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Dystrophin deficiency due to genetic mutations causes cardiac abnormalities in Duchenne's muscular dystrophy. Dystrophin is also shown to be downregulated in conventional failing hearts. Whether restoration of dystrophin expression possesses any therapeutic potential for conventional heart failure (HF) remains to be examined. HF mouse model was generated by transverse aortic constriction (TAC). In vivo activation of dystrophin transcription was achieved by tail-vein injection of adeno-associated virus 9 carrying CRISPR/dCas system for dystrophin. We found that activation of dystrophin expression in TAC mice significantly reduced the susceptibility to arrhythmia of TAC mice and the mortality rate. We further demonstrated that over-expression of dystrophin increased cardiac conduction of hearts in TAC mice by optical mapping evaluation. Activation of dystrophin expression also increased peak sodium current in isolated ventricular myocytes from hearts of TAC mice as recorded by the patch-clamp technique. Immunoblotting and immunofluorescence showed that increased dystrophin transcription restored the membrane distribution of Nav1.5 in the hearts of TAC mice. In summary, correction of dystrophin downregulation by the CRISPR-dCas9 system reduced the susceptibility to arrhythmia of conventional HF mice through restoring Nav1.5 membrane distribution. This study paved the way to develop a new therapeutic strategy for HF-related ventricular arrhythmia. © 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.


Ruixin Zhang, Junwu Liu, Genlong Xue, Jiming Yang, Desheng Li, Tao Tian, Xiaofang Zhang, Kangyi Gao, Zhenwei Pan. Forced activation of dystrophin transcription by CRISPR/dCas9 reduced arrhythmia susceptibility via restoring membrane Nav1.5 distribution. Gene therapy. 2023 Feb;30(1-2):142-149

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PMID: 35644811

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