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      miR-7 Restores Phenotypes in Myotonic Dystrophy Muscle Cells by Repressing Hyperactivated Autophagy

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          Abstract

          Unstable CTG expansions in the 3’ UTR of the DMPK gene are responsible for myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) condition. Muscle dysfunction is one of the main contributors to DM1 mortality and morbidity. Pathways by which mutant DMPK trigger muscle defects, however, are not fully understood. We previously reported that miR-7 was downregulated in a DM1 Drosophila model and in biopsies from patients. Here, using DM1 and normal muscle cells, we investigated whether miR-7 contributes to the muscle phenotype by studying the consequences of replenishing or blocking miR-7, respectively. Restoration of miR-7 with agomiR-7 was sufficient to rescue DM1 myoblast fusion defects and myotube growth. Conversely, oligonucleotide-mediated blocking of miR-7 in normal myoblasts led to fusion and myotube growth defects. miR-7 was found to regulate autophagy and the ubiquitin-proteasome system in human muscle cells. Thus, low levels of miR-7 promoted both processes, and high levels of miR-7 repressed them. Furthermore, we uncovered that the mechanism by which miR-7 improves atrophy-related phenotypes is independent of MBNL1, thus suggesting that miR-7 acts downstream or in parallel to MBNL1. Collectively, these results highlight an unknown function for miR-7 in muscle dysfunction through autophagy- and atrophy-related pathways and support that restoration of miR-7 levels is a candidate therapeutic target for counteracting muscle dysfunction in DM1.

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          Most cited references 42

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          Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy.

          In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
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            Aberrant regulation of insulin receptor alternative splicing is associated with insulin resistance in myotonic dystrophy.

            Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is caused by a CTG trinucleotide expansion in the 3' untranslated region of the DM protein kinase gene. People with DM1 have an unusual form of insulin resistance caused by a defect in skeletal muscle. Here we demonstrate that alternative splicing of the insulin receptor (IR) pre-mRNA is aberrantly regulated in DM1 skeletal muscle tissue, resulting in predominant expression of the lower-signaling nonmuscle isoform (IR-A). IR-A also predominates in DM1 skeletal muscle cultures, which exhibit a decreased metabolic response to insulin relative to cultures from normal controls. Steady-state levels of CUG-BP, a regulator of pre-mRNA splicing proposed to mediate some aspects of DM1 pathogenesis, are increased in DM1 skeletal muscle; overexpression of CUG-BP in normal cells induces a switch to IR-A. The CUG-BP protein mediates this switch through an intronic element located upstream of the alternatively spliced exon 11, and specifically binds within this element in vitro. These results support a model in which increased expression of a splicing regulator contributes to insulin resistance in DM1 by affecting IR alternative splicing.
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              Disruption of splicing regulated by a CUG-binding protein in myotonic dystrophy.

              Myotonic dystrophy (DM) is caused by a CTG expansion in the 3' untranslated region of the DM gene. One model of DM pathogenesis suggests that RNAs from the expanded allele create a gain-of-function mutation by the inappropriate binding of proteins to the CUG repeats. Data presented here indicate that the conserved heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein, CUG-binding protein (CUG-BP), may mediate the trans-dominant effect of the RNA. CUG-BP was found to bind to the human cardiac troponin T (cTNT) pre-messenger RNA and regulate its alternative splicing. Splicing of cTNT was disrupted in DM striated muscle and in normal cells expressing transcripts that contain CUG repeats. Altered expression of genes regulated posttranscriptionally by CUG-BP therefore may contribute to DM pathogenesis.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Mol Ther Nucleic Acids
                Mol Ther Nucleic Acids
                Molecular Therapy. Nucleic Acids
                American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy
                2162-2531
                20 November 2019
                06 March 2020
                20 November 2019
                : 19
                : 278-292
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Translational Genomics Group, Incliva Health Research Institute, Valencia 46100, Spain
                [2 ]Interdisciplinary Research Structure for Biotechnology and Biomedicine (ERI BIOTECMED), University of Valencia, Valencia 46100, Spain
                [3 ]CIPF-INCLIVA Joint Unit, Valencia 46012, Spain
                [4 ]Sorbonne Université, Inserm, Association Institut de Myologie, Centre de Recherche en Myologie, Paris 75013, France
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author: Ariadna Bargiela, Translational Genomics Group, Interdisciplinary Research Structure for Biotechnology and Biomedicine (ERI BIOTECMED), Incliva Health Research Institute, Valencia 46100, Spain, and CIPF-INCLIVA Joint Unit, Valencia 46012, Spain ariadna.bargiela@ 123456uv.es
                Article
                S2162-2531(19)30365-8
                10.1016/j.omtn.2019.11.012
                6926285
                31855836
                © 2019 The Author(s)

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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