Rescue of dystrophic muscle through U7 snRNA-mediated exon skipping.Science. 2004 Dec 03; 306(5702):1796-9.Sci
Most mutations in the dystrophin gene create a frameshift or a stop in the mRNA and are associated with severe Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Exon skipping that naturally occurs at low frequency sometimes eliminates the mutation and leads to the production of a rescued protein. We have achieved persistent exon skipping that removes the mutated exon on the dystrophin messenger mRNA of the mdx mouse, by a single administration of an AAV vector expressing antisense sequences linked to a modified U7 small nuclear RNA. We report the sustained production of functional dystrophin at physiological levels in entire groups of muscles and the correction of the muscular dystrophy.