Skip to content

Missing protein restored in patients with Muscular Dystrophy.

When muscle cell membranes are damaged, the repair protein dysferlin is activated and reseals muscle membrane tears. If this repair protein is altered due to a genetic mutation, the body’s own quality control system (the so called proteasome) identifies the protein as being defective and eliminates it. Without dysferlin, injured muscle cell membranes cannot be repaired, which leads to progressive loss of skeletal muscle cells and thus to muscle wasting. It appears that the body’s own quality control system neutralizes mutated dysferlin even if the mutation does not actually impair its repair function.

A research group from the University Hospital of Basel had previously demonstrated that proteasome inhibitors can reactivate mutated dysferlin proteins in cultured muscle cells from muscular dystrophy patients. The inhibition of the exaggerated cellular quality control enables the altered repair protein to regain its function and to repair damaged muscle membranes.

The team succeeded in restoring a missing repair protein in skeletal muscle of patients with muscular dystrophy, a scientific first. The team has offered a proof-of-principle study and restored the missing protein in skeletal muscle of patients with muscular dystrophy. Three patients carrying a dysferlin mutation received a single systemic dose of a proteasome inhibitor. After only a few days the patients’ musculature produced the missing dysferlin protein at levels that could be therapeutically effective.

The new findings serve as groundwork for future long-term clinical trials, and could be of importance for the treatment of patients with muscular dystrophy as well as other, previously incurable genetic diseases.

Source:  Universität Basel

 

3D reconstructions of dysferlin localization in muscle biopsies from a healthy subject (left panel), from a dysferlin deficient patient before (middle panel) and 36 hours after (right panel) systemic administration of a single dose of the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib.  Credit: Illustration: Neuromuscular Center, Clinic of Neurology, University Hospital of Basel.
3D reconstructions of dysferlin localization in muscle biopsies from a healthy subject (left panel), from a dysferlin deficient patient before (middle panel) and 36 hours after (right panel) systemic administration of a single dose of the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib. Credit: Illustration: Neuromuscular Center, Clinic of Neurology, University Hospital of Basel.

 

Michelle Petersen View All

Michelle is a health industry veteran who taught and worked in the field before training as a science journalist.

Featured by numerous prestigious brands and publishers, she specializes in clinical trial innovation--expertise she gained while working in multiple positions within the private sector, the NHS, and Oxford University.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.