Gene correction of a duchenne muscular dystrophy mutation by meganuclease-enhanced exon knock-in

Linda Popplewell, Taeyoung Koo, Xavier Leclerc, Aymeric Duclert, Kamel Mamchaoui, Agnés Gouble, Vincent Mouly, Thomas Voit, Frédéric Pâques, Frédéric Cédrone, Olga Isman, Rafael J Yáñez-Muñoz, George Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe inherited, muscle-wasting disorder caused by mutations in the DMD gene. Gene therapy development for DMD has concentrated on vector-based DMD minigene transfer, cell-based gene therapy using genetically modified adult muscle stem cells or healthy wild-type donor cells, and antisense oligonucleotide-induced exon-skipping therapy to restore the reading frame of the mutated DMD gene. This study is an investigation into DMD gene targeting-mediated correction of deletions in human patient myoblasts using a target-specific meganuclease (MN) and a homologous recombination repair matrix. The MN was designed to cleave within DMD intron 44, upstream of a deletion hotspot, and integration-competent lentiviral vectors expressing the nuclease (LVcMN) were generated. MN western blotting and deep gene sequencing for LVcMN-induced non-homologous end-joining InDels (microdeletions or microinsertions) confirmed efficient MN expression and activity in transduced DMD myoblasts. A homologous repair matrix carrying exons 45-52 (RM45-52) was designed and packaged into integration-deficient lentiviral vectors (IDLVs; LVdRM45-52). After cotransduction of DMD myoblasts harboring a deletion of exons 45 to 52 with LVcMN and LVdRM45-52 vectors, targeted knock-in of the RM45-52 region in the correct location in DMD intron 44, and expression of full-length, correctly spliced wild-type dystrophin mRNA containing exons 45-52 were observed. This work demonstrates that genome surgery on human DMD gene mutations can be achieved by MN-induced locus-specific genome cleavage and homologous recombination knock-in of deleted exons. The feasibility of human DMD gene repair in patient myoblasts has exciting therapeutic potential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)692-701
Number of pages10
JournalHuman Gene Therapy
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


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