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Genomics. 2006 Nov;88(5):642-9. Epub 2006 Sep 7.

Gene expression profiling studies on Caenorhabditis elegans dystrophin mutants dys-1(cx-35) and dys-1(cx18).

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  • 1MRC Functional Genetics Unit, Department of Human Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QX, UK.


The Caenorhabditis elegans genome contains a single dystrophin/utrophin orthologue, dys-1. Point mutations in this gene, dys-1(cx35) and dys-1(cx18), result in truncated proteins. Such mutants offer potentially valuable worm models of human Duchenne muscular dystrophy. We have used microarrays to examine genes expressed differentially between wild-type C. elegans and dys-1 mutants. We found 106 genes (115 probe sets) to be differentially expressed when the two mutants are compared to wild-type worms, 49 of which have been assigned to six functional categories. The main categories of regulated genes in C. elegans are genes encoding intracellular signalling, cell-cell communication, cell-surface, and extracellular matrix proteins; genes in these same categories have been shown by others to be differentially expressed in muscle biopsies of muscular dystrophy patients. The C. elegans model may serve as a convenient vehicle for future genetic and chemical screens to search for new drug targets.

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