Gene Therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Journal of Neuromuscular Diseases
Nertiyan Elangkovan, George Dickson

Abstract

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked, muscle wasting disease that affects 1 in 5000 males. Affected individuals become wheelchair bound by the age of twelve and eventually die in their third decade due to respiratory and cardiac complications. The disease is caused by mutations in the DMD gene that codes for dystrophin. Dystrophin is a structural protein that maintains the integrity of muscle fibres and protects them from contraction-induced damage. The absence of dystrophin compromises the stability and function of the muscle fibres, eventually leading to muscle degeneration. So far, there is no effective treatment for deteriorating muscle function in DMD patients. A promising approach for treating this life-threatening disease is gene transfer to restore dystrophin expression using a safe, non-pathogenic viral vector called adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector. Whilst microdystrophin gene transfer using AAV vectors shows extremely impressive therapeutic success so far in large animal models of DMD, translating this advanced therapy medicinal product from bench to bedside still offers scope for many optimization steps. In this paper, the authors review the current progress of AAV-microdystrophin gene therapy for DMD...Continue Reading

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