Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.292, No.3, 626-631, 2002
The short MCK1350 promoter/enhancer allows for sufficient dystrophin expression in skeletal muscles of mdx mice
First-generation adenovirus vectors (AdV) have been used successfully to transfer a human dystrophin mini-gene to skeletal muscle of mdx mice. In most studies, strong viral promoters such as the cytomegalovirus promoter/enhancer (CAM were used to drive dystrophin expression. More recently, a short version of the muscle creatine kinase promoter (MCK1350) has been shown to provide muscle-specific reporter gene expression after AdV-mediated gene delivery. Therefore, we generated a recombinant AdV where dystrophin expression is controlled by MCK1350 (AdVMCKdys). AdVMCKdys was injected by the intramuscular route into anterior tibialis muscle of mdx mice shortly after birth. Dystrophin expression was assessed at 20, 30, and 60 days after AdV-injection. At 20 days, muscles of AdVMCKdys-injected mdx mice showed a high number of dystrophin-positive fibers (mean: 365). At 60 days, the number of dystrophin-positive fibers was not only maintained, but increased significantly (mean: 600). In conclusion, MCK1350 allows for sustained dystrophin expression after AdV-mediated gene transfer to skeletal muscle of newborn mdx mice. In contrast to previous studies, where strong viral promoters were used, dystrophin expression driven by MCK1350 peaks at later time points. This may have implications for the future use of muscle-specific promoters for gene therapy of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).