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Characterisation of dystrophin in carriers of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Clerk, A., Rodillo, E., Heckmatt, J. Z., Dubowitz, V., Strong, P. N. and Sewry, C. A. (1991) Characterisation of dystrophin in carriers of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Journal of Neurological Sciences, 102 (2). pp. 197-205. ISSN 0022-510X

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Abstract/Summary

Dystrophin, the protein product of the Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene, was studied in needle biopsy samples taken from the quadriceps muscle of 15 asymptomatic carriers of DMD (13 adults and 2 young girls) and one symptomatic adult carrier. Antibodies to N- and C-terminal regions of dystrophin were used for both Western blot analysis and immunocytochemistry and a monoclonal antibody to beta-spectrin used to assess membrane integrity. All asymptomatic adult carriers showed some abnormality in dystrophin immunostaining but very few negative fibres were present. A clear mosaic of dystrophin positive and negative fibres was seen only in the adult symptomatic carrier and the two young girls. On a Western blot, all carriers studied had dystrophin of normal molecular weight, but most had reduced abundance. In adult carriers, the amount of dystrophin relative to normal controls varied, but it was unrelated to age, serum creatine kinase (CK) levels or to the degree of pathology. Carriers with normal CK showed abnormalities in dystrophin expression. The dystrophin immunoblotting profile of the 2 young girls was very similar to that of their mothers, but the mosaic pattern of immunostaining was not apparent in the older carriers. In conclusion, dystrophin immunostaining and Western blot analysis of biopsy samples from asymptomatic carriers is often abnormal and they may be useful additional aids for establishing carrier status, particularly in younger girls.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Biomedical Sciences
ID Code:50474

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