Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

An ambulance man for muscle damage

18.12.2007
Scientists harness a natural emergency response to increase the regeneration ability of muscle

It does not take much to injure a muscle. Sometimes one sudden, inconsiderate movement does the job. Unfortunately, damaged muscles are not as efficient at repair as other tissues such as bone. Researchers of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s Mouse Biology Unit (EMBL), Italy, and the Harefield Heart Science Centre of Imperial College London, have now discovered a molecular signal that helps muscle regenerate and protects it from atrophy. In this week’s issue of the Journal of Cell Biology they report that the naturally occurring protein is a promising candidate for new strategies in treating muscle damage and wasting.

Muscle regeneration after injury is complex and requires a coordinated interplay between many different processes. Key players in regeneration are muscle stem cells, so-called satellite cells. They divide and produce many new muscle cells to fix the damage incurred by injury. A crucial regulator of muscle function and repair is a signalling molecule called calcineurin. It is activated by injury and controls the activity of other key proteins involved in differentiation and the response to damage.

Nadia Rosenthal, head of EMBL’s Mouse Biology Unit, and her team have now found a naturally occurring version of calcineurin, called CnAß1 that is permanently active and uncouples the protein’s activity from injury signals. The expression of CnAß1, however, is tightly regulated. It is expressed from the same gene as other versions of the calcineurin Aß subunit that are not permanently active. CnAß1 gains its unique properties by a process called RNA splicing. When the gene has been copied from DNA into RNA certain pieces of information are cut out of the RNA molecule and will not make part of the protein. This is why CnAß1 lacks a regulatory site that normally represses its activity.

... more about:
»Calcineurin »CnAß1 »injury

“This system allows flexible reaction to muscle injury,” says Rosenthal. “Permanently active CnAß1 is expressed only in proliferating stem cells and regenerating muscles, suggesting it as something like an ambulance man that is called only in response to muscle damage.”

To test the effects of permanent CnAß1 expression Enrique Lara-Pezzi from Rosenthal’s lab overexpessed CnAß1 in muscle cells, and observed increased proliferation of muscle stem cells. Switching off the protein had the opposite effect; stem cells stopped dividing and differentiated into muscle cells instead. When CnAß1 was overexpressed in the muscles of transgenic mice, the animals were resistant to the destructive effects of muscle injury and regenerated the damage more efficiently.

Using sophisticated molecular techniques the scientists revealed that calcineurin accomplishes its effect on muscle by inhibiting another protein called FoxO. FoxO is a transcription factor, a protein that plays a crucial role in skeletal muscle atrophy through the induction of genes involved in cell cycle repression and protein degradation. Suppressing the effects of FoxO, calcineurin ensures that proliferating cells stay alive and keep dividing to produce enough cells to repair muscle damage.

“Supplementary CnAß1 also reduces the formation of scars in damaged muscle, helps speed up the resolution of inflammation and protects muscle cells from atrophy under starvation,” says Rosenthal. “These effects make CnAß1 a promising candidate for new therapeutic approaches against muscle wasting.”

Published on 17 December in Journal of Cell Biology.

Anna-Lynn Wegener
Press Officer
EMBL
Meyerhofstrasse 1
D-69117 Heidelberg
tel. +49-6221-3878452
fax +49-6221-387525
wegener@embl.de

Anna-Lynn Wegener | EMBL
Further information:
http://www.embl.org/aboutus/news/press/2007/17dec07/

Further reports about: Calcineurin CnAß1 injury

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>