Muscle atrophy, ubiquitin–proteasome, and autophagic pathways in dysferlinopathy


  • This work was supported by research grants from the Association Franaise contre les Myopathies (13859 to M.F., 14199 to A.C.N., 14999 and 15696 to C.A.) and the Comitato Telethon Fondazione Onlus (GTB12001 to C.A.).


Introduction: Muscle fiber atrophy and the molecular pathways underlying this process have not been investigated in dysferlinopathy patients. Methods: In 22 muscles from dysferlinopathy patients we investigated fiber atrophy by morphometry and ubiquitin–proteasome and autophagic pathways using protein and/or transcriptional analysis of atrophy- and autophagy-related genes (MuRF1, atrogin1, LC3, p62, Bnip3). Results: Dysferlinopathy showed significant fiber atrophy and higher MuRF-1 protein and mRNA levels, which correlated with fiber size, suggesting activation of the atrophy program by proteasome induction. Conclusions: Some of the MuRF-1 upregulation and proteasome induction may be attributed to the prominent regeneration found. A potential role of impaired autophagy was suggested by p62-positive protein aggregates in atrophic fibers and significantly higher levels of LC3-II and p62 proteins and overexpression of p62 and Bnip3 mRNA. Damaged muscle fibers and prominent inflammatory changes may also enhance autophagy due to the insufficient level of proteasomal degradation of mutant dysferlin. Muscle Nerve 50: 340–347, 2014