Deficiency of the dysferlin protein presents as two major clinical phenotypes: limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2B and Miyoshi myopathy. Dysferlin is known to participate in membrane repair, providing a potential hypothesis to the underlying pathophysiology of these diseases. The size of the dysferlin cDNA prevents its direct incorporation into an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector for therapeutic gene transfer into muscle. To bypass this limitation, we split the dysferlin cDNA at the exon 28/29 junction and cloned it into two independent AAV vectors carrying the appropriate splicing sequences. Intramuscular injection of the corresponding vectors into a dysferlin-deficient mouse model led to the expression of full-length dysferlin for at least 1 year. Importantly, systemic injection in the tail vein of the two vectors led to a widespread although weak expression of the full-length protein. Injections were associated with an improvement of the histological aspect of the muscle, a reduction in the number of necrotic fibers, restoration of membrane repair capacity and a global improvement in locomotor activity. Altogether, these data support the use of such a strategy for the treatment of dysferlin deficiency.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology