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Prevention of muscular dystrophy in mice by CRISPR/Cas9–mediated editing of germline DNA

Science  14 Aug 2014:

DOI: 10.1126/science.1254445

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Abstract

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an inherited X-linked disease caused by mutations in the gene encoding dystrophin, a protein required for muscle fiber integrity. DMD is characterized by progressive muscle weakness and a shortened life span, and there is no effective treatment. We used CRISPR/Cas9–mediated genome editing to correct the dystrophin gene (Dmd) mutation in the germline of mdx mice, a model for DMD, and then monitored muscle structure and function. Genome editing produced genetically mosaic animals containing 2 to 100% correction of the Dmd gene. The degree of muscle phenotypic rescue in mosaic mice exceeded the efficiency of gene correction, likely reflecting an advantage of the corrected cells and their contribution to regenerating muscle. With the anticipated technological advances that will facilitate genome editing of postnatal somatic cells, this strategy may one day allow correction of disease-causing mutations in the muscle tissue of patients with DMD.

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