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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The muscle mitogen-activated protein kinase is altered in sporadic inclusion body myositis.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the origin of hyperphosphorylated proteins within the vacuolated myofibers in sporadic inclusion body myositis (s-IBM) and search for dysregulated intracellular protein phosphorylation. BACKGROUND: s-IBM is morphologically characterized by primary endomysial inflammation and vacuolated myofibers containing tubulofilaments that originate from cytoskeletal proteins. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) play a role in regulating phosphorylation and maintaining the stability of the cytoskeletal architecture. METHODS: Muscle biopsies from seven patients with s-IBM and 15 controls were examined for the expression of the active components of the various MAPKs, including p44/42MAPK, p38MAPK, p46JNK1, p54JNK2, and p54JNK3, using immunocytochemistry and Western blot analysis. The expression of selected phosphorylated components was also examined in the same specimens. RESULTS: In s-IBM, but not the disease controls, the vacuolated muscle fibers express active p42MAPK but not JNK or p38MAPK. Western blots of cell lysates confirmed the hyperexpression of p42MAPK and demonstrated a novel 35 kD phosphoprotein. Antibodies against phosphoepitopes of the 35 kD protein preferentially immunostained antigens within the vacuolated muscle fibers of s-IBM but not disease controls. CONCLUSION: In s-IBM, there is increased p42MAPK activation and abnormal intracellular protein phosphorylation with selective accumulation of a 35 kD phosphoprotein within the vacuolated fibers. Although the hyperexpression of 35kD protein may represent cytoskeletal by-products due to heightened p42MAPK activation, its abundant expression only in s-IBM implies that hyperphosphorylated myofibrillar proteins may be involved in the primary disease process.[1]


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