Molec Ther. 2020;[Epub ahead of print] doi:10.1016/j.ymthe.2020.02.006
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 LC/MS/MS, we found that AMPKγ1 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 Ca2+ 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.
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