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      Magic-Factor 1, a Partial Agonist of Met, Induces Muscle Hypertrophy by Protecting Myogenic Progenitors from Apoptosis

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          Abstract

          Background

          Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF) is a pleiotropic cytokine of mesenchymal origin that mediates a characteristic array of biological activities including cell proliferation, survival, motility and morphogenesis. Its high affinity receptor, the tyrosine kinase Met, is expressed by a wide range of tissues and can be activated by either paracrine or autocrine stimulation. Adult myogenic precursor cells, the so called satellite cells, express both HGF and Met. Following muscle injury, autocrine HGF-Met stimulation plays a key role in promoting activation and early division of satellite cells, but is shut off in a second phase to allow myogenic differentiation. In culture, HGF stimulation promotes proliferation of muscle precursors thereby inhibiting their differentiation.

          Methodology/Principal Findings

          Magic-Factor 1 (Met-Activating Genetically Improved Chimeric Factor-1 or Magic-F1) is an HGF-derived, engineered protein that contains two Met-binding domains repeated in tandem. It has a reduced affinity for Met and, in contrast to HGF it elicits activation of the AKT but not the ERK signaling pathway. As a result, Magic-F1 is not mitogenic but conserves the ability to promote cell survival. Here we show that Magic-F1 protects myogenic precursors against apoptosis, thus increasing their fusion ability and enhancing muscular differentiation. Electrotransfer of Magic-F1 gene into adult mice promoted muscular hypertrophy and decreased myocyte apoptosis. Magic-F1 transgenic mice displayed constitutive muscular hypertrophy, improved running performance and accelerated muscle regeneration following injury. Crossing of Magic-F1 transgenic mice with α-sarcoglycan knock-out mice –a mouse model of muscular dystrophy– or adenovirus-mediated Magic-F1 gene delivery resulted in amelioration of the dystrophic phenotype as measured by both anatomical/histological analysis and functional tests.

          Conclusions/Significance

          Because of these features Magic-F1 represents a novel molecular tool to counteract muscle wasting in major muscular diseases such as cachexia or muscular dystrophy.

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          Most cited references 44

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          Double muscling in cattle due to mutations in the myostatin gene.

          Myostatin (GDF-8) is a member of the transforming growth factor beta superfamily of secreted growth and differentiation factors that is essential for proper regulation of skeletal muscle mass in mice. Here we report the myostatin sequences of nine other vertebrate species and the identification of mutations in the coding sequence of bovine myostatin in two breeds of double-muscled cattle, Belgian Blue and Piedmontese, which are known to have an increase in muscle mass relative to conventional cattle. The Belgian Blue myostatin sequence contains an 11-nucleotide deletion in the third exon which causes a frameshift that eliminates virtually all of the mature, active region of the molecule. The Piedmontese myostatin sequence contains a missense mutation in exon 3, resulting in a substitution of tyrosine for an invariant cysteine in the mature region of the protein. The similarity in phenotypes of double-muscled cattle and myostatin null mice suggests that myostatin performs the same biological function in these two species and is a potentially useful target for genetic manipulation in other farm animals.
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            Molecular cloning and expression of human hepatocyte growth factor.

            Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is the most potent mitogen for mature parenchymal hepatocytes in primary culture, and seems to be a hepatotrophic factor that acts as a trigger for liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy and liver injury. The partial purification and characterization of HGF have been reported. We have demonstrated that pure HGF from rat platelets is a new growth factor effective at concentrations as low as 1 ng ml-1. The effects of HGF and epidermal growth factor (EGF) are additive. The activity of HGF is not species-specific, although it does not stimulate growth in Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts. HGF has a relative molecular mass (Mr) of 82,000 and is a heterodimer composed of a large alpha-subunit of Mr 69,000 and a small beta-subunit of Mr 34,000. Here we report the amino-acid sequence of human HGF determined by complementary DNA cloning and the expression of biologically active human HGF from COS-1 cells transfected with cloned cDNA. The nucleotide sequence of the human HGF cDNA reveals that both alpha- and beta-chains are contained in a single open reading frame coding for a pre-pro precursor protein of 728 amino acids.
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              Localized Igf-1 transgene expression sustains hypertrophy and regeneration in senescent skeletal muscle.

              Aging skeletal muscles suffer a steady decline in mass and functional performance, and compromised muscle integrity as fibrotic invasions replace contractile tissue, accompanied by a characteristic loss in the fastest, most powerful muscle fibers. The same programmed deficits in muscle structure and function are found in numerous neurodegenerative syndromes and disease-related cachexia. We have generated a model of persistent, functional myocyte hypertrophy using a tissue-restricted transgene encoding a locally acting isoform of insulin-like growth factor-1 that is expressed in skeletal muscle (mIgf-1). Transgenic embryos developed normally, and postnatal increases in muscle mass and strength were not accompanied by the additional pathological changes seen in other Igf-1 transgenic models. Expression of GATA-2, a transcription factor normally undetected in skeletal muscle, marked hypertrophic myocytes that escaped age-related muscle atrophy and retained the proliferative response to muscle injury characteristic of younger animals. The preservation of muscle architecture and age-independent regenerative capacity through localized mIgf-1 transgene expression suggests clinical strategies for the treatment of age or disease-related muscle frailty.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1932-6203
                2008
                16 September 2008
                : 3
                : 9
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Translational Cardiomyology, Stem Cell Institute Leuven (SCIL), KULeuven, Leuven, Belgium
                [2 ]Department of Histology and Medical Embryology, University of Rome Sapienza, Rome, Italy
                [3 ]Stem Cell Research Institute, H. S. Raffaele, Milan, Italy
                [4 ]Human Anatomy, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
                [5 ]Dompè Ph.r.ma. Research Center, L'Aquila, Italy
                [6 ]Division of Molecular Oncology, Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (IRCC), Candiolo (Torino), Italy
                [7 ]Department of Neurological Science, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
                Universität Heidelberg, Germany
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: MC SB MS. Performed the experiments: AF CO. Analyzed the data: LB MGCdA PMC GC. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: RB FM MA VB CB YT PM. Wrote the paper: MS.

                Article
                08-PONE-RA-03520R1
                10.1371/journal.pone.0003223
                2528937
                18795097
                Cassano et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Page count
                Pages: 13
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biotechnology/Chemical Biology of the Cell
                Cell Biology/Gene Expression
                Developmental Biology/Cell Differentiation

                Uncategorized

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