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Eur J Biochem. 2004 Oct;271(19):3943-52.

Subproteomics analysis of Ca+-binding proteins demonstrates decreased calsequestrin expression in dystrophic mouse skeletal muscle.

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Department of Biology, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland.


Duchenne muscular dystrophy represents one of the most common hereditary diseases. Abnormal ion handling is believed to render dystrophin-deficient muscle fibres more susceptible to necrosis. Although a reduced Ca(2+) buffering capacity has been shown to exist in the dystrophic sarcoplasmic reticulum, surprisingly no changes in the abundance of the main luminal Ca(2+) reservoir protein calsequestrin have been observed in microsomal preparations. To address this unexpected finding and eliminate potential technical artefacts of subcellular fractionation protocols, we employed a comparative subproteomics approach with total mouse skeletal muscle extracts. Immunoblotting, mass spectrometry and labelling of the entire muscle protein complement with the cationic carbocyanine dye 'Stains-All' was performed in order to evaluate the fate of major Ca(2+)-binding proteins in dystrophin-deficient skeletal muscle fibres. In contrast to a relatively comparable expression pattern of the main protein population in normal vs. dystrophic fibres, our analysis showed that the expression of key Ca(2+)-binding proteins of the luminal sarcoplasmic reticulum is drastically reduced. This included the main terminal cisternae constituent, calsequestrin, and the previously implicated Ca(2+)-shuttle element, sarcalumenin. In contrast, the 'Stains-All'-positive protein spot, representing the cytosolic Ca(2+)-binding component, calmodulin, was not changed in dystrophin-deficient fibres. The reduced 2D 'Stains-All' pattern of luminal Ca(2+)-binding proteins in mdx preparations supports the calcium hypothesis of muscular dystrophy. The previously described impaired Ca(2+) buffering capacity of the dystrophic sarcoplasmic reticulum is probably caused by a reduction in luminal Ca(2+)-binding proteins, including calsequestrin.

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