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JOURNAL ARTICLE

The lack of the Celf2a splicing factor converts a Duchenne genotype into a Becker phenotype

J Martone, F Briganti, I Legnini, M Morlando, E Picillo, O Sthandier, L Politano, I Bozzoni
Nature Communications 2016 January 22, 7: 10488
26796035
Substitutions, deletions and duplications in the dystrophin gene lead to either the severe Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) or mild Becker muscular dystrophy depending on whether out-of-frame or in-frame transcripts are produced. We identified a DMD case (GSΔ44) where the correlation between genotype and phenotype is not respected, even if carrying a typical Duchenne mutation (exon 44 deletion) a Becker-like phenotype was observed. Here we report that in this patient, partial restoration of an in-frame transcript occurs by natural skipping of exon 45 and that this is due to the lack of Celf2a, a splicing factor that interacts with exon 45 in the dystrophin pre-mRNA. Several experiments are presented that demonstrate the central role of Celf2a in controlling exon 45 splicing; our data point to this factor as a potential target for the improvement of those DMD therapeutic treatments, which requires exon 45 skipping.

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