Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Effects of beta-2 adrenergic receptor agonists in DOK7 congenital myasthenic syndrome
Author: Clausen, Lisa
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
Congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS) are a rare group of heterogeneous disorders, characterised by compromised neuromuscular transmission and symptoms of fatiguable muscle weakness. CMS is caused by mutations in genes that affect the structure and function of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). In about 20% of CMS cases, patients have mutations in the gene DOK7; the protein product, DOK7, is crucial for maintaining the dense aggregation of acetylcholine receptor (AChR) clusters at the NMJ. DOK7-CMS patients do not respond to treatment with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors which are the first line treatment for most forms of CMS. Instead, a dramatic response to beta-2 adrenergic receptor (ADRB2) agonists, such as salbutamol, is observed. The aim of this project was to investigate the molecular mechanisms that underlie the beneficial effects of ADRB2 agonists. Firstly, NMJ functioning was modelled in vitro by studying AChR clusters formed on cultured C2C12 mouse myotubes in the presence of WT DOK7. Overexpression of mutant DOK7 led to a significant reduction in the number of AChR clusters, explaining the pathogenic effect of the mutation. Importantly, incubation of myotubes with salbutamol increased the number of AChR clusters and their stability. The results provide the first evidence that ADRB2 agonists directly affect proteins located at the NMJ. However, this disease model suffers from limitations. The rest of the thesis focussed on developing alternative cell culture models to explore the AChR clustering pathway. The first model combined optogenetics and fluorescence lifetime microscopy to study the effects of ADRB2 activation on AChR cluster stability in single live cells. The second used CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing tools to directly introduce Dok7 mutations to the genome of C2C12 cells, thereby overcoming some of the drawbacks associated with DOK7 overexpression. Further manipulations of these novel model systems will be used in the future to examine in more detail the molecular events underlying the pathogenic effects of DOK7 mutations and the mechanisms of ADRB2 agonists.
Supervisor: Beeson, David ; Cossins, Judith Sponsor: Muscular Dystrophy UK
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: acetylcholine receptor ; congenital myasthenic syndrome ; neuromuscular junction ; salbutamol ; beta-2 adrenergic receptor agonist ; DOK7