Small protein is fundamental to muscle formation

Small protein is fundamental to muscle formation

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers discovered a small protein named Myomixer essential for the formation of skeletal muscle -- findings that could eventually help treat genetic diseases such as muscular dystrophy and other myopathies.

Using a technique that removes genes from cells, scientists showed that both Myomixer and Myomaker -- another protein the group previously identified -- must be present for muscle cells to fuse together to create muscle fibers, the building blocks of muscles.

Moreover, Myomixer and Myomaker can cause other types of cells to fuse together.

"The most remarkable finding is that if you express both Myomaker and Myomixer together, they can fuse nonmuscle cells. For example, skin cells will fuse to each other or to muscle cells very efficiently in the presence of these two proteins. This ability opens the door for possible therapeutic strategies in which cells that have cargo can be fused with any other cell," said author Dr. Eric Olson, Chairman of Molecular Biology, Co-Director of the UT Southwestern Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center, and Director of the Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine.

"For example, if a muscle fiber is missing a gene, then another cell that carries the missing gene could be fused to the defective cell by Myomaker plus Myomixer to provide the missing gene," explained Dr. Olson, who holds the Pogue Distinguished Chair in Research on Cardiac Birth Defects, the Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Science, and the Annie and Willie Nelson Professorship in Stem Cell Research.

Myomixer and Myomaker also have implications for regenerative medicine. Skeletal muscle is the largest tissue in the body, accounting for about 40 percent of human body mass, and is the type of muscle used to move limbs. When skeletal muscle is injured, it repairs itself and the Myomixer/Myomaker combination is fundamental to that muscle repair process.

"The discovery of Myomixer, a micropeptide, provides a key component to our understanding of skeletal muscle formation and regeneration," said Dr. Rhonda Bassel-Duby, Professor of Molecular Biology, Associate Director of the Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine, and a co-author of the study.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Thousands protest across US on Trump’s 100th day in office (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Thousands protest across US on Trump’s 100th day in office (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)..

29-Apr, 20:50

Thousands of people took to the streets in Washington to protest Donald...

Kendall Jenner bares her boobs as she poses TOPLESS for sexiest selfie yet wearing just a pair of thigh-high boots as she faces backlash over cancelled Fyre Festival weeks after Pepsi ad controversy

Kendall Jenner bares her boobs as she poses TOPLESS for sexiest selfie yet wearing just a pair..

29-Apr, 16:38

With just her arm protecting her modesty, the Victoria’s Secret model...

British 'Syria fighter' Josh Walker accused of terror offences

British 'Syria fighter' Josh Walker accused of terror offences..

29-Apr, 14:25

A British man who allegedly fought against so-called Islamic State in...

Russian authorities detain dozens at anti-Putin rallies

Russian authorities detain dozens at anti-Putin rallies..

29-Apr, 11:40

Russian authorities have detained dozens of protesters at rallies...

Egypt Bans Top Human Rights Lawyer From Travel Abroad

Egypt Bans Top Human Rights Lawyer From Travel Abroad..

26-Jan, 10:04

A prominent Egyptian human rights lawyer says he has been banned from...

Pistorius Prosecutor Quits, Plans Anti-Corruption Role

Pistorius Prosecutor Quits, Plans Anti-Corruption Role..

31-Jan, 09:56

The South African state prosecutor who led the case against convicted...

Campaigning candidates consider France's wartime past

Campaigning candidates consider France's wartime past..

28-Apr, 06:00

France's troubled wartime past is taking center stage Friday in the...

Secrets Of Nature Episode 249

Secrets Of Nature Episode 249..

13-Mar, 08:52

The following Secrets Of Nature Episode 249 English Sub has been...