Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Possible muscle disease therapeutic target found

Date:
August 6, 2012
Source:
Carnegie Institution
Summary:
The study of muscular system protein myostatin has been of great interest to researchers as a potential therapeutic target for people with muscular disorders. Although much is known about how myostatin affects muscle growth, there has been disagreement about what types of muscle cells it acts upon. New research narrows down the field to one likely type of cell.

The study of muscular system protein myostatin has been of great interest to researchers as a potential therapeutic target for people with muscular disorders. New research narrows down the field to one likely type of cell.
Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The study of muscular system protein myostatin has been of great interest to researchers as a potential therapeutic target for people with muscular disorders. Although much is known about how myostatin affects muscle growth, there has been disagreement about what types of muscle cells it acts upon. New research from a team including Carnegie's Chen-Ming Fan and Christoph Lepper narrows down the field to one likely type of cell.

Their work is published the week of August 6 by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Myostatin is known to inhibit muscle growth and its function is common in many mammals, including cows, sheep, dogs, humans, and mice. Mutant mice lacking in myostatin have muscle mass that is almost double that of normal mice. This property is what makes it an attractive potential drug target. By inhibiting myostatin a drug could, in theory, promote muscle growth, even in a person with a muscular disease.

There has been considerable debate about which types of muscle cells are targeted by myostatin: fibrous muscle cells called myofibers, or muscle stem cells called satellite cells. The satellite cells are activated by muscular injury, begin to divide, and fuse to myofibers. Some studies seem to indicate myostatin targets satellite cells, others indicate myofibers.

The research team, co-led by Fan and Se-Jin Lee, who is a former Carnegie Staff Associate and currently at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, used a variety of techniques -- both genetic and pharmacological -- and determined that the muscle growth caused by inhibiting myostatin does not significantly involve the incorporation of satellite cells into myofibers.

This finding has major implications for the possible use of myostatin as a clinical target. There are outstanding questions about how a drug designed to target myostatin would work in clinical conditions in which patient's satellite cells are depleted. For example, in diseases like muscular dystrophy, satellite cells are believed to compensate for degenerated muscle cells in the early stages of the disease, causing the pool of these stem cells to shrink over time. This work raises the possibility that these patients might still benefit from myostatin inhibitors.

"More work is needed to determine whether these findings are applicable to various clinical conditions, such as exercise, injury, and sarcopenia -- degenerative loss of muscle mass associated with aging," Fan said. "However, our findings initially indicate that many different diseases affecting the muscular system could potentially be responsive to drugs that inhibit myostatin and thus promote muscle growth, without regard to the status of the muscle stem cell pool."

The other co-authors on the study are Than Huynh, Yun-Sil Lee, and Suzanne Sebald of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Sarah Wilcox-Adelman of the Boston Biomedical Research Institute; Naoki Iwamori and Martin Matzuk of Baylor College of Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Institution. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Se-Jin Lee, Thanh V. Huynh, Yun-Sil Lee, Suzanne M. Sebald, Sarah A. Wilcox-Adelman, Naoki Iwamori, Christoph Lepper, Martin M. Matzuk, and Chen-Ming Fan. Role of satellite cells versus myofibers in muscle hypertrophy induced by inhibition of the myostatin/activin signaling pathway. PNAS, August 6, 2012 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1206410109

Cite This Page:

Carnegie Institution. "Possible muscle disease therapeutic target found." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120806151254.htm>.
Carnegie Institution. (2012, August 6). Possible muscle disease therapeutic target found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120806151254.htm
Carnegie Institution. "Possible muscle disease therapeutic target found." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120806151254.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) The World Health Organizations says TB numbers rose in 2013, but it's partly due to better detection and more survivors. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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