Revolutionary identification of proteins necessary for muscle regeneration

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Skeletal muscles, which connect your bones and allow you to move, contain 50-75% of all protein in the body, courtesy of: GettyImages

Ashok Kumar, Else and Philip Hargrove, Full Professor of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Ashok Kumar, Else and Philip Hargrove Endowed Professor of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, identified the proteins necessary for efficient regeneration of skeletal muscles after acute injury and in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

A researcher from the University of Houston College of Pharmacy has identified the proteins necessary for efficient regeneration of skeletal muscles after acute injury and in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Ashok Kumar, Else and Philip Hargrove Full Professor of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, shares his findings in eLife.

Skeletal muscles, which connect your bones and allow you to move, contain 50-75% of all protein in the body. Not only are they the most abundant and dynamic tissue in the human body, essential for posture, locomotion and breathing, they also control the entire metabolism of the body.

So, when the skeletal muscles are injured or injured by trauma or degenerative disease, it can become complicated.

“We have identified that the IRE1 protein – localized on the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum (the organelle that is involved in the production, folding and quality control of proteins) and the XBP1 protein are important for the efficient regeneration of skeletal muscle after injury and in DMD ”reports Kumar. Anirban Roy, assistant research professor in pharmacology, is the first author of the article.

Understanding the mechanisms of skeletal muscle regeneration is essential for the development of new therapies aimed at treating various genetic and acquired degenerative muscle diseases.

“We found that skeletal muscle repair was significantly reduced in models in which the IRE1 or XBP1 protein was specifically removed from skeletal muscle. These proteins support the regeneration of skeletal muscles by enhancing the proliferation of resident muscle stem cells. Suppression of IRE1 in skeletal muscle reduces the abundance of muscle stem cells and exaggerates the muscular dystrophy phenotype, ”Kumar said.

Ongoing studies in the Kumar laboratory are examining whether the recently developed highly specific pharmacological activators of IRE1 and XBP1 can enhance skeletal muscle regeneration after acute injury and other degenerative muscle diseases.

“The research work has enormous significance for the development of drugs for skeletal muscle disease,” Kumar said.


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