Differences in aberrant expression and splicing of sarcomeric proteins in the myotonic dystrophies DM1 and DM2

Anna Vihola, Linda L. Bachinski, Mario Sirito, Shodimu Emmanuel Olufemi, Shohrae Hajibashi, Keith A. Baggerly, Olayinka Raheem, Hannu Haapasalo, Tiina Suominen, Jeanette Holmlund-Hampf, Anders Paetau, Rosanna Cardani, Giovanni Meola, Annu Kalimo, Lars Edström, Ralf Krahe, Bjarne Udd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aberrant transcription and mRNA processing of multiple genes due to RNA-mediated toxic gain-offunction has been suggested to cause the complex phenotype in myotonic dystrophies type 1 and 2 (DM1 and DM2). However, the molecular basis of muscle weakness and wasting and the different pattern of muscle involvement in DM1 and DM2 are not well understood. We have analyzed the mRNA expression of genes encoding musclespecific proteins and transcription factors by microarray profiling and studied selected genes for abnormal splicing. A subset of the abnormally regulated genes was further analyzed at the protein level. TNNT3 and LDB3 showed abnormal splicing with significant differences in proportions between DM2 and DM1. The differential abnormal splicing patterns for TNNT3 and LDB3 appeared more pronounced in DM2 relative to DM1 and are among the first molecular differences reported between the two diseases. In addition to these specific differences, the majority of the analyzed genes showed an overall increased expression at the mRNA level. In particular, there was a more global abnormality of all different myosin isoforms in both DM1 and DM2 with increased transcript levels and a differential pattern of protein expression. Atrophic fibers in DM2 patients expressed only the fast myosin isoform, while in DM1 patients they co-expressed fast and slow isoforms. However, there was no increase of total myosin protein levels, suggesting that aberrant protein translation and/or turnover may also be involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-479
Number of pages15
JournalActa Neuropathologica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • Aberrant splicing
  • Microarray expression profiling
  • Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1)
  • Myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2)
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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