Exon skipping-mediated dystrophin reading frame restoration for small mutations

Hum Mutat. 2009 Nov;30(11):1527-34. doi: 10.1002/humu.21092.


Exon skipping using antisense oligonucleotides (AONs) has successfully been used to reframe the mRNA in various Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients carrying deletions in the DMD gene. In this study we tested the feasibility of the exon skipping approach for patients with small mutations in in-frame exons. We first identified 54 disease-causing point mutations. We selected five patients with nonsense or frameshifting mutations in exons 10, 16, 26, 33, and 34. Wild-type and mutation specific 2'OMePS AONs were tested in cell-free splicing assays and in cultured cells derived from the selected patients. The obtained results confirm cell-free splicing assay as an alternative system to test exon skipping propensity when patients' cells are unavailable. In myogenic cells, similar levels of exon skipping were observed for wild-type and mutation specific AONs for exons 16, 26, and 33, whereas for exon 10 and exon 34 the efficacy of the AONs was significantly different. Interestingly, in some cases skipping efficiencies for mutated exons were quite dissimilar when compared with previous reports on the respective wild-type exons. This behavior may be related to the effect of the mutations on exon skipping propensity, and highlights the complexity of identifying optimal AONs for skipping exons with small mutations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Codon, Nonsense*
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Dystrophin / genetics*
  • Exons*
  • Frameshift Mutation*
  • Humans
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / genetics*
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / therapy
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / therapeutic use*
  • Point Mutation
  • RNA Splicing
  • Reading Frames*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Codon, Nonsense
  • DMD protein, human
  • Dystrophin
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense