Dystroglycan: a possible mediator for reducing congenital muscular dystrophy?

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Abstract

alpha-Dystroglycan is a highly glycosylated peripheral protein forming a complex with the membrane-spanning beta-dystroglycan and establishing a connection between the extracellular matrix and the cytoskeleton. In skeletal muscle, as part of the larger dystrophin-glycoprotein complex, dystroglycan is believed to be essential for maintaining the structural and functional stability of muscle fibers. Recent work highlights the role of abnormal dystroglycan glycosylation at the basis of glycosyltransferase-deficient congenital muscular dystrophies. Notably, modulation of glycosyltransferase activity can restore alpha-dystroglycan receptor function in these disorders. Moreover, transgenic approaches favoring the interaction between dystroglycan and the extracellular matrix molecules also represent an innovative way to restore skeletal muscle structure. These pioneering approaches might comprise an important first step towards the design of gene-transfer-based strategies for the rescue of congenital muscular dystrophies involving dystroglycan.

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  • Cell and Molecular Biology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-268
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Volume25
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2007
Peer-reviewedYes