Recently, a study was conducted by a group of scientists that led to the revelation that muscle degeneration can be reversed by the use of an enzyme. Muscle degeneration due to many conditions can be reversed. This breakthrough is thought to change the future of therapeutics in the coming times.

Let’s know more about the details!

Muscle Degeneration – Why Does it Happen?

Muscle degeneration of muscle atrophy simply refers to the degeneration of muscles. This basically occurs when muscle tissue is reduced in its size. 

Disuse of body muscles and many neurological conditions can result in muscle atrophy, said renowned doctors at The loss of muscle tissues tends to make your muscle appear smaller than normal. There are many reasons why muscle atrophy occurs. Here are some of the prominent causes of muscle dystrophy:

  • Lack of nutrition
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  •  not getting enough physical activity 
  • Certain medications
  • Variety of diseases
  • Age-related muscle damage.

Symptoms of Muscle Degeneration

Here is what muscle degeneration looks like:

  • Reduction in muscle size
  • Weakness in an arm or leg
  • Difficulty in speaking and swallowing
  • Numbness and tingling sensation in your limb area
  • Memory loss
  • Weakness of facial muscles

Cancer also causes the loss of body muscles alongside fat and weight. This is one of the common reasons behind cancer-associated deaths. This condition is termed cancer wasting. This is one of the biggest challenges cancer survivors have to deal with. Fighting this muscle degeneration can help to improve the quality of life among cancer patients. 

The right medical care and focus on lifestyle are already known to improve the extent of muscle damage. Other than this there is much research going on in this regard.  

Research on Muscle Degeneration in Mice Model

Recently one such research was carried out by a team of scientists led by the faculty of medicine at the University of Ottawa. The study was published in the Journal of Cell Biology. The study was focused on studying the impact of an enzyme on reversing muscle degeneration. 

During the research, the GCN5 enzyme was started in detail. This is one of the most studied enzymes that is a regulator of cellular processes responsible for metabolism and inflammation in the body. Removal of enzyme expression from muscles is one of the key reasons behind muscle degeneration.

The scientists worked on finding the expression of enzymes on the protein that are key structural components of skeletal muscles. The skeletal muscles are responsible for all posture and mobility. During the experiment that was conducted for over 5 years, scientists manipulated the enzyme gene GCN5 in a mouse model to explore how this gene works in the human body.

Experiment Details – CGN5 Enzyme Gene and Impact on Muscle Health

In a series of experiments, the role of enzymes is deeply started in muscle fibre. After the knockout of enzyme genes in the mouse model, it was revealed there was a decline in the physical activity of experimental mice. The changes in physical activity were monitored by setting a downhill treadmill running experimental setup in the lab. In contrast to experimental mice, there was no change recorded in the physical activity pattern of wild mice.

Seeing the experimental results, scientists said that these findings coincide with what they observed in the case of muscle degeneration diseases. Scientists concluded that the presence of enzymes can boost the expression of proteins that are a key element of skeletal muscles. The absence of enzymes can significantly reduce the structure of a protein that is required and support muscle cells resulting in muscle degeneration.

“Our publication shows that if you knock out GCN5 the one major thing we see is a lack of dystrophin, without seeing any real disruption of any other mechanisms,” says Dr Menzies, senior author of the study.

Study Results

The result of the study was expanded to the impact of enzymes on cellular processes but no significant impact was recorded. This data made scientists believe that dystrophin is an important structural protein required for overall muscle health. The presence of the enzyme GCN5 however is integral for the stability of muscles. This led them to conclude that this enzyme can reverse the muscle damage caused by new regenerative diseases as well as ageing. However, there is more research required in this regard. 

Bottom Line!

Muscle degeneration is a common condition that can come from many different reasons. The mechanism of muscle degeneration has a cellular basis. These cellular mechanisms can be altered to reverse the mechanism of muscle degeneration due to cancer and ageing. More research is required in this regard to expanding it further on human or cell line modules. This is already a breakthrough in the field of therapeutics and opens new doorways for research. This will improve the quality of life of cancer survivors. 

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