bims-moremu Biomed News
on Molecular regulators of muscle mass
Issue of 2022‒07‒03
33 papers selected by
Anna Vainshtein
Craft Science Inc.

  1. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2022 Jun 28.
      BACKGROUND: Mitochondrial dysfunction caused by mitochondrial (mtDNA) deletions have been associated with skeletal muscle atrophy and myofibre loss. However, whether such defects occurring in myofibres cause sarcopenia is unclear. Also, the contribution of mtDNA alterations in muscle stem cells (MuSCs) to sarcopenia remains to be investigated.METHODS: We expressed a dominant-negative variant of the mitochondrial helicase, which induces mtDNA alterations, specifically in differentiated myofibres (K320Eskm mice) and MuSCs (K320Emsc mice), respectively, and investigated their impact on muscle structure and function by immunohistochemistry, analysis of mtDNA and respiratory chain content, muscle transcriptome and functional tests.
    RESULTS: K320Eskm mice at 24 months of age had higher levels of mtDNA deletions compared with controls in soleus (SOL, 0.07673% vs. 0.00015%, P = 0.0167), extensor digitorum longus (EDL, 0.0649 vs. 0.000925, P = 0.0015) and gastrocnemius (GAS, 0.09353 vs. 0.000425, P = 0.0004). K320Eskm mice revealed a progressive increase in the proportion of cytochrome c oxidase deficient (COX- ) fibres in skeletal muscle cross sections, reaching a maximum of 3.03%, 4.36%, 13.58%, and 17.08% in EDL, SOL, tibialis anterior (TA) and GAS, respectively. However, mice did not show accelerated loss of muscle mass, muscle strength or physical performance. Histological analyses revealed ragged red fibres but also stimulated regeneration, indicating activation of MuSCs. RNAseq demonstrated enhanced expression of genes associated with protein synthesis, but also degradation, as well as muscle fibre differentiation and cell proliferation. In contrast, 7 days after destruction by cardiotoxin, regenerating TA of K320Emsc mice showed 30% of COX- fibres. Notably, regenerated muscle showed dystrophic changes, increased fibrosis (2.5% vs. 1.6%, P = 0.0003), increased abundance of fat cells (2.76% vs. 0.23%, P = 0.0144) and reduced muscle mass (regenerated TA: 40.0 mg vs. 60.2 mg, P = 0.0171). In contrast to muscles from K320Eskm mice, freshly isolated MuSCs from aged K320Emsc mice were completely devoid of mtDNA alterations. However, after passaging, mtDNA copy number as well as respiratory chain subunits and p62 levels gradually decreased.
    CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, accumulation of large-scale mtDNA alterations in myofibres alone is not sufficient to cause sarcopenia. Expression of K320E-Twinkle is tolerated in quiescent MuSCs, but progressively leads to mtDNA and respiratory chain depletion upon activation, in vivo and in vitro, possibly caused by an increased mitochondrial removal. Altogether, our results suggest that the accumulation of mtDNA alterations in myofibres activates regeneration during aging, which leads to sarcopenia if such alterations have expanded in MuSCs as well.
    Keywords:  Mitochondria; Muscle stem cells; Mutations; Myofibres; Satellite cells; mtDNA deletions
  2. Function (Oxf). 2022 ;3(4): zqac027
      Murine exercise models can provide information on factors that influence muscle adaptability with aging, but few translatable solutions exist. Progressive weighted wheel running (PoWeR) is a simple, voluntary, low-cost, high-volume endurance/resistance exercise approach for training young mice. In the current investigation, aged mice (22-mo-old) underwent a modified version of PoWeR for 8 wk. Muscle functional, cellular, biochemical, transcriptional, and myonuclear DNA methylation analyses provide an encompassing picture of how muscle from aged mice responds to high-volume combined training. Mice run 6-8 km/d, and relative to sedentary mice, PoWeR increases plantarflexor muscle strength. The oxidative soleus of aged mice responds to PoWeR similarly to young mice in every parameter measured in previous work; this includes muscle mass, glycolytic-to-oxidative fiber type transitioning, fiber size, satellite cell frequency, and myonuclear number. The oxidative/glycolytic plantaris adapts according to fiber type, but with modest overall changes in muscle mass. Capillarity increases markedly with PoWeR in both muscles, which may be permissive for adaptability in advanced age. Comparison to published PoWeR RNA-sequencing data in young mice identified conserved regulators of adaptability across age and muscles; this includes Aldh1l1 which associates with muscle vasculature. Agrn and Samd1 gene expression is upregulated after PoWeR simultaneous with a hypomethylated promoter CpG in myonuclear DNA, which could have implications for innervation and capillarization. A promoter CpG in Rbm10 is hypomethylated by late-life exercise in myonuclei, consistent with findings in muscle tissue. PoWeR and the data herein are a resource for uncovering cellular and molecular regulators of muscle adaptation with aging.
    Keywords:  DNA methylation; capillarization; concurrent training; hypertrophy; sarcopenia; skeletal muscle
  3. J Vis Exp. 2022 Jun 08.
      Fibro-adipogenic progenitor cells (FAPs) are a population of skeletal muscle-resident mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) capable of differentiating along fibrogenic, adipogenic, osteogenic, or chondrogenic lineage. Together with muscle stem cells (MuSCs), FAPs play a critical role in muscle homeostasis, repair, and regeneration, while actively maintaining and remodeling the extracellular matrix (ECM). In pathological conditions, such as chronic damage and muscular dystrophies, FAPs undergo aberrant activation and differentiate into collagen-producing fibroblasts and adipocytes, leading to fibrosis and intramuscular fatty infiltration. Thus, FAPs play a dual role in muscle regeneration, either by sustaining MuSC turnover and promoting tissue repair or contributing to fibrotic scar formation and ectopic fat infiltrates, which compromise the integrity and function of the skeletal muscle tissue. A proper purification of FAPs and MuSCs is a prerequisite for understanding the biological role of these cells in physiological as well as in pathological conditions. Here, we describe a standardized method for the simultaneous isolation of FAPs and MuSCs from limb muscles of adult mice using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). The protocol describes in detail the mechanical and enzymatic dissociation of mononucleated cells from whole limb muscles and injured tibialis anterior (TA) muscles. FAPs and MuSCs are subsequently isolated using a semi-automated cell sorter to obtain pure cell populations. We additionally describe an optimized method for culturing quiescent and activated FAPs and MuSCs, either alone or in coculture conditions.
  4. J Physiol. 2022 Jun 27.
    Keywords:  ageing; denervation; human skeletal muscle; lifelong exercise; sarcopenia; satellite cells
  5. Physiol Genomics. 2022 Jun 27.
      Fibro-adipogenic progenitor cells (FAPs) are a population of stem cells in skeletal muscle that play multiple roles in muscle repair and regeneration through their complex secretome; however, it is not well understood how the FAP secretome is altered with muscle disuse atrophy. Previous work suggests that the inflammatory cytokine IL-1β is increased in FAPs with disuse and denervation. Inflammasome activation and IL-1β secretion are also known to stimulate the release of extracellular vesicles (EVs). Here we examined the microRNA (miRNA) cargo of FAP-derived, PDGFRα+ EVs from hindlimb muscles of wild-type and IL-1β KO mice after 14 days of single-hindlimb immobilization. Hindlimb muscles were isolated from mice following the immobilization period and PDGFRα+ extracellular vesicles isolated using size-exclusion chromatography and immunoprecipitation. Microarrays were performed to detect changes in miRNAs with unloading and IL-1β deficiency. Results indicate that the PDGFRα+, FAP-derived EVs show a significant increase in miRNAs such as miR-let-7c, -let-7b, miR-181a, and -124. These miRNAs have previously been demonstrated to play important roles in cellular senescence and muscle atrophy. Furthermore, expression of these same miRNAs was not significantly altered in FAP-derived EVs isolated from the immobilized IL-1β KO. These data suggest that disuse-related activation of IL-1β can mediate the miRNA cargo of FAP-derived EVs, contributing directly to the release of senescence- and atrophy-related miRNAs. Therapies targeting FAPs in settings associated with muscle disuse atrophy may therefore have potential to preserve muscle function and enhance muscle recovery.
    Keywords:  PDGFRα; let-7 family; miR-124; miR-181a; senescence
  6. J Gen Physiol. 2022 Sep 05. pii: e202213158. [Epub ahead of print]154(9):
      The zebrafish has emerged as a very relevant animal model for probing the pathophysiology of human skeletal muscle disorders. This vertebrate animal model displays a startle response characterized by high-frequency swimming activity powered by contraction of fast skeletal muscle fibers excited at extremely high frequencies, critical for escaping predators and capturing prey. Such intense muscle performance requires extremely fast properties of the contractile machinery but also of excitation-contraction coupling, the process by which an action potential spreading along the sarcolemma induces a change in configuration of the dihydropyridine receptors, resulting in intramembrane charge movements, which in turn triggers the release of Ca2+ from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. However, thus far, the fastest Ca2+ transients evoked by vertebrate muscle fibers has been described in muscles used to produce sounds, such as those in the toadfish swim bladder, but not in muscles used for locomotion. By performing intracellular Ca2+ measurements under voltage control in isolated fast skeletal muscle fibers from adult zebrafish and mouse, we demonstrate that fish fast muscle fibers display superfast kinetics of action potentials, intramembrane charge movements, and action potential-evoked Ca2+ transient, allowing fusion and fused sustained Ca2+ transients at frequencies of excitation much higher than in mouse fast skeletal muscle fibers and comparable to those recorded in muscles producing sounds. The present study is the first demonstration of superfast kinetics of excitation-contraction coupling in skeletal muscle allowing superfast locomotor behaviors in a vertebrate.
  7. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2022 Jun 23. pii: S0161-4754(22)00028-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether photobiomodulation (PBM) can protect against and attenuate muscle atrophy owing to complete peripheral nerve lesion in mice by acting on autophagy.METHODS: C57BL/10 mice underwent right sciatic nerve transection to induce tibialis anterior muscle atrophy. After 6 hours of denervation, the mice received PBM (wavelength, 830 nm) daily, transcutaneously over the tibialis anterior muscle region for 5 or 14 days. Some mice with sciatic nerve lesion did not receive PBM. Mice that did not have sciatic nerve lesion and PBM were used as controls. After 5 and 14 days, the right tibialis anterior muscle was examined using histomorphometric (cross-sectional area of muscle fibers), Western blot (levels of the autophagy marker LC3), and immunofluorescence analyses (number of LC3 puncta in the muscle fibers).
    RESULTS: The cross-sectional area of the tibialis anterior muscle fibers decreased after 5 and 14 days of denervation. PBM protected against muscle fiber atrophy after 5 days of denervation and attenuated muscle fiber atrophy after 14 days of denervation. After 5 days of muscle denervation, autophagy did not change, as demonstrated by the comparable levels of LC3-I/II ratio and LC3 puncta between the controls and the mice with atrophic muscle; PBM did not change this profile. After 14 days of denervation, an increased LC3-I/II ratio suggested an ongoing autophagy, which was not affected by PBM.
    CONCLUSION: PBM attenuated the tibialis anterior muscle atrophy induced by sciatic nerve transection in the mice after at least 5 and 14 days of muscle denervation, without affecting autophagy. The transient protective effect of PBM was observed as early as 5 days after the of complete nerve lesion.
    Keywords:  Autophagy-Related Proteins; Low-Level Light Therapy; Muscle Denervation; Sciatic Nerve
  8. J Physiol Sci. 2022 Jun 29. 72(1): 14
      This study investigated whether endurance training attenuates orchiectomy (ORX)-induced metabolic alterations. At 7 days of recovery after sham operation or ORX surgery, the mice were randomized to remain sedentary or undergo 5 weeks of treadmill running training (15-20 m/min, 60 min, 5 days/week). ORX decreased glycogen concentration in the gastrocnemius muscle, enhanced phosphofructokinase activity in the plantaris muscle, and decreased lactate dehydrogenase activity in the plantaris and soleus muscles. Mitochondrial enzyme activities and protein content in the plantaris and soleus muscles were also decreased after ORX, but preserved, in part, by endurance training. In the treadmill running test (15 m/min, 60 min) after 4 weeks of training, orchiectomized sedentary mice showed impaired exercise performance, which was restored by endurance training. Thus, endurance training could be a potential therapeutic strategy to prevent the hypoandrogenism-induced decline in muscle mitochondrial content and physical performance.
    Keywords:  Enzyme; Exercise; Orchiectomy; Skeletal muscle; Transporter
  9. Diabetes. 2022 Jun 30. pii: db211114. [Epub ahead of print]
      Skeletal muscle is a major regulator of glycemic control at rest and glucose utilization increases drastically during exercise. Sustaining a high glucose utilization via glycolysis requires efficient replenishment of NAD+ in the cytosol. Apoptosis-inducing mitochondrion-associated factor 2 (AIFM2) has previously been shown to be a NADH oxidoreductase domain-containing flavoprotein to promote glycolysis for diet and cold-induced thermogenesis. Here, we find that AIFM2 is selectively and highly induced in glycolytic extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle during exercise. Overexpression of AIFM2 in myotubes is sufficient to elevate the NAD+/NADH ratio, increasing the glycolytic rate. Thus, overexpression of AIFM2 in skeletal muscle greatly increases exercise capacity, with increased glucose utilization. Conversely, muscle-specific Aifm2 depletion via in vivo transfection of hairpins against Aifm2 or tamoxifen-inducible haploinsufficiency of Aifm2 in muscles decreases exercise capacity and glucose utilization in mice. Moreover, muscle-specific introduction of NDE1, SaccharomycesAifm2 cerevisiae external NADH dehydrogenase, NDE, ameliorates impairment in glucose utilization and exercise intolerance of the muscle-specific Aifm2 haploinsufficient mice. Together, we show a novel role for AIFM2 as a critical metabolic regulator for efficient utilization of glucose in glycolytic EDL muscles.
  10. J Physiol. 2022 Jun 27.
      Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is characterised by a hormonal imbalance affecting the reproductive and metabolic health of reproductive-aged women. Exercise is recommended as a first-line therapy for women with PCOS to improve their overall health; however, women with PCOS are resistant to the metabolic benefits of exercise training. Here, we aimed to gain insight into the mechanisms responsible for such resistance to exercise in PCOS. We employed an in vitro approach with electrical pulse stimulation (EPS) of cultured skeletal muscle cells to explore whether myotubes from women with PCOS have an altered gene expression signature in response to contraction. Following EPS, 4719 genes were differentially expressed (false discovery rate <0.05) in myotubes from women with PCOS compared to 173 in healthy women. Both groups included genes involved in skeletal muscle contraction. We also determined the effect of two transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) ligands that are elevated in plasma of women with PCOS, TGFβ1 and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), alone and on the EPS-induced response. While AMH (30 ng/ml) had no effect, TGFβ1 (5 ng/ml) induced the expression of extracellular matrix genes and impaired the exercise-like transcriptional signature in myotubes from women with and without PCOS in response to EPS by interfering with key processes related to muscle contraction, calcium transport and actin filament. Our findings suggest that while the fundamental gene expression responses of skeletal muscle to contraction is intact in PCOS, circulating factors like TGFβ1 may be responsible for the impaired adaptation to exercise in women with PCOS. KEY POINTS: Gene expression responses to in vitro contraction (electrical pulse stimulation, EPS) are altered in myotubes from women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) compared to healthy controls, with an increased expression of genes related to pro-inflammatory pathways. Transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) upregulates genes related to extracellular matrix remodelling and reduces the expression of contractile genes in myotubes, regardless of the donor's health status. TGFβ1 alters the gene expression response to EPS, providing a possible mechanism for the impaired exercise adaptations in women with PCOS.
    Keywords:  electrical pulse stimulation; muscle contraction; polycystic ovary syndrome; primary myotubes; transcriptomics; transforming growth factor β
  11. Arthritis Res Ther. 2022 Jun 27. 24(1): 156
      BACKGROUND: Muscle weakness and decreased fatigue resistance are key manifestations of systemic autoimmune myopathies (SAMs). We here examined whether high-intensity interval training (HIIT) improves fatigue resistance in the skeletal muscle of experimental autoimmune myositis (EAM) mice, a widely used animal model for SAM.METHODS: Female BALB/c mice were randomly assigned to control (CNT) or EAM groups (n = 28 in each group). EAM was induced by immunization with three injections of myosin emulsified in complete Freund's adjuvant. The plantar flexor (PF) muscles of mice with EAM were exposed to either an acute bout or 4 weeks of HIIT (a total of 14 sessions).
    RESULTS: The fatigue resistance of PF muscles was lower in the EAM than in the CNT group (P < 0.05). These changes were associated with decreased activities of citrate synthase and cytochrome c oxidase and increased expression levels of the endoplasmic reticulum stress proteins (glucose-regulated protein 78 and 94, and PKR-like ER kinase) (P < 0.05). HIIT restored all these alterations and increased the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) and the mitochondrial electron transport chain complexes (I, III, and IV) in the muscles of EAM mice (P < 0.05).
    CONCLUSIONS: HIIT improves fatigue resistance in a SAM mouse model, and this can be explained by the restoration of mitochondria oxidative capacity via inhibition of the ER stress pathway and PGC-1α-mediated mitochondrial biogenesis.
  12. Front Physiol. 2022 ;13 898395
      Skeletal muscle is one of the most dynamic metabolic organs as evidenced by increases in metabolic rate of >150-fold from rest to maximal contractile activity. Because of limited intracellular stores of ATP, activation of metabolic pathways is required to maintain the necessary rates of ATP re-synthesis during sustained contractions. During the very early phase, phosphocreatine hydrolysis and anaerobic glycolysis prevails but as activity extends beyond ∼1 min, oxidative phosphorylation becomes the major ATP-generating pathway. Oxidative metabolism of macronutrients is highly dependent on the cardiovascular system to deliver O2 to the contracting muscle fibres, which is ensured through a tight coupling between skeletal muscle O2 utilization and O2 delivery. However, to what extent O2 delivery is ideal in terms of enabling optimal metabolic and contractile function is context-dependent and determined by a complex interaction of several regulatory systems. The first part of the review focuses on local and systemic mechanisms involved in the regulation of O2 delivery and how integration of these influences the matching of skeletal muscle O2 demand and O2 delivery. In the second part, alterations in cardiovascular function and structure associated with aging and heart failure, and how these impact metabolic and contractile function, will be addressed. Where applicable, the potential of exercise training to offset/reverse age- and disease-related cardiovascular declines will be highlighted in the context of skeletal muscle metabolic function. The review focuses on human data but also covers animal observations.
    Keywords:  O2 uptake kinetics; blood flow; cycling; handgrip exercise; knee-extensor exercise
  13. Mol Metab. 2022 Jun 27. pii: S2212-8778(22)00105-3. [Epub ahead of print] 101536
      OBJECTIVE: Mutations in the copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive fatal neuromuscular disease characterized by motor neurons death and severe skeletal muscle degeneration. However, there is no effective treatment for this debilitating disease, since the underlying cause for the pathogenesis remains poorly understood. Here, we investigated a role of acyl-CoA:lysocardiolipin acyltransferase 1 (ALCAT1), an acyltransferase that promotes mitochondrial dysfunction in age-related diseases by catalyzing pathological remodeling of cardiolipin, in promoting the development of ALS in the SOD1G93A transgenic mice.METHODS: Using SOD1G93A transgenic mice with targeted deletion of the ALCAT1 gene and treated with Dafaglitapin (Dafa), a very potent and highly selective ALCAT1 inhibitor, we determined whether ablation or pharmaceutical inhibition of ALCAT1 by Dafa would mitigate ALS and the underlying pathogenesis by preventing pathological remodeling of cardiolipin, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction by multiple approaches, including lifespan analysis, behavioral tests, morphological and functional analysis of skeletal muscle, electron microscopic and Seahorse analysis of mitochondrial morphology and respiration, western blot analysis of the SOD1G93A protein aggregation, and lipidomic analysis of cardiolipin content and acyl composition in mice spinal cord.
    RESULTS: ALCAT1 protein expression is potently upregulated in the skeletal muscle of the SOD1G93A mice. Consequently, ablation or pharmacological inhibition of ALCAT1 by Dafa attenuates motor neuron dysfunction, neuronal inflammation, and skeletal muscle atrophy in SOD1G93A mice by preventing SOD1G93A protein aggregation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and pathological CL remodeling, leading to moderate extension of lifespan in the SOD1G93A transgenic mice.
    CONCLUSION: ALCAT1 promotes the development of ALS by linking SOD1G93A protein aggregation to mitochondrial dysfunction, implicating Dafa as a potential treatment for this debilitating disorder.
    Keywords:  ALS; SOD1 aggregation; cardiolipin; mitochondrial dysfunction; neuronal inflammation
  14. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2022 Jun 27.
      Skeletal muscle consists of slow and fast myofibers in which different myosin isoforms are expressed. Approximately 300 myosins form a single thick filament in the myofibrils, where myosin is continuously exchanged. However, endogenous slow and fast myosin dynamics have not been fully understood. To elucidate those dynamics, here we generated mice expressing green fluorescence protein-tagged slow myosin heavy chain (GFP-Myh7) and Kusabira Orange fluorescence protein-tagged fast myosin heavy chain (KuO-Myh1). First, these mice enabled us to distinguish between GFP- and KuO-myofibers under fluorescence microscopy: GFP-Myh7 and KuO-Myh1 were exclusively expressed in slow myofibers and fast myofibers, respectively. Next, to monitor endogenous myosin dynamics, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) was conducted. The mobile fraction (Mf) of GFP-Myh7 and that of KuO-Myh1 were almost constant values independent of the regions of the myofibers and the muscle portions where the myofibers were isolated. Intriguingly, proteasome inhibitor treatment significantly decreased the Mf in GFP-Myh7 but not in KuO-Myh1 myofibers, indicating that the response to a disturbance in protein turnover depended on muscle fiber type. Taken together, the present results indicated that the mice we generated are promising tools not only for distinguishing between GFP- and KuO-myofibers but also for studying the dynamics of endogenous myosin isoforms by live-cell fluorescence imaging.
    Keywords:  FRAP; Myofibril; Myosin; Skeletal muscle; Thick filament
  15. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022 ;13 915509
      Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle is of fundamental importance to prevent postprandial hyperglycemia, and long-term deficits in insulin-stimulated glucose uptake underlie insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Skeletal muscle is responsible for ~80% of the peripheral glucose uptake from circulation via the insulin-responsive glucose transporter GLUT4. GLUT4 is mainly sequestered in intracellular GLUT4 storage vesicles in the basal state. In response to insulin, the GLUT4 storage vesicles rapidly translocate to the plasma membrane, where they undergo vesicle docking, priming, and fusion via the high-affinity interactions among the soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) exocytosis proteins and their regulators. Numerous studies have elucidated that GLUT4 translocation is defective in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Emerging evidence also links defects in several SNAREs and SNARE regulatory proteins to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in rodents and humans. Therefore, we highlight the latest research on the role of SNAREs and their regulatory proteins in insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation in skeletal muscle. Subsequently, we discuss the novel emerging role of SNARE proteins as interaction partners in pathways not typically thought to involve SNAREs and how these atypical functions reveal novel therapeutic targets for combating peripheral insulin resistance and diabetes.
    Keywords:  SNARE protein; glucose transporter-4 (GLUT4); glucose uptake; insulin resistance; skeletal muscle; type 2 diabetes
  16. J Nanobiotechnology. 2022 Jun 27. 20(1): 304
      Muscle atrophy is a frequently observed complication, characterized by the loss of muscle mass and strength, which diminishes the quality of life and survival. No effective therapy except exercise is currently available. In our previous study, repressing miR-29b has been shown to reduce muscle atrophy. In our current study, we have constructed artificially engineered extracellular vesicles for the delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 to target miR-29b (EVs-Cas9-29b). EVs-Cas9-29b has shown a favorable functional effect with respect to miR-29b repression in a specific and rapid manner by gene editing. In in vitro conditions, EVs-Cas9-29b could protect against muscle atrophy induced by dexamethasone (Dex), angiotensin II (AngII), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). And EVs-Cas9-29b introduced in vivo preserved muscle function in the well-established immobilization and denervation-induced muscle atrophy mice model. Our work demonstrates an engineered extracellular vesicles delivery of the miR-29b editing system, which could be potentially used for muscle atrophy therapy.
    Keywords:  CRISPR/Cas9; Engineered extracellular vesicles; Muscle atrophy; Therapy; miR-29b
  17. Sci Transl Med. 2022 Jun 29. 14(651): eabg7504
      The role of tissue-resident macrophages during tissue regeneration or fibrosis is not well understood, mainly due to the lack of a specific marker for their identification. Here, we identified three populations of skeletal muscle-resident myelomonocytic cells: a population of macrophages positive for lymphatic vessel endothelial receptor 1 (LYVE1) and T cell membrane protein 4 (TIM4 or TIMD4), a population of LYVE1-TIM4- macrophages, and a population of cells likely representing dendritic cells that were positive for CD11C and major histocompatibility complex class II (MHCII). Using a combination of parabiosis and lineage-tracing experiments, we found that, at steady state, TIM4- macrophages were replenished from the blood, whereas TIM4+ macrophages locally self-renewed [self-renewing resident macrophages (SRRMs)]. We further showed that Timd4 could be reliably used to distinguish SRRMs from damage-induced infiltrating macrophages. Using a colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) inhibition/withdrawal approach to specifically deplete SRRMs, we found that SRRMs provided a nonredundant function in clearing damage-induced apoptotic cells early after extensive acute injury. In contrast, in chronic mild injury as seen in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, depletion of both TIM4-- and TIM4+-resident macrophage populations through long-term CSF1R inhibition changed muscle fiber composition from damage-sensitive glycolytic fibers toward damage-resistant glycolytic-oxidative fibers, thereby protecting muscle against contraction-induced injury both ex vivo and in vivo. This work reveals a previously unidentified role for resident macrophages in modulating tissue metabolism and may have therapeutic potential given the ongoing clinical testing of CSF1R inhibitors.
  18. Front Physiol. 2022 ;13 892979
      Small molecule cardiac troponin activators could potentially enhance cardiac muscle contraction in the treatment of systolic heart failure. We designed a small molecule, RPI-194, to bind cardiac/slow skeletal muscle troponin (Cardiac muscle and slow skeletal muscle share a common isoform of the troponin C subunit.) Using solution NMR and stopped flow fluorescence spectroscopy, we determined that RPI-194 binds to cardiac troponin with a dissociation constant KD of 6-24 μM, stabilizing the activated complex between troponin C and the switch region of troponin I. The interaction between RPI-194 and troponin C is weak (KD 311 μM) in the absence of the switch region. RPI-194 acts as a calcium sensitizer, shifting the pCa50 of isometric contraction from 6.28 to 6.99 in mouse slow skeletal muscle fibers and from 5.68 to 5.96 in skinned cardiac trabeculae at 100 μM concentration. There is also some cross-reactivity with fast skeletal muscle fibers (pCa50 increases from 6.27 to 6.52). In the slack test performed on the same skinned skeletal muscle fibers, RPI-194 slowed the velocity of unloaded shortening at saturating calcium concentrations, suggesting that it slows the rate of actin-myosin cross-bridge cycling under these conditions. However, RPI-194 had no effect on the ATPase activity of purified actin-myosin. In isolated unloaded mouse cardiomyocytes, RPI-194 markedly decreased the velocity and amplitude of contractions. In contrast, cardiac function was preserved in mouse isolated perfused working hearts. In summary, the novel troponin activator RPI-194 acts as a calcium sensitizer in all striated muscle types. Surprisingly, it also slows the velocity of unloaded contraction, but the cause and significance of this is uncertain at this time. RPI-194 represents a new class of non-specific troponin activator that could potentially be used either to enhance cardiac muscle contractility in the setting of systolic heart failure or to enhance skeletal muscle contraction in neuromuscular disorders.
    Keywords:  calcium sensitizer; cardiac troponin activator; inotrope; striated muscle; systolic heart failure; thin filament
  19. Muscle Nerve. 2022 Jun 28.
      INTRODUCTION/AIMS: Raman spectroscopy is an emerging technique for the evaluation of muscle disease. Here, we evaluate the ability of in vivo intramuscular Raman spectroscopy to detect the effects of voluntary running in the mdx model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). We also compare mdx data to muscle spectra from human patients.METHODS: Thirty 90-day old mdx mice were randomly allocated to an exercised group (48 hours access to a running wheel) and an unexercised group (n=15 per group). In vivo Raman spectra were collected from both gastrocnemius muscles and histopathological assessment subsequently performed. Raman data were analysed using principal component analysis fed linear discriminant analysis (PCA-LDA). Exercised and unexercised mdx muscle spectra were compared to human DMD samples using cosine similarity.
    RESULTS: Exercised mice ran an average of 6.5km over 48 hours which induced a significant increase in muscle necrosis (P=0.03). PCA-LDA scores were significantly different between the exercised and unexercised groups (P<0.0001) and correlated significantly with distance run (P=0.01). Raman spectra from exercised mice were more similar to human spectra than those from unexercised mice.
    DISCUSSION: Raman spectroscopy provides a readout of the biochemical alterations in muscle in both the mdx mouse and human DMD muscle.
    Keywords:  Duchenne muscular dystrophy; Raman spectroscopy; biomarker; mdx mouse; mouse model; muscle damage
  20. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2022 Jun 30.
      BACKGROUND: As glucocorticoids induce muscle atrophy during the treatment course of polymyositis (PM), novel therapeutic strategy is awaited that suppresses muscle inflammation but retains muscle strength. We recently found that injured muscle fibres in PM undergo FASLG-mediated necroptosis, a form of regulated cell death accompanied by release of pro-inflammatory mediators, contributes to accelerate muscle inflammation and muscle weakness. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists have pleiotropic actions including anti-inflammatory effects, prevention of muscle atrophy, and inhibition of cell death, in addition to anti-diabetic effect. We aimed in this study to examine the role of GLP-1R in PM and the effect of a GLP-1R agonist on in vivo and in vitro models of PM.METHODS: Muscle specimens of PM patients and a murine model of PM, C protein-induced myositis (CIM), were examined for the expression of GLP-1R. The effect of PF1801, a GLP-1R agonist, on CIM was evaluated in monotherapy or in combination with prednisolone (PSL). As an in vitro model of PM, C2C12-derived myotubes were treated with FASLG to induce necroptosis. The effect of PF1801 on this model was analysed.
    RESULTS: GLP-1R was expressed on the inflamed muscle fibres of PM and CIM. The treatment of CIM with PF1801 in monotherapy (PF) or in combination with PSL (PF + PSL) suppressed CIM-induced muscle weakness (grip strength, mean ± SD (g); PF 227 ± 6.0 (P < 0.01), PF + PSL 224 ± 8.5 (P < 0.01), Vehicle 162 ± 6.0) and decrease in cross-sectional area of muscle fibres (mean ± SD (μm2 ); PF 1896 ± 144 (P < 0.05), PF + PSL 2018 ± 445 (P < 0.01), Vehicle 1349 ± 199) as well as the severity of histological inflammation scores (median, interquartile range; PF 0.0, 0.0-0.5 (P < 0.05), PF + PSL 0.0, 0.0-0.0 (P < 0.01), Vehicle 1.9, 1.3-3.3). PF1801 decreased the levels of inflammatory mediators such as TNFα, IL-6, and HMGB1 in the serum of CIM. PF1801 inhibited necroptosis of the myotubes in an AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-dependent manner. PF1801 activated AMPK and decreased the expression of PGAM5, a mitochondrial protein, which was crucial for necroptosis of the myotubes. PF1801 promoted the degradation of PGAM5 through ubiquitin-proteasome activity. Furthermore, PF1801 suppressed FASLG-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation in myotubes, also crucial for the execution of necroptosis, thorough up-regulating the antioxidant molecules including Nfe2l2, Hmox1, Gclm, and Nqo1.
    CONCLUSIONS: GLP-1R agonist could be a novel therapy for PM that recovers muscle weakness and suppresses muscle inflammation through inhi biting muscle fibre necroptosis.
    Keywords:  GLP-1R agonist; Inflammatory myopathies; Necroptosis; Oxidative stress; Polymyositis
  21. Mol Cell. 2022 Jun 16. pii: S1097-2765(22)00540-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Protein import into mitochondria is a highly regulated process, yet how cells clear mitochondria undergoing dysfunctional protein import remains poorly characterized. Here we showed that mitochondrial protein import stress (MPIS) triggers localized LC3 lipidation. This arm of the mitophagy pathway occurs through the Nod-like receptor (NLR) protein NLRX1 while, surprisingly, without the engagement of the canonical mitophagy protein PINK1. Mitochondrial depolarization, which itself induces MPIS, also required NLRX1 for LC3 lipidation. While normally targeted to the mitochondrial matrix, cytosol-retained NLRX1 recruited RRBP1, a ribosome-binding transmembrane protein of the endoplasmic reticulum, which relocated to the mitochondrial vicinity during MPIS, and the NLRX1/RRBP1 complex in turn controlled the recruitment and lipidation of LC3. Furthermore, NLRX1 controlled skeletal muscle mitophagy in vivo and regulated endurance capacity during exercise. Thus, localization and lipidation of LC3 at the site of mitophagosome formation is a regulated step of mitophagy controlled by NLRX1/RRBP1 in response to MPIS.
    Keywords:  NLRX1; Nod-like receptors; mitochondria; mitochondrial protein import; mitophagy
  22. Front Med (Lausanne). 2022 ;9 894996
      Sarcopenia is a geriatric syndrome that is characterized by a progressive and generalized skeletal muscle disorder and can be associated with many comorbidities, including obesity, diabetes, and fracture. Its definitions, given by the AWGS and EWGSOP, are widely used. Sarcopenia is measured by muscle strength, muscle quantity or mass and physical performance. Currently, the importance and urgency of sarcopenia have grown. The application of blood flow restriction (BFR) training has received increased attention in managing sarcopenia. BFR is accomplished using a pneumatic cuff on the proximal aspect of the exercising limb. Two main methods of exercise, aerobic exercise and resistance exercise, have been applied with BFR in treating sarcopenia. Both methods can increase muscle mass and muscle strength to a certain extent. Intricate mechanisms are involved during BFRT. Currently, the presented mechanisms mainly include responses in the blood vessels and related hormones, such as growth factors, tissue hypoxia-related factors and recruitment of muscle fiber as well as muscle satellite cells. These mechanisms contribute to the positive balance of skeletal muscle synthesis, which in turn mitigates sarcopenia. As a more suited and more effective way of treating sarcopenia and its comorbidities, BFRT can serve as an alternative to traditional exercise for people who have marked physical limitations or even show superior outcomes under low loads. However, the possibility of causing stress or muscle damage must be considered. Cuff size, pressure, training load and other variables can affect the outcome of sarcopenia, which must also be considered. Thoroughly studying these factors can help to better determine an ideal BFRT scheme and better manage sarcopenia and its associated comorbidities. As a well-tolerated and novel form of exercise, BFRT offers more potential in treating sarcopenia and involves deeper insights into the function and regulation of skeletal muscle.
    Keywords:  aerobic training; aging; blood flow restriction training; resistance training; sarcopenia
  23. Cell Discov. 2022 Jun 28. 8(1): 61
      During development, different cell types originate from a common progenitor at well-defined time points. Previous lineage-tracing of Pax7+ progenitors from the somitic mesoderm has established its developmental trajectory towards the dermis, brown adipocytes, and skeletal muscle in the dorsal trunk; yet the molecular switches and mechanisms guiding the differentiation into different lineages remain unknown. We performed lineage-tracing of Pax7-expressing cells in mouse embryos at E9.5 and profiled the transcriptomes of Pax7-progenies on E12.5, E14.5, and E16.5 at single-cell level. Analysis of single-cell transcriptomic data at multiple time points showed temporal-specific differentiation events toward muscle, dermis, and brown adipocyte, identified marker genes for putative progenitors and revealed transcription factors that could drive lineage-specific differentiation. We then utilized a combination of surface markers identified in the single-cell data, Pdgfra, Thy1, and Cd36, to enrich brown adipocytes, dermal fibroblasts, and progenitors specific for these two cell types at E14.5 and E16.5. These enriched cell populations were then used for further culture and functional assays in vitro, in which Wnt5a and Rgcc are shown to be important factors that could alter lineage decisions during embryogenesis. Notably, we found a bipotent progenitor population at E14.5, having lineage potentials towards both dermal fibroblasts and brown adipocytes. They were termed eFAPs (embryonic fibro/adipogenic progenitors) as they functionally resemble adult fibro/adipogenic progenitors. Overall, this study provides further understanding of the Pax7 lineage during embryonic development using a combination of lineage tracing with temporally sampled single-cell transcriptomics.
  24. Dev Biol. 2022 Jun 24. pii: S0012-1606(22)00131-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cell growth and proliferation must be balanced during development to attain a final adult size with the appropriate proportions of internal organs to maximize fitness and reproduction. While multiple signaling pathways coordinate Drosophila development, it is unclear how multi-organ communication within and between tissues converge to regulate systemic growth. One such growth pathway, mediated by insulin-like peptides that bind to and activate the insulin receptor in multiple target tissues, is a primary mediator of organismal size. Here we uncover a signaling role for the NUAK serine/threonine kinase in muscle tissue that impinges upon insulin pathway activity to limit overall body size, including a reduction in the growth of individual organs. In skeletal muscle tissue, manipulation of NUAK or insulin pathway components influences sarcomere number concomitant with modulation of thin and thick filament lengths, possibly by modulating the localization of Lasp, a nebulin repeat protein known to set thin filament length. This mode of sarcomere remodeling does not occur in other mutants that also exhibit smaller muscles, suggesting that a sensing mechanism exists in muscle tissue to regulate sarcomere growth that is independent of tissue size control.
    Keywords:  Drosophila; Insulin signaling; Muscle; NUAK; Sarcomere
  25. PLoS One. 2022 ;17(6): e0270418
      Thymidine kinase 2 (TK2) deficiency in humans leads to a myopathic form of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deficiency. Here we present a skeletal and cardiac muscle specific TK2 knockout mouse (mTk2 KO). The mice showed dilated hearts and markedly reduced adipose tissue during week 12 to 16. A severe decrease of mtDNA was found only in skeletal muscle and heart tissue in mTk2 KO mice. Expression analysis of key metabolic genes of 16 weeks knockout mice showed significant changes of genes involved in lipid metabolism, with different patterns in heart and skeletal muscle. Our study further suggests that lipoprotein lipase (LPL) from liver supports the metabolism when heart and skeletal muscle were impaired due to mitochondrial dysfunction. The angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which is involved in glucose homeostasis, was also affected by mtDNA deficiency in our study. Interestingly, both the gene and protein expression of ACE2 were increased in cardiac tissue of mTk2 KO mice. Since ACE2 is a receptor for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, its regulation in relation to mitochondrial function may have important clinical implications.
  26. Mol Genet Genomic Med. 2022 Jun 27. e2008
      BACKGROUND: Actin, alpha, skeletal muscle 1 (ACTA1) is one of the causative genes of nemaline myopathy (NM) and congenital fiber-type disproportion (CFTD). CFTD is characterized by type 1 fiber atrophy and distinguished from NM in the absence of rods. Eight patients with CFTD, including one patient with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), have previously been reported. Herein, we report the case of a 10-year-old boy presenting with CFTD and DCM.METHODS: We performed exome sequencing and analyzed the effect of Met327Lys mutations on cultured C2C12 muscle cells compared with that seen in the wild type (WT, ACTA1) and previously identified Asp294Val mutations associated with a severe phenotype of CFTD without cardiomyopathy.
    RESULTS: Exome sequencing revealed a de novo mutation, c.980 T > A, p.(Met327Lys), in ACTA1 (NM_001100.4). C2C12 cells transfected with the WT plasmid expressed ACTA1 in the nucleus and cytoplasm. Cells with the Asp294Val mutant showed needle-like structures in the cytoplasm, whereas the expression of the Met327Lys mutant resulted in few aggregations but many apoptotic cells.
    CONCLUSION: Apoptosis induced in Met327Lys-transfected muscle cells supports the pathogenicity of the mutation and can be implicated as one of the histopathological features associated with CFTD, as in NM.
    Keywords:  actin; alpha; apoptosis; congenital fiber-type disproportion; dilated cardiomyopathy; skeletal muscle 1
  27. J Biol Chem. 2022 Jun 24. pii: S0021-9258(22)00638-X. [Epub ahead of print] 102196
      In human cells, ATP is generated using oxidative phosphorylation machinery, which is inoperable without proteins encoded by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The DNA polymerase gamma (Polγ) repairs and replicates the multicopy mtDNA genome in concert with additional factors. The Polγ catalytic subunit is encoded by the POLG gene, and mutations in this gene cause mtDNA genome instability and disease. Barriers to studying the molecular effects of disease mutations include scarcity of patient samples and a lack of available mutant models; therefore, we developed a human SJCRH30 myoblast cell line model with the most common autosomal dominant POLG mutation, c.2864A>G/p.Y955C, as individuals with this mutation can present with progressive skeletal muscle weakness. Using on-target sequencing, we detected a 50% conversion frequency of the mutation, confirming heterozygous Y955C substitution. We found mutated cells grew slowly in a glucose-containing medium and had reduced mitochondrial bioenergetics compared to the parental cell line. Furthermore, growing Y955C cells in a galactose-containing medium to obligate mitochondrial function enhanced these bioenergetic deficits. Also, we show complex I NDUFB8 and ND3 protein levels were decreased in the mutant cell line, and the maintenance of mtDNA was severely impaired (i.e., lower copy number, fewer nucleoids, and an accumulation of Y955C-specific replication intermediates). Finally, we show the mutant cells have increased sensitivity to the mitochondrial toxicant 2'-3'-dideoxycytidine. We expect this POLG Y955C cell line to be a robust system to identify new mitochondrial toxicants and therapeutics to treat mitochondrial dysfunction.
    Keywords:  2′-3′-dideoxycytidine (ddC, zalcitabine); Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) maintenance; POLG c.2864A>G/p.Y955C; SJCRH30; autosomal dominant progressive external ophthalmoplegia (adPEO); cell line model of mitochondrial disease; mitochondrial toxicity
  28. J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 2022 Jun 26.
      Skeletal muscle dysfunction is a common comorbidity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and the molecular mechanisms regarding to the pathogenesis of this disease have not been elucidated. In this study, a novel miR-145-5p was significantly upregulated in the serum collected from patients with COPD-associated muscle atrophy, in contrast with the normal participants. Then, we evidenced that silencing of miR-145-5p suppressed cell death and elongated cell survival during cell culture process. Consistently, upregulation of miR-145-5p induced cell apoptosis and restrain cell viability in the C2C12 cells, suggesting that miR-145-5p contributes to cell death. Further experiments evidenced that miR-145-5p decreased the expression levels of phosphorylated PI3K (p-PI3K), Akt (p-Akt) and mTOR (p-mTOR) to inactivate the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway, and this pathway was also reactivated by miR-145-5p ablation. Finally, we proved that the protective effects of miR-145-5p ablation were abrogated by co-treating cells with PI3K inhibitor LY294002. Taken together, we concluded that miR-145-5p promoted cell death to facilitate muscle dysfunctions via inactivating the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway.
    Keywords:  Apoptotic cell death; Cell viability; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway; Skeletal muscle dysfunction
  29. Mech Ageing Dev. 2022 Jun 22. pii: S0047-6374(22)00072-0. [Epub ahead of print] 111690
      Osteosarcopenia is an age-related condition characterized by fragile bone and low muscle mass and function. Fat infiltration concomitantly contributes to age-related bone and muscle decline. Fat-secreted factors could be locally secreted in the muscle and bone marrow milieu affecting cell function and survival. However, the specific fat-related secretory factors that may simultaneously affect those tissues remain unknown. Using targeted-lipidomics approach, we comprehensively quantified fat composition (lipid mediators [LMs]) in bone marrow flush, gastrocnemius and serum obtained from 6-, 24- and 42-week-old C57BL6 mice. Compared to young mice (6wks), all tissues in older mice showed significantly higher levels of arachidonic acid (AA) and AA-derived eicosanoids, PGA 2, TXB 2, and 11,12-EET, which are known to affect muscle and bone function. Moreover, Lipoxin B4, another AA product and an enhancer of bone turnover and negative regulator for muscle, showed significantly lower values in older mice compared to young mice in both genders. Furthermore, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid autoxidation products (20-HDoHE, 11-HDoHE, 7-HDoHE and 4-HDoHE), and omega-3 fatty acids that negatively regulate bone and muscle health, were significantly higher in older mice. In conclusion, these results suggest that LMs could play a role in modulating musculoskeletal function during aging.
    Keywords:  Lipidomics; aging; bone; muscle; osteosarcopenia
  30. JCI Insight. 2022 Jun 28. pii: e157336. [Epub ahead of print]
      Striated preferentially expressed protein kinase (SPEG), a myosin light chain kinase, is mutated in centronuclear myopathy (CNM) and/or dilated cardiomyopathy. No precise therapies are available against this disorder, and gene replacement therapy is not a feasible option due to the large size of SPEG. We evaluated the potential of dynamin-2 (DNM2) reduction as a potential therapeutic strategy as it has been shown to revert muscle phenotypes in mouse models of CNM caused by MTM1, DNM2, and BIN1 mutations. We determined that SPEGβ interacts with DNM2, and SPEG deficiency causes an increase in DNM2 levels. The DNM2 reduction strategy in Speg-KO mice was associated with an increase in life span, body weight, and motor performance. Additionally, it normalized the distribution of triadic proteins, triad ultrastructure, and triad number, and restored phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate levels in SPEG-deficient skeletal muscles. While DNM2 reduction rescued the myopathy phenotype, it did not improve cardiac dysfunction, indicating a differential tissue-specific function. Combining DNM2 reduction with other strategies may be needed to target both the cardiac and skeletal defects associated with SPEG deficiency. DNM2 reduction should be explored as a therapeutic strategy against other genetic myopathies (and dystrophies) associated with a high level of DNM2.
    Keywords:  Gene therapy; Mouse models; Muscle; Muscle Biology; Therapeutics
  31. Curr Protein Pept Sci. 2022 Jun 29.
      Physical inactivity is a major cause of chronic diseases. It shortens the health span by lowering the age of the first chronic disease onset, which leads to decreased quality of life and increased mortality risk. On the other hand, physical exercise is considered a miracle cure in the primary prevention of at least 35 chronic diseases, including obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. However, despite many scientific attempts to unveil the health benefits conferred by regular exercise, the underlying molecular mechanisms driving such benefits are not fully explored. Recent research shows that exercise-induced bioactive molecules, named exerkines, might play a critical role in the regulation of metabolic homeostasis and thus prevent metabolic diseases. Here we summarize the current understanding of the health-promoting effects of exerkines secreted from skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, bone, and liver, including MOTS-c, BDNF, miR-1, 12,13-diHOME, irisin, spexin, osteocalcin, GDF15, and FGF21 on obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Identifying the systemic health benefits of exerkines may open a new area for the discovery of new pharmacological strategies for the prevention and management of metabolic diseases.
    Keywords:  12; 13-diHOME; Exercise; MOTS-c; exerkines; insulin resistance; obesity; spexin; type 2 diabetes
  32. CRISPR J. 2022 Jun 27.
      Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and pelvic floor disorder (PFD) are common conditions with limited treatment options in women worldwide. Regenerative therapy to restore urethral striated and pelvic floor muscles represents a valuable therapeutic approach. We aim to determine the CRISPR interference-mediated gene silencing effect of the nonviral delivery of nuclease-deactivated dCas9 ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex on muscle regeneration at the cellular and molecular level. We designed four myostatin (MSTN)-targeting sgRNAs and transfected them into rat myoblast L6 cells together with the dCas9 protein. Myogenesis assay and immunofluorescence staining were performed to evaluate muscle differentiation, while CCK8 assay, cell cycle assay, and 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine staining were used to measure muscle proliferation. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting were also performed to examine cellular signaling. Myogenic factors (including myosin heavy chain, MSTN, myocardin, and serum response factor) increased significantly after day 5 during myogenesis. MSTN was efficiently silenced after transfecting the dCas9 RNP complex, which significantly promoted more myotube formation and a higher fusion index for L6 cells. In cellular signaling, MSTN repression enhanced the expression of MyoG and MyoD, phosphorylation of Smad2, and the activity of Wnt1/GSK-3β/β-catenin pathway. Moreover, MSTN repression accelerated L6 cell growth with a higher cell proliferation index as well as a higher expression of cyclin D1 and cyclin E. Nonviral delivery of the dCas9 RNP complex significantly promoted myoblast differentiation and proliferation, providing a promising approach to improve muscle regeneration for SUI and PFD. Further characterization and validation of this approach in vivo are needed.
  33. Nucleic Acids Res. 2022 Jul 01. pii: gkac567. [Epub ahead of print]
      Targeted chromosomal insertion of large genetic payloads in human cells leverages and broadens synthetic biology and genetic therapy efforts. Yet, obtaining large-scale gene knock-ins remains particularly challenging especially in hard-to-transfect stem and progenitor cells. Here, fully viral gene-deleted adenovector particles (AdVPs) are investigated as sources of optimized high-specificity CRISPR-Cas9 nucleases and donor DNA constructs tailored for targeted insertion of full-length dystrophin expression units (up to 14.8-kb) through homologous recombination (HR) or homology-mediated end joining (HMEJ). In muscle progenitor cells, donors prone to HMEJ yielded higher CRISPR-Cas9-dependent genome editing frequencies than HR donors, with values ranging between 6% and 34%. In contrast, AdVP transduction of HR and HMEJ substrates in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) resulted in similar CRISPR-Cas9-dependent genome editing levels. Notably, when compared to regular iPSCs, in p53 knockdown iPSCs, CRISPR-Cas9-dependent genome editing frequencies increased up to 6.7-fold specifically when transducing HMEJ donor constructs. Finally, single DNA molecule analysis by molecular combing confirmed that AdVP-based genome editing achieves long-term complementation of DMD-causing mutations through the site-specific insertion of full-length dystrophin expression units. In conclusion, AdVPs are a robust and flexible platform for installing large genomic edits in human cells and p53 inhibition fosters HMEJ-based genome editing in iPSCs.