Transcriptional profiling in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy to identify candidate biomarkers.
ABSTRACT: Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is a progressive neuromuscular disorder caused by contractions of repetitive elements within the macrosatellite D4Z4 on chromosome 4q35. The pathophysiology of FSHD is unknown and, as a result, there is currently no effective treatment available for this disease. To better understand the pathophysiology of FSHD and develop mRNA-based biomarkers of affected muscles, we compared global analysis of gene expression in two distinct muscles obtained from a large number of FSHD subjects and their unaffected first-degree relatives. Gene expression in two muscle types was analyzed using GeneChip Gene 1.0 ST arrays: biceps, which typically shows an early and severe disease involvement; and deltoid, which is relatively uninvolved. For both muscle types, the expression differences were mild: using relaxed cutoffs for differential expression (fold change ?1.2; nominal P value <0.01), we identified 191 and 110 genes differentially expressed between affected and control samples of biceps and deltoid muscle tissues, respectively, with 29 genes in common. Controlling for a false-discovery rate of <0.25 reduced the number of differentially expressed genes in biceps to 188 and in deltoid to 7. Expression levels of 15 genes altered in this study were used as a "molecular signature" in a validation study of an additional 26 subjects and predicted them as FSHD or control with 90% accuracy based on biceps and 80% accuracy based on deltoids.
Project description:Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is a progressive neuromuscular disorder caused by contractions of repetitive elements within the macrosatellite D4Z4 on chromosome 4q35. In order to develop mRNA-based biomarkers of affected muscles, we used GeneChip Gene 1.0 ST arrays for global analysis of gene expression in muscle biopsy specimens obtained from FSHD subjects and their unaffected first degree relatives. FSHD typically affects biceps muscles more severely than deltoid muscles. To examine muscle-specific expression changes associated with FSHD while controlling for background genetic variation, we analyzed RNA extracted from both biceps and deltoids of FSHD subjects and unaffected first-degree relatives.
Project description:Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), the most prevalent myopathy afflicting both children and adults, is predominantly associated with contractions in the 4q35-localized macrosatellite D4Z4 repeat array. Recent studies have proposed that FSHD pathology is caused by the misexpression of the DUX4 (double homeobox 4) gene resulting in production of a pathogenic protein, DUX4-FL, which has been detected in FSHD, but not in unaffected control myogenic cells and muscle tissue. Here, we report the analysis of DUX4 mRNA and protein expression in a much larger collection of myogenic cells and muscle biopsies derived from biceps and deltoid muscles of FSHD affected subjects and their unaffected first-degree relatives. We confirmed that stable DUX4-fl mRNA and protein were expressed in myogenic cells and muscle tissues derived from FSHD affected subjects, including several genetically diagnosed adult FSHD subjects yet to show clinical manifestations of the disease in the assayed muscles. In addition, we report DUX4-fl mRNA and protein expression in muscle biopsies and myogenic cells from genetically unaffected relatives of the FSHD subjects, although at a significantly lower frequency. These results establish that DUX4-fl expression per se is not sufficient for FSHD muscle pathology and indicate that quantitative modifiers of DUX4-fl expression and/or function and family genetic background are determinants of FSHD muscle disease progression.
Project description:To explore possible mechanisms of pathology in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), we generated a novel library of myogenic cells composed of paired cultures derived from FSHD subjects and unaffected first-degree relatives. We prepared cells from biopsies of both biceps and deltoid muscles obtained from each of 10 FSHD and 9 unaffected donors. We used this new collection to determine how family background and disease affected patterns of growth and differentiation, expression of a panel of candidate, and muscle-specific genes, and responses to exogenous stressors. We found that FSHD and unaffected cells had, on average, indistinguishable patterns of differentiation, gene expression, and dose-response curves to staurosporine, paraquat, hydrogen peroxide, and glutathione depletion. Differentiated FSHD and unaffected cultures were both more sensitive to glutathione depletion than proliferating cultures, but showed similar responses to paraquat, staurosporine, and peroxide. For stress responses, the sample size was sufficient to detect a 10% change in effect at the observed variability with a power of >99%. In contrast, for each of these properties, we found significant differences among cells from different cohorts, and these differences were independent of disease status, gender, or muscle biopsied. Thus, though none of the properties we examined could be used to reliably distinguish between FSHD and unaffected cells, family of origin was an important contributor to gene-expression patterns and stressor responses in cultures of both FSHD and unaffected myogenic cells.
Project description:Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD) is caused by decreased epigenetic repression of the D4Z4 macrosatellite array and recent studies have shown that this results in the expression of low levels of the DUX4 mRNA in skeletal muscle. Several other mechanisms have been suggested for FSHD pathophysiology and it remains unknown whether DUX4 expression can account for most of the molecular changes seen in FSHD. Since DUX4 is a transcription factor, we used RNA-seq to measure gene expression in muscle cells transduced with DUX4, and in muscle cells and biopsies from control and FSHD individuals. We show that DUX4 target gene expression is the major molecular signature in FSHD muscle together with a gene expression signature consistent with an immune cell infiltration. In addition, one unaffected individual without a known FSHD-causing mutation showed the expression of DUX4 target genes. This individual has a sibling with FSHD and also without a known FSHD-causing mutation, suggesting the presence of an unidentified modifier locus for DUX4 expression and FSHD. These findings demonstrate that the expression of DUX4 accounts for the majority of the gene expression changes in FSHD skeletal muscle together with an immune cell infiltration.
Project description:FSHD2 is a rare form of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) characterized by the absence of a contraction in the D4Z4 macrosatellite repeat region on chromosome 4q35 that is the hallmark of FSHD1. However, hypomethylation of this region is common to both subtypes. Recently, mutations in SMCHD1 combined with a permissive 4q35 allele were reported to cause FSHD2. We identified a novel p.Lys275del SMCHD1 mutation in a family affected with FSHD2 using whole-exome sequencing and linkage analysis. This mutation alters a highly conserved amino acid in the ATPase domain of SMCHD1. Subject III-11 is a male who developed asymmetrical muscle weakness characteristic of FSHD at 13 years. Physical examination revealed marked bilateral atrophy at biceps brachii, bilateral scapular winging, some asymmetrical weakness at tibialis anterior and peroneal muscles, and mild lower facial weakness. Biopsy of biceps brachii in subject II-5, the father of III-11, demonstrated lobulated fibers and dystrophic changes. Endomysial and perivascular inflammation was found, which has been reported in FSHD1 but not FSHD2. Given the previous report of SMCHD1 mutations in FSHD2 and the clinical presentations consistent with the FSHD phenotype, we conclude that the SMCHD1 mutation is the likely cause of the disease in this family.
Project description:Muscle biopsies from biceps and deltoid were taken from 5 patients with FSHD, 5 asymptomatic carriers and 5 normal controls. The genome-wide expression patterns were compared using Affymetrix U133 Plus 2.0 chips. Keywords: Facioscapulohumeral, FSHD, muscular dystrophy Overall design: Gene expression profiles were generated for 15 individuals (5 affected patients, 5 asymptomatic carriers and 5 healthy controls)
Project description:Muscle biopsies from biceps and deltoid were taken from 5 patients with FSHD, 5 asymptomatic carriers and 5 normal controls. The genome-wide expression patterns were compared using Affymetrix U133 Plus 2.0 chips. Keywords: Facioscapulohumeral, FSHD, muscular dystrophy Gene expression profiles were generated for 15 individuals (5 affected patients, 5 asymptomatic carriers and 5 healthy controls)
Project description:Whilst a disease-modifying treatment for Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) does not exist currently, recent advances in complex molecular pathophysiology studies of FSHD have led to possible therapeutic approaches for its targeted treatment. Although the underlying genetics of FSHD have been researched extensively, there remains an incomplete understanding of the pathophysiology of FSHD in relation to the molecules leading to DUX4 gene activation and the downstream gene targets of DUX4 that cause its toxic effects. In the context of the local proximity of chromosome 4q to the nuclear envelope, a contraction of the D4Z4 macrosatellite induces lower methylation levels, enabling the ectopic expression of DUX4. This disrupts numerous signalling pathways that mostly result in cell death, detrimentally affecting skeletal muscle in affected individuals. In this regard different options are currently explored either to suppress the transcription of DUX4 gene, inhibiting DUX4 protein from its toxic effects, or to alleviate the symptoms triggered by its numerous targets.
Project description:HIBM is a neuromuscular disorder characterized by adult-onset, slowly progressive distal and proximal muscle weakness. Here, gene expression was measured in muscle specimens from 10 HIBM patients carrying the M712T Persian Jewish founder mutation in GNE and presenting with mild histological changes, and from 10 healthy matched control individuals. Keywords: Muscle specimen Overall design: Samples were taken from muscle specimens (deltoid, biceps, quadriceps, tibialis), from 10 HIBM patients carrying the M712T Persian Jewish founder mutation in GNE and presenting with mild histological changes. Ages of patients range between 20 to 59. Additional 10 matched samples were taken from healthy control individuals (deltoid, biceps, quadriceps, gluteus, paraspinally and triceps muscles), with age range 18 to 74.
Project description:We used a muscle specific cDNA microarray platform to analyze muscle biopsies of 11 characterized FSHD patients, carrying a variable number of KpnI repeats. Keywords: FSHD, cDNA microarray, gene expression profiling, deltoid muscle Overall design: Our muscle specific cDNA microarray platform was used to analyze muscle biopsies of a series of genetically characterized FSHD patients with a range of D4Z4 allele size at the contracted 4qter region and with canonical phenotypes of varying grades of clinical severity. Muscle biopsies were obtained from the distal portion of the left deltoideus muscle. In this study we compared by competitive microarray hybridization the transcription profiles of FSHMD1A muscles with a pool of 10 human deltoideous muscles obtained from normal donors.