der telling us more about his lab’s findings and how we might cure DMD in the near future.
SW: Identification of a systemically acting and universal small molecule therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy would be an enormous advance for this condition. Based on evidence gained from studies on mouse genetic models, we have identified tyrosine phosphorylation and degradation of β-dystroglycan as a key event in the aetiology of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Thus, preventing tyrosine phosphorylation and degradation of β-dystroglycan presents itself as a potential therapeutic strategy.
|Molecular Structure of Dasatinib, a drug produced by Bristol-Myers Squibb and marketed as Sprycel|
Dasatinib, a potent and specific Src tyrosine kinase inhibitor, was found to decrease the levels of β-dystroglycan phosphorylation on tyrosine and to increase the relative levels of non-phosphorylated β-dystroglycan in sapje zebrafish. Furthermore, dasatinib treatment resulted in the improved physical appearance of the sapje zebrafish musculature and increased swimming ability as measured by both duration and distance of swimming of dasatinib-treated fish compared with control animals. These data suggest great promise for pharmacological agents that prevent the phosphorylation of β-dystroglycan on tyrosine and subsequent steps in the degradation pathway as therapeutic targets for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
|Just a regular day at the office.
Image credit: Professor Steve Winder
Körner Z, Fontes-Oliveira CC, Holmberg J, Carmignac V, & Durbeej M (2014). Bortezomib partially improves laminin α2 chain-deficient muscular dystrophy. The American journal of pathology, 184 (5), 1518-28 PMID: 24631023
Körner Z, & Durbeej M (2016). Bortezomib Does Not Reduce Muscular Dystrophy in the dy2J/dy2J Mouse Model of Laminin α2 Chain-Deficient Muscular Dystrophy. PloS one, 11 (1) PMID: 26731667
Lipscomb L, Piggott RW, Emmerson T, & Winder SJ (2016). Dasatinib as a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Human molecular genetics, 25 (2), 266-74 PMID: 26604135