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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Oct;1082:74-6.

Therapeutic modulation of DMD splicing by blocking exonic splicing enhancer sites with antisense oligonucleotides.

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  • 1Department of Human Genetics, DMD Genetic Therapy Group, Leiden University Medical Center, 2333 AL Leiden, The Netherlands.


Antisense oligonucleotides (AONs) can be used to correct the disrupted reading frame of Duchenne muscular dystophy patients (DMD). We have a collection of 121 AONs, of which 79 are effective in inducing the specific skipping of 38 out of the 79 different DMD exons. All AONs are located within exons and were hypothesized to act by steric hindrance of serine-arginine rich (SR) protein binding to exonic splicing enhancer (ESE) sites. Indeed, retrospective in silico analysis of effective versus ineffective AONs revealed that the efficacy of AONs is correlated to the presence of putative ESE sites (as predicted by the ESEfinder and RESCUE-ESE software). ESE predicting software programs are thus valuable tools for the optimization of exon-internal antisense target sequences.

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