Journal Article

Muscle weakness in myotonic dystrophy associated with misregulated splicing and altered gating of Ca<sub>V</sub>1.1 calcium channel

Zhen Zhi Tang, Viktor Yarotskyy, Lan Wei, Krzysztof Sobczak, Masayuki Nakamori, Katy Eichinger, Richard T. Moxley, Robert T. Dirksen and Charles A. Thornton

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 21, issue 6, pages 1312-1324
Published in print March 2012 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online December 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddr568
Muscle weakness in myotonic dystrophy associated with misregulated splicing and altered gating of CaV1.1 calcium channel

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Myotonic dystrophy type 1 and type 2 (DM1 and DM2) are genetic diseases in which mutant transcripts containing expanded CUG or CCUG repeats cause cellular dysfunction by altering the processing or metabolism of specific mRNAs and miRNAs. The toxic effects of mutant RNA are mediated partly through effects on proteins that regulate alternative splicing. Here we show that alternative splicing of exon 29 (E29) of CaV1.1, a calcium channel that controls skeletal muscle excitation–contraction coupling, is markedly repressed in DM1 and DM2. The extent of E29 skipping correlated with severity of weakness in tibialis anterior muscle of DM1 patients. Two splicing factors previously implicated in DM1, MBNL1 and CUGBP1, participated in the regulation of E29 splicing. In muscle fibers of wild-type mice, the CaV1.1 channel conductance and voltage sensitivity were increased by splice-shifting oligonucleotides that induce E29 skipping. In contrast to human DM1, expression of CUG-expanded RNA caused only a modest increase in E29 skipping in mice. However, forced skipping of E29 in these mice, to levels approaching those observed in human DM1, aggravated the muscle pathology as evidenced by increased central nucleation. Together, these results indicate that DM-associated splicing defects alter CaV1.1 function, with potential for exacerbation of myopathy.

Journal Article.  8255 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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