Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.505, No.1, 51-59, 2018
Truncated dystrophin ameliorates the dystrophic phenotype of mdx mice by reducing sarcolipin-mediated SERCA inhibition
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and the less severe Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) are due to mutations in the DMD gene. Previous reports show that in-frame deletion of exons 45-55 produces an internally shorted, but functional, dystrophin protein resulting in a very mild BMD phenotype. In order to elucidate the molecular mechanism leading to this phenotype, we generated exon 45-55 deleted dystrophin transgenic/mdx (Tg/mdx) mice. Muscular function of Tg/mdx mice was restored close to that of wild type (WT) mice but the localization of the neuronal type of nitric oxide synthase was changed from the sarcolemma to the cytosol. This led to hyper-nitrosylation of the ryanodine receptor 1 causing increased Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. On the other hand, Ca2+ reuptake by the sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) was restored to the level of WT mice, suggesting that the Ca2+ dysregulation had been compensated by SERCA activation. In line with this, expression of sarcolipin (SLN), a SERCA-inhibitory peptide, was upregulated in mdx mice, but strongly reduced in Tg/mdx mice. Furthermore, knockdown of SLN ameliorated the cytosolic Ca2+ homeostasis and the dystrophic phenotype in mdx mice. These findings suggest that SLN may be a novel target for DMD therapy. (C) 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.