Clinical aspects, molecular pathomechanisms and management of myotonic dystrophies.
ABSTRACT: Myotonic dystrophy (DM) is the most common adult muscular dystrophy, characterized by autosomal dominant progressive myopathy, myotonia and multiorgan involvement. To date two distinct forms caused by similar mutations have been identified. Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1, Steinert's disease) was described more than 100 years ago and is caused by a (CTG)n expansion in DMPK, while myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2) was identified only 18 years ago and is caused by a (CCTG)n expansion in ZNF9/CNBP. When transcribed into CUG/CCUG-containing RNA, mutant transcripts aggregate as nuclear foci that sequester RNA-binding proteins, resulting in spliceopathy of downstream effector genes. Despite clinical and genetic similarities, DM1 and DM2 are distinct disorders requiring different diagnostic and management strategies. DM1 may present in four different forms: congenital, early childhood, adult onset and late-onset oligosymptomatic DM1. Congenital DM1 is the most severe form of DM characterized by extreme muscle weakness and mental retardation. In DM2 the clinical phenotype is extremely variable and there are no distinct clinical subgroups. Congenital and childhood-onset forms are not present in DM2 and, in contrast to DM1, myotonia may be absent even on EMG. Due to the lack of awareness of the disease among clinicians, DM2 remains largely underdiagnosed. The delay in receiving the correct diagnosis after onset of first symptoms is very long in DM: on average more than 5 years for DM1 and more than 14 years for DM2 patients. The long delay in the diagnosis of DM causes unnecessary problems for the patients to manage their lives and anguish with uncertainty of prognosis and treatment.
Project description:Myotonic dystrophy (DM) is the most common adult muscular dystrophy, characterized by autosomal dominant progressive myopathy, myotonia and multiorgan involvement. To date two distinct forms caused by similar mutations have been identified. Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1, Steinert's disease) is caused by a (CTG)n expansion in DMPK, while myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2) is caused by a (CCTG)n expansion in CNBP. Despite clinical and genetic similarities, DM1 and DM2 are distinct disorders. The pathogenesis of DM is explained by a common RNA gain-of-function mechanism in which the CUG and CCUG repeats alter cellular function, including alternative splicing of various genes. However additional pathogenic mechanism like changes in gene expression, modifier genes, protein translation and micro-RNA metabolism may also contribute to disease pathology and to clarify the phenotypic differences between these two types of myotonic dystrophies.This review is an update on the latest findings specific to DM2, including explanations for the differences in clinical manifestations and pathophysiology between the two forms of myotonic dystrophies.
Project description:Myotonic dystrophy is an autosomal dominant, multisystem disorder that is characterized by myotonic myopathy. The symptoms and severity of myotonic dystrophy type l (DM1) ranges from severe and congenital forms, which frequently result in death because of respiratory deficiency, through to late-onset baldness and cataract. In adult patients, cardiac conduction abnormalities may occur and cause a shorter life span. In subsequent generations, the symptoms in DM1 may present at an earlier age and have a more severe course (anticipation). In myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2), no anticipation is described, but cardiac conduction abnormalities as in DM1 are observed and patients with DM2 additionally have muscle pain and stiffness. Both DM1 and DM2 are caused by unstable DNA repeats in untranslated regions of different genes: A (CTG)n repeat in the 3'-UTR of the DMPK gene and a (CCTG)n repeat in intron 1 of the CNBP (formerly ZNF9) gene, respectively. The length of the (CTG)n repeat expansion in DM1 correlates with disease severity and age of onset. Nevertheless, these repeat sizes have limited predictive values on individual bases. Because of the disease characteristics in DM1 and DM2, appropriate molecular testing and reporting is very important for the optimal counseling in myotonic dystrophy. Here, we describe best practice guidelines for clinical molecular genetic analysis and reporting in DM1 and DM2, including presymptomatic and prenatal testing.
Project description:Myotonic dystrophy (DM), the most common form of muscular dystrophy in adults, is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous neuromuscular disorder. DM is characterized by autosomal dominant inheritance, muscular dystrophy, myotonia, and multisystem involvement. Type 1 DM (DM1) is caused by a (CTG)(n) expansion in the 3' untranslated region of DMPK in 19q13.3. Multiple families, predominantly of German descent and with clinically variable presentation that included proximal myotonic myopathy (PROMM) and type 2 DM (DM2) but without the DM1 mutation, showed linkage to the 3q21 region and were recently shown to segregate a (CCTG)(n) expansion mutation in intron 1 of ZNF9. Here, we present linkage to 3q21 and mutational confirmation in 17 kindreds of European origin with PROMM and proximal myotonic dystrophy, from geographically distinct populations. All patients have the DM2 (CCTG)(n) expansion. To study the evolution of this mutation, we constructed a comprehensive physical map of the DM2 region around ZNF9. High-resolution haplotype analysis of disease chromosomes with five microsatellite and 22 single-nucleotide polymorphism markers around the DM2 mutation identified extensive linkage disequilibrium and a single shared haplotype of at least 132 kb among patients from the different populations. With the exception of the (CCTG)(n) expansion, the available markers indicate that the DM2 haplotype is identical to the most common haplotype in normal individuals. This situation is reminiscent of that seen in DM1. Taken together, these data suggest a single founding mutation in DM2 patients of European origin. We estimate the age of the founding haplotype and of the DM2 (CCTG) expansion mutation to be approximately 200-540 generations.
Project description:Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) and 2 (DM2) are autosomal dominant degenerative neuromuscular disorders characterized by progressive skeletal muscle weakness, atrophy, and myotonia with progeroid features. Although both DM1 and DM2 are characterized by skeletal muscle dysfunction and also share other clinical features, the diseases differ in the muscle groups that are affected. In DM1, distal muscles are mainly affected, whereas in DM2 problems are mostly found in proximal muscles. In addition, manifestation in DM1 is generally more severe, with possible congenital or childhood-onset of disease and prominent CNS involvement. DM1 and DM2 are caused by expansion of (CTG•CAG)n and (CCTG•CAGG)n repeats in the 3' non-coding region of DMPK and in intron 1 of CNBP, respectively, and in overlapping antisense genes. This critical review will focus on the pleiotropic problems that occur during development, growth, regeneration, and aging of skeletal muscle in patients who inherited these expansions. The current best-accepted idea is that most muscle symptoms can be explained by pathomechanistic effects of repeat expansion on RNA-mediated pathways. However, aberrations in DNA replication and transcription of the DM loci or in protein translation and proteome homeostasis could also affect the control of proliferation and differentiation of muscle progenitor cells or the maintenance and physiological integrity of muscle fibers during a patient's lifetime. Here, we will discuss these molecular and cellular processes and summarize current knowledge about the role of embryonic and adult muscle-resident stem cells in growth, homeostasis, regeneration, and premature aging of healthy and diseased muscle tissue. Of particular interest is that also progenitor cells from extramuscular sources, such as pericytes and mesoangioblasts, can participate in myogenic differentiation. We will examine the potential of all these types of cells in the application of regenerative medicine for muscular dystrophies and evaluate new possibilities for their use in future therapy of DM.
Project description:Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1 or Steinert's disease) and type 2 (DM2) are multisystem disorders of genetic origin. Progressive muscular weakness, atrophy and myotonia are the most prominent neuromuscular features of these diseases, while other clinical manifestations such as cardiomyopathy, insulin resistance and cataracts are also common. From a clinical perspective, most DM symptoms are interpreted as a result of an accelerated aging (cataracts, muscular weakness and atrophy, cognitive decline, metabolic dysfunction, etc.), including an increased risk of developing tumors. From this point of view, DM1 could be described as a progeroid syndrome since a notable age-dependent dysfunction of all systems occurs. The underlying molecular disorder in DM1 consists of the existence of a pathological (CTG) triplet expansion in the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of the Dystrophia Myotonica Protein Kinase (DMPK) gene, whereas (CCTG)n repeats in the first intron of the Cellular Nucleic acid Binding Protein/Zinc Finger Protein 9 (CNBP/ZNF9) gene cause DM2. The expansions are transcribed into (CUG)n and (CCUG)n-containing RNA, respectively, which form secondary structures and sequester RNA-binding proteins, such as the splicing factor muscleblind-like protein (MBNL), forming nuclear aggregates known as foci. Other splicing factors, such as CUGBP, are also disrupted, leading to a spliceopathy of a large number of downstream genes linked to the clinical features of these diseases. Skeletal muscle regeneration relies on muscle progenitor cells, known as satellite cells, which are activated after muscle damage, and which proliferate and differentiate to muscle cells, thus regenerating the damaged tissue. Satellite cell dysfunction seems to be a common feature of both age-dependent muscle degeneration (sarcopenia) and muscle wasting in DM and other muscle degenerative diseases. This review aims to describe the cellular, molecular and macrostructural processes involved in the muscular degeneration seen in DM patients, highlighting the similarities found with muscle aging.
Project description:This review, one in a series on myotonic dystrophy (DM), is focused on the development and potential use of small molecules as therapeutics for DM. The complex mechanisms and pathogenesis of DM are covered in the associated reviews. Here, we examine the various small molecule approaches taken to target the DNA, RNA, and proteins that contribute to disease onset and progression in myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) and 2 (DM2).
Project description:Myotonic dystrophy (DM) is the most common adult-onset muscular dystrophy with an estimated prevalence of 1/8000. There are two genetically distinct types, DM1 and DM2. DM2 is generally milder with more phenotypic variability than the classic DM1. Our previous data on co-segregation of heterozygous recessive CLCN1 mutations in DM2 patients indicated a higher than expected DM2 prevalence. The aim of this study was to determine the DM2 and DM1 frequency in the general population, and to explore whether the DM2 mutation functions as a modifier in other neuromuscular diseases (NMD) to account for unexplained phenotypic variability. We genotyped 5535 Finnish individuals: 4532 normal blood donors, 606 patients with various non-myotonic NMD, 221 tibial muscular dystrophy patients and their 176 healthy relatives for the DM2 and DM1 mutations. We also genotyped an Italian idiopathic non-myotonic proximal myopathy cohort (n = 93) for the DM2 mutation. In 5496 samples analyzed for DM2, we found three DM2 mutations and two premutations. In 5511 samples analyzed for DM1, we found two DM1 mutations and two premutations. In the Italian cohort, we identified one patient with a DM2 mutation. We conclude that the DM2 mutation frequency is significantly higher in the general population (1/1830; P-value = 0.0326) than previously estimated. The identification of DM2 mutations in NMD patients with clinical phenotypes not previously associated with DM2 is of particular interest and is in accord with the high overall prevalence. On the basis of our results, DM2 appears more frequent than DM1, with most DM2 patients currently undiagnosed with symptoms frequently occurring in the elderly population.
Project description:Myotonic dystrophy (DM)--the most common form of muscular dystrophy in adults, affecting 1/8000 individuals--is a dominantly inherited disorder with a peculiar and rare pattern of multisystemic clinical features affecting skeletal muscle, the heart, the eye, and the endocrine system. Two genetic loci have been associated with the DM phenotype: DM1, on chromosome 19, and DM2, on chromosome 3. In 1992, the mutation responsible for DM1 was identified as a CTG expansion located in the 3' untranslated region of the dystrophia myotonica-protein kinase gene (DMPK). How this untranslated CTG expansion causes myotonic dystrophy type 1(DM1) has been controversial. The recent discovery that myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2) is caused by an untranslated CCTG expansion, along with other discoveries on DM1 pathogenesis, indicate that the clinical features common to both diseases are caused by a gain-of-function RNA mechanism in which the CUG and CCUG repeats alter cellular function, including alternative splicing of various genes. We discuss the pathogenic mechanisms that have been proposed for the myotonic dystrophies, the clinical and molecular features of DM1 and DM2, and the characterization of murine and cell-culture models that have been generated to better understand these diseases.
Project description:Myotonic dystrophy (DM) is the most common autosomal dominant muscular dystrophy and encompasses both skeletal muscle and cardiac complications. Myotonic dystrophy is nucleotide repeat expansion disorder in which type 1 (DM1) is due to a trinucleotide repeat expansion on chromosome 19 and type 2 (DM2) arises from a tetranucleotide repeat expansion on chromosome 3. Developing representative models of myotonic dystrophy in animals has been challenging due to instability of nucleotide repeat expansions, especially for DM2 which is characterized by nucleotide repeat expansions often greater than 5000 copies. To investigate mechanisms of human DM, we generated cellular models of DM1 and DM2. We used regulated MyoD expression to reprogram urine-derived cells into myotubes. In this cell model, we found impaired dystrophin expression, MBNL foci, and aberrant splicing in DM1 but not in DM2 cells. We generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from healthy controls, DM1 and DM2 subjects and differentiated these into cardiomyocytes. DM1 and DM2 cells displayed an increase in RNA foci concomitant with cellular differentiation. IPSC-derived cardiomyocytes from DM1 but not DM2 had aberrant splicing and MBNL sequestration. High resolution imaging revealed tight association between MBNL clusters and RNA FISH foci in DM1. Ca2+ transients differed between DM1 and DM2 IPSC-derived cardiomyocytes and from healthy control cells. RNA-sequencing from DM1 and DM2 iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes both altered gene expression as well as distinct splicing patterns as differential between DM1 and DM2. Together these data support that DM1 and DM2, despite some shared clinical and molecular features, have distinct pathological signatures. Overall design: 2 Control, 2 Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1, and 2 Myotonic Dystrophy type 2 IPSC-cardiomyocytes were analyzed.
Project description:Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is the most common muscular dystrophy in adults. It is caused by an expanded (CTG)n tract in the 3' UTR of the Dystrophia Myotonica Protein Kinase (DMPK) gene. This causes nuclear retention of the mutant mRNA into ribonuclear foci and sequestration of interacting RNA-binding proteins (such as muscleblind-like 1 (MBNL1)). More severe congenital and childhood-onset forms of the disease exist but are less understood than the adult disease, due in part to the lack of adequate animal models. To address this, we utilized transgenic mice over-expressing the DMPK 3' UTR as part of an inducible RNA transcript to model early-onset myotonic dystrophy. In mice in which transgene expression was induced during embryogenesis, we found that by two weeks after birth, mice reproduced cardinal features of myotonic dystrophy, including myotonia, cardiac conduction abnormalities, muscle weakness, histopathology and mRNA splicing defects. Notably, these defects were more severe than in adult mice induced for an equivalent period of exposure to RNA toxicity. Additionally, the utility of the model was tested by over-expressing MBNL1, a key therapeutic strategy being actively pursued for treating the disease phenotypes associated with DM1. Significantly, increased MBNL1 in skeletal muscle partially corrected myotonia and splicing defects present in these mice, demonstrating the responsiveness of the model to relevant therapeutic interventions. Furthermore, these results also represent the first murine model for early-onset DM1 and provide a tool to investigate the effects of RNA toxicity at various stages of development.