Optimized lentiviral vector to restore full-length dystrophin via a cell-mediated approach in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. / Meng, Jinhong; Moore, Marc; Counsell, John; Muntoni, Francesco; Popplewell, Linda; Morgan, Jennifer.

In: Molecular Therapy - Methods and Clinical Development, Vol. 25, 09.06.2022, p. 491-507.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a muscle wasting disorder caused by mutations in the DMD gene. Restoration of full-length dystrophin protein in skeletal muscle would have therapeutic benefit, but lentivirally mediated delivery of such a large gene in vivo has been hindered by lack of tissue specificity, limited transduction, and insufficient transgene expression. To address these problems, we developed a lentiviral vector, which contains a muscle-specific promoter and sequence-optimized full-length dystrophin, to constrain dystrophin expression to differentiated myotubes/myofibers and enhance the transgene expression. We further explored the efficiency of restoration of full-length dystrophin in vivo, by grafting DMD myoblasts that had been corrected by this optimized lentiviral vector intramuscularly into an immunodeficient DMD mouse model. We show that these lentivirally corrected DMD myoblasts effectively reconstituted full-length dystrophin expression in 93.58% ± 2.17% of the myotubes in vitro. Moreover, dystrophin was restored in 64.4% ± 2.87% of the donor-derived regenerated muscle fibers in vivo, which were able to recruit members of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex at the sarcolemma. This study represents a significant advance over existing cell-mediated gene therapy strategies for DMD that aim to restore full-length dystrophin expression in skeletal muscle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-507
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular Therapy - Methods and Clinical Development
Early online date1 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2022
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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