Investigating the Dystrophin-Glycoprotein Complex to Protect Muscles from Wasting Conditions

Project Details

The dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC) is a multi-protein structure required to maintain integrity of the muscle fibre membrane and to transmit force, by linking the actin cytoskeleton with the extracellular matrix. Importantly, we and others have shown the DGC also plays a critical role in the signalling mechanisms that maintain muscle homeostasis and membrane localisation of dystrophin is perturbed in muscles wasting because of cancer cachexia, sepsis, unloading, denervation and advanced ageing, which are all associated with low level, chronic inflammation.

Identifying therapeutic approaches to restore the DGC at the muscle fibre membrane is essential for improving clinical outcomes for patients whose muscles are wasting and seemingly unresponsive to other treatments.

This project will test the hypothesis that loss of DGC integrity at the fibre membrane is implicated in multiple wasting conditions and that post-translational modification modulates these DGC interactions to preserve and protect muscles in different muscle wasting states.

Researchers

Dr Kate Murphy, Senior Research Fellow

Dr James Ryall, Senior Research Fellow

Dr Kristy Swiderski, Senior Research Fellow

Dr Justin Hardee, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Marissa Caldow, Senior Research Fellow

Audrey Chan, Research Support Officer

Jennifer Trieu, Research Assistant

Timur Naim, Research Assistant

Dylan Chung, Research Support Officer

Alaina Lee, Senior Research Assistant

Suzannah Read, Research Assistant

Students

Savant Thakur, PhD student

Francesca Alves, PhD student

John Nguyen, Masters student

Chloe Li, Masters student

Aundrea Quek, Masters student

Yichen Xue, Honours student

Funding

2019-2021 ARC Discovery Project. Mechanisms of age - related changes in amino acid signaling in skeletal muscle

2018-2021 NHMRC Project Grant. Rescuing the Dystrophin-Glycoprotein Complex to protect muscles from wasting conditions

2018-2020 Duchenne Parent Project. Evaluating a sulforaphane-based nutraceutical to alleviate gastrointestinal dysfunction in DMD

2017-2020 NHMRC Project Grant. Therapeutic potential of skeletal muscle plasticity and slow muscle programming for muscular dystrophy

2017-2020 NHMRC Project Grant. A simple method to improve stem cell transplant therapy

2017-2019 Cancer Council Victoria. Using novel Fn14 inhibitory antibodies to treat cardiac cachexia in cancer

2015-2019 ARC Discovery Project. Understanding the cellular cues that direct muscle stem cell specification

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science, Post Doctor Research students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Group

Lynch laboratory: Basic and clinical myology



Faculty Research Themes

Cancer

School Research Themes

Cancer in Biomedicine, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease, Stem Cells



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Physiology

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