Deep RNA profiling identified CLOCK and molecular clock genes as pathophysiological signatures in collagen VI myopathy

J Cell Sci. 2016 Apr 15;129(8):1671-84. doi: 10.1242/jcs.175927. Epub 2016 Mar 4.


Collagen VI myopathies are genetic disorders caused by mutations in collagen 6 A1, A2 and A3 genes, ranging from the severe Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy to the milder Bethlem myopathy, which is recapitulated by collagen-VI-null (Col6a1(-/-)) mice. Abnormalities in mitochondria and autophagic pathway have been proposed as pathogenic causes of collagen VI myopathies, but the link between collagen VI defects and these metabolic circuits remains unknown. To unravel the expression profiling perturbation in muscles with collagen VI myopathies, we performed a deep RNA profiling in both Col6a1(-/-)mice and patients with collagen VI pathology. The interactome map identified common pathways suggesting a previously undetected connection between circadian genes and collagen VI pathology. Intriguingly, Bmal1(-/-)(also known as Arntl) mice, a well-characterized model displaying arrhythmic circadian rhythms, showed profound deregulation of the collagen VI pathway and of autophagy-related genes. The involvement of circadian rhythms in collagen VI myopathies is new and links autophagy and mitochondrial abnormalities. It also opens new avenues for therapies of hereditary myopathies to modulate the molecular clock or potential gene-environment interactions that might modify muscle damage pathogenesis.

Keywords: Circadian rhythms; Interactome pathway; Myopathies; RNAseq.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • ARNTL Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Autophagy / genetics
  • Circadian Clocks / physiology*
  • Collagen Type VI / genetics*
  • Contracture / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Mitochondria / physiology*
  • Muscular Dystrophies / congenital*
  • Muscular Dystrophies / genetics
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • RNA / analysis
  • Sclerosis / genetics*


  • ARNTL Transcription Factors
  • Arntl protein, mouse
  • Collagen Type VI
  • RNA

Supplementary concepts

  • Bethlem myopathy
  • Scleroatonic muscular dystrophy