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Factors associated with induced chronic inflammation in mdx skeletal muscle cause posttranslational stabilization and augmentation of extrasynaptic sarcolemmal utrophin
; Waheed, Ishrat
; Gilbert, Rénald
; Nalbantoglu, Josephine
; Guibinga, Ghiabe H.
; Petrof, Basil J.
National Research Council Canada; NRC Biotechnology Research Institute
Human Gene Therapy
Chronic inflammation in tibialis anterior muscles of mdx mice was produced by a single injection of a recombinant adenovirus vector (AV) expressing an immunogenic beta-galactosidase (β-gal). In regions of intense β-gal staining, mononuclear infiltrates abounded, and muscle fibers showed strong extrasynaptic utrophin immunostaining, restoration of dystrophin-associated protein complex, and a marked reduction of the prevalence of centronucleation. Immunoblot analysis confirmed an increase of endogenous utrophin without an increase of the mRNA of the major muscle isoform utrA. Significantly better maximal tetanic force values were demonstrated in the inflammatory versus control mdx muscles. The resistance to lengthening contraction- induced damage was also significantly increased in the former. In muscles of mice lacking TNF-α gene, AV vector did not induce inflammation and extrajunctional utrophin increase did not occur. In the inflammatory mdx muscles, proteolytic activity of calcium-activated calpain was reduced, and in mdx myotubes in vitro, incubation with NO donors also reduced calpain-mediated utrophin proteolysis. Since utrophin was shown to be a natural substrate of calpain and known inhibitors of calpain in cultured mdx myotubes increased utrophin levels, the above results were consistent with the following conclusions: (1) extrasynaptic utrophin increase is mainly responsible for the antidystrophic effect; (2) extrasynaptic utrophin increase is a result of posttranscriptional mechanism(s) related to proinflammatory factors; and (3) reduction of endogenous muscle calpain activity by inflammatory cytokines has an important role in the stabilization and increase of the extrasynaptic utrophin.