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Paterna De Rivera, Spain

Axford M.M.,Genetics and Genome Biology | Axford M.M.,University of Toronto | Lopez-Castel A.,Genetics and Genome Biology | Lopez-Castel A.,Valentia Biopharma | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Medical Genetics | Year: 2011

Background: Recently, curious mutations have been reported to occur within the (CTG)n repeat tract of the myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) locus. For example, the repeat, long presumed to be a pure repeat sequence, has now been revealed to often contain interruption motifs in a proportion of cases with expansions. Similarly, a few de novo somatic CTG expansions have been reported to arise from non-expanded DM1 alleles with 5e37 units, thought to be genetically stable. Aims and methods: This study has characterised a novel mutation configuration at the DM1 CTG repeat that arose as somatic mosaicism in a juvenile onset DM1 patient with a non-expanded allele of (CTG)12 and tissue specific expansions ranging from (CTG)1100 to 6000. Results: The mutation configuration replaced the CTG tract with a non-CTG repeat insertion of 43 or 60 nucleotides, precisely placed in the position of the CTG tract with proper flanking sequences. The inserts appeared to arise from a longer human sequence on chromosome 4q12, and may have arisen through DNA structure mediated somatic inter-gene recombination or replication/repair template switching errors. De novo insertions were detected in cerebral cortex and skeletal muscle, but not in heart or liver. Repeat tracts with -1 or -2 CTG units were also detected in cerebellum, which may have arisen by contractions of the short (CTG)12 allele. Conclusion: This non-CTG configuration expands current understanding of the sequence variations that can arise at this hypermutable site.

Bargiela A.,University of Valencia | Bargiela A.,INCLIVA Health Research Institute | Cerro-Herreros E.,University of Valencia | Cerro-Herreros E.,INCLIVA Health Research Institute | And 8 more authors.
DMM Disease Models and Mechanisms | Year: 2015

Muscle mass wasting is one of the most debilitating symptoms of myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) disease, ultimately leading to immobility, respiratory defects, dysarthria, dysphagia and death in advanced stages of the disease. In order to study the molecular mechanisms leading to the degenerative loss of adult muscle tissue in DM1, we generated an inducible Drosophila model of expanded CTG trinucleotide repeat toxicity that resembles an adult-onset form of the disease. Heat-shock induced expression of 480 CUG repeats in adult flies resulted in a reduction in the area of the indirect flight muscles. In these model flies, reduction of muscle area was concomitant with increased apoptosis and autophagy. Inhibition of apoptosis or autophagy mediated by the overexpression of DIAP1, mTOR (also known as Tor) or muscleblind, or by RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated silencing of autophagy regulatory genes, achieved a rescue of the muscle-loss phenotype. In fact, mTOR overexpression rescued muscle size to a size comparable to that in control flies. These results were validated in skeletal muscle biopsies from DM1 patients in which we found downregulated autophagy and apoptosis repressor genes, and also in DM1 myoblasts where we found increased autophagy. These findings provide new insights into the signaling pathways involved in DM1 disease pathogenesis. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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Garcia-Alcover I.,Valentia Biopharma | Castel A.L.,Valentia Biopharma | Perez-Alonso M.,Valentia Biopharma | Artero R.,University of Valencia
Drug Discovery Today: Technologies | Year: 2013

Myotonic dystrophy (DM) is a complex neuromuscular genetic disease for which there is currently no valid therapy. The recent development of non-mammal animal models opened up the possibility of performing drug discovery in vivo, using as screening readout phenotypes with underlying molecular parallels to the disease. In this review we discuss the state of the art technologies already used in large scale drug screening and provide guidance for further development of novel technologies. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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