Nemaline myopathies are the most common form of congenital myopathies. Variants in ACTA1 (NEM3) comprise 15–25% of all nemaline myopathy cases. Patients harboring variants in ACTA1 present with a heterogeneous disease course characterized by stable or progressive muscle weakness and, in severe cases, respiratory failure and death. To date, no specific treatments are available. Since NEM3 is an actin-based thin filament disease, we tested the ability of tirasemtiv, a fast skeletal muscle troponin activator, to improve skeletal muscle function in a mouse model of NEM3, harboring the patient-based p.Asp286Gly variant in Acta1. Acute and long-term tirasemtiv treatment significantly increased muscle contractile capacity at submaximal stimulation frequencies in both fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus and gastrocnemius muscle, and intermediate-twitch diaphragm muscle in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, long-term tirasemtiv treatment in NEM3 mice resulted in a decreased respiratory rate with preserved minute volume, suggesting more efficient respiration. Altogether, our data support the therapeutic potential of fast skeletal muscle troponin activators in alleviating skeletal muscle weakness in a mouse model of NEM3 caused by the Acta1:p.Asp286Gly variant.

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