Membrane blebbing as an assessment of functional rescue of dysferlin-deficient human myotubes via nonsense suppression.
ABSTRACT: Mutations that result in the loss of the protein dysferlin result in defective muscle membrane repair and cause either a form of limb girdle muscular dystrophy (type 2B) or Miyoshi myopathy. Most patients are compound heterozygotes, often carrying one allele with a nonsense mutation. Using dysferlin-deficient mouse and human myocytes, we demonstrated that membrane blebbing in skeletal muscle myotubes in response to hypotonic shock requires dysferlin. Based on this, we developed an in vitro assay to assess rescue of dysferlin function in skeletal muscle myotubes. This blebbing assay may be useful for drug discovery/validation for dysferlin deficiency. With this assay, we demonstrate that the nonsense suppression drug, ataluren (PTC124), is able to induce read-through of the premature stop codon in a patient with a R1905X mutation in dysferlin and produce sufficient functional dysferlin (approximately 15% of normal levels) to rescue myotube membrane blebbing. Thus ataluren is a potential therapeutic for dysferlin-deficient patients harboring nonsense mutations.
Project description:Nonsense suppression therapy (NST) utilizes compounds such as PTC124 (Ataluren) to induce translational read-through of stop variants by promoting the insertion of near cognate, aminoacyl tRNAs that yield functional proteins. We used NST with PTC124 to determine if we could successfully rescue nonsense variants in human Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4 (BMP4) in vitro and in a zebrafish bmp4 allele with a stop variant in vivo. We transfected 293T/17 cells with wildtype or mutant human BMP4 cDNA containing p.Arg198* and p.Glu213* and exposed cells to 0-20 ?M PTC124. Treatment with 20 ?M PTC124 produced a small, non-significant increase in BMP4 when targeting the p.Arg198* allele, but not the p.Glu213* allele, as measured with an In-cell ELISA assay. We then examined the ability of PTC124 to rescue the ventral tail fin defects associated with homozygosity for the p.Glu209* allele of bmp4 (bmp4st72/st72) in Danio rerio. We in-crossed bmp4st72/+ heterozygous fish and found a statistically significant increase in homozygous larvae without tail fin and ventroposterior defects, consistent with phenotypic rescue, after treatment of dechorionated larvae with 0.5 ?M PTC124. We conclude that treatment with PTC124 can rescue bmp4 nonsense variants, but that the degree of rescue may depend on sequence specific factors and the amount of RNA transcript available for rescue. Our work also confirms that zebrafish show promise as a useful animal model for assessing the efficacy of PTC124 treatment on nonsense variants.
Project description:Biallelic mutations in the dysferlin gene cause limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 2B or Miyoshi distal myopathy. We found that nonsense mutations are the most common mutation type among Korean patients with dysferlinopathy; more than half of the patients have at least one nonsense allele, which may be amenable to readthrough therapy. We generated a knockin mouse, <i>dqx</i>, harboring <i>DYSF</i> p.Q832∗ mutation. Homozygous <i>dqx</i> mice lacked dysferlin in skeletal muscle, while 2 weeks of oral ataluren restored dysferlin expression and ameliorated skeletal muscle pathology. Their physical performance improved, and protection against eccentric contractions was noted. The improvement was most evident in mice treated with oral ataluren of 0.9 mg/mL. These improvements were sustained for 8 weeks in ataluren-treated <i>dqx</i> mice, while the parameters of A/J mice treated with ataluren over the same period did not improve. These results support that readthrough therapy by oral ataluren may also be applicable to dysferlinopathy patients with nonsense mutation.
Project description:Peroxisome biogenesis disorders (PBDs) are multisystemic autosomal recessive disorders resulting from mutations in PEX genes required for normal peroxisome assembly and metabolic activities. Here, we evaluated the potential effectiveness of aminoglycoside G418 (geneticin) and PTC124 (ataluren) nonsense suppression therapies for the treatment of PBD patients with disease-causing nonsense mutations. PBD patient skin fibroblasts producing stable PEX2 or PEX12 nonsense transcripts and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells with a Pex2 nonsense allele all showed dramatic improvements in peroxisomal very long chain fatty acid catabolism and plasmalogen biosynthesis in response to G418 treatments. Cell imaging assays provided complementary confirmatory evidence of improved peroxisome assembly in G418-treated patient fibroblasts. In contrast, we observed no appreciable rescue of peroxisome lipid metabolism or assembly for any patient fibroblast or CHO cell culture treated with various doses of PTC124. Additionally, PTC124 did not show measurable nonsense suppression in immunoblot assays that directly evaluated the read-through of PEX7 nonsense alleles found in PBD patients with rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata type 1 (RCDP1). Overall, our results support the continued development of safe and effective nonsense suppressor therapies that could benefit a significant subset of individuals with PBDs. Furthermore, we suggest that the described cell culture assay systems could be useful for evaluating and screening for novel nonsense suppressor therapies.
Project description:The drug molecule PTC124 (Ataluren) has been described as a read-through agent, capable of suppressing premature termination codons (PTCs) and restoring functional protein production from genes disrupted by nonsense mutations. Following the discovery of PTC124 there was some controversy regarding its mechanism of action with two reports attributing its activity to an off-target effect on the Firefly luciferase (FLuc) reporter used in the development of the molecule. Despite questions remaining as to its mechanism of action, development of PTC124 continued into the clinic and it is being actively pursued as a potential nonsense mutation therapy. To thoroughly test the ability of PTC124 to read through nonsense mutations, we conducted a detailed assessment comparing the efficacy of PTC124 with the classical aminoglycoside antibiotic read-through agent geneticin (G418) across a diverse range of in vitro reporter assays. We can confirm the off-target FLuc activity of PTC124 but found that, while G418 exhibits varying activity in every read-through assay, there is no evidence of activity for PTC124.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Dysferlinopathies are a group of muscle disorders causing muscle weakness and absence or low levels of dysferlin, a type-II transmembrane protein and the causative gene of these dystrophies. Dysferlin is implicated in vesicle fusion, trafficking, and membrane repair. Muscle biopsy of patients with dysferlinopathy is characterized by the presence of inflammatory infiltrates. Studies in the muscle of both human and mouse models of dysferlinopathy suggest dysferlin deficient muscle plays a role in this inflammation by releasing thrombospondin-1. It has also been reported that vitamin D3 treatment enhances dysferlin expression. The ubiquitin-proteasome system recognizes and removes proteins that fail to fold or assemble properly and previous studies suggest that its inhibition could have a therapeutic effect in muscle dystrophies. Here we assessed whether inhibition of the ubiquitin proteasome system prevented degradation of dysferlin in immortalized myoblasts from a patients with two missense mutations in exon 44. METHODS:To assess proteasome inhibition we treated dysferlin deficient myotubes with EB1089, a vitamin D3 analog, oprozomib and ixazomib. Western blot was performed to analyze the effect of these treatments on the recovery of dysferlin and myogenin expression. TSP-1 was quantified using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to analyze the effect of these drugs on its release. A membrane repair assay was designed to assess the ability of treated myotubes to recover after membrane injury and fusion index was also measured with the different treatments. Data were analyzed using a one-way ANOVA test followed by Tukey post hoc test and analysis of variance. A p ??0.05 was considered statistically significant. RESULTS:Treatment with proteasome inhibitors and EB1089 resulted in a trend towards an increase in dysferlin and myogenin expression. Furthermore, EB1089 and proteasome inhibitors reduced the release of TSP-1 in myotubes. However, no effect was observed on the repair of muscle membrane after injury. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings indicate that the ubiquitin-proteasome system might not be the main mechanism of mutant dysferlin degradation. However, its inhibition could help to improve muscle inflammation by reducing TSP-1 release.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Approximately 13% of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) have a nonsense mutation in the dystrophin gene, resulting in a premature stop codon in the corresponding mRNA and failure to generate a functional protein. Ataluren (PTC124) enables ribosomal readthrough of premature stop codons, leading to production of full-length, functional proteins.<h4>Methods</h4>This Phase 2a open-label, sequential dose-ranging trial recruited 38 boys with nonsense mutation DMD. The first cohort (n?=?6) received ataluren three times per day at morning, midday, and evening doses of 4, 4, and 8 mg/kg; the second cohort (n?=?20) was dosed at 10, 10, 20 mg/kg; and the third cohort (n?=?12) was dosed at 20, 20, 40 mg/kg. Treatment duration was 28 days. Change in full-length dystrophin expression, as assessed by immunostaining in pre- and post-treatment muscle biopsy specimens, was the primary endpoint.<h4>Findings</h4>Twenty three of 38 (61%) subjects demonstrated increases in post-treatment dystrophin expression in a quantitative analysis assessing the ratio of dystrophin/spectrin. A qualitative analysis also showed positive changes in dystrophin expression. Expression was not associated with nonsense mutation type or exon location. Ataluren trough plasma concentrations active in the mdx mouse model were consistently achieved at the mid- and high- dose levels in participants. Ataluren was generally well tolerated.<h4>Interpretation</h4>Ataluren showed activity and safety in this short-term study, supporting evaluation of ataluren 10, 10, 20 mg/kg and 20, 20, 40 mg/kg in a Phase 2b, double-blind, long-term study in nonsense mutation DMD.<h4>Trial registration</h4>ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00264888.
Project description:About 10% of inherited diseases are caused by nonsense mutations [Trends Mol Med 18 (2012) 688], and nonsense suppression drug therapy promoting translation through premature stop codons is an emerging therapeutic approach. Infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (INCL), a childhood neurodegenerative disease, results from mutations in the CLN1 gene encoding the lysosomal enzyme, palmitoyl-protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1) [Biochim Biophys Acta 1832 (2013) 1806, Hum Mutat (2012) 63, Biochim Biophys Acta 1832 (2013) 1881]. The nonsense mutation p.R151X is the most common disease-causing CLN1 mutation Hum Mutat (2012) 63. In the novel Cln1(R151X) mouse model of INCL, we found large, tissue-specific variations in Cln1(R151X) mRNA level and PPT1 residual enzyme activity. These tissue-specific differences strongly influenced the read-through efficiency of ataluren (PTC124), a well-known nonsense suppression drug. A two-day treatment with ataluren (10 mg/kg) increased PPT1 enzyme activity in the liver and muscle, but not in any other tissue examined. Our study identifies a new challenge/hurdle for read-through drug therapy: variable efficiency of read-through therapy in the different tissues/organs because of tissue-specific variations in nonsense mutant transcript levels.
Project description:The presence in the mRNA of premature stop codons (PTCs) results in protein truncation responsible for several inherited (genetic) diseases. A well-known example of these diseases is cystic fibrosis (CF), where approximately 10% (worldwide) of patients have nonsense mutations in the CF transmembrane regulator (CFTR) gene. PTC124 (3-(5-(2-fluorophenyl)-1,2,4-oxadiazol-3-yl)-benzoic acid), also known as Ataluren, is a small molecule that has been suggested to allow PTC readthrough even though its target has yet to be identified. In the lack of a general consensus about its mechanism of action, we experimentally tested the ability of PTC124 to promote the readthrough of premature termination codons by using a new reporter. The reporter vector was based on a plasmid harboring the H2B histone coding sequence fused in frame with the green fluorescent protein (GFP) cDNA, and a TGA stop codon was introduced in the H2B-GFP gene by site-directed mutagenesis. Additionally, an unprecedented computational study on the putative supramolecular interaction between PTC124 and an 11-codon (33-nucleotides) sequence corresponding to a CFTR mRNA fragment containing a central UGA nonsense mutation showed a specific interaction between PTC124 and the UGA codon. Altogether, the H2B-GFP-opal based assay and the molecular dynamics (MD) simulation support the hypothesis that PTC124 is able to promote the specific readthrough of internal TGA premature stop codons.
Project description:Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2B (LGMD2B) is caused by mutations in the dysferlin gene, resulting in non-functional dysferlin, a key protein found in muscle membrane. Treatment options available for patients are chiefly palliative in nature and focus on maintaining ambulation. Our hypothesis is that galectin-1 (Gal-1), a soluble carbohydrate binding protein, increases membrane repair capacity and myogenic potential of dysferlin-deficient muscle cells and muscle fibers. To test this hypothesis, we used recombinant human galectin-1 (rHsGal-1) to treat dysferlin-deficient models. We show that rHsGal-1 treatments of 48 h-72 h promotes myogenic maturation as indicated through improvements in size, myotube alignment, myoblast migration, and membrane repair capacity in dysferlin-deficient myotubes and myofibers. Furthermore, increased membrane repair capacity of dysferlin-deficient myotubes, independent of increased myogenic maturation is apparent and co-localizes on the membrane of myotubes after a brief 10min treatment with labeled rHsGal-1. We show the carbohydrate recognition domain of Gal-1 is necessary for observed membrane repair. Improvements in membrane repair after only a 10 min rHsGal-1treatment suggest mechanical stabilization of the membrane due to interaction with glycosylated membrane bound, ECM or yet to be identified ligands through the CDR domain of Gal-1. rHsGal-1 shows calcium-independent membrane repair in dysferlin-deficient and wild-type myotubes and myofibers. Together our novel results reveal Gal-1 mediates disease pathologies through both changes in integral myogenic protein expression and mechanical membrane stabilization.
Project description:Dysferlin gene mutations causing LGMD2B are associated with defects in muscle membrane repair. Four stable cell lines have been established from primary human dysferlin-deficient myoblasts harbouring different mutations in the dysferlin gene. We have compared immortalized human myoblasts and myotubes carrying disease-causing mutations in dysferlin to their wild-type counterparts. Fusion of myoblasts into myotubes and expression of muscle-specific differentiation markers were investigated with special emphasis on dysferlin protein expression, subcellular localization and function in membrane repair. We found that the immortalized myoblasts and myotubes were virtually indistinguishable from their parental cell line for all of the criteria we investigated. They therefore will provide a very useful tool to further investigate dysferlin function and pathophysiology as well as to test therapeutic strategies at the cellular level.