Exon skipping and duchenne muscular dystrophy therapy: selection of the most active U1 snRNA antisense able to induce dystrophin exon 51 skipping

Mol Ther. 2010 Sep;18(9):1675-82. doi: 10.1038/mt.2010.123. Epub 2010 Jun 15.


One promising approach for the gene therapy of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is exon skipping. When thinking of possible intervention on human, it is very crucial to identify the most appropriate antisense sequences able to provide the highest possible skipping efficiency. In this article, we compared the exon 51 skipping activity of 10 different antisense molecules, raised against splice junctions and/or exonic splicing enhancers (ESEs), expressed as part of the U1 small nuclear RNA (snRNA). The effectiveness of each construct was tested in human DMD myoblasts carrying the deletion of exons 48-50, which can be treated with skipping of exon 51. Our results show that the highest skipping activity and dystrophin rescue is achieved upon expression of a U1 snRNA-derived antisense molecule targeting exon 51 splice sites in combination with an internal exon sequence. The efficacy of this molecule was further proven on an exon 45-50 deletion background, utilizing patient's fibroblasts transdifferentiated into myoblasts. In this system, we showed that the selected antisense was able to produce 50% skipping of exon 51.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dystrophin / genetics*
  • Dystrophin / metabolism
  • Exons / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / genetics*
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / therapy*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Antisense / genetics*
  • RNA, Small Nuclear / genetics*


  • Dystrophin
  • RNA, Antisense
  • RNA, Small Nuclear
  • U1 small nuclear RNA