Optimizing antisense oligonucleotides using phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers

Linda J Popplewell, Alberto Malerba, George Dickson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is caused by mutations that disrupt the reading frame of the human DMD gene. Selective removal of exons flanking an out-of-frame DMD mutation can result in an in-frame mRNA transcript that may be translated into an internally deleted Becker muscular dystrophy-like functionally active dystrophin protein with therapeutic activity. Antisense oligonucleotides (AOs) can be designed to bind to complementary sequences in the targeted mRNA and modify pre-mRNA splicing to correct the reading frame of a mutated transcript. AO-induced exon skipping resulting in functional truncated dystrophin has been demonstrated in animal models of DMD both in vitro and in vivo, in DMD patient cells in vitro in culture, and in DMD muscle explants. The recent advances made in this field suggest that it is likely that AO-induced exon skipping will be the first gene therapy for DMD to reach the clinic. However, it should be noted that personalized molecular medicine may be necessary, since the various reading frame-disrupting mutations are spread across the DMD gene. The different deletions that cause DMD would require skipping of different exons, which would require the optimization and clinical trial workup of many specific AOs. This chapter describes the methodologies available for the optimization of AOs, in particular phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers, for the targeted skipping of specific exons on the DMD gene.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExon Skipping
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781617797675
ISBN (Print)9781617797668
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


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