Duchenne muscular dystrophy was described in the medical literature in the early 1850s but the molecular basis of the disease was not determined until the late 1980s. The cloning of dystrophin led to the identification of a large complex of proteins that plays an important, although not yet well understood, role in muscle biology. Concomitant with the elucidation of the function of dystrophin and its associated proteins has been the pursuit of therapeutic options for muscular dystrophy. Although there is still no cure for this disorder, great advances are being made in the areas of gene introduction and cell transplant therapy.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.