Novel Functions for the RNA-binding Protein Staufen1 in Skeletal Muscle Biology and Disease

Description
Title: Novel Functions for the RNA-binding Protein Staufen1 in Skeletal Muscle Biology and Disease
Authors: Crawford Parks, Tara
Date: 2016
Abstract: Over the past decade several converging lines of evidence have highlighted the importance of post-transcriptional events in skeletal muscle. This level of regulation is controlled by multi-functional RNA-binding proteins and trans-acting factors. In fact, several RNA-binding proteins are implicated in neuromuscular disorders including myotonic dystrophy type I, spinal muscular atrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Therefore, it is necessary to examine the impact of RNA-binding proteins during skeletal muscle development and plasticity in order to understand the consequences linked to their misregulation in disease. Here, we focused on the RNA-binding protein Staufen1, which assumes multiple roles in both skeletal muscle and neurons. We previously demonstrated that Staufen1 is regulated during myogenic differentiation and that its expression is increased in denervated and in myotonic dystrophy type I skeletal muscles. The increased expression of Staufen1 initially appeared beneficial for DM1 since further elevating Staufen1 levels rescued key hallmarks of the disease. However, based on the multi-functional nature of Staufen1, we hypothesized that Staufen1 acts as a disease modifier in DM1. To test this, we investigated the roles of Staufen1 in skeletal muscle biology and their implications for disease. Our data demonstrated that Staufen1 is required during the early stages of muscle development, however its expression must remain low in postnatal skeletal muscle. Interestingly, the overexpression of Staufen1 impaired myogenesis through the regulation of c-myc translation. Since the function of c-myc in oncogenesis is well described, we investigated the role of Staufen1 in cancer biology. In particular, we determined novel functions of Staufen1 in rhabdomyosarcoma tumorigenesis, thus providing the first direct evidence for Staufen1’s involvement in cancer. Moreover, based on Staufen1’s role in myogenic differentiation and in myotonic dystrophy type I, we generated muscle-specific transgenic mice to examine the impact of sustained Staufen1 expression in postnatal skeletal muscle. Staufen1 transgenic mice developed a myopathy characterized by histological and functional abnormalities via atrogene induction and the regulation of PTEN mRNAs. In parallel, we further investigated Staufen1-regulated alternative splicing and our data demonstrated that Staufen1 regulates multiple alternative splicing events in normal and myotonic dystrophy type I skeletal muscles, both beneficial and detrimental for the pathology. Collectively, these findings uncover several novel functions of Staufen1 in skeletal muscle biology and highlight Staufen1’s role as a disease modifier in DM1.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/35627
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-584
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
Files