comparison of accumulation profiles for spliced and total transcript demonstrated that transcripts are spliced at the 5{prime} end before transcription is complete, providing strong evidence for cotranscriptional splicing of DMD gene transcripts. Finally, the rate of transcript accumulation was reduced at the 3{prime} end of the gene relative to the 5{prime} end, perhaps due to premature termination of transcription complexes as they traverse this enormous transcription unit. The lag between transcription initiation and the appearance of complete transcripts could be important in limiting transcript production in dividing cells and to the timing of mRNA appearance in differentiating muscle.

  18. Capillary electrophoresis for analysis of deletion and duplication in exon 44-55 of Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chung-An; Chang, Ming-Yuh; Chang, Tung-Ming; Jong, Yuh-Jyh; Wu, Shou-Mei

    2013-09-01

    In this study, a genotyping CGE method was established for analysis of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene deletions and duplications in exon 44-55. A total of 12 DMD exons (exon 44-55) and 2 internal standard gene fragments were simultaneously amplified by using a universal multiplex PCR (UMPCR) and determined by CGE. The conditions of UMPCR and CGE were optimized, including the kinds of polymerase, temperatures in UMPCR, separation matrix, separation temperature, and voltage. Finally, the separation was performed by 1.2% poly(ethylene oxide) in 1× TBE buffer at -6 kV and 25°C. After validation, our results showed the peak patterns for differentiation of genetic deletion or duplication in 27 DMD patients and normal subjects, according to the peak height ratios by comparison of two internal standard peaks. Among the 27 subjects, 23 cases are deletion type and four are duplication type. The data of two patients analyzed by this CGE-PCR method were different from that of multiplex ligation dependent probe amplification method, and the sequencing results demonstrated that our results were correct. This UMPCR-CGE method was considered better than the multiplex ligation dependent probe amplification method. Furthermore, this method can be used for eugenics in clinical applications.

  19. Anderson's disease (chylomicron retention disease): a new mutation in the SARA2 gene associated with muscular and cardiac abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Silvain, M; Bligny, D; Aparicio, T; Laforêt, P; Grodet, A; Peretti, N; Ménard, D; Djouadi, F; Jardel, C; Bégué, J M; Walker, F; Schmitz, J; Lachaux, A; Aggerbeck, L P; Samson-Bouma, M E

    2008-12-01

    Anderson's disease (AD) or chylomicron retention disease (CMRD) is a rare hereditary lipid malabsorption syndrome linked to SARA2 gene mutations. We report in this study a novel mutation in two sisters for which the Sar1b protein is predicted to be truncated by 32 amino acids at its carboxyl-terminus. Because the SARA2 gene is also expressed in the muscle, heart, liver and placenta, extraintestinal clinical manifestations may exist. For the first time, we describe in this study in the two sisters muscular as well as cardiac abnormalities that could be related to the reported expression of SARA2 in these tissues. We also evaluated six other patients for potential manifestations of the SARA2 mutation. The creatine phosphokinase levels were increased in all patients [1.5-9.4 x normal (N)] and transaminases were moderately elevated in five of the eight patients (1.2-2.6 x N), probably related to muscle disease rather than to liver dysfunction. A decreased ejection fraction occurred in one patient (40%, N: 60%). The muscle, liver and placental tissues that were examined had no specific abnormalities and, in particular, no lipid accumulation. These results suggest that myolysis and other extraintestinal abnormalities can occur in AD/CMRD and that the clinical evaluation of patients should reflect this.

  20. Muscular Dystrophy

    MedlinePlus

    ... in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Dev. Med. Child Neurol. Mar 1995;37(3):260-269. 4. Centers for ... DM1) . The International Myotonic Dystrophy Consortium (IDMC). Neurology. Mar 28 2000;54(6):1218-1221. 5. Harper ...

  1. Muscular Dystrophy

    MedlinePlus

    ... be affected. Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) affects boys and girls equally, weakening muscles in the shoulders and upper ... weakness and poor muscle tone. Occurring in both girls and boys, it can have different symptoms. It varies in ...

  2. Molecular evidence that the p55 gene is not responsible for either of two Xq28-linked disorders: Emery-Deifuss muscular dystrophy and dyskeratosis congenita

    SciTech Connect

    Metzenberg, A.B.; Pan, Y.; Das, S.; Gitschier, J. ); Pai, G.S. )

    1994-05-01

    Mapping studies have indicated that over two dozen genetic diseases lie on Xq28, the distal long arm of the X chromosome. In most cases the responsible gene has not yet been isolated. Most of these diseases occur at low frequency, and together with small family sizes and the lack of associated cytogenetic aberrations, this characteristic has made isolation of the genes difficult. Identification of the genes responsible for inherited disorders should eventually lead to a greater understanding of biochemical and developmental pathways. We and others are attempting to find these genes by examining genes that are candidates by virtue of their map location. One candidate is the Xq28-linked gene MPP-1, which encodes the p55 protein. In this study, we asked whether mutations in the p55 gene are present in patients affected with the Xq28-linked disorders dyskeratosis congenita and Emergy-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy. The p55 cDNA is [approx]2 kb in length. The strategy for mutation detection in this sequence involved reverse transciption (RT)-PCR amplification of patient and control cDNA, yielding five sets of overlapping fragments, each set consisting of 400 bp, followed by SSCP analysis of each fragment. In no case was a true mutation in the p55 gene discovered. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that mutations in the p55 gene are responsible for any cases of dyskeratosis congenita or Emergy-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy.

  3. Optic nerve atrophy

    MedlinePlus

    Optic atrophy; Optic neuropathy ... There are many causes of optic atrophy. The most common is poor blood flow. This is called ischemic optic neuropathy. The problem most often affects older adults. ...

  4. Transgenic mice expressing mutant Pinin exhibit muscular dystrophy, nebulin deficiency and elevated expression of slow-type muscle fiber genes

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Hsu-Pin; Hsu, Shu-Yuan; Wu, Wen-Ai; Hu, Ji-Wei; Ouyang, Pin

    2014-01-03

    Highlights: •Pnn CCD domain functions as a dominant negative mutant regulating Pnn expression and function. •Pnn CCD mutant Tg mice have a muscle wasting phenotype during development and show dystrophic histological features. •Pnn mutant muscles are susceptible to slow fiber type gene transition and NEB reduction. •The Tg mouse generated by overexpression of the Pnn CCD domain displays many characteristics resembling NEB{sup +/−} mice. -- Abstract: Pinin (Pnn) is a nuclear speckle-associated SR-like protein. The N-terminal region of the Pnn protein sequence is highly conserved from mammals to insects, but the C-terminal RS domain-containing region is absent in lower species. The N-terminal coiled-coil domain (CCD) is, therefore, of interest not only from a functional point of view, but also from an evolutionarily standpoint. To explore the biological role of the Pnn CCD in a physiological context, we generated transgenic mice overexpressing Pnn mutant in skeletal muscle. We found that overexpression of the CCD reduces endogenous Pnn expression in cultured cell lines as well as in transgenic skeletal muscle fibers. Pnn mutant mice exhibited reduced body mass and impaired muscle function during development. Mutant skeletal muscles show dystrophic histological features with muscle fibers heavily loaded with centrally located myonuclei. Expression profiling and pathway analysis identified over-representation of genes in gene categories associated with muscle contraction, specifically those related to slow type fiber. In addition nebulin (NEB) expression level is repressed in Pnn mutant skeletal muscle. We conclude that Pnn downregulation in skeletal muscle causes a muscular dystrophic phenotype associated with NEB deficiency and the CCD domain is incapable of replacing full length Pnn in terms of functional capacity.

  5. Co-occurrence of mutations in both dystrophin- and androgen-receptor genes is a novel cause of female Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Katayama, Yoshinori; Tran, Van Khanh; Hoan, Nguyen Thi; Zhang, Zhujun; Goji, Katsumi; Yagi, Mariko; Takeshima, Yasuhiro; Saiki, Kayoko; Nhan, Nguyen Thu; Matsuo, Masafumi

    2006-06-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked recessive disorder. Here, we report a novel mechanism for the occurrence of DMD in females. In a Vietnamese DMD girl, conventional PCR amplification analysis disclosed a deletion of exons 12-19 of the dystrophin gene on Xp21.2, with a karyotype of 46, XY. Furthermore, a novel mutation in the androgen-receptor gene on Xq11.2-q12 was identified in this girl, which led to male pseudohermaphroditism. Co-occurrence of mutations of these two genes constitutes a novel mechanism underlying female DMD.

  6. Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy region gene-1 (FRG-1) is an actin-bundling protein associated with muscle-attachment sites.

    PubMed

    Liu, Qian; Jones, Takako Iida; Tang, Vivian W; Brieher, William M; Jones, Peter L

    2010-04-01

    In vertebrates, overexpression of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) region gene 1 (FRG1) recapitulates the pathophysiology exhibited by FSHD patients, although the role of FRG1 in FSHD remains controversial and no precise function for FRG1 has been described in any organism. To gain insight into the function and potential role of FRG1 in FSHD, we analyzed the highly conserved Caenorhabditis elegans ortholog, frg-1. C. elegans body-wall muscles contain two distinct subcellular pools of FRG-1: nuclear FRG-1, concentrated in the nucleoli; and cytoplasmic FRG-1, associated with the Z-disk and costamere-like structures known as dense bodies. Functionally, we demonstrate that FRG-1 is an F-actin-bundling protein, consistent with its localization to dense bodies; this activity is conserved in human FRG1. This is particularly intriguing because it places FRG-1 along side the list of dense-body components whose vertebrate orthologs are involved in the myriad myopathies associated with disrupted costameres and Z-disks. Interestingly, overexpressed FRG-1 preferentially accumulates in the nucleus and, when overexpressed specifically from the frg-1 promoter, disrupts the adult ventral muscle structure and organization. Together, these data further support a role for FRG1 overexpression in FSHD pathophysiology and reveal the previously unsuspected direct involvement of FRG-1 in muscle structure and integrity.

  7. Advanced Gene Therapy for Treatment of Cardiomyopathy and Respiratory Insufficiency in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

    lasting and elevated gene expression in cardiac and skeletal muscles in murine, canine, and rhesus monkey models, suggesting the feasibility of using...patients. Juvenile GRMD dogs will be administered a single dose of vector to the intrapleural space and serially assessed for respiratory function

  8. Dominant optic atrophy

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Definition of the disease Dominant Optic Atrophy (DOA) is a neuro-ophthalmic condition characterized by a bilateral degeneration of the optic nerves, causing insidious visual loss, typically starting during the first decade of life. The disease affects primary the retinal ganglion cells (RGC) and their axons forming the optic nerve, which transfer the visual information from the photoreceptors to the lateral geniculus in the brain. Epidemiology The prevalence of the disease varies from 1/10000 in Denmark due to a founder effect, to 1/30000 in the rest of the world. Clinical description DOA patients usually suffer of moderate visual loss, associated with central or paracentral visual field deficits and color vision defects. The severity of the disease is highly variable, the visual acuity ranging from normal to legal blindness. The ophthalmic examination discloses on fundoscopy isolated optic disc pallor or atrophy, related to the RGC death. About 20% of DOA patients harbour extraocular multi-systemic features, including neurosensory hearing loss, or less commonly chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia, myopathy, peripheral neuropathy, multiple sclerosis-like illness, spastic paraplegia or cataracts. Aetiology Two genes (OPA1, OPA3) encoding inner mitochondrial membrane proteins and three loci (OPA4, OPA5, OPA8) are currently known for DOA. Additional loci and genes (OPA2, OPA6 and OPA7) are responsible for X-linked or recessive optic atrophy. All OPA genes yet identified encode mitochondrial proteins embedded in the inner membrane and ubiquitously expressed, as are the proteins mutated in the Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. OPA1 mutations affect mitochondrial fusion, energy metabolism, control of apoptosis, calcium clearance and maintenance of mitochondrial genome integrity. OPA3 mutations only affect the energy metabolism and the control of apoptosis. Diagnosis Patients are usually diagnosed during their early childhood, because of bilateral, mild

  9. Long-Term Systemic Myostatin Inhibition via Liver-Targeted Gene Transfer in Golden Retriever Muscular Dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Sleeper, Meg M.; Forbes, Sean C.; Morine, Kevin J.; Reynolds, Caryn; Singletary, Gretchen E.; Trafny, Dennis; Pham, Jennifer; Bogan, Janet; Kornegay, Joe N.; Vandenborne, Krista; Walter, Glenn A.; Sweeney, H. Lee

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal, X-linked recessive disease affecting 1 in 3,500 newborn boys for which there is no effective treatment or cure. One novel strategy that has therapeutic potential for DMD is inhibition of myostatin, a negative regulator of skeletal muscle mass that may also promote fibrosis. Therefore, our goal in this study was to evaluate systemic myostatin inhibition in the golden retriever model of DMD (GRMD). GRMD canines underwent liver-directed gene transfer of a self-complementary adeno-associated virus type 8 vector designed to express a secreted dominant-negative myostatin peptide (n=4) and were compared with age-matched, untreated GRMD controls (n=3). Dogs were followed with serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for 13 months to assess cross-sectional area and volume of skeletal muscle, then euthanized so that tissue could be harvested for morphological and histological analysis. We found that systemic myostatin inhibition resulted in increased muscle mass in GRMD dogs as assessed by MRI and confirmed at tissue harvest. We also found that hypertrophy of type IIA fibers was largely responsible for the increased muscle mass and that reductions in serum creatine kinase and muscle fibrosis were associated with long-term myostatin inhibition in GRMD. This is the first report describing the effects of long-term, systemic myostatin inhibition in a large-animal model of DMD, and we believe that the simple and effective nature of our liver-directed gene-transfer strategy makes it an ideal candidate for evaluation as a novel therapeutic approach for DMD patients. PMID:21787232

  10. Engineering exon-skipping vectors expressing U7 snRNA constructs for Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Goyenvalle, Aurélie; Davies, Kay E

    2011-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a fatal muscle wasting disorder caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. In most cases, the open-reading frame is disrupted which results in the absence of a functional protein. Antisense-mediated exon skipping is one of the most promising approaches for the treatment of DMD and has recently been shown to correct the reading frame and restore dystrophin expression in vitro and in vivo. Specific exon skipping can be achieved using synthetic oligonucleotides or viral -vectors encoding modified snRNAs, by masking important splicing sites. We have recently demonstrated that enhanced exon skipping can be induced by a U7 snRNA carrying binding sites for the heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein A1. In DMD patient cells, bifunctional U7 snRNAs harboring silencer motifs induce complete skipping of exon 51 and thus restore dystrophin expression to near wild-type levels. Furthermore, we have confirmed the efficacy of these constructs in vivo in transgenic mice carrying the entire human DMD locus after intramuscular injection of AAV vectors encoding the bifunctional U7 snRNA. These new constructs are very promising for the optimization of therapeutic exon skipping for DMD, but also offer powerful and versatile tools to modulate pre-mRNA splicing in a wide range of applications. Here, we outline the design of these U7 snRNA constructs to achieve efficient exon skipping of the dystrophin gene. We also describe methods to evaluate the efficiency of such U7 snRNA constructs in vitro in DMD patient cells and in vivo in the transgenic hDMD mouse model, using lentiviral and recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors, respectively.

  11. Impaired viability of muscle precursor cells in muscular dystrophy with glycosylation defects and amelioration of its severe phenotype by limited gene expression.

    PubMed

    Kanagawa, Motoi; Yu, Chih-Chieh; Ito, Chiyomi; Fukada, So-ichiro; Hozoji-Inada, Masako; Chiyo, Tomoko; Kuga, Atsushi; Matsuo, Megumi; Sato, Kanoko; Yamaguchi, Masahiko; Ito, Takahito; Ohtsuka, Yoshihisa; Katanosaka, Yuki; Miyagoe-Suzuki, Yuko; Naruse, Keiji; Kobayashi, Kazuhiro; Okada, Takashi; Takeda, Shin'ichi; Toda, Tatsushi

    2013-08-01

    A group of muscular dystrophies, dystroglycanopathy is caused by abnormalities in post-translational modifications of dystroglycan (DG). To understand better the pathophysiological roles of DG modification and to establish effective clinical treatment for dystroglycanopathy, we here generated two distinct conditional knock-out (cKO) mice for fukutin, the first dystroglycanopathy gene identified for Fukuyama congenital muscular dystrophy. The first dystroglycanopathy model-myofiber-selective fukutin-cKO [muscle creatine kinase (MCK)-fukutin-cKO] mice-showed mild muscular dystrophy. Forced exercise experiments in presymptomatic MCK-fukutin-cKO mice revealed that myofiber membrane fragility triggered disease manifestation. The second dystroglycanopathy model-muscle precursor cell (MPC)-selective cKO (Myf5-fukutin-cKO) mice-exhibited more severe phenotypes of muscular dystrophy. Using an isolated MPC culture system, we demonstrated, for the first time, that defects in the fukutin-dependent modification of DG lead to impairment of MPC proliferation, differentiation and muscle regeneration. These results suggest that impaired MPC viability contributes to the pathology of dystroglycanopathy. Since our data suggested that frequent cycles of myofiber degeneration/regeneration accelerate substantial and/or functional loss of MPC, we expected that protection from disease-triggering myofiber degeneration provides therapeutic effects even in mouse models with MPC defects; therefore, we restored fukutin expression in myofibers. Adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated rescue of fukutin expression that was limited in myofibers successfully ameliorated the severe pathology even after disease progression. In addition, compared with other gene therapy studies, considerably low AAV titers were associated with therapeutic effects. Together, our findings indicated that fukutin-deficient dystroglycanopathy is a regeneration-defective disorder, and gene therapy is a feasible treatment for

  12. Assignment of a gene for hereditary dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA) to 12p13.1-p12.3

    SciTech Connect

    Kondo, I.; Marimoto, Y.; Kuwano, A.

    1994-09-01

    Hereditary dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder characterized by ataxia, epilepsy, myoclonus, dementia and involuntary movements. A number of families have been reported, particularly in Japan. Clinical symptoms vary greatly from case to case even in a single pedigree and genetic anticipation is clearly observed. Our previous linkage study between DRPLA and DNA markers on 12p showed the gene for DRPLA was tighly linked to CD4 on 12p13.3-p12 and loosely linked to F8vWF on 12p13. Recently a candidate gene for DRPLA has been located at the CTG-B37 locus and clinical severity is dependent on the CAG repeat number at the CTG-B37 locus. To define more precise localization of the gene for DRPLA, we have studied CTG-B37 genotypes in two patients with partial deletion of the short arm of chromosome 12. The patients with del(12)(p13.3-p13.1) and with del(12)(p12.2-11.2) had two distinct alleles of CTG-B37, CD4 and F8vWF. Therefore, the gene for DRPLA, CTG-B37 locus and CD4 are assigned to p13.1-p12.3 of chromosome 12 and F8vWF is assigned to 12p13.3.

  13. Transgenic Drosophila for Investigating DUX4 and FRG1, Two Genes Associated with Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD)

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Takako I.; Parilla, Megan; Jones, Peter L.

    2016-01-01

    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is typically an adult onset dominant myopathy. Epigenetic changes in the chromosome 4q35 region linked to both forms of FSHD lead to a relaxation of repression and increased somatic expression of DUX4-fl (DUX4-full length), the pathogenic alternative splicing isoform of the DUX4 gene. DUX4-fl encodes a transcription factor expressed in healthy testis and pluripotent stem cells; however, in FSHD, increased levels of DUX4-fl in myogenic cells lead to aberrant regulation of target genes. DUX4-fl has proven difficult to study in vivo; thus, little is known about its normal and pathogenic roles. The endogenous expression of DUX4-fl in FSHD-derived human muscle and myogenic cells is extremely low, exogenous expression of DUX4-fl in somatic cells rapidly induces cytotoxicity, and, due in part to the lack of conservation beyond primate lineages, viable animal models based on DUX4-fl have been difficult to generate. By contrast, the FRG1 (FSHD region gene 1), which is linked to FSHD, is evolutionarily conserved from invertebrates to humans, and has been studied in several model organisms. FRG1 expression is critical for the development of musculature and vasculature, and overexpression of FRG1 produces a myopathic phenotype, yet the normal and pathological functions of FRG1 are not well understood. Interestingly, DUX4 and FRG1 were recently linked when the latter was identified as a direct transcriptional target of DUX4-FL. To better understand the pathways affected in FSHD by DUX4-fl and FRG1, we generated transgenic lines of Drosophila expressing either gene under control of the UAS/GAL4 binary system. Utilizing these lines, we generated screenable phenotypes recapitulating certain known consequences of DUX4-fl or FRG1 overexpression. These transgenic Drosophila lines provide resources to dissect the pathways affected by DUX4-fl or FRG1 in a genetically tractable organism and may provide insight into both muscle development

  14. Transgenic Drosophila for Investigating DUX4 and FRG1, Two Genes Associated with Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD).

    PubMed

    Jones, Takako I; Parilla, Megan; Jones, Peter L

    2016-01-01

    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is typically an adult onset dominant myopathy. Epigenetic changes in the chromosome 4q35 region linked to both forms of FSHD lead to a relaxation of repression and increased somatic expression of DUX4-fl (DUX4-full length), the pathogenic alternative splicing isoform of the DUX4 gene. DUX4-fl encodes a transcription factor expressed in healthy testis and pluripotent stem cells; however, in FSHD, increased levels of DUX4-fl in myogenic cells lead to aberrant regulation of target genes. DUX4-fl has proven difficult to study in vivo; thus, little is known about its normal and pathogenic roles. The endogenous expression of DUX4-fl in FSHD-derived human muscle and myogenic cells is extremely low, exogenous expression of DUX4-fl in somatic cells rapidly induces cytotoxicity, and, due in part to the lack of conservation beyond primate lineages, viable animal models based on DUX4-fl have been difficult to generate. By contrast, the FRG1 (FSHD region gene 1), which is linked to FSHD, is evolutionarily conserved from invertebrates to humans, and has been studied in several model organisms. FRG1 expression is critical for the development of musculature and vasculature, and overexpression of FRG1 produces a myopathic phenotype, yet the normal and pathological functions of FRG1 are not well understood. Interestingly, DUX4 and FRG1 were recently linked when the latter was identified as a direct transcriptional target of DUX4-FL. To better understand the pathways affected in FSHD by DUX4-fl and FRG1, we generated transgenic lines of Drosophila expressing either gene under control of the UAS/GAL4 binary system. Utilizing these lines, we generated screenable phenotypes recapitulating certain known consequences of DUX4-fl or FRG1 overexpression. These transgenic Drosophila lines provide resources to dissect the pathways affected by DUX4-fl or FRG1 in a genetically tractable organism and may provide insight into both muscle development

  15. Report of limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2a in 6 Iranian patients, one with a novel deletion in CAPN3 gene.

    PubMed

    Fadaee, Mahsa; Kariminejad, Ariana; Fattahi, Zohreh; Nafissi, Shahriar; Godarzi, Hamed Reza; Beheshtian, Maryam; Vazehan, Raheleh; Akbari, Mohammad Reza; Kahrizi, Kimia; Najmabadi, Hossein

    2016-01-01

    Calpain3 is a calcium-dependent intracellular protease involved in an autosomal recessive form of muscular dystrophy known as limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A. Many pathogenic mutations have been identified in calpain3, encoded by the CAPN3 gene, which leads to weakness of the pelvic and shoulder girdle muscles. In the present study, whole exome sequencing was performed on six unrelated Iranian families who presented with progressive muscle weakness, with a strong suspicion of Calpainopathies. Genetic analysis of CAPN3 gene revealed five causative variants which had not been reported in the Iranian population before including a novel 6 bp deletion (c.795_800delCATTGA) and four previously reported mutations (c.1939G > T, c.2243G > A, c.2257delGinsAA, and c.2380 + 2T > G). Our findings indicate that exome sequencing can be a very effective and affordable method to diagnose heterogeneous muscular dystrophies, especially in consanguineous populations such as Iran.

  16. Differential gene expression of muscle-specific ubiquitin ligase MAFbx/Atrogin-1 and MuRF1 in response to immobilization-induced atrophy of slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscles.

    PubMed

    Okamoto, Takeshi; Torii, Suguru; Machida, Shuichi

    2011-11-01

    We examined muscle-specific ubiquitin ligases MAFbx/Atrogin-1 and MuRF1 gene expression resulting from immobilization-induced skeletal muscle atrophy of slow-twitch soleus and fast-twitch plantaris muscles. Male C57BL/6 mice were subjected to hindlimb immobilization, which induced similar percentage decreases in muscle mass in the soleus and plantaris muscles. Expression of MAFbx/Atrogin-1 and MuRF1 was significantly greater in the plantaris muscle than in the soleus muscle during the early stage of atrophy. After a 3-day period of atrophy, total FOXO3a protein level had increased in both muscles, while phosphorylated FOXO3a protein had decreased in the plantaris muscle, but not in the soleus muscle. PGC-1α protein expression did not change following immobilization in both muscles, but basal PGC-1α protein in the soleus was markedly higher than that in plantaris muscles. These data suggest that although soleus and plantaris muscles atrophied to a similar extent and that muscle-specific ubiquitin protein ligases (E3) may contribute more to the atrophy of fast-twitch muscle than to that of slow-twitch muscle during immobilization.

  17. Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2a with mutation in CAPN3: the first report in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chien-Hua; Liang, Wen-Chen; Minami, Narihiro; Nishino, Ichizo; Jong, Yuh-Jyh

    2015-02-01

    The autosomal recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A (LGMD2A) is caused by mutations in the calpain 3 (CAPN3) gene, and it is characterized by selective atrophy and weakness of proximal limb and girdle muscles. We report a 33-year-old woman with initial presentations of exercise intolerance and running difficulty at age 15 years. At presentation, waddling gait, positive Gowers' sign, and marked muscle atrophy in pelvic and leg muscles were noted. Muscle computed tomography (CT) imaging demonstrated symmetric involvement of the posterior thigh muscles with relative sparing of vastus lateralis, sartorius, and gracilis. Muscle biopsy revealed a dystrophic change and many lobulated fibers on NADH-tetrazolium reductase staining. Genetic analysis of the CAPN3 gene identified a novel homozygous mutation of c2047_2050 del4, p.Lys683fs mutation, confirming the first LGMD2A patient in Taiwan.

  18. A family with autism and rare copy number variants disrupting the Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy gene DMD and TRPM3.

    PubMed

    Pagnamenta, Alistair T; Holt, Richard; Yusuf, Mohammed; Pinto, Dalila; Wing, Kirsty; Betancur, Catalina; Scherer, Stephen W; Volpi, Emanuela V; Monaco, Anthony P

    2011-06-01

    Autism spectrum disorder is a genetically complex and clinically heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder. A recent study by the Autism Genome Project (AGP) used 1M single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays to show that rare genic copy number variants (CNVs), possibly acting in tandem, play a significant role in the genetic aetiology of this condition. In this study, we describe the phenotypic and genomic characterisation of a multiplex autism family from the AGP study that was found to harbour a duplication of exons 31-44 of the Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy gene DMD and also a rare deletion involving exons 1-9 of TRPM3. Further characterisation of these extremely rare CNVs was carried out using quantitative PCR, fluorescent in situ hybridisation, long-range PCR amplification and sequencing of junction fragments. The maternal chrX:32,097,213-32,321,945 tandem duplication and paternal chr9:72,480,413-73,064,196 deletion (NCBI build 36 coordinates) were transmitted to both affected boys, potentially signifying a multi-hit mechanism. The DMD reading frame rule predicts a Becker phenotype, characterised by later onset and milder symptoms. When last evaluated, neither child had developed signs of muscular dystrophy. These data are consistent with a degree of comorbidity between autism and muscular dystrophy and suggest that genomic background as well as the position of the mutation within the DMD gene may impact on the neurological correlates of Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy. Finally, communicating unexpected findings such as these back to families raises a number of ethical questions, which are discussed.

  19. FRG1, a gene in the FSH muscular dystrophy region on human chromosome 4q35, is highly conserved in vertebrates and invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Grewal, P K; Todd, L C; van der Maarel, S; Frants, R R; Hewitt, J E

    1998-08-17

    The human FRG1 gene maps to human chromosome 4q35 and was identified as a candidate for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. However, FRG1 is apparently not causally associated with the disease and as yet, its function remains unclear. We have cloned homologues of FRG1 from two additional vertebrates, the mouse and the Japanese puffer fish Fugu rubripes, and investigated the genomic organization of the genes in the two species. The intron/exon structure of the genes is identical throughout the protein coding region, although the Fugu gene is five times smaller than the mouse gene. We have also identified FRG1 homologues in two nematodes; Caenorhabditis elegans and Brugia malayi. The FRG1 protein is highly conserved and contains a lipocalin sequence motif, suggesting it may function as a transport protein.

  20. Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy region gene 1 is a dynamic RNA-associated and actin-bundling protein.

    PubMed

    Sun, Chia-Yun Jessica; van Koningsbruggen, Silvana; Long, Steven W; Straasheijm, Kirsten; Klooster, Rinse; Jones, Takako I; Bellini, Michel; Levesque, Lyne; Brieher, William M; van der Maarel, Silvère M; Jones, Peter L

    2011-08-12

    FSHD region gene 1 (FRG1) is a dynamic nuclear and cytoplasmic protein that, in skeletal muscle, shows additional localization to the sarcomere. Maintaining appropriate levels of FRG1 protein is critical for muscular and vascular development in vertebrates; however, its precise molecular function is unknown. This study investigates the molecular functions of human FRG1, along with mouse FRG1 and Xenopus frg1, using molecular, biochemical, and cellular-biological approaches, to provide further insight into its roles in vertebrate development. The nuclear fraction of the endogenous FRG1 is localized in nucleoli, Cajal bodies, and actively transcribed chromatin; however, contrary to overexpressed FRG1, the endogenous FRG1 is not associated with nuclear speckles. We characterize the nuclear and nucleolar import of FRG1, the potential effect of phosphorylation, and its interaction with the importin karyopherin α2. Consistent with a role in RNA biogenesis, human FRG1 is associated with mRNA in vivo and invitro, interacts directly with TAP (Tip-associated protein; the major mRNA export receptor), and is a dynamic nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling protein supporting a function for FRG1 in mRNA transport. Biochemically, we characterize FRG1 actin binding activity and show that the cytoplasmic pool of FRG1 is dependent on an intact actin cytoskeleton for its localization. These data provide the first biochemical activities (actin binding and RNA binding) for human FRG1 and the characterization of the endogenous human FRG1, together indicating that FRG1 is involved in multiple aspects of RNA biogenesis, including mRNA transport and, potentially, cytoplasmic mRNA localization.

  1. Identification of p.A684V missense mutation in the WFS1 gene as a frequent cause of autosomal dominant optic atrophy and hearing impairment

    PubMed Central

    Rendtorff, Nanna D.; Lodahl, Marianne; Boulahbel, Houda; Johansen, Ida R.; Pandya, Arti; Welch, Katherine O.; Norris, Virginia W.; Arnos, Kathleen S.; Bitner-Glindzicz, Maria; Emery, Sarah B.; Mets, Marilyn B.; Fagerheim, Toril; Eriksson, Kristina; Hansen, Lars; Bruhn, Helene; Möller, Claes; Lindholm, Sture; Ensgård, Stefan; Lesperance, Marci M.; Tranebjærg, Lisbeth

    2011-01-01

    Optic atrophy (OA) and sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) are key abnormalities in several syndromes, including the recessively inherited Wolfram syndrome, caused by mutations in WFS1. In contrast, the association of autosomal dominant OA and SNHL without other phenotypic abnormalities is rare, and almost exclusively attributed to mutations in the Optic Atrophy-1 gene (OPA1), most commonly the p.R445H mutation. We present eight probands and their families from the US, Sweden, and UK with OA and SNHL, whom we analyzed for mutations in OPA1 and WFS1. Among these families, we found three heterozygous missense mutations in WFS1 segregating with OA and SNHL: p.A684V (six families), and two novel mutations, p.G780S and p.D797Y, all involving evolutionarily conserved amino acids and absent from 298 control chromosomes. Importantly, none of these families harbored the OPA1 p.R445H mutation. No mitochondrial DNA deletions were detected in muscle from one p.A684V patient analyzed. Finally, wolframin p.A684V mutant ectopically expressed in HEK cells showed reduced protein levels compared to wild-type wolframin, strongly indicating that the mutation is disease-causing. Our data support OA and SNHL as a phenotype caused by dominant mutations in WFS1 in these additional eight families. Importantly, our data provide the first evidence that a single, recurrent mutation in WFS1, p.A684V, may be a common cause of ADOA and SNHL, similar to the role played by the p.R445H mutation in OPA1. Our findings suggest that patients who are heterozygous for WFS1 missense mutations should be carefully clinically examined for OA and other manifestations of Wolfram syndrome. PMID:21538838

  2. Residual Cajal bodies in coilin knockout mice fail to recruit Sm snRNPs and SMN, the spinal muscular atrophy gene product

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, Karen E.; Berciano, Maria Teresa; Jacobs, Erica Y.; LePage, David F.; Shpargel, Karl B.; Rossire, Jennifer J.; Chan, Edward K.L.; Lafarga, Miguel; Conlon, Ronald A.; Matera, A. Gregory

    2001-01-01

    Cajal bodies (CBs) are nuclear suborganelles involved in the biogenesis of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs). In addition to snRNPs, they are highly enriched in basal transcription and cell cycle factors, the nucleolar proteins fibrillarin (Fb) and Nopp140 (Nopp), the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein complex, and the CB marker protein, p80 coilin. We report the generation of knockout mice lacking the COOH-terminal 487 amino acids of coilin. Northern and Western blot analyses demonstrate that we have successfully removed the full-length coilin protein from the knockout animals. Some homozygous mutant animals are viable, but their numbers are reduced significantly when crossed to inbred backgrounds. Analysis of tissues and cell lines from mutant animals reveals the presence of extranucleolar foci that contain Fb and Nopp but not other typical nucleolar markers. These so-called “residual” CBs neither condense Sm proteins nor recruit members of the SMN protein complex. Transient expression of wild-type mouse coilin in knockout cells results in formation of CBs and restores these missing epitopes. Our data demonstrate that full-length coilin is essential for proper formation and/or maintenance of CBs and that recruitment of snRNP and SMN complex proteins to these nuclear subdomains requires sequences within the coilin COOH terminus. PMID:11470819

  3. Early-progressive dilated cardiomyopathy in a family with Becker muscular dystrophy related to a novel frameshift mutation in the dystrophin gene exon 27.

    PubMed

    Tsuda, Takeshi; Fitzgerald, Kristi; Scavena, Mena; Gidding, Samuel; Cox, Mary O; Marks, Harold; Flanigan, Kevin M; Moore, Steven A

    2015-03-01

    We report a family in which two male siblings with Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) developed severe dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and progressive heart failure (HF) at age 11 years; one died at age 14 years while awaiting heart transplant and the other underwent left ventricular assist device implantation at the same age. Genetic analysis of one sibling showed a novel frameshift mutation in exon 27 of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene (c.3779_3785delCTTTGGAinsGG), in which seven base pairs are deleted and two are inserted. Although this predicts an amino-acid substitution and premature termination (p.Thr1260Argfs*8), muscle biopsy dystrophin immunostaining instead indicates that the mutation is more likely to alter splicing. Despite relatively preserved skeletal muscular performance, both the siblings developed progressive HF secondary to early-onset DCM. In addition, their 7-year-old nephew with delayed gross motor development, mild proximal muscle weakness and markedly elevated serum creatine kinase level (>13 000 IU l(-1)) at 16 months was recently demonstrated to have the familial DMD mutation. Here, we report a novel genotype of BMD with early-onset DCM and progressive lethal HF during early adolescence.

  4. Early Progressive Dilated Cardiomyopathy in a Family with Becker Muscular Dystrophy Related to a Novel Frameshift Mutation in the Dystrophin Gene Exon 27

    PubMed Central

    Tsuda, Takeshi; Fitzgerald, Kristi; Scavena, Mena; Gidding, Samuel; Cox, Mary O.; Marks, Harold; Flanigan, Kevin M.; Moore, Steven A.

    2014-01-01

    We report a family in which two male siblings with Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) developed severe dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and progressive heart failure (HF) at age 11; one died at age 14 years while awaiting heart transplant and the other underwent left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation at the same age. Genetic analysis of one sibling showed a novel frameshift mutation in exon 27 of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene (c.3779_3785delCTTTGGAins GG), in which 7 base pairs are deleted and two are inserted. While this predicts an amino acid substitution and premature termination (p.Thr1260Argfs*8), muscle biopsy dystrophin immunostaining instead indicates that the mutation is more likely to alter splicing. Despite relatively preserved skeletal muscular performance, both siblings developed progressive heart failure secondary to early onset DCM. In addition, their 7 year old nephew with delayed gross motor development, mild proximal muscle weakness, and markedly elevated serum creatine kinase (CK) level (> 13,000 IU/L) at 16 months was recently demonstrated to have the familial DMD mutation. Here we report a novel genotype of BMD with early onset DCM and progressive lethal heart failure during early adolescence. PMID:25537791

  5. Calpain 3 Expression Pattern during Gastrocnemius Muscle Atrophy and Regeneration Following Sciatic Nerve Injury in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Ronghua; Yan, Yingying; Yao, Jian; Liu, Yan; Zhao, Jianmei; Liu, Mei

    2015-01-01

    Calpain 3 (CAPN3), also known as p94, is a skeletal muscle-specific member of the calpain family that is involved in muscular dystrophy; however, the roles of CAPN3 in muscular atrophy and regeneration are yet to be understood. In the present study, we attempted to explain the effect of CAPN3 in muscle atrophy by evaluating CAPN3 expression in rat gastrocnemius muscle following reversible sciatic nerve injury. After nerve injury, the wet weight ratio and cross sectional area (CSA) of gastrocnemius muscle were decreased gradually from 1–14 days and then recovery from 14–28 days. The active form of CAPN3 (~62 kDa) protein decreased slightly on day 3 and then increased from day 7 to 14 before a decrease from day 14 to 28. The result of linear correlation analysis showed that expression of the active CAPN3 protein level was negatively correlated with muscle wet weight ratio. CAPN3 knockdown by short interfering RNA (siRNA) injection improved muscle recovery on days 7 and 14 after injury as compared to that observed with control siRNA treatment. Depletion of CAPN3 gene expression could promote myoblast differentiation in L6 cells. Based on these findings, we conclude that the expression pattern of the active CAPN3 protein is linked to muscle atrophy and regeneration following denervation: its upregulation during early stages may promote satellite cell renewal by inhibiting differentiation, whereas in later stages, CAPN3 expression may be downregulated to stimulate myogenic differentiation and enhance recovery. These results provide a novel mechanistic insight into the role of CAPN3 protein in muscle regeneration after peripheral nerve injury. PMID:26569227

  6. The combined influence of stretch, mobility and electrical stimulation in the prevention of muscle fiber atrophy caused hypokinesia and hypodynamia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldspink, G.; Goldspink, D.; Loughna, P.

    1984-01-01

    The morphological and biochemical changes which occur in the hind limb muscles of the rat in response to hypokinesia and hypodynamia were investigated. Hind limb cast fixation and suspension techniques were employed to study the musclar atrophy after five days of hypokinesia and hypodynamia induced by suspension, appreciable muscular atrophy was apparent, particularly in the anti-gravity muscles. The effect of passive stretching and electrical stimulation on muscle atrophy was studied. Changes in muscle protein mass were assessed with spectrophotometric and radioactive techniques. Passive stretch is shown to counteract muscle disuse atrophy. The change in the numbers of specific muscle fibers in atrophied muscles is discussed.

  7. Genetics Home Reference: limb-girdle muscular dystrophy

    MedlinePlus

    ... girdle muscular dystrophy is classified based on its inheritance pattern and genetic cause. Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type ... includes forms of the disorder that have an inheritance pattern called autosomal dominant . Mutations in the LMNA gene ...

  8. Wasting Mechanisms in Muscular Dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Jonghyun; Tajrishi, Marjan M.; Ogura, Yuji; Kumar, Ashok

    2013-01-01

    Muscular dystrophy is a group of more than 30 different clinical genetic disorders that are characterized by progressive skeletal muscle wasting and degeneration. Primary deficiency of specific extracellular matrix, sarcoplasmic, cytoskeletal, or nuclear membrane protein results in several secondary changes such as sarcolemmal instability, calcium influx, fiber necrosis, oxidative stress, inflammatory response, breakdown of extracellular matrix, and eventually fibrosis which leads to loss of ambulance and cardiac and respiratory failure. A number of molecular processes have now been identified which hasten disease progression in human patients and animal models of muscular dystrophy. Accumulating evidence further suggests that aberrant activation of several signaling pathways aggravate pathological cascades in dystrophic muscle. Although replacement of defective gene with wild-type is paramount to cure, management of secondary pathological changes has enormous potential to improving the quality of life and extending lifespan of muscular dystrophy patients. In this article, we have reviewed major cellular and molecular mechanisms leading to muscle wasting in muscular dystrophy. PMID:23669245

  9. Autosomal-Recessive Intellectual Disability with Cerebellar Atrophy Syndrome Caused by Mutation of the Manganese and Zinc Transporter Gene SLC39A8

    PubMed Central

    Boycott, Kym M.; Beaulieu, Chandree L.; Kernohan, Kristin D.; Gebril, Ola H.; Mhanni, Aziz; Chudley, Albert E.; Redl, David; Qin, Wen; Hampson, Sarah; Küry, Sébastien; Tetreault, Martine; Puffenberger, Erik G.; Scott, James N.; Bezieau, Stéphane; Reis, André; Uebe, Steffen; Schumacher, Johannes; Hegele, Robert A.; McLeod, D. Ross; Gálvez-Peralta, Marina; Majewski, Jacek; Ramaekers, Vincent T.; Nebert, Daniel W.; Innes, A. Micheil; Parboosingh, Jillian S.; Abou Jamra, Rami

    2015-01-01

    Manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn) are essential divalent cations used by cells as protein cofactors; various human studies and animal models have demonstrated the importance of Mn and Zn for development. Here we describe an autosomal-recessive disorder in six individuals from the Hutterite community and in an unrelated Egyptian sibpair; the disorder is characterized by intellectual disability, developmental delay, hypotonia, strabismus, cerebellar atrophy, and variable short stature. Exome sequencing in one affected Hutterite individual and the Egyptian family identified the same homozygous variant, c.112G>C (p.Gly38Arg), affecting a conserved residue of SLC39A8. The affected Hutterite and Egyptian individuals did not share an extended common haplotype, suggesting that the mutation arose independently. SLC39A8 is a member of the solute carrier gene family known to import Mn, Zn, and other divalent cations across the plasma membrane. Evaluation of these two metal ions in the affected individuals revealed variably low levels of Mn and Zn in blood and elevated levels in urine, indicating renal wasting. Our findings identify a human Mn and Zn transporter deficiency syndrome linked to SLC39A8, providing insight into the roles of Mn and Zn homeostasis in human health and development. PMID:26637978

  10. Autosomal-Recessive Intellectual Disability with Cerebellar Atrophy Syndrome Caused by Mutation of the Manganese and Zinc Transporter Gene SLC39A8.

    PubMed

    Boycott, Kym M; Beaulieu, Chandree L; Kernohan, Kristin D; Gebril, Ola H; Mhanni, Aziz; Chudley, Albert E; Redl, David; Qin, Wen; Hampson, Sarah; Küry, Sébastien; Tetreault, Martine; Puffenberger, Erik G; Scott, James N; Bezieau, Stéphane; Reis, André; Uebe, Steffen; Schumacher, Johannes; Hegele, Robert A; McLeod, D Ross; Gálvez-Peralta, Marina; Majewski, Jacek; Ramaekers, Vincent T; Nebert, Daniel W; Innes, A Micheil; Parboosingh, Jillian S; Abou Jamra, Rami

    2015-12-03

    Manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn) are essential divalent cations used by cells as protein cofactors; various human studies and animal models have demonstrated the importance of Mn and Zn for development. Here we describe an autosomal-recessive disorder in six individuals from the Hutterite community and in an unrelated Egyptian sibpair; the disorder is characterized by intellectual disability, developmental delay, hypotonia, strabismus, cerebellar atrophy, and variable short stature. Exome sequencing in one affected Hutterite individual and the Egyptian family identified the same homozygous variant, c.112G>C (p.Gly38Arg), affecting a conserved residue of SLC39A8. The affected Hutterite and Egyptian individuals did not share an extended common haplotype, suggesting that the mutation arose independently. SLC39A8 is a member of the solute carrier gene family known to import Mn, Zn, and other divalent cations across the plasma membrane. Evaluation of these two metal ions in the affected individuals revealed variably low levels of Mn and Zn in blood and elevated levels in urine, indicating renal wasting. Our findings identify a human Mn and Zn transporter deficiency syndrome linked to SLC39A8, providing insight into the roles of Mn and Zn homeostasis in human health and development.

  11. Muscular dystrophy - resources

    MedlinePlus

    Resources - muscular dystrophy ... The following organizations are good resources for information on muscular dystrophy : Muscular Dystrophy Association -- www.mdausa.org National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke -- www.ninds.nih. ...

  12. Screening Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy patients for deletions in 30 exons of the dystrophin gene by three-multiplex PCR

    SciTech Connect

    Risch, N. )

    1992-09-01

    Deletion mutations of the dystrophin gene may cause either the severe Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) or the milder, allelic Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) and are clustered in two high-frequency-deletion regions (HFDRs) located, respectively, 500 kb and 1,200 kb downstream from the 5[prime] end of the gene. Three PCR reactions described allowed the analysis of a total of 30 exons and led, to the identification of three additional deletions involving the following exons: (a) 42 only, (b) 28-42, and (c) 16 only, none of which were detected with the two original multiplex reactions. Therefore, the three modified multiplexes detected 95 of the 96 deletions identified among the 152 patients studied so far by using Southern analysis and cDNA probes. The only deletion that remained undetected with this system involves exons 22-25 and generates the junction fragment described elsewhere. The percentage of deletion mutations among DMS/BMD patients amounts to 63%, which is in agreement with similar estimates from other laboratories. When field-inversion gel electrophoresis is coupled to Southern analysis, the detection rate of deletion and duplication mutations reaches 65%.

  13. Analysis and meta-analysis of five polymorphisms of the LINGO1 and LINGO2 genes in Parkinson's disease and multiple system atrophy in a Chinese population.

    PubMed

    Chen, YongPing; Cao, Bei; Yang, Jing; Wei, QianQian; Ou, Ru Wei; Zhao, Bi; Song, Wei; Guo, XiaoYan; Shang, HuiFang

    2015-11-01

    Whether polymorphisms rs11856808 and rs9652490 of the Leucine-rich repeat and Ig domain containing, Nogo receptor-interacting protein-1 (LINGO1) gene, as well as rs10968280, rs13362909 and rs7033345 of the LINGO2 gene, increase the risk for Parkinson's disease (PD) is controversial. Considering the overlap of the clinical and pathological characteristics among PD and multiple system atrophy (MSA), we explored the associations between these five polymorphisms and PD and MSA in a Chinese population. A total of 1055 PD patients, 320 MSA patients, and 810 healthy controls (HCs) were genotyped for these five polymorphisms in LINGO1 and LINGO 2 using Sequenom iPLEX Assay technology. Moreover, after combining our results with available published data, a meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the associations between LINGO 1 rs11856808 and rs9652490 and the risk of PD. The frequency of the minor alleles "T" of LINGO1 rs11856808 was significantly lower in PD than that in HCs (p = 0.011, OR 0.89, 95 % CI 0.81-0.97), but not in MSA. Moreover, there were no significant differences in the minor allele frequency distributions of the other four polymorphisms between PD and HCs, and between MSA and HCs. The meta-analysis showed a lack of association of rs9652490 and PD, regardless of the genetic model or ethnic origin. However, the rs11856808 allele decreased the risk of PD in patients of Asian origin in a dominant genetic model. Our findings suggest that rs11856808 plays a protective role by decreasing the risk for PD, but not for MSA, in Asian population, the other four polymorphisms do not contribute to the risk for PD and MSA.

  14. Targeted disruption of murine ornithine aminotransferase gene: Surprising neonatal lethality rescued by arginine therapy and possible mouse model for gyrate atrophy

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, T.; Steel, G.; Valle, D.

    1994-09-01

    Deficiency of ornithine-{delta}-aminotransferase (OAT) in humans results in gyrate atrophy (GA), an autosomal recessive blinding disorder characterized by progressive chorioretinal degeneration and hyperornithinemia. GA patients are otherwise asymptomatic. The explanation for the unique susceptibility of retina to this inborn error is not known. Poor understanding of the pathophysiology hampers development of effective therapy. To address these problems, we undertook targeted disruption of the murine OAT gene. We isolated a 13 kb genomic DNA fragment containing the first five exons of OAT from an AB1 mini-genomic library and made a replacement type targeting vector with the NEOR gene inserted into OAT exon 3 at codon 40. Following electroporation and selection, 4.4% of G418 resistant ES clones had undergone homologous recombination. Chimeric animals produced by blastocyst injection transmitted the disrupted OAT allele. Mice homozygous for OAT disruption (-/-) have no detectable OAT activity in their tissues. Although normal at birth, they die within 10 to 48 hrs. We hypothesize this lethality results from a block in gut arginine biosynthesis, a pathway that requires {open_quotes}reverse{close_quotes} OAT flux and is apparently critical for rapidly growing neonatal mice. Amino acid measurements reveal extreme reduction in urea cycle intermediates in dying mice. With i.p. arginine administration for the first 14 days of life, we have successfully obtained adult (-/-) mice. Plasma amino acids on these mice show a 10-15 fold increase in ornithine and a 2 fold decrease in lysine, biochemical hallmarks of GA. ERG and retinal histopathologic studies are in progress to examine the ocular phenotypes. These mice will provide an invaluable model to test strategies to reduce ornithine accumulation and should also prove useful in understanding the pathophysiology of retina degeneration.

  15. Four Caucasian patients with mutations in the fukutin gene and variable clinical phenotype.

    PubMed

    Vuillaumier-Barrot, S; Quijano-Roy, S; Bouchet-Seraphin, C; Maugenre, S; Peudenier, S; Van den Bergh, P; Marcorelles, P; Avila-Smirnow, D; Chelbi, M; Romero, N B; Carlier, R Y; Estournet, B; Guicheney, P; Seta, N

    2009-03-01

    Fukuyama congenital muscular dystrophy (FCMD) is frequent in Japan, due to a founder mutation of the fukutin gene (FKTN). Outside Japan, FKTN mutations have only been reported in a few patients with a wide spectrum of phenotypes from Walker-Warburg syndrome to limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD2M). We studied four new Caucasian patients from three unrelated families. All showed raised serum CK initially isolated in one case and muscular dystrophy. Immunohistochemical studies and haplotype analysis led us to search for mutations in FKTN. Two patients (two sisters) presented with congenital muscular dystrophy, mental retardation, and posterior fossa malformation including cysts, and brain atrophy at Brain MRI. The other two patients had normal intelligence and brain MRI. Sequencing of the FKTN gene identified three previously described mutations and two novel missense mutations. Outside Japan, fukutinopathies are associated with a large spectrum of phenotypes from isolated hyperCKaemia to severe CMD, showing a clear overlap with that of FKRP.

  16. De novo exonic mutation in MYH7 gene leading to exon skipping in a patient with early onset muscular weakness and fiber-type disproportion.

    PubMed

    Pajusalu, Sander; Talvik, Inga; Noormets, Klari; Talvik, Tiina; Põder, Haide; Joost, Kairit; Puusepp, Sanna; Piirsoo, Andres; Stenzel, Werner; Goebel, Hans H; Nikopensius, Tiit; Annilo, Tarmo; Nõukas, Margit; Metspalu, Andres; Õunap, Katrin; Reimand, Tiia

    2016-03-01

    Here we report on a case of MYH7-related myopathy in a boy with early onset of muscular weakness and delayed motor development in infancy. His most affected muscles were neck extensors showing a dropped head sign, proximal muscles of lower limbs with positive Gower's sign, and trunk muscles. Brain and spinal cord MRI scans, echocardiography, and laboratory analyses including creatine kinase and lactate did not reveal any abnormalities. Muscle histopathology showed fiber-type disproportion. Whole exome sequencing of the parents-offspring trio revealed a novel de novo c.5655G>A p.(Ala1885=) synonymous substitution of the last nucleotide in exon 38 of the MYH7 gene. Further RNA investigations proved the skipping of exon 38 (p.1854_1885del). This is a first report of an exon-skipping mutation in the MYH7 gene causing myopathy. This report broadens both the phenotypic and genotypic spectra of MYH7-related myopathies.

  17. A radiation hybrid map of 15 loci on the distal long arm of chromosome 4, the region containing the gene responsible for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD)

    SciTech Connect

    Winokur, S.T.; Wasmuth, J.H. ); Schutte, B. ); Weiffenbach, B. ); Washington, S.S.; Chakravarti, A. ); McElligot, D. ); Altherr, M.R. Los Alamos National Lab., NM )

    1993-10-01

    A physical map of 4q35 was constructed through radiation hybrid analysis of 134 clones generated from the cell line HHW416, a chromosome 4-only human-hamster somatic cell hybrid. This subtelomeric region contains the as-yet-unidentified gene responsible for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. The most likely order of 15 loci within 4q35 was determined. The loci ordered on this radiation hybrid map include both genes and polymorphic loci, as well as monomorphic loci which cannot be placed on a genetic linkage map. The physical distance spanning these loci was estimated to be approximately 4.5 Mb, by using a kilobase/centiray conversion factor derived from 4p16.3 marker analysis through the same set of radiation hybrids. The comparison of this physical map to established genetic maps suggests that this region is smaller than initially estimated and that recombination rates are increased near the telomere. 37 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs.

  18. Progressive hemifacial atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Sande, Abhijeet; Risbud, Mukund; Kshar, Avinash; Paranjpe, Arati Oka

    2013-01-01

    Progressive hemifacial atrophy, also known as Parry-Romberg Syndrome, is an uncommon degenerative and poorly understood condition. It is characterized by a slow and progressive but self-limited atrophy affecting one side of the face. The incidence and the cause of this alteration are unknown. A cerebral disturbance of fat metabolism has been proposed as a primary cause. Possible factors that are involved in the pathogenesis include trauma, viral infections, heredity, endocrine disturbances and auto-immunity. The most common complications that appear in association to this disorder are: trigeminal neuralgia, facial paresthesia, severe headache and epilepsy. Characteristically, the atrophy progresses slowly for several years and, it becomes stable. The objective of this work is, through the presentation of a clinical case, to accomplish a literature review concerning general characteristics, etiology, physiopathology and treatment of progressive hemifacial atrophy. PMID:23878573

  19. Meaning of Muscular Dystrophy

    MedlinePlus

    ... Video: Getting an X-ray The Meaning of Muscular Dystrophy KidsHealth > For Kids > The Meaning of Muscular Dystrophy ... you know someone who has MD. What Is Muscular Dystrophy? Muscular dystrophy (say: MUS-kyoo-lur DIS-troh- ...

  20. The effects of Capn1 gene inactivation on skeletal muscle growth, development, and atrophy, and the compensatory role of other proteolytic systems.

    PubMed

    Kemp, C M; Oliver, W T; Wheeler, T L; Chishti, A H; Koohmaraie, M

    2013-07-01

    Myofibrillar protein turnover is a key component of muscle growth and degeneration, requiring proteolytic enzymes to degrade the skeletal muscle proteins. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of the calpain proteolytic system in muscle growth development using μ-calpain knockout (KO) mice in comparison with control wild-type (WT) mice, and evaluate the subsequent effects of silencing this gene on other proteolytic systems. No differences in muscle development between genotypes were observed during the early stages of growth due to the up regulation of other proteolytic systems. The KO mice showed significantly greater m-calpain protein abundance (P < 0.01) and activity (P < 0.001), and greater caspase 3/7 activity (P < 0.05). At 30 wk of age, KO mice showed increased protein:DNA (P < 0.05) and RNA:DNA ratios (P < 0.01), greater protein content (P < 0.01) at the expense of lipid deposition (P < 0.05), and an increase in size and number of fast-twitch glycolytic muscle fibers (P < 0.05), suggesting that KO mice exhibit an increased capacity to accumulate and maintain protein in their skeletal muscle. Also, expression of proteins associated with muscle regeneration (neural cell adhesion molecule and myoD) were both reduced in the mature KO mice (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively), indicating less muscle regeneration and, therefore, less muscle damage. These findings indicate the concerted action of proteolytic systems to ensure muscle protein homeostasis in vivo. Furthermore, these data contribute to the existing evidence of the importance of the calpain system's involvement in muscle growth, development, and atrophy. Collectively, these data suggest that there are opportunities to target the calpain system to promote the growth and/or restoration of skeletal muscle mass.

  1. Novel mutations in DNAJB6 gene cause a very severe early-onset limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 1D disease.

    PubMed

    Palmio, Johanna; Jonson, Per Harald; Evilä, Anni; Auranen, Mari; Straub, Volker; Bushby, Kate; Sarkozy, Anna; Kiuru-Enari, Sari; Sandell, Satu; Pihko, Helena; Hackman, Peter; Udd, Bjarne

    2015-11-01

    DNAJB6 is the causative gene for limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 1D (LGMD1D). Four different coding missense mutations, p.F89I, p.F93I, p.F93L, and p.P96R, have been reported in families from Europe, North America and Asia. The previously known mutations cause mainly adult-onset proximal muscle weakness with moderate progression and without respiratory involvement. A Finnish family and a British patient have been studied extensively due to a severe muscular dystrophy. The patients had childhood-onset LGMD, loss of ambulation in early adulthood and respiratory involvement; one patient died of respiratory failure aged 32. Two novel mutations, c.271T > A (p.F91I) and c.271T > C (p.F91L), in DNAJB6 were identified by whole exome sequencing as a cause of this severe form of LGMD1D. The results were confirmed by Sanger sequencing. The anti-aggregation effect of the mutant DNAJB6 was investigated in a filter-trap based system using transient transfection of mammalian cell lines and polyQ-huntingtin as a model for an aggregation-prone protein. Both novel mutant proteins show a significant loss of ability to prevent aggregation.

  2. Muscle and heart function restoration in a limb girdle muscular dystrophy 2I (LGMD2I) mouse model by systemic FKRP gene delivery.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Chunping; Wang, Chi-Hsien; Zhao, Chunxia; Lu, Peijuan; Awano, Hiroyuki; Xiao, Bin; Li, Jianbin; Yuan, Zhenhua; Dai, Yi; Martin, Carrie Bette; Li, Juan; Lu, Qilong; Xiao, Xiao

    2014-11-01

    Mutations in fukutin-related protein (FKRP) gene cause a wide spectrum of disease phenotypes including the mild limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 2I (LGMD2I), the severe Walker-Warburg syndrome, and muscle-eye-brain disease. FKRP deficiency results in α-dystroglycan (α-DG) hypoglycosylation in the muscle and heart, which is a biochemical hallmark of dystroglycanopathies. To study gene replacement therapy, we generated and characterized a new mouse model of LGMD2I harboring the human mutation leucine 276 to isoleucine (L276I) in the mouse alleles. The homozygous knock-in mice (L276I(KI)) mimic the classic late onset phenotype of LGMD2I in both skeletal and cardiac muscles. Systemic delivery of human FKRP gene by AAV9 vector in the L276I(KI) mice, at either neonatal age or at the age of 9 months, rendered body wide FKRP expression and restored glycosylation of α-DG in both skeletal and cardiac muscles. FKRP gene therapy ameliorated dystrophic pathology and cardiomyopathy such as muscle degeneration, fibrosis, and myofiber membrane leakage, resulting in restoration of muscle and heart contractile functions. Thus, these results demonstrated that the treatment based on FKRP gene replacement was effective.

  3. Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Type 2A Resulting From c.C479G and c.G1818A Mutations in the Calpain-3 Gene.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Edwardo; Pardo, Sherly; Mas Rodríguez, Manuel F; Vélez, John

    2015-12-01

    Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy type 2A (LGMD2A) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by progressive weakness of proximal muscles. Here, we describe a patient with clinical features consistent with LGMD2A who harbors 2 rare changes in the CAPN3 gene sequence of unknown clinical significance. Mechanisms by which these 2 mutations could affect the protein are discussed. The c.C479G mutation seems to affect the proteolytic domain of calpain-3. Whereas the novel mutation c.G1818A seems to affect mRNA translation of the protein region involved in titin binding. We strongly believe that these genomic variants in CAPN3 are indeed deleterious and thus are currently misclassified. Since LGMD2 is considered a disorder of autosomal recessive inheritance, further population studies involving the molecular characterization of symptomatic patients must be performed as well as in vitro studies to ascertain the functional effects of these specific variants.

  4. Osteoprotegerin protects against muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Dufresne, Sébastien S; Dumont, Nicolas A; Bouchard, Patrice; Lavergne, Éliane; Penninger, Josef M; Frenette, Jérôme

    2015-04-01

    Receptor-activator of NF-κB, its ligand RANKL, and the soluble decoy receptor osteoprotegerin are the key regulators of osteoclast differentiation and bone remodeling. Although there is a strong association between osteoporosis and skeletal muscle atrophy/dysfunction, the functional relevance of a particular biological pathway that synchronously regulates bone and skeletal muscle physiopathology still is elusive. Here, we show that muscle cells can produce and secrete osteoprotegerin and pharmacologic treatment of dystrophic mdx mice with recombinant osteoprotegerin muscles. (Recombinant osteoprotegerin-Fc mitigates the loss of muscle force in a dose-dependent manner and preserves muscle integrity, particularly in fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus.) Our data identify osteoprotegerin as a novel protector of muscle integrity, and it potentially represents a new therapeutic avenue for both muscular diseases and osteoporosis.