Caveolin-3, a muscle-specific caveolin-related protein, is the principal structural protein of caveolae membrane domains in striated muscle cells. Recently, we identified a novel autosomal dominant form of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD-1C) in humans that is due to mutations within the coding sequence of the human caveolin-3 gene (3p25). These LGMD-1C mutations lead to an ∼95% reduction in caveolin-3 protein expression, i.e. a caveolin-3 deficiency. Here, we created a caveolin-3 null (CAV3 -/-) mouse model, using standard homologous recombination techniques, to mimic a caveolin-3 deficiency. We show that these mice lack caveolin-3 protein expression and sarcolemmal caveolae membranes. In addition, analysis of skeletal muscle tissue from these caveolin-3 null mice reveals: (i) mild myopathic changes; (ii) an exclusion of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex from lipid raft domains; and (iii) abnormalities in the organization of the T-tubule system, with dilated and longitudinally oriented T-tubules. These results have clear mechanistic implications for understanding the pathogenesis of LGMD-1C at a molecular level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas