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JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Immortalized Muscle Cell Model to Test the Exon Skipping Efficacy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Quynh Nguyen, Toshifumi Yokota
Journal of Personalized Medicine 2017 October 16, 7 (4)
29035327
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal genetic disorder that most commonly results from mutations disrupting the reading frame of the dystrophin (DMD) gene. Among the therapeutic approaches employed, exon skipping using antisense oligonucleotides (AOs) is one of the most promising strategies. This strategy aims to restore the reading frame, thus producing a truncated, yet functioning dystrophin protein. In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conditionally approved the first AO-based drug, eteplirsen (Exondys 51), developed for DMD exon 51 skipping. An accurate and reproducible method to quantify exon skipping efficacy is essential for evaluating the therapeutic potential of different AOs sequences. However, previous in vitro screening studies have been hampered by the limited proliferative capacity and insufficient amounts of dystrophin expressed by primary muscle cell lines that have been the main system used to evaluate AOs sequences. In this paper, we illustrate the challenges associated with primary muscle cell lines and describe a novel approach that utilizes immortalized cell lines to quantitatively evaluate the exon skipping efficacy in in vitro studies.

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