Melanocytes: a new potential tool to study and monitoring Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Pellegrini, Camilla (2013) Melanocytes: a new potential tool to study and monitoring Duchenne muscular dystrophy, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze biomediche: progetto n. 5 "Scienze morfologiche umane e molecolari", 25 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/5149.
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Dystrophin is a subsarcolemmal protein critical for the integrity of muscle fibers by linking the actin cytoskeleton to the extracellular matrix via the dystroglycan complex. It is reported that dystroglycans are also localized in the skin, at dermal-epidermal junction. Here we show that epidermal melanocytes express dystrophin at the interface with the basement membrane. The full-length muscle isoform mDp427 was clearly detectable in epidermis and in melanocyte cultures as assessed by RNA and western blot analysis. Dystrophin was absent in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) patients melanocytes, and the ultrastructural analysis revealed mitochondrial alterations, similar to those occurring in myoblasts from the same patients. Interestingly, mitochondrial dysfunction of DMD melanocytes reflected the alterations identified in dystrophin-deficient muscle cells. In fact, mitochondria of melanocytes from DMD patients accumulated tetramethylrhodamine methyl ester but, on the contrary of control donor, mitochondria of DMD patients readily depolarized upon the addition of oligomycin, suggesting either that they are maintaining the membrane potential at the expense of glycolytic ATP, or that they are affected by a latent dysfunction unmasked by inhibition of the ATP synthase. Melanocyte cultures can be easily obtained by conventional skin biopsies, less invasive procedure than muscular biopsy, so that they may represent an alternative cellular model to myoblast for studying and monitoring dystrophinopathies also in response to pharmacological treatments.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Pellegrini, Camilla
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze mediche e chirurgiche cliniche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
melanocytes, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Dystrophin
Data di discussione
14 Gennaio 2013

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