JOURNAL ARTICLE

Targeted skipping of human dystrophin exons in transgenic mouse model systemically for antisense drug development

Bo Wu, Ehsan Benrashid, Peijuan Lu, Caryn Cloer, Allen Zillmer, Mona Shaban, Qi Long Lu
PloS One 2011, 6 (5): e19906
21611204
Antisense therapy has recently been demonstrated with great potential for targeted exon skipping and restoration of dystrophin production in cultured muscle cells and in muscles of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) patients. Therapeutic values of exon skipping critically depend on efficacy of the drugs, antisense oligomers (AOs). However, no animal model has been established to test AO targeting human dystrophin exon in vivo systemically. In this study, we applied Vivo-Morpholino to the hDMD mouse, a transgenic model carrying the full-length human dystrophin gene, and achieved for the first time more than 70% efficiency of targeted human dystrophin exon skipping in vivo systemically. We also established a GFP-reporter myoblast culture to screen AOs targeting human dystrophin exon 50. Antisense efficiency for most AOs is consistent between the reporter cells, human myoblasts and in the hDMD mice in vivo. However, variation in efficiency was also clearly observed. A combination of in vitro cell culture and a Vivo-Morpholino based evaluation in vivo systemically in the hDMD mice therefore may represent a prudent approach for selecting AO drug and to meet the regulatory requirement.

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