Abnormal Calcium Handling in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Mechanisms and Potential Therapies

Satvik Mareedu, Emily D. Million, Dongsheng Duan, Gopal J. Babu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked muscle-wasting disease caused by the loss of dystrophin. DMD is associated with muscle degeneration, necrosis, inflammation, fatty replacement, and fibrosis, resulting in muscle weakness, respiratory and cardiac failure, and premature death. There is no curative treatment. Investigations on disease-causing mechanisms offer an opportunity to identify new therapeutic targets to treat DMD. An abnormal elevation of the intracellular calcium ( (Formula presented.) ) concentration in the dystrophin-deficient muscle is a major secondary event, which contributes to disease progression in DMD. Emerging studies have suggested that targeting Ca2+-handling proteins and/or mechanisms could be a promising therapeutic strategy for DMD. Here, we provide an updated overview of the mechanistic roles the sarcolemma, sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum, and mitochondria play in the abnormal and sustained elevation of (Formula presented.) levels and their involvement in DMD pathogenesis. We also discuss current approaches aimed at restoring Ca2+ homeostasis as potential therapies for DMD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number647010
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
StatePublished - Apr 9 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • calcium
  • dystrophin
  • mitochondria
  • ryanodine receptor
  • sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum calcium ATPase
  • sarcolemma
  • sarcolipin


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