Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Molecular Deficiency Appears To Play Key Role In Muscle Diseases

Date:
October 6, 1998
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
A molecule discovered on muscle tissue in a University of Illinois laboratory 13 years ago now appears to have pivotal roles in both embryonic muscle formation and in muscle stabilization later in children and adults.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A molecule discovered on muscle tissue in a University of Illinois laboratory 13 years ago now appears to have pivotal roles in both embryonic muscle formation and in muscle stabilization later in children and adults.

A deficiency of the molecule -- known as the Alpha 7 integrin -- was positively linked to three cases of congenital muscular dystrophy. The finding was discussed in a paper published in the May 19 issue of Nature Genetics.

That finding and accumulating evidence on the multifaceted roles of the Alpha 7 integrin may have significant implications in the understanding of numerous other forms of muscle diseases and in potential therapies, said Stephen J. Kaufman, a professor of cell and structural biology at the U. of I. The integrin was discovered in 1985 in Kaufman's lab and has since been the focus of his research.

Kaufman was one of 17 authors from eight U.S. and Japanese research institutions involved in the Nature Genetics report. He and Dean J. Burkin, a postdoctoral researcher in cell and structural biology, have written a comprehensive review article on the role of the Alpha 7 integrin in muscle development and disease. It will be published in the journal Cell and Tissue Research.

Kaufman's work -- funded by the Muscular Dystrophy Association of America and the National Institutes of Health -- began as basic research on skeletal muscle formation and has evolved into asking what happens when things go wrong with muscle integrity. Kaufman now believes that the integrin may be "a very important player in the very early steps of muscle development, including the formation of neuromuscular and myotendinous junctions."

"We believe it is important for the formation and integrity of these junctional sites," he said. "It also is found between muscle fibers, where it 'glues' fibers together. This integrin also serves as an adhesive agent in different stages of development."

One focus of his research is to resolve how one molecule does so many different things. According to his findings to date, the answer rests in part with the ability of the cell to generate similar but distinct structural and functional forms of the same integrin. "Given all the functions of this molecule," he said, "it is not surprising that there might be problems when different forms are made or not made at all. What is equally intriguing is an excess of this integrin may also be advantageous."

Such may be the case in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, in which a defective gene fails to produce the protein dystrophin. Kaufman and his colleagues have determined that in the absence of dystrophin more of the Alpha 7 integrin is found in the affected muscle fibers.

"The overproduction may lessen the severity of the disease and prolong the time course of the muscle breakdown that occurs," Kaufman said. "We are testing this experimentally to see if raising these levels even more will provide greater protection."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Molecular Deficiency Appears To Play Key Role In Muscle Diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 October 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981006073028.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (1998, October 6). Molecular Deficiency Appears To Play Key Role In Muscle Diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981006073028.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Molecular Deficiency Appears To Play Key Role In Muscle Diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981006073028.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins