Navigation Links
Protein injection points to muscular dystrophy treatment

November 27, 2012 Ottawa Scientists have discovered that injecting a novel human protein into muscle affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy significantly increases its size and strength, findings that could lead to a therapy akin to the use of insulin by diabetics. These results were published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Dr. Julia von Maltzahn and Dr. Michael Rudnicki, the Ottawa scientist who discovered muscle stem cells in adults.

"This is an unprecedented and dramatic restoration in muscle strength," says Dr. Rudnicki, a senior scientist and director for the Regenerative Medicine Program and Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He is also a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Genetics and professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.

"We know from our previous work that this protein, called Wnt7a, promotes the growth and repair of healthy muscle tissue. In this study we show the same types of improvement in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. We found that Wnt7a injections increased muscle strength almost two-fold, to nearly normal levels. We also found that the size of the muscle fibre increased and there was less muscle damage, compared to mice not given Wnt7a."

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder that affects one of every 3,500 newborn males. In Canada, all types of muscular dystrophy affect more than 50,000 people. The disease often progresses to a state where the muscles are so depleted that the person dies due to an inability to breath. For people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, this usually happens in their 20s or 30s.

"This is also exciting because we think it's a therapeutic approach that could apply to other muscle-wasting diseases," says Dr. Rudnicki.

Dr. Rudnicki's lab is a world leader in research on muscle stem cells. They have contributed significantly to our understanding of how these cells work at the molecular level. This basic research, which takes place in OHRI's multidisciplinary environment of collaboration with clinicians, led to the identification of Wnt7a as a promising candidate to help people with this muscle wasting disease.

Biotechnology partner, Fate Therapeutics is currently developing Wnt7a-based therapeutic candidates for treatment of muscular dystrophy and atrophy. Preclinical assessments are ongoing and the company plans to initiate clinical trials in the near future.


Contact: Paddy Moore
613-737-8899 x73687
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Related biology news :

1. IU biologists offer clearer picture of how protein machine systems tweak gene expression
2. Making memories: How 1 protein does it
3. Embryonic development protein active in cancer growth
4. More effective method of imaging proteins
5. The loss of a protein makes jump the tumor to the lymph node
6. Gold nanoantennas detect proteins
7. The Japanese traditional therapy, honokiol, blocks key protein in inflammatory brain damage
8. New hope for treating Alzheimers Disease: A role for the FKBP52 protein
9. Protein jailbreak helps breast cancer cells live
10. Plant research reveals new role for gene silencing protein
11. Newly found protein helps cells build tissues
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/12/2015)... BOSTON , Nov. 12, 2015  A golden ... for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) has provided a new ... Boston Children,s Hospital, the Broad Institute of MIT and ... Brazil . Cell, ... some dogs "escape" the disease,s effects. The Boston Children,s ...
(Date:11/11/2015)... Nov. 11, 2015   MedNet Solutions , an innovative ... clinical research, is pleased to announce that it will be ... (PCT) event, to be held November 17-19 in ... view live demonstrations of iMedNet , MedNet,s ... iMedNet has been able to deliver time and ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 09, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Global ... to their offering. --> ... "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... and HOLLISTON, Mass. , ... Inc. (Nasdaq: HART ), a biotechnology company developing ... CEO Jim McGorry will present at the ... 1, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. PT. The presentation will ... for 30 days. Management will also be available at ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... SAN DIEGO , Nov. 25, 2015 ... that management will participate in a fireside chat discussion ... New York . The discussion is ... Time. .  A replay will ... Contact:  Media Contact:McDavid Stilwell  , Julie NormartVP, Corporate ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... HILLS, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... as the recipient of the 2016 USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, ... golf through his or her work with turfgrass. , Clarke, of Iselin, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... maintain healthy metabolism. But unless it is bound to proteins, copper is also ... Health (NIH), researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will conduct a systematic study ...
Breaking Biology Technology: