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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2000 Jan;32(1):1-5.

Calpains and muscular dystrophies.

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  • 1Department of Physiological Science, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Research Center, University of California, Los Angeles 90095, USA.


Calpains are a ubiquitous, well-conserved family of calcium-dependent, cysteine proteases. Their function in muscle has received increased interest because of the discoveries that the activation and concentration of the ubiquitous calpains increase in the mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), but null mutations of muscle specific calpain causes limb girdle muscular dystrophy 2A (LGMD2A). These findings indicate that modulation of calpain activity contributes to muscular dystrophies by disrupting normal regulatory mechanisms influenced by calpains, rather than through a general, nonspecific increase in proteolysis. Thus, modulation of calpain activity or expression through pharmacological or molecular genetic approaches may provide therapies for some muscular dystrophies.

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