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      Dual exon skipping in myostatin and dystrophin for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

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          Abstract

          Background

          Myostatin is a potent muscle growth inhibitor that belongs to the Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β) family. Mutations leading to non functional myostatin have been associated with hypermuscularity in several organisms. By contrast, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is characterized by a loss of muscle fibers and impaired regeneration. In this study, we aim to knockdown myostatin by means of exon skipping, a technique which has been successfully applied to reframe the genetic defect of dystrophin gene in DMD patients.

          Methods

          We targeted myostatin exon 2 using antisense oligonucleotides (AON) in healthy and DMD-derived myotubes cultures. We assessed the exon skipping level, transcriptional expression of myostatin and its target genes, and combined myostatin and several dystrophin AONs. These AONs were also applied in the mdx mice models via intramuscular injections.

          Results

          Myostatin AON induced exon 2 skipping in cell cultures and to a lower extent in the mdx mice. It was accompanied by decrease in myostatin mRNA and enhanced MYOG and MYF5 expression. Furthermore, combination of myostatin and dystrophin AONs induced simultaneous skipping of both genes.

          Conclusions

          We conclude that two AONs can be used to target two different genes, MSTN and DMD, in a straightforward manner. Targeting multiple ligands of TGF-beta family will be more promising as adjuvant therapies for DMD.

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          Most cited references 32

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          A mutation creating a potential illegitimate microRNA target site in the myostatin gene affects muscularity in sheep.

          Texel sheep are renowned for their exceptional meatiness. To identify the genes underlying this economically important feature, we performed a whole-genome scan in a Romanov x Texel F2 population. We mapped a quantitative trait locus with a major effect on muscle mass to chromosome 2 and subsequently fine-mapped it to a chromosome interval encompassing the myostatin (GDF8) gene. We herein demonstrate that the GDF8 allele of Texel sheep is characterized by a G to A transition in the 3' UTR that creates a target site for mir1 and mir206, microRNAs (miRNAs) that are highly expressed in skeletal muscle. This causes translational inhibition of the myostatin gene and hence contributes to the muscular hypertrophy of Texel sheep. Analysis of SNP databases for humans and mice demonstrates that mutations creating or destroying putative miRNA target sites are abundant and might be important effectors of phenotypic variation.
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            Double muscling in cattle due to mutations in the myostatin gene.

            Myostatin (GDF-8) is a member of the transforming growth factor beta superfamily of secreted growth and differentiation factors that is essential for proper regulation of skeletal muscle mass in mice. Here we report the myostatin sequences of nine other vertebrate species and the identification of mutations in the coding sequence of bovine myostatin in two breeds of double-muscled cattle, Belgian Blue and Piedmontese, which are known to have an increase in muscle mass relative to conventional cattle. The Belgian Blue myostatin sequence contains an 11-nucleotide deletion in the third exon which causes a frameshift that eliminates virtually all of the mature, active region of the molecule. The Piedmontese myostatin sequence contains a missense mutation in exon 3, resulting in a substitution of tyrosine for an invariant cysteine in the mature region of the protein. The similarity in phenotypes of double-muscled cattle and myostatin null mice suggests that myostatin performs the same biological function in these two species and is a potentially useful target for genetic manipulation in other farm animals.
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              Myogenic satellite cells: physiology to molecular biology.

              Adult skeletal muscle has a remarkable ability to regenerate following myotrauma. Because adult myofibers are terminally differentiated, the regeneration of skeletal muscle is largely dependent on a small population of resident cells termed satellite cells. Although this population of cells was identified 40 years ago, little is known regarding the molecular phenotype or regulation of the satellite cell. The use of cell culture techniques and transgenic animal models has improved our understanding of this unique cell population; however, the capacity and potential of these cells remain ill-defined. This review will highlight the origin and unique markers of the satellite cell population, the regulation by growth factors, and the response to physiological and pathological stimuli. We conclude by highlighting the potential therapeutic uses of satellite cells and identifying future research goals for the study of satellite cell biology.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Med Genomics
                BMC Medical Genomics
                BioMed Central
                1755-8794
                2011
                20 April 2011
                : 4
                : 36
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Center for Human and Clinical Genetics, Leiden University Medical Center, Postzone S4-P, PO Box 9600, Leiden, 2300RC, the Netherlands
                [2 ]Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Leiden University Medical Center, Postzone S1-P, PO Box 9600, Leiden, 2300RC, the Netherlands
                [3 ]Institute for Molecular Cell Biology, University of Münster, Schlossplatz 5, Münster, D-48149, Germany
                Article
                1755-8794-4-36
                10.1186/1755-8794-4-36
                3107769
                21507246
                Copyright ©2011 Kemaladewi et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research Article

                Genetics

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