Suppression of autophagy in skeletal muscle uncovers the accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins and their potential role in muscle damage in Pompe disease

Hum Mol Genet. 2008 Dec 15;17(24):3897-908. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddn292. Epub 2008 Sep 9.

Abstract

The role of autophagy, a catabolic lysosome-dependent pathway, has recently been recognized in a variety of disorders, including Pompe disease, the genetic deficiency of the glycogen-degrading lysosomal enzyme acid-alpha glucosidase. Accumulation of lysosomal glycogen, presumably transported from the cytoplasm by the autophagic pathway, occurs in multiple tissues, but pathology is most severe in skeletal and cardiac muscle. Skeletal muscle pathology also involves massive autophagic buildup in the core of myofibers. To determine if glycogen reaches the lysosome via autophagy and to ascertain whether autophagic buildup in Pompe disease is a consequence of induction of autophagy and/or reduced turnover due to defective fusion with lysosomes, we generated muscle-specific autophagy-deficient Pompe mice. We have demonstrated that autophagy is not required for glycogen transport to lysosomes in skeletal muscle. We have also found that Pompe disease involves induction of autophagy but manifests as a functional deficiency of autophagy because of impaired autophagosomal-lysosomal fusion. As a result, autophagic substrates, including potentially toxic aggregate-prone ubiquitinated proteins, accumulate in Pompe myofibers and may cause profound muscle damage.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagy* / genetics
  • Female
  • Glycogen Storage Disease Type II / enzymology
  • Glycogen Storage Disease Type II / genetics
  • Glycogen Storage Disease Type II / pathology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Muscle, Skeletal / enzymology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology*
  • Muscular Diseases / etiology*
  • Muscular Diseases / metabolism
  • Muscular Diseases / pathology*
  • Proteins / adverse effects*
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitination* / genetics
  • alpha-Glucosidases / deficiency
  • alpha-Glucosidases / genetics

Substances

  • Proteins
  • alpha-Glucosidases