High Sarcolipin Levels Underlie Muscle Wasting, Cardiac Disease in DMD

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Researchers have found that lowering the the levels of a protein called sarcolipin lessens muscle weakness and improves skeletal and cardiac muscle function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). These findings suggest that therapeutics targeting sarcolipin may have significant benefits to DMD patients.

The study “Reducing sarcolipin expression mitigates Duchenne muscular dystrophy and associated cardiomyopathy in mice” was published in the journal Nature Communications.

Abnormally high levels of calcium inside muscle cells increasingly are recognized as a key event that initiates and promotes DMD. One of the mechanisms leading to this calcium overload is the reduced activity of a calcium pump – the so-called sarco-endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase or SERCA.

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