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Scientific Articles

Restoring Dystrophin Expression in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Current Status of Therapeutic Approaches

key information

source: Journal of Personalized Medicine

year: 2019

authors: Shimizu-Motohashi Y, Komaki H, Motohashi N, Takeda S, Yokota T, Aoki Y


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle weakness, is caused by the absence or a decreased amount of the muscle cytoskeletal protein dystrophin. Currently, several therapeutic approaches to cure DMD are being investigated, which can be categorized into two groups: therapies that aim to restore dystrophin expression, and those that aim to compensate for the lack of dystrophin. Therapies that restore dystrophin expression include read-through therapy, exon skipping, vector-mediated gene therapy, and cell therapy. Of these approaches, the most advanced are the read-through and exon skipping therapies. In 2014, ataluren, a drug that can promote ribosomal read-through of mRNA containing a premature stop codon, was conditionally approved in Europe. In 2016, eteplirsen, a morpholino-based chemical capable of skipping exon 51 in premature mRNA, received conditional approval in the USA. Clinical trials on vector-mediated gene therapy carrying micro- and mini- dystrophin are underway. More innovative therapeutic approaches include CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing and stem cell-based cell therapies. Here we review the current status of therapeutic approaches for DMD, focusing on therapeutic approaches that can restore dystrophin.

organization: National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Japan; Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, Japan; University of Alberta, Canada

DOI: 10.3390/jpm9010001

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