Naomi Teramoto, Hidetoshi Sugihara, Keitaro Yamanouchi*, Katsuyuki Nakamura, Koichi Kimura, Tomoko Okano, Takanori Shiga, Taku Shirakawa, Masafumi Matsuo, Tetsuya Nagata, Masao Daimon, Takashi Matsuwaki, and Masugi Nishihara


Dystrophin, encoded by the DMD gene on the X chromosome, stabilizes the sarcolemma by linking the actin cytoskeleton with the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC). In-frame mutations in DMD cause a milder form of X-linked muscular dystrophy, called Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD), characterized by the reduced expression of truncated dystrophin. So far, no animal model with in-frame mutations in Dmd has been established. As a result, the effect of in-frame mutations on the dystrophin expression profile and disease progression of BMD remains unclear. In this study, we established a novel rat model carrying in-frame Dmd gene mutations (IF rats) and evaluated the pathology. We found that IF rats exhibit reduced expression of truncated dystrophin in a proteasome-independent manner. This abnormal dystrophin expression caused dystrophic changes in muscle tissues, but did not lead to functional deficiency. We also found that the expression of additional dystrophin named dpX, which forms the DGC in the sarcolemma, is associated with the appearance of truncated dystrophin. In conclusion, the outcomes of this study contribute to the further understanding of BMD pathology and help elucidate the efficiency of dystrophin recovery treatments in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a more severe form of X-linked muscular dystrophy.

Paper Information

: Disease Models & Mechanisms
: 10.1242/dmm.044701