Consequences of disrupting the dystrophin-sarcoglycan complex in cardiac and skeletal myopathy

Trends Cardiovasc Med. 2007 Feb;17(2):55-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tcm.2006.12.002.


Mutations that disrupt the dystrophin glycoprotein complex lead to plasma membrane instability of cardiomyocytes and skeletal muscle myofibers. Instability of the plasma membrane leads to degeneration largely due to activation of a necrotic process in these disorders. In response to ongoing degeneration, skeletal muscle exhibits robust regeneration while in cardiac muscle regeneration is not obvious. The dystrophin complex is concentrated along the plasma membrane in costameric structures that correspond to the Z bands of sarcomeres, thus positioning the dystrophin complex to transmit force between the sarcomere and the plasma membrane to the extracellular matrix. Although it is apparent that this position is important for perpendicular force transmission, it is clear that the dystrophin complex also fulfills signaling roles. Nitric oxide synthase and stress-induced signaling cascades are activated to participate in protection but may also contribute to pathology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiomyopathies / genetics*
  • Cardiomyopathies / pathology*
  • Dystrophin / genetics*
  • Dystrophin / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / pathology
  • Muscular Diseases / genetics*
  • Muscular Diseases / pathology*
  • Mutation
  • Sarcoglycans / genetics*
  • Sarcoglycans / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Dystrophin
  • Sarcoglycans