Therapy-responsive biomarkers are an important and unmet need in the muscular dystrophy field where new treatments are currently in clinical trials. By using a comprehensive high-resolution mass spectrometry approach and western blot validation, we found that two fragments of the myofibrillar structural protein myomesin-3 (MYOM3) are abnormally present in sera of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients, limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2D (LGMD2D) and their respective animal models. Levels of MYOM3 fragments were assayed in therapeutic model systems: (1) restoration of dystrophin expression by antisense oligonucleotide-mediated exon-skipping in mdx mice and (2) stable restoration of α-sarcoglycan expression in KO-SGCA mice by systemic injection of a viral vector. Following administration of the therapeutic agents MYOM3 was restored toward wild-type levels. In the LGMD model, where different doses of vector were used, MYOM3 restoration was dose-dependent. MYOM3 fragments showed lower inter-individual variability compared with the commonly used creatine kinase assay, and correlated better with the restoration of the dystrophin-associated protein complex and muscle force. These data suggest that the MYOM3 fragments hold promise for minimally invasive assessment of experimental therapies for DMD and other neuromuscular disorders.
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.