What does the CaVbeta1E protein do

A mechanism capable of maintaining muscle mass

The skeletal muscles are the most common tissue in the human body (over 40%) and they play an essential role in locomotion and vital functions (heart rate, breathing). During aging, in a large majority of individuals a loss of muscle mass, strength and quality occurs: this is called sarcopenia. This condition leads to disability and addiction was declared as a disease in 2016 by the World Health Organization.

By studying young and aging muscles in mice, researchers from the Myology Research Center (Sorbonne Universite-Inserm), Myology Institute identified a protein, CaVbeta1E, which activates the GDF5 factor. This mechanism promotes the prevention of sarcopenia by maintaining muscle mass and strength in aged mice. The team discovered the CaVbeta1E protein in humans and showed that its expression correlates with the loss of muscle mass in the elderly. Published today in Science Translational Medicinethis study opens a new field of activity in the development of therapeutic strategies against the muscular decline associated with aging.

Sarcopenia is defined by a progressive generalized loss of mass, strength and quality of all muscles from the age of 50, which ultimately lead to a decrease of more than 30% of the original muscle mass. Its consequences are numerous: increased risk of falls (the leading cause of death-related injury in people over 65), increased length of hospital stay, infectious risks, dependence. Qualified as a "disease" in 2016 by the World Health Organization, sarcopenia, which currently affects about one fifth of Europeans over 55 years of age (30 million by 2045): it is a major public health issue.

The muscle mass depends on the innervation and the excitation (nerve) -contraction (muscle) coupling. Depending on changes in the environment, it can increase (hypertrophy) than after muscle training, or decrease (atrophy) than with prolonged rest, nerve damage, in a pathological context or during aging. The muscle response to atrophy is the establishment of molecular mechanisms that tend to limit your losses.