Identification of drug modifiers for RYR1 related myopathy using a multi-species discovery pipeline
Ryanodine receptor type I-related myopathies (RYR1-RMs) are a common group of childhood muscle diseases associated with severe disabilities and early mortality for which there are no available treatments. The goal of this study is to identify new therapeutic targets for RYR1-RMs. To accomplish this, we developed a discovery pipeline using nematode, zebrafish, and mammalian cell models. We first performed large-scale drug screens in C. elegans which uncovered 74 hits. Targeted testing in zebrafish yielded positive results for two p38 inhibitors. Using mouse myotubes, we found that either pharmacological inhibition or siRNA silencing of p38 impaired caffeine-induced Ca2+ release from wild type cells while promoting intracellular Ca2+ release in Ryr1 knockout cells. Lastly, we demonstrated that p38 inhibition blunts the aberrant temperature-dependent increase in resting Ca2+ in myotubes from an RYR1-RM mouse model. This unique platform for RYR1-RM therapy development is potentially applicable to a broad range of neuromuscular disorders.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source files are available for all figures.
Article and author information
Muscular Dystrophy Association
- Robert T Dirksen
- James J Dowling
- Robert T Dirksen
- James J Dowling
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (363863)
- Robert T Dirksen
- James J Dowling
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All zebrafish experiments were performed in accordance with all relevant ethical regulations, specifically following the policies and guidelines of the Canadian Council on Animal Care and an institutionally reviewed and approved animal use protocol (#41617). No additional ethical approval was required for our experiments with the invertebrate nematode worm C. elegans.
- Jeff S Mumm, Johns Hopkins University, United States
- Received: October 22, 2019
- Accepted: March 29, 2020
- Accepted Manuscript published: March 30, 2020 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: May 6, 2020 (version 2)
© 2020, Volpatti et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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Plasma cell mastitis (PCM) is a nonbacterial breast inflammation with severe and intense clinical manifestation, yet treatment methods for PCM are still rather limited. Although the mechanism of PCM remains unclear, mounting evidence suggests that the dysregulation of immune system is closely associated with the pathogenesis of PCM. Drug combinations or combination therapy could exert improved efficacy and reduced toxicity by hitting multiple discrete cellular targets.
We have developed a knowledge graph architecture toward immunotherapy and systematic immunity that consists of herbal drug–target interactions with a novel scoring system to select drug combinations based on target-hitting rates and phenotype relativeness. To this end, we employed this knowledge graph to identify an herbal drug combination for PCM and we subsequently evaluated the efficacy of the herbal drug combination in clinical trial.
Our clinical data suggests that the herbal drug combination could significantly reduce the serum level of various inflammatory cytokines, downregulate serum IgA and IgG level, reduce the recurrence rate, and reverse the clinical symptoms of PCM patients with improvements in general health status.
In summary, we reported that an herbal drug combination identified by knowledge graph can alleviate the clinical symptoms of PCM patients. We demonstrated that the herbal drug combination holds great promise as an effective remedy for PCM, acting through the regulation of immunoinflammatory pathways and improvement of systematic immune level. In particular, the herbal drug combination could significantly reduce the recurrence rate of PCM, a major obstacle to PCM treatment. Our data suggests that the herbal drug combination is expected to feature prominently in future PCM treatment.
C. Liu’s lab was supported by grants from the Public Health Science and Technology Project of Shenyang (grant: 22-321-32-18); Y. Yang’s laboratory was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant: 81874301), the Fundamental Research Funds for Central University (grant: DUT22YG122), and the Key Research project of ‘be Recruited and be in Command’ in Liaoning Province (2021JH1/10400050).
Clinical trial number:
- Genetics and Genomics
Background: Causality between plasma triglyceride (TG) levels and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk remains controversial despite more than four decades of study and two recent landmark trials, STRENGTH and REDUCE-IT. Further unclear is the association between TG levels and non-atherosclerotic diseases across organ systems.
Methods: Here, we conducted a phenome-wide, two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis using inverse-variance weighted (IVW) regression to systematically infer the causal effects of plasma TG levels on 2,600 disease traits in the European ancestry population of UK Biobank. For replication, we externally tested 221 nominally significant associations (p < 0.05) in an independent cohort from FinnGen. To account for potential horizontal pleiotropy and the influence of invalid instrumental variables, we performed sensitivity analyses using MR-Egger regression, weighted median estimator, and MR-PRESSO. Finally, we used multivariable MR controlling for correlated lipid fractions to distinguish the independent effect of plasma TG levels.
Results: Our results identified 7 disease traits reaching Bonferroni-corrected significance in both the discovery (p < 1.92 × 10-5) and replication analyses (p < 2.26 × 10-4), suggesting a causal relationship between plasma TG levels and ASCVDs, including coronary artery disease (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.24-1.43, p = 2.47 × 10-13). We also identified 12 disease traits that were Bonferroni-significant in the discovery or replication analysis and at least nominally significant in the other analysis (p < 0.05), identifying plasma TG levels as a novel potential risk factor for 9 non-ASCVD diseases, including uterine leiomyoma (OR 1.19, 95% CI 1.10-1.29, p = 1.17 × 10-5).
Conclusions: Taking a phenome-wide, two-sample MR approach, we identified causal associations between plasma TG levels and 19 disease traits across organ systems. Our findings suggest unrealized drug repurposing opportunities or adverse effects related to approved and emerging TG-lowering agents, as well as mechanistic insights for future studies.
Funding: RD is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (R35-GM124836) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the NIH (R01-HL139865 and R01-HL155915).