Transgenic mice expressing the myotilin T57I mutation unite the pathology associated with LGMD1A and MFM

Hum Mol Genet. 2006 Aug 1;15(15):2348-62. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddl160. Epub 2006 Jun 26.


Myotilin is a muscle-specific Z-disc protein with putative roles in myofibril assembly and structural upkeep of the sarcomere. Several myotilin point mutations have been described in patients with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 1A (LGMD1A), myofibrillar myopathy (MFM), spheroid body myopathy (SBM), three similar adult-onset, progressive and autosomal dominant muscular dystrophies. To further investigate myotilin's role in the pathogenesis of these muscle diseases, we have characterized three independent lines of transgenic mice expressing mutant (T57I) myotilin under the control of the human skeletal actin promoter. Similar to LGMD1A and MFM patients, these mice develop progressive myofibrillar pathology that includes Z-disc streaming, excess myofibrillar vacuolization and plaque-like myofibrillar aggregation. These aggregates become progressively larger and more numerous with age. We show that the mutant myotilin protein properly localizes to the Z-disc and also heavily populates the aggregates, along with several other Z-disc associated proteins. Whole muscle physiological analysis reveals that the extensor digitorum longus muscle of transgenic mice exhibits significantly reduced maximum specific isometric force compared with littermate controls. Intriguingly, the soleus and diaphragm muscles are spared of any abnormal myopathology and show no reductions in maximum specific force. These data provide evidence that myotilin mutations promote aggregate-dependent contractile dysfunction. In sum, we have established a promising patho-physiological mouse model that unifies the phenotypes of LGMD1A, MFM and SBM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Connectin
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / physiology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle Proteins / genetics*
  • Muscle Proteins / physiology
  • Muscles / ultrastructure
  • Muscular Dystrophies, Limb-Girdle / etiology
  • Muscular Dystrophies, Limb-Girdle / genetics*
  • Muscular Dystrophies, Limb-Girdle / pathology
  • Mutant Proteins / metabolism
  • Myofibrils / pathology*
  • Myofibrils / ultrastructure
  • Sarcolemma / ultrastructure
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Connectin
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • MYOT protein, human
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Mutant Proteins