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

Genetic compensation for sarcoglycan loss by integrin alpha7beta1 in muscle.

Disruption of the sarcoglycan complex leads to muscle membrane instability and muscular dystrophy in humans and mice. Through the dystrophin glycoprotein complex, sarcoglycan participates in connecting the internal cytoskeleton to the membrane and the extracellular matrix. Integrin alpha7beta1 is also a transmembrane protein of skeletal and cardiac muscle that similarly links the cytoskeleton to the extracellular matrix. Mice lacking integrin alpha7 develop mild muscle degeneration, while sarcoglycan mutant mice display overt muscle degeneration and muscular dystrophy. In sarcoglycan-deficient muscle, integrin alpha7 protein was upregulated at the plasma membrane. To ascertain whether integrin alpha7 upregulation compensates for the loss of the transmembrane sarcoglycan linkage in sarcoglycan-deficient muscle, we generated mice lacking both integrin alpha7 and gamma-sarcoglycan (gxi). These double-mutant gxi mice exhibit profound, rapid muscle degeneration leading to death before one month of age consistent with a weakened cellular attachment to the extracellular matrix. The regenerative capacity of gxi muscle was intact with increased embryonic myosin heavy chain expression, myofiber central nucleation and normal in vivo myoblast differentiation. Therefore, upregulation of integrin alpha7beta1 compensates as a transmembrane muscle cell attachment for sarcoglycan consistent with overlapping roles for sarcoglycan and integrins in mediating cytoskeletal-membrane-extracellular matrix interaction.[1]


  1. Genetic compensation for sarcoglycan loss by integrin alpha7beta1 in muscle. Allikian, M.J., Hack, A.A., Mewborn, S., Mayer, U., McNally, E.M. J. Cell. Sci. (2004) [Pubmed]
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