Phenotypic Drug Screening for Dysferlinopathy Using Patient-Derived Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.
ABSTRACT: Dysferlinopathy is a progressive muscle disorder that includes limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2B and Miyoshi myopathy (MM). It is caused by mutations in the dysferlin (DYSF) gene, whose function is to reseal the muscular membrane. Treatment with proteasome inhibitor MG-132 has been shown to increase misfolded dysferlin in fibroblasts, allowing them to recover their membrane resealing function. Here, we developed a screening system based on myocytes from MM patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells. According to the screening, nocodazole was found to effectively increase the level of dysferlin in cells, which, in turn, enhanced membrane resealing following injury by laser irradiation. Moreover, the increase was due to microtubule disorganization and involved autophagy rather than the proteasome degradation pathway. These findings suggest that increasing the amount of misfolded dysferlin using small molecules could represent an effective future clinical treatment for dysferlinopathy. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2019;8:1017-1029.
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:Mutations in the dysferlin gene are the cause of Limb-girdle Muscular Dystrophy type 2B and Miyoshi Myopathy. The dysferlin protein has been implicated in sarcolemmal resealing, leading to the idea that the pathophysiology of dysferlin deficiencies is due to a deficit in membrane repair. Here, we show using two different approaches that fulfilling membrane repair as asseyed by laser wounding assay is not sufficient for alleviating the dysferlin deficient pathology. First, we generated a transgenic mouse overexpressing myoferlin to test the hypothesis that myoferlin, which is homologous to dysferlin, can compensate for the absence of dysferlin. The myoferlin overexpressors show no skeletal muscle abnormalities, and crossing them with a dysferlin-deficient model rescues the membrane fusion defect present in dysferlin-deficient mice in vitro. However, myoferlin overexpression does not correct muscle histology in vivo. Second, we report that AAV-mediated transfer of a minidysferlin, previously shown to correct the membrane repair deficit in vitro, also fails to improve muscle histology. Furthermore, neither myoferlin nor the minidysferlin prevented myofiber degeneration following eccentric exercise. Our data suggest that the pathogenicity of dysferlin deficiency is not solely related to impairment in sarcolemmal repair and highlight the care needed in selecting assays to assess potential therapies for dysferlinopathies.
Project description:<b>Purpose</b>: It is challenging to deliver the full-length dysferlin gene or protein to restore cellular functions of dysferlin-deficient (DYSF<sup>-/-</sup>) myofibres in dysferlinopathy, a disease caused by the absence of dysferlin, which is currently without effective treatment. Exosomes, efficient membranous nanoscale carriers of biological cargoes, could be useful. <b>Experimental design</b>: Myotube- and human serum-derived exosomes were investigated for their capabilities of restoring dysferlin protein and cellular functions in murine and human DYSF<sup>-/-</sup> cells. Moreover, dysferlinopathic patient serum- and urine-derived exosomes were assessed for their abilities as diagnostic tools for dysferlinopathy. <b>Results</b>: Here we show that exosomes from dysferlin-expressing myotubes carry abundant dysferlin and enable transfer of full-length dysferlin protein to DYSF<sup>-/-</sup> myotubes. Exogenous dysferlin correctly localizes on DYSF<sup>-/-</sup> myotube membranes, enabling membrane resealing in response to injury. Human serum exosomes also carry dysferlin protein and improve membrane repair capabilities of human DYSF<sup>-/-</sup> myotubes irrespective of mutations. Lack of dysferlin in dysferlinopathic patient serum and urine exosomes enables differentiation between healthy controls and dysferlinopathic patients. <b>Conclusions</b>: Our findings provide evidence that exosomes are efficient carriers of dysferlin and can be employed for the treatment and non-invasive diagnosis of dysferlinopathy.
Project description:Dysferlin is a transmembrane protein implicated in surface membrane repair of muscle cells. Mutations in dysferlin cause the progressive muscular dystrophies Miyoshi myopathy, limb girdle muscular dystrophy 2B, and distal anterior compartment myopathy. Dysferlinopathies are inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, and many patients with this disease harbor mis-sense mutations in at least one of their two pathogenic DYSF alleles. These patients have significantly reduced or absent dysferlin levels in skeletal muscle, suggesting that dysferlin encoded by mis-sense alleles is rapidly degraded by the cellular quality control system. We reasoned that mis-sense mutated dysferlin, if salvaged from degradation, might be biologically functional. We used a dysferlin-deficient human myoblast culture harboring the common R555W mis-sense allele and a DYSF-null allele, as well as control human myoblast cultures harboring either two wild-type or two null alleles. We measured dysferlin protein and mRNA levels, resealing kinetics of laser-induced plasmalemmal wounds, myotube formation, and cellular viability after treatment of the human myoblast cultures with the proteasome inhibitors lactacystin or bortezomib (Velcade). We show that endogenous R555W mis-sense mutated dysferlin is degraded by the proteasomal system. Inhibition of the proteasome by lactacystin or Velcade increases the levels of R555W mis-sense mutated dysferlin. This salvaged protein is functional as it restores plasma membrane resealing in patient-derived myoblasts and reverses their deficit in myotube formation. Bortezomib and lactacystin did not cause cellular toxicity at the regimen used. Our results raise the possibility that inhibition of the degradation pathway of mis-sense mutated dysferlin could be used as a therapeutic strategy for patients harboring certain dysferlin mis-sense mutations.
Project description:Dysferlinopathies are autosomal recessive disorders caused by mutations in the dysferlin (DYSF) gene encoding the dysferlin protein. DYSF mutations lead to a wide range of muscular phenotypes, with the most prominent being Miyoshi myopathy (MM) and limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2B (LGMD2B).We assessed the one-year-natural course of dysferlinopathy, and the safety and efficacy of deflazacort treatment in a double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over trial. After one year of natural course without intervention, 25 patients with genetically defined dysferlinopathy were randomized to receive deflazacort and placebo for six months each (1 mg/kg/day in month one, 1 mg/kg every 2nd day during months two to six) in one of two treatment sequences.During one year of natural course, muscle strength declined about 2% as measured by CIDD (Clinical Investigation of Duchenne Dystrophy) score, and 76 Newton as measured by hand-held dynamometry. Deflazacort did not improve muscle strength. In contrast, there is a trend of worsening muscle strength under deflazacort treatment, which recovers after discontinuation of the study drug. During deflazacort treatment, patients showed a broad spectrum of steroid side effects.Deflazacort is not an effective therapy for dysferlinopathies, and off-label use is not warranted. This is an important finding, since steroid treatment should not be administered in patients with dysferlinopathy, who may be often misdiagnosed as polymyositis.This clinical trial was registered at http://www.ClincalTrials.gov, identifier: NCT00527228, and was always freely accessible to the public.
Project description:Dysferlinopathy is a progressive myopathy caused by mutations in the dysferlin (DYSF) gene. Dysferlin protein plays a major role in plasma-membrane resealing. Some patients with DYSF deletion mutations exhibit mild symptoms, suggesting some regions of DYSF can be removed without significantly impacting protein function. Antisense-mediated exon-skipping therapy uses synthetic molecules called antisense oligonucleotides to modulate splicing, allowing exons harboring or near genetic mutations to be removed and the open reading frame corrected. Previous studies have focused on DYSF exon 32 skipping as a potential therapeutic approach, based on the association of a mild phenotype with the in-frame deletion of exon 32. To date, no other DYSF exon-skipping targets have been identified, and the relationship between DYSF exon deletion pattern and protein function remains largely uncharacterized. In this study, we utilized a membrane-wounding assay to evaluate the ability of plasmid constructs carrying mutant DYSF, as well as antisense oligonucleotides, to rescue membrane resealing in patient cells. We report that multi-exon skipping of DYSF exons 26-27 and 28-29 rescues plasma-membrane resealing. Successful translation of these findings into the development of clinical antisense drugs would establish new therapeutic approaches that would be applicable to ?5%-7% (exons 26-27 skipping) and ?8% (exons 28-29 skipping) of dysferlinopathy patients worldwide.
Project description:Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 2B, Miyoshi myopathy, and distal myopathy of anterior tibialis are severely debilitating muscular dystrophies caused by genetically determined dysferlin deficiency. In these muscular dystrophies, it is the repair, not the structure, of the plasma membrane that is impaired. Though much is known about the effects of dysferlin deficiency in skeletal muscle, little is known about the role of dysferlin in maintenance of cardiomyocytes. Recent evidence suggests that dysferlin deficiency affects cardiac muscle, leading to cardiomyopathy when stressed. However, neither the morphological location of dysferlin in the cardiomyocyte nor the progression of the disease with age are known. In this study, we examined a mouse model of dysferlinopathy using light and electron microscopy as well as echocardiography and conscious electrocardiography. We determined that dysferlin is normally localized to the intercalated disk and sarcoplasm of the cardiomyocytes. In the absence of dysferlin, cardiomyocyte membrane damage occurs and is localized to the intercalated disk and sarcoplasm. This damage results in transient functional deficits at 10 months of age, but, unlike in skeletal muscle, the cell injury is sublethal and causes only mild cardiomyopathy even at advanced ages.
Project description:Resealing of tears in the sarcolemma of myofibers is a necessary step in the repair of muscle tissue. Recent work suggests a critical role for dysferlin in the membrane repair process and that mutations in dysferlin are responsible for limb girdle muscular dystrophy 2B and Miyoshi myopathy. Beyond membrane repair, dysferlin has been linked to SNARE-mediated exocytotic events including cytokine release and acid sphingomyelinase secretion. However, it is unclear whether dysferlin regulates SNARE-mediated membrane fusion. In this study we demonstrate a direct interaction between dysferlin and the SNARE proteins syntaxin 4 and SNAP-23. In addition, analysis of FRET and in vitro reconstituted lipid mixing assays indicate that dysferlin accelerates syntaxin 4/SNAP-23 heterodimer formation and SNARE-mediated lipid mixing in a calcium-sensitive manner. These results support a function for dysferlin as a calcium-sensing SNARE effector for membrane fusion events.
Project description:Mutations in dysferlin are responsible for a group of progressive, recessively inherited muscular dystrophies known as dysferlinopathies. Using recombinant proteins and affinity purification methods combined with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), we found that AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)γ1 was bound to a region of dysferlin located between the third and fourth C2 domains. Using ex vivo laser injury experiments, we demonstrated that the AMPK complex was vital for the sarcolemmal damage repair of skeletal muscle fibers. Injury-induced AMPK complex accumulation was dependent on the presence of Ca<sup>2+</sup>, and the rate of accumulation was regulated by dysferlin. Furthermore, it was found that the phosphorylation of AMPKα was essential for plasma membrane repair, and treatment with an AMPK activator rescued the membrane-repair impairment observed in immortalized human myotubes with reduced expression of dysferlin and dysferlin-null mouse fibers. Finally, it was determined that treatment with the AMPK activator metformin improved the muscle phenotype in zebrafish and mouse models of dysferlin deficiency. These findings indicate that the AMPK complex is essential for plasma membrane repair and is a potential therapeutic target for dysferlinopathy.
Project description:Dysferlinopathy is an autosomal recessive muscular dystrophy characterized by the progressive loss of motility that is caused by mutations throughout the DYSF gene. There are currently no approved therapies that ameliorate or reverse dysferlinopathy. Gene delivery using adeno-associated vectors (AAVs) is a leading therapeutic strategy for genetic diseases; however, the large size of dysferlin cDNA (6.2 kB) precludes packaging into a single AAV capsid. Therefore, using 3D structural modeling and hypothesizing dysferlin C2 domain redundancy, a 30% smaller, dysferlin-like molecule amenable to single AAV vector packaging was engineered (termed Nano-Dysferlin). The intracellular distribution of Nano-Dysferlin was similar to wild-type dysferlin and neither demonstrated toxicity when overexpressed in dysferlin-deficient patient myoblasts. Intramuscular injection of AAV-Nano-Dysferlin in young dysferlin-deficient mice significantly improved muscle integrity and decreased muscle turnover 3 weeks after treatment, as determined by Evans blue dye uptake and central nucleated fibers, respectively. Systemically administered AAV-Nano-Dysferlin to young adult dysferlin-deficient mice restored motor function and improved muscle integrity nearly 8 months after a single injection. These preclinical data are the first report of a smaller dysferlin variant tailored for AAV single particle delivery that restores motor function and, therefore, represents an attractive candidate for the treatment of dysferlinopathy.