Congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD), a subgroup of myopathies is a genetically and clinically heterogeneous group of inherited muscle disorders and is characterized by progressive muscle weakness, fiber size variability, fibrosis, clustered necrotic fibers, and central myonuclei present in regenerating muscle. Type IV collagen (COL4A1) mutations have recently been identified in patients with intracerebral, vascular, renal, ophthalmologic pathologies and congenital muscular dystrophy, consistent with diagnoses of Walker–Warburg Syndrome or Muscle–Eye–Brain disease. Morphological characteristics of muscular dystrophy have also been demonstrated Col4a1 mutant mice. Yet, several aspects of the pathomechanism of COL4A1-associated muscle defects remained largely uncharacterized. Based on the results of genetic, histological, molecular, and biochemical analyses in an allelic series of Drosophila col4a1 mutants, we provide evidence that col4a1 mutations arise by transitions in glycine triplets, associate with severely compromised muscle fibers within the single-layer striated muscle of the common oviduct, characterized by loss of sarcomere structure, disintegration and streaming of Z-discs, indicating an essential role for the COL4A1 protein. Features of altered cytoskeletal phenotype include actin bundles traversing over sarcomere units, amorphous actin aggregates, atrophy, and aberrant fiber size. The mutant COL4A1-associated defects appear to recapitulate integrin-mediated adhesion phenotypes observed in RNA-inhibitory Drosophila. Our results provide insight into the mechanistic details of COL4A1-associated muscle disorders and suggest a role for integrin-collagen interaction in the maintenance of sarcomeres.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry