Jianjie Ma, PhD, professor in the Department of Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, received a $1.75 million award from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, an institute within the National Institutes of Health. The grant, “Myokine function of MG53 in muscle injury-repair and regeneration,” aims to define the function of a novel cell membrane repair gene in muscle physiology and disease, with the goal to translate the basic biology findings into potential treatment of muscular dystrophy. Funding for the study will extend through March 2022.
Ma’s study builds on the discovery of MG53, a member of the TRIM-family protein, as an essential component of the cell membrane repair machinery. Administration of recombinant human MG53 (rhMG53) protein protects muscle fibers and stem cells from injury, and reduces muscle fibrosis in a mouse model. His research with MG53 over the past few years has established a potential tri-functional role for MG53 in muscle injury-regeneration as a facilitator to repair sarcolemma injury, a contributor to activate satellite cells during the early phase of muscle injury and a modulator of fibrosis by controlling fibroblast differentiation associated with chronic muscle Injury.
The outcome of the project will enable the Ohio State team to advance the biology of MG53 in muscle injury-repair and regeneration, and lay the foundation for a future translational approach for targeting MG53 function to treat muscle diseases.
The co-investigator on the grant is Pei-Hui Lin, PhD.