Long-term maintenance of dystrophin expression and resistance to injury of skeletal muscle in gene edited DMD mice

Dileep R. Karri, Yu Zhang, Francesco Chemello, Yi Li Min, Jian Huang, Jiwoong Kim, Pradeep P.A. Mammen, Lin Xu, Ning Liu, Rhonda Bassel-Duby, Eric N. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal muscle disease caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing has been used to correct DMD mutations in animal models at young ages. However, the longevity and durability of CRISPR/Cas9 editing remained to be determined. To address these issues, we subjected ΔEx44 DMD mice to systemic delivery of AAV9-expressing CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing components to reframe exon 45 of the dystrophin gene, allowing robust dystrophin expression and maintenance of muscle structure and function. We found that genome correction by CRISPR/Cas9 confers lifelong expression of dystrophin in mice and that corrected skeletal muscle is highly durable and resistant to myofiber necrosis and fibrosis, even in response to chronic injury. In contrast, when muscle fibers were ablated by barium chloride injection, we observed a loss of gene edited dystrophin expression. Analysis of on- and off-target editing in aged mice confirmed the stability of gene correction and the lack of significant off-target editing at 18 months of age. These findings demonstrate the long-term durability of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing as a therapy for maintaining the integrity and function of DMD muscle, even under conditions of stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-167
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids
Volume28
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 14 2022

Keywords

  • AAV
  • CRISPR/Cas9
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • exon reframing
  • gene editing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery

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