Tissue-selective expression of alpha-dystrobrevin is determined by multiple promoters. (1/670)

alpha-Dystrobrevin, the mammalian orthologue of the Torpedo 87-kDa postsynaptic protein, is a dystrophin-associated and dystrophin-related protein. Knockout of the gene in the mouse results in muscular dystrophy. The control of the alpha-dystrobrevin gene in the various tissues is therefore of interest. Multiple dystrobrevin isoforms differing in their domain content are generated by alternative splicing of a single gene. The data presented here demonstrate that expression of alpha-dystrobrevin from three promoters, that are active in a tissue-selective manner, also plays a role in the function of the protein in different tissues. The most proximal promoter A is active in brain and to a lesser extent in lung, whereas the most distal promoter B, which possesses several Sp1 binding sites, is restricted to brain. Promoter C, which contains multiple consensus myogenic binding sites, is up-regulated during in vitro myoblast differentiation. Interestingly, the organization and the activity of the alpha-dystrobrevin promoters is reminiscent of those in the dystrophin gene. Taken together we suggest that the multipromoter system, distributed over a region of 270 kilobases at the 5'-end of the alpha-dystrobrevin gene, has been developed to allow the regulation of this gene in different cell types and/or different developmental stages.  (+info)

Hindlimb immobilization applied to 21-day-old mdx mice prevents the occurrence of muscle degeneration. (2/670)

Dystrophin-deficient skeletal muscles of mdx mice undergo their first rounds of degeneration-regeneration at the age of 14-28 days. This feature is thought to result from an increase in motor activity at weaning. In this study, we hypothesize that if the muscle is prevented from contracting, it will avoid the degenerative changes that normally occur. For this purpose, we developed a procedure of mechanical hindlimb immobilization in 3-wk-old mice to restrain soleus (Sol) and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles in the stretched or shortened position. After a 14-day period of immobilization, the striking feature was the low percentage of regenerated (centronucleated) myofibers in Sol and EDL muscles, regardless of the length at which they were fixed, compared with those on the contralateral side (stretched Sol: 8.4 +/- 6.5 vs. 46.6 +/- 10.3%, P = 0.0008; shortened Sol: 1.2 +/- 1.6 vs. 50.4 +/- 16.4%, P = 0.0008; stretched EDL: 05 +/- 0.5 vs. 32.9 +/- 17.5%, P = 0. 002; shortened EDL: 3.3 +/- 3.1 vs. 34.7 +/- 11.1%, P = 0.002). Total numbers of myofibers did not change with immobilization. This study shows that limb immobilization prevents the occurrence of the first round of myofiber necrosis in mdx mice and suggests that muscle contractions play a role in the skeletal muscle degeneration of dystrophin-deficient mdx mouse muscles.  (+info)

Increased calcium entry into dystrophin-deficient muscle fibres of MDX and ADR-MDX mice is reduced by ion channel blockers. (3/670)

1. Single fibres were enzymatically isolated from interosseus muscles of dystrophic MDX mice, myotonic-dystrophic double mutant ADR-MDX mice and C57BL/10 controls. The fibres were kept in cell culture for up to 2 weeks for the study of Ca2+ homeostasis and sarcolemmal Ca2+ permeability. 2. Resting levels of intracellular free Ca2+, determined with the fluorescent Ca2+ indicator fura-2, were slightly higher in MDX (63 +/- 20 nM; means +/- s.d.; n = 454 analysed fibres) and ADR-MDX (65 +/- 12 nM; n = 87) fibres than in controls (51 +/- 20 nM; n = 265). 3. The amplitudes of electrically induced Ca2+ transients did not differ between MDX fibres and controls. Decay time constants of Ca2+ transients ranged between 10 and 55 ms in both genotypes. In 50 % of MDX fibres (n = 68), but in only 20 % of controls (n = 54), the decay time constants were > 35 ms. 4. Bath application of Mn2+ resulted in a progressive quench of fura-2 fluorescence emitted from the fibres. The quench rate was about 2 times higher in MDX fibres (3.98 +/- 1.9 % min-1; n = 275) than in controls (2.03 +/- 1.4 % min-1; n = 204). The quench rate in ADR-MDX fibres (2.49 +/- 1.4 % min-1; n = 87) was closer to that of controls. 5. The Mn2+ influx into MDX fibres was reduced to 10 % by Gd3+, to 19 % by La3+ and to 47 % by Ni2+ (all at 50 microM). Bath application of 50 microM amiloride inhibited the Mn2+ influx to 37 %. 6. We conclude that in isolated, resting MDX muscle fibres the membrane permeability for divalent cations is increased. The presumed additional influx of Ca2+ occurs through ion channels, but is well compensated for by effective cellular Ca2+ transport systems. The milder dystrophic phenotype of ADR-MDX mice is correlated with a smaller increase of their sarcolemmal Ca2+ permeability.  (+info)

Dynamics of myoblast transplantation reveal a discrete minority of precursors with stem cell-like properties as the myogenic source. (4/670)

Myoblasts, the precursors of skeletal muscle fibers, can be induced to withdraw from the cell cycle and differentiate in vitro. Recent studies have also identified undifferentiated subpopulations that can self-renew and generate myogenic cells (Baroffio, A., M. Hamann, L. Bernheim, M.-L. Bochaton-Pillat, G. Gabbiani, and C.R. Bader. 1996. Differentiation. 60:47-57; Yoshida, N., S. Yoshida, K. Koishi, K. Masuda, and Y. Nabeshima. 1998. J. Cell Sci. 111:769-779). Cultured myoblasts can also differentiate and contribute to repair and new muscle formation in vivo, a capacity exploited in attempts to develop myoblast transplantation (MT) for genetic modification of adult muscle. Our studies of the dynamics of MT demonstrate that cultures of myoblasts contain distinct subpopulations defined by their behavior in vitro and divergent responses to grafting. By comparing a genomic and a semiconserved marker, we have followed the fate of myoblasts transplanted into muscles of dystrophic mice, finding that the majority of the grafted cells quickly die and only a minority are responsible for new muscle formation. This minority is behaviorally distinct, slowly dividing in tissue culture, but rapidly proliferative after grafting, suggesting a subpopulation with stem cell-like characteristics.  (+info)

Extensive but coordinated reorganization of the membrane skeleton in myofibers of dystrophic (mdx) mice. (5/670)

We used immunofluorescence techniques and confocal imaging to study the organization of the membrane skeleton of skeletal muscle fibers of mdx mice, which lack dystrophin. beta-Spectrin is normally found at the sarcolemma in costameres, a rectilinear array of longitudinal strands and elements overlying Z and M lines. However, in the skeletal muscle of mdx mice, beta-spectrin tends to be absent from the sarcolemma over M lines and the longitudinal strands may be disrupted or missing. Other proteins of the membrane and associated cytoskeleton, including syntrophin, beta-dystroglycan, vinculin, and Na,K-ATPase are also concentrated in costameres, in control myofibers, and mdx muscle. They also distribute into the same altered sarcolemmal arrays that contain beta-spectrin. Utrophin, which is expressed in mdx muscle, also codistributes with beta-spectrin at the mutant sarcolemma. By contrast, the distribution of structural and intracellular membrane proteins, including alpha-actinin, the Ca-ATPase and dihydropyridine receptors, is not affected, even at sites close to the sarcolemma. Our results suggest that in myofibers of the mdx mouse, the membrane- associated cytoskeleton, but not the nearby myoplasm, undergoes widespread coordinated changes in organization. These changes may contribute to the fragility of the sarcolemma of dystrophic muscle.  (+info)

Membrane targeting and stabilization of sarcospan is mediated by the sarcoglycan subcomplex. (6/670)

The dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC) is a multisubunit complex that spans the muscle plasma membrane and forms a link between the F-actin cytoskeleton and the extracellular matrix. The proteins of the DGC are structurally organized into distinct subcomplexes, and genetic mutations in many individual components are manifested as muscular dystrophy. We recently identified a unique tetraspan-like dystrophin-associated protein, which we have named sarcospan (SPN) for its multiple sarcolemma spanning domains (Crosbie, R.H., J. Heighway, D.P. Venzke, J.C. Lee, and K.P. Campbell. 1997. J. Biol. Chem. 272:31221-31224). To probe molecular associations of SPN within the DGC, we investigated SPN expression in normal muscle as a baseline for comparison to SPN's expression in animal models of muscular dystrophy. We show that, in addition to its sarcolemma localization, SPN is enriched at the myotendinous junction (MTJ) and neuromuscular junction (NMJ), where it is a component of both the dystrophin- and utrophin-glycoprotein complexes. We demonstrate that SPN is preferentially associated with the sarcoglycan (SG) subcomplex, and this interaction is critical for stable localization of SPN to the sarcolemma, NMJ, and MTJ. Our experiments indicate that assembly of the SG subcomplex is a prerequisite for targeting SPN to the sarcolemma. In addition, the SG- SPN subcomplex functions to stabilize alpha-dystroglycan to the muscle plasma membrane. Taken together, our data provide important information about assembly and function of the SG-SPN subcomplex.  (+info)

Delineation of genomic deletion in cardiomyopathic hamster. (7/670)

Cardiomyopathic hamster is a representative animal model for autosomal recessive cardiomyopathy. We have previously shown that the transcript of delta-sarcoglycan is missing in the heart of cardiomyopathic hamster due to genomic deletion. Here we define the normal genomic region deleted in cardiomyopathic hamster, which spans about 30 kb interval and includes the two first exons of the delta-sarcoglycan gene. RNA blot analysis using genomic DNA fragments covering the entire deletion as probes failed to detect any transcript other than delta-sarcoglycan in normal hamster heart, suggesting that delta-sarcoglycan is the only transcript defective in the heart of cardiomyopathic hamster.  (+info)

Laminin polymerization induces a receptor-cytoskeleton network. (8/670)

The transition of laminin from a monomeric to a polymerized state is thought to be a crucial step in the development of basement membranes and in the case of skeletal muscle, mutations in laminin can result in severe muscular dystrophies with basement membrane defects. We have evaluated laminin polymer and receptor interactions to determine the requirements for laminin assembly on a cell surface and investigated what cellular responses might be mediated by this transition. We found that on muscle cell surfaces, laminins preferentially polymerize while bound to receptors that included dystroglycan and alpha7beta1 integrin. These receptor interactions are mediated through laminin COOH-terminal domains that are spatially and functionally distinct from NH2-terminal polymer binding sites. This receptor-facilitated self-assembly drives rearrangement of laminin into a cell-associated polygonal network, a process that also requires actin reorganization and tyrosine phosphorylation. As a result, dystroglycan and integrin redistribute into a reciprocal network as do cortical cytoskeleton components vinculin and dystrophin. Cytoskeletal and receptor reorganization is dependent on laminin polymerization and fails in response to receptor occupancy alone (nonpolymerizing laminin). Preferential polymerization of laminin on cell surfaces, and the resulting induction of cortical architecture, is a cooperative process requiring laminin- receptor ligation, receptor-facilitated self-assembly, actin reorganization, and signaling events.  (+info)