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Codon and mRNA sequence optimization of microdystrophin transgenes improves expression and physiological outcome in dystrophic mdx mice following AAV2/8 gene transfer

Foster, H., Sharp, P. S., Athanasopoulos, T., Trollet, C., Graham, I. R., Foster, K., Wells, D. J. and Dickson, G. (2008) Codon and mRNA sequence optimization of microdystrophin transgenes improves expression and physiological outcome in dystrophic mdx mice following AAV2/8 gene transfer. Molecular Therapy, 16 (11). pp. 1825-1832. ISSN 1525-0024

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/mt.2008.186

Abstract/Summary

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a fatal muscle-wasting disorder. Lack of dystrophin compromises the integrity of the sarcolemma and results in myofibers that are highly prone to contraction-induced injury. Recombinant adenoassociated virus (rAAV)-mediated dystrophin gene transfer strategies to muscle for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) have been limited by the small cloning capacity of rAAV vectors and high titers necessary to achieve efficient systemic gene transfer. In this study, we assess the impact of codon optimization on microdystrophin (ΔAB/R3-R18/ΔCT) expression and function in the mdx mouse and compare the function of two different configurations of codon-optimized microdystrophin genes (ΔAB/R3-R18/ΔCT and ΔR4-R23/ΔCT) under the control of a muscle-restrictive promoter (Spc5-12). Codon optimization of microdystrophin significantly increases levels of microdystrophin mRNA and protein after intramuscular and systemic administration of plasmid DNA or rAAV2/8. Physiological assessment demonstrates that codon optimization of ΔAB/R3-R18/ΔCT results in significant improvement in specific force, but does not improve resistance to eccentric contractions compared with noncodon-optimized ΔAB/ R3-R18/ΔCT. However, codon-optimized microdystrophin ΔR4-R23/ΔCT completely restored specific force generation and provided substantial protection from contraction-induced injury. These results demonstrate that codon optimization of microdystrophin under the control of a muscle-specific promoter can significantly improve expression levels such that reduced titers of rAAV vectors will be required for efficient systemic administration.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Biomedical Sciences
ID Code:32374
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group

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