Link to the paper: https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.202104022
Long lay summary:
Locomotion, breathing and posture are all reliant on skeletal muscle. As a result, during aging, cancer or disease the loss of muscle function and integrity can lead to crippling and deadly consequences. A recent discovery in the Laboratory of Prof. Keir Menzies demonstrates the importance of the enzyme GCN5 in maintaining the expression of key structural proteins in skeletal muscle. The most important of which is dystrophin, an anchor that connects the inner cytoskeleton of the muscle to the surrounding matrix located outside the muscle fibers. To examine the role of GCN5 the researchers developed a mouse that specifically did not express GCN5 in the muscle in which the muscle became more susceptible to damage during physical stress, such as downhill running on a treadmill, similar to that seen in muscular dystrophy and advanced aging. These findings may therefore be useful for the discovery of new therapeutics that regulate this molecular pathway for maintaining healthy muscle during cancer, myopathies, muscular dystrophy or aging.