Muscular dystrophies are often caused by mutations in cytoskeletal proteins that render cells more susceptible to strain-induced injury in mechanically active tissues such as skeletal or cardiac muscle. In this issue of the JCI, Han et al. report that dysferlin participates in membrane resealing in cardiomyocytes and that exercise results in increased membrane damage and disturbed cardiac function in dysferlin-deficient mice (see the related article beginning on page 1805). Thus, in addition to repetitive membrane damage, inadequate membrane repair may participate in the pathogenesis of muscular dystrophies and cardiomyopathies.
Jan Lammerding, Richard T. Lee
Repetitive mechanical strain causes rupture in the plasma membrane under physiological conditions.