The dystrophin complex: Structure, function, and implications for therapy

Quan Q. Gao, Elizabeth M. McNally*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


The dystrophin complex stabilizes the plasma membrane of striated muscle cells. Loss of function mutations in the genes encoding dystrophin, or the associated proteins, trigger instability of the plasma membrane, and myofiber loss. Mutations in dystrophin have been extensively cataloged, providing remarkable structure-function correlation between predicted protein structure and clinical outcomes. These data have highlighted dystrophin regions necessary for in vivo function and fueled the design of viral vectors and now, exon skipping approaches for use in dystrophin restoration therapies. However, dystrophin restoration is likely more complex, owing to the role of the dystrophin complex as a broad cytoskeletal integrator. This review will focus on dystrophin restoration, with emphasis on the regions of dystrophin essential for interacting with its associated proteins and discuss the structural implications of these approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1223-1239
Number of pages17
JournalComprehensive Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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