Characterization of translational frame exception patients in duchenne/becker muscular dystrophy

Alissa V. Winnard, Christopher J. Klein, Daniel D. Coovert, Thomas Prior, Audrey Papp, Pamela Snyder, Dennis E. Bulman, Peter N. Ray, Patricia Mcandrew, Wendy King, Richard T. Moxley, Jerry R. Mendell, Arthur H.M. Burghes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


The clinical progression of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients with deletions can be predicted in 93% of cases by whether the deletion maintains or disrupts the translational reading frame (frameshift hypothesis). We have identified and studied a number of patients who have deletions that do not conform to the translational frame hypothesis. The most common exception to the frameshift hypothesis is the deletion of exons 3 to 7 which disrupts the translational reading frame. We identified a Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) patient, an intermediate, and a DMD patient with this deletion. In all three cases, dystrophin was detected and localized to the membrane. One DMD patient with an inframe deletion of exons 4-18 produced no dystrophin. One patient with a mild intermediate phenotype and a deletion of exon 45, which shifts the reading frame, produced no dystrophin. Two patients with large inframe deletions had discordant phenotypes (exons 3-41, DMD; exons 13-48, BMD), but both produced dystrophin that localized to the sarcolemma. The DMD patient, 113, indicates that dystrophin with an intact carboxy terminus can be produced in Duchenne patients at levels equivalent to some Beckers. The dystrophin analysis from these patients, together with patients reported in the literature, indicate that more than one domain can localize dystrophin to the sarcolemma. Lastely, the data shows that although most patients show correlation of clinical severity to molecular data, there are rare patients which do not conform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-744
Number of pages8
JournalHuman molecular genetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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