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Hsp72 preserves muscle function and slows progression of severe muscular dystrophy


Gehrig, SM and van der Poel, C and Sayer, TA and Schertzer, JD and Henstridge, DC and Church, JE and Lamon, S and Russell, AP and Davies, KE and Febbraio, MA and Lynch, GS, Hsp72 preserves muscle function and slows progression of severe muscular dystrophy, Nature, 484, (7394) pp. 394-398. ISSN 0028-0836 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited

DOI: doi:10.1038/nature10980


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe and progressive muscle wasting disorder caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene that result in the absence of the membrane-stabilizing protein dystrophin. Dystrophin-deficient muscle fibres are fragile and susceptible to an influx of Ca2+, which activates inflammatory and muscle degenerative pathways. At present there is no cure for DMD, and existing therapies are ineffective. Here we show that increasing the expression of intramuscular heat shock protein 72 (Hsp72) preserves muscle strength and ameliorates the dystrophic pathology in two mouse models of muscular dystrophy. Treatment with BGP-15 (a pharmacological inducer of Hsp72 currently in clinical trials for diabetes) improved muscle architecture, strength and contractile function in severely affected diaphragm muscles in mdx dystrophic mice. In dko mice, a phenocopy of DMD that results in severe spinal curvature (kyphosis), muscle weakness and premature death, BGP-15 decreased kyphosis, improved the dystrophic pathophysiology in limb and diaphragm muscles and extended lifespan. We found that the sarcoplasmic/ endoplasmic reticulum Ca22+-ATPase (SERCA, the main protein responsible for the removal of intracellular Ca2+) is dysfunctional in severely affected muscles of mdx and dko mice, and that Hsp72 interacts with SERCA to preserve its function under conditions of stress, ultimately contributing to the decreased muscle degeneration seen with Hsp72 upregulation. Treatment with BGP-15 similarly increased SERCA activity in dystrophic skeletal muscles. Our results provide evidence that increasing the expression of Hsp72 in muscle (through the administration of BGP-15) has significant therapeutic potential for DMD and related conditions, either as a self-contained therapy or as an adjuvant with other potential treatments, including gene, cell and pharmacological therapies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:heat shock protein 72, sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium transporting adenosine triphosphatase, calcium, developmental biology, diabetes, drug, gene expression, ion, muscle, mutation, pathology, male
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Biochemistry and cell biology
Research Field:Cell metabolism
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Henstridge, DC (Dr Darren Henstridge)
ID Code:133334
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:193
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2019-06-24
Last Modified:2019-07-23

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