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Caveolin-3 deficiency causes muscle degeneration in mice.

Hagiwara Y., Sasaoka T., Araishi K., Imamura M., Yorifuji H., Nonaka I., Ozawa E., Kikuchi T.

Caveolin-3 is a muscle-specific protein integrated in the caveolae, which are small invaginations of the plasma membrane. Mutations of the caveolin-3 gene, localized at 3p25, have been reported to be involved in the pathogenesis of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD1C or caveolinopathy) with mild clinical symptoms, inherited through an autosomal dominant form of genetic transmission. To elucidate the pathogenetic mechanism, we developed caveolin-3-deficient mice for use as animal models of caveolinopathy. Caveolin-3 mRNA and its protein were absent in homozygous mutant mice. In heterozygous mutant mice, both the mRNA and its protein were normal in size, but their amounts were reduced by about half. The density of caveolae in skeletal muscle plasma membrane was roughly proportional to the amount of caveolin-3. In homozygous mutant mice, muscle degeneration was recognized in soleus muscle at 8 weeks of age and in the diaphragm from 8 to 30 weeks, although there was no difference in growth and movement between wild-type and mutant mice. No apparent muscle degeneration was observed in heterozygous mutant mice, indicating that pathological changes caused by caveolin-3 gene disruption were inherited through the recessive form of genetic transmission.

Hum. Mol. Genet. 9:3047-3054(2000) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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