Group Udd

Neuromuscular Disorders

The objective is to clarify the molecular pathology of known and not yet described human inherited neuromuscular disorders . After gene identification we continue with functional analyses. The identification of the underlying cause may eventually lead to prevention and treatment of the disorders.

Our achievements include primary identification of the genes underlying various disorders. These include tibial muscular dystrophy (TMD)/LGMD2J (Udd myopathy), HMERF and other titinopathies caused by mutations in the TTN gene coding for the giant muscleprotein titin. We also identified the causative TIA1 mutation in Welander distal myopathy, DNAJB6 in limbgirdle musular dystrophy type 1D, CHCHD10 in late-onset spinal motor neuronopathy and mutations in the HSPB8 gene causing a new phenotype of distal myopathy and motor neuropathy. In addition we have reported mutations in several other genes causing myopathies (NEB, FLNC, MYH2 etc). In 2015 we identified a mutation behind a muscle disease causing stiffness and pain of fibromyalgia type, in some cases with myotonia, in the sodium channel gene SCN4A. The use of targeted NGS and whole exome sequenceing (WES) have significantly speeded up the identification of disease causing genes. Our unique capacity to analyse the huge titin on both transcript and protein level, is increasingly requested by research groups and clinicians around the world, for the determination of the pathogenicity of new mutations. We are conducting functional studies to determine the effect of TTN and other mutations with the aim of understanding why some muscle are selectively affected. The knowledge generated have lead to accurate diagnostics and may be used for therapeutic possibilities in the future.

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Post-Doctoral Scientists

Per Harald Jonson, PhD

Jaakko Sarparanta, PhD

Marco Savarese, PhD

Anna Vihola, PhD

Graduate Students

Meharji Arumilli, MSc (part time)

Mridul Johari, MSc

Undergraduate Students

Salla Välipakka, BSc

Sabitha Kawan , BSc

Staff

Helena Luque, BSc, Research Assistant

Merja Soininen, Laboratory Assistant

Hackman P., Vihola A., Haravuori H., Marchand S., Saraparanta J., de Seze J., Peltonen L., Richard I. and Udd B. Tibial muscular dystrophy (TMD) is a titinopathy - caused by mutations in TTN, the gene encoding the giant skeletal muscle protein titin. Am J Hum Genet 2002. 71:492-500.

Lange S., Xiang F., Yakovenko A,, Vihola A., Hackman P., Rostkova E., Kristensen J., Brandmeier B., Franzen G., Hedberg B., Gunnarsson LG, Hughes SM, Marchand S, Sejersen T, Richard I, Edström L, Ehler E, Udd B, Gautel M. (2005). The Kinase Domain of Titin Controls Muscle Gene Expression and Protein Turnover. Science 2005, 10;308(5728):1599-603.

Hackman P, Marchand S, Sarparanta J, Vihola A, Pénisson-Besnier I, Eymard B, Pardal-Fernández JM, Hammouda EH, Richard I, Illa I, and Udd B. Truncating mutations in C-terminal titin may cause more severe tibial muscular dystrophy (TMD). Neuromuscular Disorders 2008 18(12):922-8.

Raheem O, Olufemi S, Bachinski L, Vihola A, Sirito M, Holmlund-Hampf J, Haapasalo H, Li Y, Udd B and Krahe R. Mutant (CCTG)n expansion causes abnormal expression of ZNF9 in myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2). Am J Pathol 2010; 177:3025-36.

Sarparanta J, Jonson PH, Golzio C, Sandell S, Luque H, Screen M, McDonald K, Stajich JM, Mahjneh I, Vihola A, Raheem O, Penttilä S, Lehtinen S, Huovinen S, Palmio J, Tasca G, Ricci E, Hackman P, Hauser M, Katsanis N, Udd B. Mutations affecting the cytoplasmic functions of the co-chaperone DNAJB6 cause limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. Nat Genet. 2012 44(4):450-5.

Hackman, P., Sarparanta, J., Lehtinen, S., Vihola, A., Evilä, A., Jonson, H., Luque H., Kere, J., Screen, M., Chinnery, P.F., Åhlberg, G., Edström, L., Udd, B. Welander distal myopathy is caused by a mutation in the RNA-binding protein TIA1. Annals of Neurology 2013. 73, 4, p. 500-509

Evilä A, Vihola A, Sarparanta J, Raheem O, Palmio J, Sandell S, Eymard B, Illa I, Rojas-Garcia R, Hankiewicz K, Negrão L, Löppönen T, Nokelainen P, Kärppä M, Penttilä S, Screen M, Suominen T, Richard I, Hackman P, Udd B. Atypical phenotypes in titinopathies explained by second titin mutations. Ann Neurol. 2014 75(2):230-40.

Charton K, Sarparanta J, Vihola A, Milic A, Jonson PH, Suel L, Luque H, Boumela I, Richard I, Udd B. CAPN3-mediated processing of C-terminal titin replaced by pathological cleavage in titinopathy. Hum Mol Genet. 2015 Jul 1;24(13):3718-31

Huovinen S, Penttilä S, Somervuo P, Keto J, Auvinen P, Vihola A, Huovinen S, Pelin K, Raheem O, Salenius J, Suominen T, Hackman P, Udd B. Differential Isoform Expression and Selective Muscle Involvement in Muscular Dystrophies. Am J Pathol. 2015 Oct;185(10):2833-42.

Evilä A, Arumilli M, Udd B, Hackman P. Targeted next-generation sequencing assay for detection of mutations in primary myopathies. Neuromuscul Disord. 2016 Jan;26(1):7-15

Folkhälsan Research Foundation

Association Française contre les Myopathies (AFM)

Finska Läkaresällskapet (“Medical Society of Finland”)

Medicinska Understödsföreningen Liv och Hälsa (“Life and Health Medical Fund”)

Sigrid Jusélius Foundation

Academy of Finland

VTR( EVO) Governmental Grants,

Magnus Ehrnrooth Foundation,

Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.

The Neuromuscular diagnostic Unit at Tampere University Hospital (TAYS):

Johanna Palmio MD PhD, Sini Penttilä MSc, Tiina Suominen, PhD, Sara Lehtinen, MSc, Sanna Huovinen MD

Dr. Isabelle Richard, Généthon, Evry, France

Prof. Ana Ferreiro, Paris, France

Prof. Mathias Gautel Kings College London, England,

Doc. Carina Wallgren-Pettersson, Folkhälsan Research Center

Doc. Katarina Pelin, Faculty of bioscience, University of Helsinki

Prof. Ralf Krahe, Univ. of Texas, Houston, USA;

Prof. Nigel Laing, Univ. of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

MD Giorgio Tasca, Catholic University of Rome, Italy

Doc. Petri Auvinen, Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki

    • Bjarne Udd

      MD, PhD, Professor

    • phn:
      +358 2941 25741

    • Contact
    • Peter Hackman

      PhD, Docent, Admin. Group Leader

    • phn:
      +358 2941 25 069

    • Contact