Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a severe childhood form of muscular dystrophy. Both the severe form and its milder form of Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) are caused by the mutation of dystrophin gene. Different from some other genetic diseases such as hemophilia that can be treated by replacement therapy, there is no effective therapy for muscular dystrophy in conventional medication. Gene editing technology from the recently developed engineered nucleases such as TALENs has been successfully employed in genome modification of a variety of species, and will be applied in gene therapy of selected human diseases. The genetic basis of DMD and BMD indicates that DMD is a good target for gene therapy through returning the reading frame of dystrophin gene. Gene therapy strategies described here may apply to many other genetic diseases. Wider application of TALENs in gene therapy have the potential to dramatically prolong the lifespan of individuals with genetic diseases.
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