Sporadic inclusion body myositis (IBM) is the most common primary myopathy in the elderly, but its pathoetiology is still unclear. Perturbed myocellular calcium (Ca2+) homeostasis can exacerbate many of the factors proposed to mediate muscle degeneration in IBM, such as mitochondrial dysfunction, protein aggregation, and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Ca2+ dysregulation may plausibly be initiated in IBM by immune-mediated membrane damage and/or abnormally accumulating proteins, but no studies to date have investigated Ca2+ regulation in IBM patients. We first investigated protein expression via immunoblot in muscle biopsies from IBM, dermatomyositis, and non-myositis control patients, identifying several differentially expressed Ca2+-regulatory proteins in IBM. Next, we investigated the Ca2+-signaling transcriptome by RNA-seq, finding 54 of 183 (29.5%) genes from an unbiased list differentially expressed in IBM vs. controls. Using an established statistical approach to relate genes with causal transcription networks, Ca2+ abundance was considered a significant upstream regulator of observed whole-transcriptome changes. Post-hoc analyses of Ca2+-regulatory mRNA and protein data indicated a lower protein to transcript ratio in IBM vs. controls, which we hypothesized may relate to increased Ca2+-dependent proteolysis and decreased protein translation. Supporting this hypothesis, we observed robust (4-fold) elevation in the autolytic activation of a Ca2+-activated protease, calpain-1, as well as increased signaling for translational attenuation (eIF2a phosphorylation) downstream of the unfolded protein response. Finally, in IBM samples we observed mRNA and protein under-expression of calpain-3, the skeletal muscle-specific calpain, which broadly supports proper Ca2+ homeostasis. Together, these data provide novel insight into mechanisms by which intracellular Ca2+ regulation is perturbed in IBM and offer evidence of pathological downstream effects.
- Inclusion body
- Muscular diseases
- Unfolded protein response
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience