Paper of the Month
AUGUST 2018 – Exon Skipping in a Dysf-Missense Mutant Mouse Model
In August Verena Schöwel and her team received the Paper of the Month award.
Jakub Malcher, Leonie Heidt , Aurélie Goyenvalle , Helena Escobar , Andreas Marg, Cyriaque Beley , Rachid Benchaouir, Michael Bader, SimoneSpuler, Luis García, Verena Schöwel. Exon Skipping in a Dysf-Missense Mutant Mouse Model. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2018 Dec 7; 13: 198–207. Published online 2018 Aug 22. doi: 10.1016/j.omtn.2018.08.013
Limb girdle muscular dystrophy 2B (LGMD2B) is without treatment and caused by mutations in the dysferlin gene (DYSF). One-third is missense mutations leading to dysferlin aggregation and amyloid formation, in addition to defects in sarcolemmal repair and progressive muscle wasting. Dysferlin-null mouse models do not allow study of the consequences of missense mutations. We generated a new mouse model (MMex38) carrying a missense mutation in exon 38 in analogy to a clinically relevant human DYSF variant (DYSF p.Leu1341Pro). The targeted mutation induces all characteristics of missense mutant dysferlinopathy, including a progressive dystrophic pattern, amyloid formation, and defects in membrane repair. We chose U7 small nuclear RNA (snRNA)-based splice switching to demonstrate a possible exon-skipping strategy in this new animal model. We show that Dysf exons 37 and 38 can successfully be skipped in vivo. Overall, the MMex38 mouse model provides an ideal tool for preclinical development of treatment strategies for dysferlinopathy.