Limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A (LGMD2A) is caused by mutations in CAPN3, which encodes an intracellular cysteine protease. To elucidate the fundamental molecular changes that may be responsible for the pathological features of LGMD2A, we employed cDNA microarray analysis. We divided LGMD2A muscles into two groups according to specific pathological features: an early-stage group characterized by the presence of active necrosis and a regeneration process and a later-stage group characterized by the presence of lobulated fibers. After comparing the gene expression profiles of the two groups of LGMD2A muscles with control muscles, we identified 29 genes whose mRNA expression profiles were specifically altered in muscles with lobulated fibers. Interestingly, this group included genes that encode actin filament binding and regulatory proteins, such as gelsolin, PDZ and LIM domain 3 (PDLIM3) and troponin I1. Western blot analysis confirmed the upregulation of these proteins. From these results, we propose that abnormal increased expression of actin filament binding proteins may contribute to the changes of the intra-myofiber structures, observed in lobulated fibers in LGMD2A.
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