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Hum Mol Genet. 2010 Jun 1;19(11):2268-83. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddq105. Epub 2010 Mar 16.

Functional muscle analysis of the Tcap knockout mouse.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, USA.


Autosomal recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2G (LGMD2G) is an adult-onset myopathy characterized by distal lower limb weakness, calf hypertrophy and progressive decline in ambulation. The disease is caused by mutations in Tcap, a z-disc protein of skeletal muscle, although the precise mechanisms resulting in clinical symptoms are unknown. To provide a model for preclinical trials and for mechanistic studies, we generated knockout (KO) mice carrying a null mutation in the Tcap gene. Here we present the first report of a Tcap KO mouse model for LGMD2G and the results of an investigation into the effects of Tcap deficiency on skeletal muscle function in 4- and 12-month-old mice. Muscle histology of Tcap-null mice revealed abnormal myofiber size variation with central nucleation, similar to findings in the muscles of LGMD2G patients. An analysis of a Tcap binding protein, myostatin, showed that deletion of Tcap was accompanied by increased protein levels of myostatin. Our Tcap-null mice exhibited a decline in the ability to maintain balance on a rotating rod, relative to wild-type controls. No differences were detected in force or fatigue assays of isolated extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and soleus (SOL) muscles. Finally, a mechanical investigation of EDL and SOL indicated an increase in muscle stiffness in KO animals. We are the first to establish a viable KO mouse model of Tcap deficiency and our model mice demonstrate a dystrophic phenotype comparable to humans with LGMD2G.

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