RNA-mediated therapies in myotonic dystrophy

Drug Discov Today. 2018 Dec;23(12):2013-2022. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2018.08.004. Epub 2018 Aug 4.


Myotonic dystrophy 1 (DM1) is a multisystemic neuromuscular disease caused by a dominantly inherited 'CTG' repeat expansion in the gene encoding DM Protein Kinase (DMPK). The repeats are transcribed into mRNA, which forms hairpins and binds with high affinity to the Muscleblind-like (MBNL) family of proteins, sequestering them from their normal function. The loss of function of MBNL proteins causes numerous downstream effects, primarily the appearance of nuclear foci, mis-splicing, and ultimately myotonia and other clinical symptoms. Antisense and other RNA-mediated technologies have been applied to target toxic-repeat mRNA transcripts to restore MBNL protein function in DM1 models, such as cells and mice, and in humans. This technique has had promising results in DM1 therapeutics by alleviating pathogenic phenotypes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Myotonic Dystrophy / genetics*
  • Myotonic Dystrophy / therapy*
  • Myotonin-Protein Kinase / genetics
  • RNA / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics


  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA
  • Myotonin-Protein Kinase