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The Multiple Faces of Valosin-Containing Protein-Associated Diseases: Inclusion Body Myopathy with Paget’s Disease of Bone, Frontotemporal Dementia, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis


Inclusion body myopathy associated with Paget's disease of bone and frontotemporal dementia (IBMPFD) is a progressive, fatal genetic disorder with variable penetrance, predominantly affecting three main tissue types: muscle (IBM), bone (PDB), and brain (FTD). IBMPFD is caused by mutations in the ubiquitously expressed valosin-containing protein (VCP) gene, a member of the AAA-ATPase superfamily. The majority of individuals who develop IBM have progressive proximal muscle weakness. Muscle biopsies reveal rimmed vacuoles and inclusions that are ubiquitin- and TAR DNA binding protein-43 (TDP-43)-positive using immunohistochemistry. PDB, seen in half the individuals, is caused by overactive osteoclasts and is associated clinically with pain, elevated serum alkaline phosphatase, and X-ray findings of coarse trabeculation and sclerotic lesions. FTD diagnosed at a mean age of 55 years in a third of individuals is characterized clinically by comprehension deficits, dysnomia, dyscalculia, and social unawareness. Ubiquitin- and TDP-43-positive neuronal inclusions are also found in the brain. Genotype-phenotype correlations are difficult with marked intra-familial and inter-familial variations being seen. Varied phenotypes within families include frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinsonism, myotonia, cataracts, and anal incompetence, among others. Cellular and animal models indicate pathogenetic disturbances in IBMPFD tissues including altered protein degradation, autophagy pathway alterations, apoptosis, and mitochondrial dysfunction. Currently, mouse and drosophila models carrying VCP mutations provide insights into the human IBMPFD pathology and are useful as tools for preclinical studies and testing of therapeutic strategies. In this review, we will explore the pathogenesis and clinical phenotype of IBMPFD caused by VCP mutations.

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