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FASEB J. 2008 May;22(5):1521-9. Epub 2007 Dec 11.

NF-kappaB-dependent expression of the antiapoptotic factor c-FLIP is regulated by calpain 3, the protein involved in limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A.

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Généthon CNRS FRE3018, 1, 91000 Evry, France.


Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A (LGMD2A) is a recessive genetic disorder caused by mutations in the cysteine protease calpain 3 (CAPN3) that leads to selective muscle wasting. We previously showed that CAPN3 deficiency is associated with a profound perturbation of the NF-kappaB/IkappaB alpha survival pathway. In this study, the consequences of altered NF-kappaB/IkappaB alpha pathway were investigated using biological materials from LGMD2A patients. We first show that the antiapoptotic factor cellular-FLICE inhibitory protein (c-FLIP), which is dependent on the NF-kappaB pathway in normal muscle cells, is down-regulated in LGMD2A biopsies. In muscle cells isolated from LGMD2A patients, NF-kappaB is readily activated on cytokine induction as shown by an increase in its DNA binding activity. However, we observed discrepant transcriptional responses depending on the NF-kappaB target genes. IkappaB alpha is expressed following NF-kappaB activation independent of the CAPN3 status, whereas expression of c-FLIP is obtained only when CAPN3 is present. These data lead us to postulate that CAPN3 intervenes in the regulation of the expression of NF-kappaB-dependent survival genes to prevent apoptosis in skeletal muscle. Deregulations in the NF-kappaB pathway could be part of the mechanism responsible for the muscle wasting resulting from CAPN3 deficiency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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