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The circadian glucocorticoid-Krüppel-like factor 15-branched-chain amino acid (GC-KLF15-BCAA) signaling pathway is a key regulatory axis in muscle, whose imbalance has wide-reaching effects on metabolic homeostasis. Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disorder also characterized by intrinsic muscle pathologies, metabolic abnormalities and disrupted sleep patterns, which can influence or be influenced by circadian regulatory networks that control behavioral and metabolic rhythms. We therefore set out to investigate the contribution of the GC-KLF15-BCAA pathway in SMA pathophysiology of Taiwanese Smn-/-;SMN2 and Smn2B/- mouse models. We thus uncover substantial dysregulation of GC-KLF15-BCAA diurnal rhythmicity in serum, skeletal muscle and metabolic tissues of SMA mice. Importantly, modulating the components of the GC-KLF15-BCAA pathway via pharmacological (prednisolone), genetic (muscle-specific Klf15 overexpression) and dietary (BCAA supplementation) interventions significantly improves disease phenotypes in SMA mice. Our study highlights the GC-KLF15-BCAA pathway as a contributor to SMA pathogenesis and provides several treatment avenues to alleviate peripheral manifestations of the disease. The therapeutic potential of targeting metabolic perturbations by diet and commercially available drugs could have a broader implementation across other neuromuscular and metabolic disorders characterized by altered GC-KLF15-BCAA signaling.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.ebiom.2018.04.024

Type

Journal article

Journal

EBioMedicine

Publication Date

05/2018

Volume

31

Pages

226 - 242

Keywords

Branched-chain amino acids, Glucocorticoids, KLF15, Metabolism, Spinal muscular atrophy, Therapy, Amino Acids, Branched-Chain, Animals, DNA-Binding Proteins, Dietary Supplements, Disease Models, Animal, Mice, Mice, Knockout, Muscular Atrophy, Spinal, Prednisolone, Signal Transduction, Transcription Factors