Myotonic dystrophy 1 (DM1) is caused by a CTG expansion in the 3′-unstranslated region of the DMPK gene, which encodes a serine/ threonine protein kinase. One of the common clinical features of DM1 patients is insulin resistance, which has been associated with a pathogenic effect of the repeat expansions. Here we show that DMPK itself is a positive modulator of insulin action. DMPK-deficient (dmpk-/-) mice exhibit impaired insulin signaling in muscle tissues but not in adipocytes and liver, tissues in which DMPK is not expressed. Dmpk-/- mice display metabolic derangements such as abnormal glucose tolerance, reduced glucose uptake and impaired insulin-dependent GLUT4 trafficking in muscle. Using DMPK mutants, we show that DMPK is required for a correct intracellular trafficking of insulin and IGF-1 receptors, providing a mechanism to explain the molecular and metabolic phenotype of dmpk-/- mice. Taken together, these findings indicate that reduced DMPK expression may directly influence the onset of insulin-resistance in DM1 patients and point to dmpk as a new candidate gene for susceptibility to type 2-diabetes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)