Carolinas HealthCare System

Hiroyuki Awano, MD, PhDHiroyuki Awano, MD, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
McColl-Lockwood Laboratory for Muscular Dystrophy Research

Prior Positions and Experience

2010-2012 Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Pediatrics, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine (Kobe, Japan)
2006-2010 Postgraduate Student, Department of Pediatrics, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine (Kobe, Japan)


PhD:    2010, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine (Kobe, Japan)
MD:     2003, Fukushima Medical University (Fukushima, Japan)

Research Interests

Dr. Awano’s main research interest is to elucidate the underlying mechanism of skeletal muscle regeneration in dystrophinopathies, a group of muscular dystrophy characterized by a common secondary defect in glycosylation of alpha-dystroglycan (α-DG). Skeletal muscle has the ability to regenerate new muscle fibers after damage by injury or as a consequence of disease such as muscular dystrophy. However, regeneration capacity changes in skeletal muscles of dystrophinopathies.

Fukutin related protein (FKRP) is one of the genes related to post-translational glycosylation of α-DG and its mutation causes dystrophynopathy. We have previously created FKRP mutant mice exhibiting similar dystrophic phenotypes as observed in patients with FKRP mutation. In certain FKRP mutant mice, nearly all fibers of skeletal muscles lack functional α-DG, however, some skeletal muscle fibers of mutant mice can spontaneously restore the expression of α-DG. These fibers often appear in small groups and tend to be small in diameter and central nucleated, indicating that the restoration events are related to muscle regeneration. Restoration of functional glycosylated a-DG is also commonly observed in muscle fibers of patients with FKRP mutations

My research interests focus on the unique revertant phenomenon with the aim to identify factors involved in the spontaneous restoration of functional α-DG in FKRP mutant muscles and to devise new therapies to treat the diseases with FKPR mutation. My interests also extend to understand the effect of FKRP mutation and glycosylation on muscle regeneration.

Recent Publications

Yamamoto T, Tanaka H, Matsumoto K, Lee T, Awano H, Yagi M, Imanishi T, Hayashi N, Takeshima Y, Kawai H, Kawano S, Hirata KI. Utility of transmural myocardial strain profile for prediction of early left ventricular dysfunction in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Am J Cardiol. 2012 Dec 27;12:02483. [PMID: 23273717]

Malueka RG, Takaoka Y, Yagi M, Awano H, Lee T, Dwianingsih EK, Nishida A, Takeshima Y, Matsuo M. Categorization of 77 dystrophin exons into 5 groups by a decision tree using indexes of splicing regulatory factors as decision markers. BMC Genet. 2012 Mar 31;13:23. [PMID: 22462762]

Nishida A, Kataoka N, Takeshima Y, Yagi M, Awano H, Ota M, Itoh K, Hagiwara M, Matsuo M. Chemical treatment enhances skipping of a mutated exon in the dystrophin gene.Nat Commun. 2011;2:308. [PMID: 21556062]

Awano H, Malueka RG, Yagi M, Okizuka Y, Takeshima Y, Matsuo M. Contemporary retrotransposition of a novel non-coding gene induces exon-skipping in dystrophin mRNA. J Hum Genet. 2010 Dec; 55(12):785-90. [PMID: 20827276]

Awano H, Takeshima Y, Okizuka Y, Saiki K, Yagi M, Matsuo M. Wide ranges of serum myostatin concentrations in Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients. Clin Chim Acta. 2008 May; 391(1-2): 115-7. [PMID: 18284920]