Enrique Brandan's Laboratory
Located at the Centro Científico y Tecnológico de Excelencia Ciencia & Vida, Facultad de Medicina y Ciencia, Universidad San Sebastián, Santiago, Chile, our laboratory is dedicated to unraveling the role the extracellular matrix (ECM) plays in skeletal muscle development and regeneration, and diseases.
1. ECM, Differentiation, and Fibrosis: Our studies explore the profound impact of the ECM on skeletal muscle differentiation. We investigate the interactions between myoblasts and their surrounding environment, highlighting the pivotal role of ECM in normal myogenesis. Disruptions in ECM interactions with cellular receptors hinder myogenesis, whereas interactions with fibroblasts influence the expression of fibrotic growth factors, such as CTGF/CCN2.
2. Mechanisms of Fibrosis in Muscular Diseases: Fibrosis, characterized by an increase in ECM constituents, is a defining feature of skeletal muscular dystrophies such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), denervation and loss of motor neuron activity (ALS). Our research studies the involvement of pro-fibrotic factors like TGF-β, CTGF/CCN2, LPA, etc., in the genesis of skeletal muscle fibrosis. Additionally, we investigate the specific cell types responsible for the fibrotic response across various disease models. Moreover, we explore the role of the Hippo pathway in the fibrotic response, focusing on fibrotic factors and the stiffness of the skeletal muscle environment.
Our research is dedicated to unraveling the role of the ECM in normal and pathological conditions. Through this understanding, we aim to pioneer innovative therapies and interventions for skeletal muscle disorders, contributing significantly to scientific advancements in the field.