Functional Classification of Skeletal Muscle Networks. II. Applications to Pathophysiology

Document Type




Format of Original

19 p.

Publication Date



American Physiological Society

Source Publication

Journal of Applied Physiology

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01515.2011


In our preceding companion paper (Wang Y, Winters J, Subramaniam S. J Appl Physiol. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01514.2011), we used extensive expression profile data on normal human subjects, in combination with legacy knowledge to classify skeletal muscle function into four models, namely excitation-activation, mechanical, metabolic, and signaling-production model families. In this paper, we demonstrate how this classification can be applied to study two well-characterized myopathies: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Using skeletal muscle profile data from ALS and DMD patients compared with that from normal subjects, normal young in the case of DMD, we delineate molecular mechanisms that are causative and consequential to skeletal muscle dysfunction. In ALS, our analysis establishes the metabolic role and specifically identifies the mechanisms of calcium dysregulation and defects in mitochondrial transport of materials as important for muscle dysfunction. In DMD, we illustrate how impaired mechanical function is strongly coordinated with other three functional networks, resulting in transformation of the skeletal muscle into hybrid forms as a compensatory mechanism. Our functional models also provide, in exquisite detail, the mechanistic role of myriad proteins in these four families in normal and disease function.


Journal of Applied Physiology, Vol. 113, No. 2 (October 18, 2012): 1902-1920. DOI.