Rescue of severely affected dystrophin/utrophin-deficient mice through scAAV-U7snRNA-mediated exon skipping

Aurélie Goyenvalle, Arran Babbs, Jordan Wright, Vivienne Wilkins, Dave Powell, Luis Garcia, Kay E Davies
Human Molecular Genetics 2012 June 1, 21 (11): 2559-71
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe neuromuscular disorder caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene that result in the absence of functional protein. Antisense-mediated exon skipping is one of the most promising approaches for the treatment of DMD and recent clinical trials have demonstrated encouraging results. However, antisense oligonucleotide-mediated exon skipping for DMD still faces major hurdles such as extremely low efficacy in the cardiac muscle, poor cellular uptake and relatively rapid clearance from circulation, which means that repeated administrations are required to achieve some therapeutic efficacy. To overcome these limitations, we previously proposed the use of small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs), especially U7snRNA to shuttle the antisense sequences after vectorization into adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors. In this study, we report for the first time the efficiency of the AAV-mediated exon skipping approach in the utrophin/dystrophin double-knockout (dKO) mouse which is a very severe and progressive mouse model of DMD. Following a single intravenous injection of scAAV9-U7ex23 in dKO mice, near-normal levels of dystrophin expression were restored in all muscles examined, including the heart. This resulted in a considerable improvement of their muscle function and dystrophic pathology as well as a remarkable extension of the dKO mice lifespan. These findings suggest great potential for AAV-U7 in systemic treatment of the DMD phenotype.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"