[Therapeutic readthrough strategy for suppression of nonsense mutations in duchenne muscular dystrophy]

Masataka Shiozuka, Ryoichi Matsuda
Brain and Nerve, Shinkei Kenkyū No Shinpo 2011, 63 (11): 1253-60
Effective treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is currently unavailable. Readthrough of disease-causing premature termination codons might alleviate the symptoms of genetic diseases caused by nonsense mutations. Several ribosome-binding compounds, including selective antibiotics and synthetic novel small molecules, induce translational readthrough, restoring full-length functional proteins. Here in this innovative therapeutic strategy has been summarized with a focus on DMD. We have previously reported that negamycin restored dystrophin expression with less toxicity than gentamicin in mdx mice. To explore more potent readthrough inducers, we established the transgenic mouse called READ (readthrough evaluation and assessment by dural receptor) for readthrough-specific detection. Using READ mice, we discovered drug candidates, including sterically negamycin-like small molecules and aminoglycoside derivatives. The newly developed small molecules induced dose-dependent readthrough with greater potency than ataluren in vitro and promoted the expression of dystrophin and reduction in serum creatine kinase activity in mdx mice. Moreover, the aminoglycoside derivative restored both dystrophin protein and contractile function of mdx skeletal muscles with appreciably higher readthrough activity and lower toxicity than that of gentamicin. Furthermore, we confirmed the efficacy of a thioglycolate-based depilatory agent to enhance the topical delivery of skin-impermeable drugs, including aminoglycosides. These promising new chemotherapeutic agents with beneficial effects on readthrough action, lower toxicity, and transdermal delivery may have significant value in treating or preventing genetic diseases caused by nonsense mutations.

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