Exploration of Lipid Metabolism in Relation with Plasma Membrane Properties of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Cells: Influence of L-Carnitine

Abstract : Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) arises as a consequence of mutations in the dystrophin gene. Dystrophin is a membrane-spanning protein that connects the cytoskeleton and the basal lamina. The most distinctive features of DMD are a progressive muscular dystrophy, a myofiber degeneration with fibrosis and metabolic alterations such as fatty infiltration, however, little is known on lipid metabolism changes arising in Duchenne patient cells. Our goal was to identify metabolic changes occurring in Duchenne patient cells especially in terms of L-carnitine homeostasis, fatty acid metabolism both at the mitochondrial and peroxisomal level and the consequences on the membrane structure and function. In this paper, we compared the structural and functional characteristics of DMD patient and control cells. Using radiolabeled L-carnitine, we found, in patient muscle cells, a marked decrease in the uptake and the intracellular level of L-carnitine. Associated with this change, a decrease in the mitochondrial metabolism can be seen from the analysis of mRNA encoding for mitochondrial proteins. Probably, associated with these changes in fatty acid metabolism, alterations in the lipid composition of the cells were identified: with an increase in poly unsaturated fatty acids and a decrease in medium chain fatty acids, mono unsaturated fatty acids and in cholesterol contents. Functionally, the membrane of cells lacking dystrophin appeared to be less fluid, as determined at 37°C by fluorescence anisotropy. These changes may, at least in part, be responsible for changes in the phospholipids and cholesterol profile in cell membranes and ultimately may reduce the fluidity of the membrane. A supplementation with L-carnitine partly restored the fatty acid profile by increasing saturated fatty acid content and decreasing the amounts of MUFA, PUFA, VLCFA. L-carnitine supplementation also restored muscle membrane fluidity. This suggests that regulating lipid metabolism in DMD cells may improve the function of cells lacking dystrophin.
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Françoise Le Borgne, Stéphane Guyot, Morgan Logerot, Laurent Beney, Patrick Gervais, et al.. Exploration of Lipid Metabolism in Relation with Plasma Membrane Properties of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Cells: Influence of L-Carnitine. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2012, 7 (11), pp.e49346. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0049346⟩. ⟨hal-02291000⟩

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