Exon Skipping in Directly Reprogrammed Myotubes Obtained from Human Urine-Derived Cells

This article has been accepted and is currently in production


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a progressive and fatal muscle disease, is caused by mutations in the DMD gene that result in the absence of dystrophin protein. To date, we have completed an investigator-initiated first-in-human study at the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry based on the systemic injection of the morpholino oligonucleotides which are prone to exon-53 skipping. For the effective treatment of DMD, in vitro testing with myoblasts derived from DMD patients to screen drugs and assess patient eligibility before undertaking clinical trials is thought to be essential. Very recently, we reported a new MYOD1-converted urine-derived cell (UDC) treated with the histone methyltransferase inhibitor (3-deazaneplanocin A hydrochloride), as a cellular model of DMD. The new autologous UDC might show phenocopy of the disease-specific phenotypes of DMD, leading to the application of precision medicine in a variety of muscle-related diseases. In this article, we describe a detailed protocol for efficient modelling of DMD muscle cells using MYOD1-converted UDCs along with reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Western blotting, and immunocytochemistry to evaluate the restoration of dystrophin mRNA and protein levels after exon skipping.