C-terminal-truncated (ΔC) microdystrophin is being developed for Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene therapy. Encouraging results have been achieved in the mdx mouse model. Unfortunately, mdx mice do not display the same phenotype as human patients. Evaluating ΔC microdystrophin in a symptomatic model will be of significant relevance to human trials. Utrophin/dystrophin double-knockout (u-dko) mice were developed to model severe dystrophic changes in human patients. In this study we evaluated the therapeutic effect of the ΔR4-R23/ΔC microdystrophin gene (ΔR4/ΔC) after serotype-6 adeno-associated virus-mediated gene transfer in neonatal u-dko muscle. At 2 months after gene transfer, the percentage of centrally nucleated myofiber was reduced from 89.2 to 3.4% and muscle weight was normalized. Furthermore, we have demonstrated for the first time that ΔC microdystrophin can eliminate interstitial fibrosis and macrophage infiltration and restore dystrobrevin and syntrophin to the dystrophin-associated glycoprotein complex. Interestingly neuronal nitric oxide synthase was not restored. The most impressive results were achieved in muscle force measurement. Neonatal gene therapy increased twitch- and tetanic-specific force. It also brought the response to eccentric contraction-induced injury to the normal range. In summary, our results suggest that the ΔR4/ΔC microgene holds great promise in preventing muscular dystrophy. © 2006 The American Society of Gene Therapy.
Yue, Y., Liu, M., & Duan, D. (2006). C-Terminal-Truncated Microdystrophin Recruits Dystrobrevin and Syntrophin to the Dystrophin-Associated Glycoprotein Complex and Reduces Muscular Dystrophy in Symptomatic Utrophin/Dystrophin Double-Knockout Mice. Molecular Therapy, 14(1), 79–87. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ymthe.2006.01.007