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The McColl-Lockwood Laboratory for Muscular Dystrophy Research focuses on developing novel therapies for muscular dystrophy, specifically limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

Directed by Qi Long Lu, MD, PhD, the lab is a division of the Carolinas Neuromuscular/ALS MDA Center, part of Atrium Health Musculoskeletal Institute and Atrium Health Neurosciences Institute. The laboratory, located in the James G. Cannon Research Center, received funding from the Carolinas Muscular Dystrophy Research Endowment, Atrium Health Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and federally funded grants.

The McColl-Lockwood Laboratory has established cell cultures, specific reagents and animal models specific and critically important to therapeutic development for muscular dystrophies. The laboratory continues to make milestone achievements in experimental therapies by its research team of scientists and technicians with specialized training and experience in drug design, pharmacology, and cell and molecular biology. The laboratory includes more than 2,000 square feet of space with state-of-the-art equipment, which enables researchers to focus on cell biology, molecular biology, drug development and drug testing both in vitro and in vivo. The laboratory also has an academic association with the University of North Carolina Charlotte and Chapel Hill and trains postgraduates and other students.

Philanthropic Support for the Carolinas Muscular Dystrophy Research Fund

Established in 2003 and administered by Atrium Health Foundation, the Carolinas Muscular Dystrophy Research Fund is dedicated to research for select types of muscular dystrophy, particularly Limb/Girdle, which is currently being conducted at Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center’s McColl-Lockwood Laboratory for Muscular Dystrophy.

Understanding Causes and Impact of Muscular Dystrophies

Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) are caused by genetic defects (mutations) that disrupt normal muscle function, resulting in the weakening of muscle strength with fatal consequences. The FKRP gene, which provides instructions for making a protein called fukutin-related protein, is an example of a gene prone to mutation. The resulting protein is present in many of the body's tissues but is particularly abundant in the brain, cardiac muscle and skeletal muscles (those used for movement).

Mutations in the FKRP gene cause a form of congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD) or the mild, later-onset LGMD2i. Similar to all LGMDs, LGMD2i patients experience progressive muscle weakness affecting cardiac, respiratory and other skeletal muscles. The result is continuous muscle damage followed by repair, which causes the muscle to be gradually replaced by non-functional scar or fat tissue. Eventually, the muscles are no longer able to perform their function, leading to failure in mobility and respiratory and cardiac function.

The FKRP Gene Connection in Muscular Dystrophy Research

Currently, there are no approved treatments – and no cure – for LGMD and DMD. But there is hope. The goal of the McColl-Lockwood Laboratory is to develop novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of the diseases. Since its 2006 opening, the laboratory has implemented fundamental research in several areas critical for development of experimental therapies, including a clearer picture of the FKRP gene and its functions.

After decades of research, scientists understand the precise mechanism of action for the FKRP. Working with more than 10 other genes, FKRP adds a sugar chain (glycan) to the protein called alpha dystroglycan (a-DG) located at the surface of the individual muscle fibers which form muscle mass. This glycan is important for muscle fibers of both skeletal and cardiac muscles to link with surrounding connective tissue, preventing damage during contraction. As a result of defect in FKRP (and other related genes), levels of the glycan will be greatly reduced, leading to weakening or loss of the link between fibers and connective tissues. Consequently, the diseased muscle fibers suffer much greater tear and damage than normal muscle fibers (beyond the degree our muscle can repair) when we exercise either voluntary (controlled) or involuntary (automatically, as is the case with the cardiac muscle) muscles.

Animal Model Creation in Muscular Dystrophy Research

The McColl-Lockwood Laboratory has established several animal models of muscular dystrophies and cell lines representing the diseased muscles from patients with different degrees of severity. These models are essential for testing of therapies.

With the establishment of mouse models bearing the same mutations detected in patients with FKRP mutations, including the common L276I mutation representing mild and moderate LGMD2i and less common P448L mutation associated with more severe disease manifestation of CMD, experimental therapies have been developed in the McColl-Lockwood Laboratory. Currently, two therapeutic approaches, AAV gene therapy and a metabolite ribitol-mediated treatment, are under development for clinical trials to LGMD2i.

The laboratory has also established various vectors representing normal and mutated FKRP genes for functional and therapeutic study. Specific antibody against FKRP protein has been raised and drug screening protocol has been established for identifying candidate compounds to rescue the glycosylation defects and to prevent muscle damage.

Therapies

Nearly all muscular dystrophies are caused by mutations in specific genes, leading to the loss or reduction of function. Gene therapy to provide a normal copy of the defected gene to the diseased muscles could effectively rescue the muscles or even cure some of the diseases. The laboratory has been experimenting with both viral and non-viral delivery techniques with a focus on FKRP gene-related muscular dystrophies. Therapeutic effect of gene replacement has been achieved both in cell culture systems and in diseased models in vivo. This program is supported by North Carolina Biotechnology Center, MDA, NIH as well as the Carolinas Muscular Dystrophy Research Endowment.

AAV gene therapy has been the most effective strategy to deliver normal copies of the FKRP gene to the body-wide muscles, including the heart. The AAV-delivered FKRP gene will produce functional FKRP protein inside diseased muscle fibers and restore the glycosylation of a-DG. Consequently, the link between fibers and surrounding connective tissues will be restored and further muscle damage prevented. AAV gene therapy can be highly effective, achieving almost the same levels of glycosylation of a-DG as detected in the normal skeletal and cardiac muscles. Also important, AAV gene therapy can restore muscle functions with the elimination of diseased muscle pathology when treated at early stage. While there are still some barriers and unknown factors which might affect the efficacy of AAV gene therapy in clinical settings, such as variation in the immune response to AAV serotypes, diseases stages and dose-requirement for safety and efficacy in individual patients, this treatment is now under active development by 2 companies and expected to move to clinical trial in 2022.

As an enzyme, FKRP uses ribitol as part of its substrate to add the sugar to the a-DG protein, enabling the muscles to assemble the completed sugar chain with capacity to link the fiber to surrounding connective tissue. Almost all mutated FKRP retains partial function, able to add the sugar to a-DG with reduced capacity. When extra ribitol is present in diseased muscles, mutant FKRP can work more efficiently, adding more sugars to a-DG and restoring the link between fiber and surrounding connective tissues.

The efficacy of ribitol treatment has been established in mouse model with FKRP mutations. This includes improvement in muscle pathology and function with long-term treatment. This approach has several advantages and disadvantages. Ribitol is a metabolite normally present in all body muscles, and animal studies show it is safe and tolerable with daily effective dose. Although the increase in glycosylation in disease muscles is relatively lower, the distribution of enhancement is highly homogeneous to all muscle fibers, thus providing better protection from muscle damage. ML Bio Solutions/Bridgebio Pharma has announced the dosing of LGDM2i patients with ribitol. McColl Lockwood Lab continues its effort to improve the efficacy by experimenting a combined treatment strategy with other drugs and gene therapy.

The aim of this program is to identify existing drugs or compounds and to synthesize new drugs to improve the functions of dystrophic muscles and to prevent progression of muscle wasting. Drug screening platform to identify candidates for enhancing the addition of sugars on a DG (glycosylation) has been established and applied to screen large drug libraries. The program has also identified several drugs with potential to treat muscular dystrophy. One class of the drugs shown to be promising is the selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM) such as tamoxifen and raloxifene. Long term treatment (1 year) in mouse models significantly ameliorate the disease progression with reduction in muscle pathology and improvement in muscle functions. The treatment also significantly mitigates bone loss, one of the common side effects of muscle disuse. This program is partly supported by both National Institutes of Health (NIH) and private funding. New drug candidates to improve muscle functions are also being tested.

DMD is caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. Such mutations abolish the ability of the gene to produce the dystrophin protein. Antisense therapy uses synthetic pieces of a gene sequence (antisense oligo) to target specific parts (called exons) of the human dystrophin gene, where the mutation occurs. The binding of antisense oligo to its targeted exon removes the defective part of the gene and restores the production of dystrophin protein which is missing in the DMD patients.

In 2003, Dr. Lu first demonstrated the therapeutic potential of antisense therapy in models of DMD in vivo. Since then, significant progress has been made in the McColl-Lockwood Laboratory and other laboratories around the world. The McColl-Lockwood Laboratory has demonstrated restoration of dystrophin expression in body-wide muscles of murine models of DMD by means of systemic delivery of antisense oligomers. Long-term maintenance of dystrophin expression and functional improvement of muscles can also be achieved. The laboratory has also established techniques for identifying effective antisense oligomers as the drugs in cell culture and in vivo, essential for antisense drug development into clinical trials. Full restoration of dystrophin in heart muscle has been accomplished with improved functions.

Exon skipping is able to restore the expression of patient’s own dystrophin with better function when compared with AAV-delivered mini-dystrophin. However, low delivery capacity with naked antisense oligo to body-wide muscles limits the degree of efficacy in clinic trials. The McColl Lockwood Lab is making further effort to improve delivery efficiency with the aim to achieve systemic and long-term higher efficacy.

Meet the Team

Selected Publications

Dhoke NR, Kim H, Selvaraj S, Azzag K, Haowen Zhou HW, Oliveira NAJ, Tungtur S, Ortiz-Cordero C, Kiley J, Lu QL, Bang AG, Perlingeiro RCR. A universal gene correction approach for FKRP-associated dystroglycanopathies to enable autologous cell therapy. Cell Rep. 2021 Jul 13;36(2):109360

Lu QL. Revertant Phenomenon in DMD and LGMD2I and Its Therapeutic Implications: A Review of Study Under Mentorship of Terrence Partridge. J Neuromuscul Dis. 2021 Jun 17. doi: 10.3233/JND-210692.

Lu PJ, Tucker JD, Branch EK, Guo F, Blaeser AR, Lu QL. Ribitol enhances matriglycan of α-dystroglycan in breast cancer cells without affecting cell growth. Sci Rep. 2020 Mar 18;10(1):4935. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-61747-z.

Karim Azzag , Carolina Ortiz-Cordero , Nelio A J Oliveira , Alessandro Magli , Sridhar Selvaraj , Sudheer Tungtur , Weston Upchurch, Paul A Iaizzo , Qi Long Lu , Rita C R Perlingeiro. Efficient engraftment of pluripotent stem cell-derived myogenic progenitors in a novel immunodeficient mouse model of limb girdle muscular dystrophy 2I. Skeletal Muscle. 2020 Apr 22;10(1):10

Cataldi MP, Blaeser A, Lu P, Leroy V, Lu QL. ISPD Overexpression Enhances Ribitol-Induced Glycosylation of α-Dystroglycan in Dystrophic FKRP Mutant Mice. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2020 Jun 12; 17: 271–280.

Vannoy CH, Leroy V, Broniowska K, Lu QL. Metabolomics Analysis of Skeletal Muscles from FKRP-Deficient Mice Indicates Improvement After Gene Replacement Therapy. Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 11;9(1):10070.

Wang M, Wu B, Shah SN, Lu P, Lu Q. Aminoglycoside Enhances the Delivery of Antisense Morpholino Oligonucleotides In Vitro and in mdx Mice. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2019 Jun 7;16:663-674

Vila MC, Novak JS, Benny Klimek M, Li N4, Morales M, Fritz AG, Edwards K, Boehler JF, Hogarth MW, Kinder TB, Zhang A, Mazala D, Fiorillo AA, Douglas B, Chen YW, van den Anker J, Lu QL, Hathout Y, Hoffman EP, Partridge TA, Nagaraju K. Morpholino-induced exon skipping stimulates cell-mediated and humoral responses to dystrophin in mdx mice. J Pathol. 2019 Mar 18. doi: 10.1002/path.5263.

Cataldi MP, Lu P, Blaeser A, Lu QL. Ribitol restores functionally glycosylated α-dystroglycan and improves muscle function in dystrophic FKRP-mutant mice. Nat Commun. 2018 Aug 27;9(1):3448.

Wang M, Wu B, Shah SN, Lu P, Lu Q. Saponins enhance exon skipping of 2'-O-methyl phosphorothioate oligonucleotide in vitro and in vivo. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2018 Oct 31;12:3705-3715

Vannoy CH, Leroy V, Lu QL. Dose-Dependent Effects of FKRP Gene-Replacement Therapy on Functional Rescue and Longevity in Dystrophic Mice. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2018 Oct 13;11:106-120

Tucker JD, Lu PJ, Xiao X, Lu QL. Overexpression of Mutant FKRP Restores Functional Glycosylation and Improves Dystrophic Phenotype in FKRP Mutant Mice. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2018 Jun 1;11:216-227.

Yu Q, Morales M, Li N, Fritz AG, Ruobing R, Blaeser A, Francois E, Lu QL, Nagaraju K, Spurney CF. Skeletal, cardiac, and respiratory muscle function and histopathology in the P448Lneo- mouse model of FKRP-deficient muscular dystrophy. Skelet Muscle. 2018 Apr 6;8(1):13.

Wu B, Shah SN, Lu P, Bollinger LE, Blaeser A, Sparks S, Harper AD, LuQL. Long-Term Treatment of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene Alleviates Dystrophic Phenotype and Enhances Muscle Functions of FKRPDystroglycanopathy. Am J Pathol. 2018 Apr;188(4):1069-1080

Blaeser A, Awano H, Lu P, Lu QL. Distinct expression of functionally glycosylated alpha-dystroglycan in muscle and non-muscle tissues of FKRP mutant mice. PLoS One. 2018 Jan 10;13(1):e0191016.

Wang M, Wu B, Shah SN, Lu P, Lu Q. Saponins as Natural Adjuvant for Antisense Morpholino Oligonucleotides Delivery In Vitro and in mdx Mice. Oligonucleotides Delivery In Vitro and in mdx Mice. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2018 Jun 1;11:192-202.

Wu B, Wang M, Shah S, Lu QL. In Vivo Evaluation of Dystrophin Exon Skipping in mdx Mice. Methods Mol Biol. 2018;1828:231-247. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-8651-4_14. PMID: 30171545

Frattini P, Villa C, De Santis F, Meregalli M, Belicchi M, Erratico S, Bella P, Raimondi MT, Lu Q, Torrente Y. Autologous intramuscular transplantation of engineered satellite cells induces exosome-mediated systemic expression of Fukutin-related protein and rescues disease phenotype in a murine model of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2I. Hum Mol Genet. 2017 Oct 1;26(19):3682-3698.

Vannoy CH, Xiao W, Lu P, Xiao X, Lu QL. Efficacy of Gene Therapy Is Dependent on Disease Progression in Dystrophic Mice with Mutations in the FKRP Gene. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2017 Mar 8;5:31-42.

Mingxing Wang, Bo Wu, Peijuan Lu, Sapana N. Shah, Jason D. Tucker, Lauren E. Bollinger and Qilong Lu. Evaluation of Amphiphilic Peptide Modified Antisense Morpholino Oligonucleotides in vitro and in Dystrophic mdx Mice. Polymers. 2017, 9, 177.

Vannoy CH, Zhou H, Qiao C, Xiao X, Bang AG, Lu QL. Adeno-Associated Virus-Mediated Mini-Agrin Delivery Is Unable to Rescue Disease Phenotype in a Mouse Model of Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Type 2I. Am J Pathol. 2017 Feb;187(2):431-440.

Blaeser A, Awano H, Wu B, Lu QL. Progressive Dystrophic Pathology in Diaphragm and Impairment of Cardiac Function in FKRP P448L Mutant Mice. PLoS One. 2016 Oct 6;11(10):e0164187.

Keramaris E, Lu PJ, Tucker J, Lu QL. Expression of glycosylated α-dystroglycan in newborn skeletal and cardiac muscles of fukutin related protein (FKRP) mutant mice. Muscle Nerve. 2017 Apr;55(4):582-590.

Wang M, Wu B, Tucker JD, Shah SN, Lu P, Bollinger LE, Lu Q. Tween 85-Modified Low Molecular Weight PEI Enhances Exon-Skipping of Antisense Morpholino Oligomer In Vitro and in mdx Mice. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2017 Dec 15;9:120-131

Wang M, Wu B, Shah SN, Lu P, Lu Q. Polyquaternium-mediated delivery of morpholino oligonucleotides for exon-skipping in vitro and in mdx mice. Drug Deliv. 2017 Nov;24(1):952-961.

Wang M, Wu B, Tucker JD, Bollinger LE, Lu P, Lu Q. Poly(ester amine) Composed of Polyethylenimine and Pluronic Enhance Delivery of Antisense Oligonucleotides In Vitro and in Dystrophic mdx Mice. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2016 Aug 2;5(8):e341.

Maricelli JW, Lu QL, Lin DC, Rodgers BD. Trendelenburg-Like Gait, Instability and Altered Step Patterns in a Mouse Model for Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy 2i. PLoS One. 2016 Sep 14;11(9):e0161984.

Wang M, Wu B, Tucker JD, Lu P, Lu Q. Cationic polyelectrolyte-mediated delivery of antisense morpholino oligonucleotides for exon-skipping in vitro and in mdx mice. Int J Nanomedicine. 2015 Sep 3;10:5635-4.

Bo Wu, Sapana N. Shah, Peijuan Lu, Stephanie Milazi, Lauren E. Bollinger, Anthony Blaeser, Kyle L. Madden, Taylor M. Luckie, Michael D. Cox, Susan Sparks, Amy D. Harper, Qi Long Lu.. Glucocorticoid steroid and Alendronate treatment alleviate dystrophic phenotype with enhanced functional glycosylation of α-dystroglycan in mouse model of Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy with FKRP mutation. Am J Pathol. 2016 Jun;186(6):1635-48.

Wang M, Wu B, Tucker JD, Lu P, Lu Q. Poly(ester amine) constructed from polyethylenimine and pluronic for gene delivery in vitro and in vivo. Drug Deliv. 2016 Mar 29:1-10. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:26960992

Blaeser A, Harper A, Campbell K, Lu QL (2016) Report: Fourth International Workshop for Glycosylation Defects in Muscular Dystrophies. J Genet Syndr Gene Ther 7: 286. doi:10.4172/2157-7412.1000286

Awano H, Blaeser A, Keramaris E, Xu L, Tucker J, Wu B, Lu P, Lu QL. Restoration of functional glycosylation of α-Dystroglycan in FKRP mutant mice is associated with muscle regeneration. Am J Pathol. 2015 Jul;185(7):2025-2037. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2015.03.017

Awano H, Blaeser A, Wu B, Lu P, Keramaris-Vrantsis E, Lu Q. Dystroglycanopathy muscles lacking functional glycosylation of alpha-dystroglycan retain regeneration capacity. Neuromuscular Disord 2015 Jun:25(6):474-84

Vila MC, Klimek MB, Novak JS, Rayavarapu S, Uaesoontrachoon K, Boehler JF, Fiorillo AA, Hogarth MW, Zhang A, Shaughnessy C, Gordish-Dressman H, Burki U, Straub V, Lu QL, Partridge TA, Brown KJ, Hathout Y, van den Anker J, Hoffman EP, Nagaraju K. Elusive sources of variability of dystrophin rescue by exon skipping. Skelet Muscle. 2015 Dec 1;5:44. doi: 10.1186/s13395-015-0070-6. eCollection 2015. PMID: 26634117

Mingxing Wang*, Bo Wu, Jason D Tucker, Peijuan Lu and Qilong Lu. Tris[2 (Acryloyloxy) Ethyl]Isocyanurate Cross-Linked Polyethylenimine Enhanced Exon-Skipping of Antisense 2′-Omethyl Phosphorothioate Oligonucleotide in vitro and in vivo. J Nanomed Nanotechnol 2015, 6:1

Qiao C, Wang CH, Zhao C, Lu P, Awano H, Xiao B, Li J, Yuan Z, Dai Y, Martin CB, Li J, Lu Q, Xiao X. Muscle and Heart Function Restoration in a Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy 2I (LGMD2I) Mouse Model by Systemic FKRP Gene Delivery Mol Ther. 2014 Nov;22(11):

Mingxing Wang, Bo Wu,1 Jay D. Tucker, Peijuan Lu, Caryn Cloer, and Qi Long Lu. Evaluation of Tris[2-(Acryloyloxy)Ethyl] Isocyanurate Cross-Linked Polyethylenimine as Antisense Morpholino Oligomer Delivery Vehicle. Hum Gene Ther. 2014 May;25(5):419-27

Lu QL, Cirak S, Partridge T. What Can We Learn from Clinical Trials of Exon Skipping for DMD? Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2014; 3(3): e152.

Qi-long Lu, Sebahattin Cirak and Terence Partridge. What Can We Learn From Clinical Trials of Exon Skipping. Molecular Therapy – Nucleic Acids. 3, e152; doi:10.1038/mtna.2014.6 March 11 2014

Vannoy C, Xu L, Keramaris E, Lu P, Xiao X, Lu Q. AAV-Mediated Overexpression of LARGE Rescues α-Dystroglycan Function in Dystrophic Mice with Mutations in the Fukutin-related Protein. Hum Gene Ther Methods. 2014 Jun;25(3):187-96

Bo Wu, Caryn Cloer, Stephanie Milazi, Mona Shaban, Sapana N Shah, Lauren Marston-Poe, Peijuan Lu, Hong M. Moulton, Qi Long Lu. Exon Skipping Restores Dystrophin Expression, but Fails to Prevent Disease Progression in Later Stage Dystrophic Dko Mice. Gene Ther. 2014 Sep;21(9):785-93

Wang M, Wu B, Lu P, Tucker JD, Milazi S, Shah SN, Lu QL Pluronic-PEI copolymers enhance exon-skipping of 2'-O-methyl phosphorothioate oligonucleotide in cell culture and dystrophic mdx mice. Gene Ther. 2014 Jan;21(1):52-9. doi: 10.1038/gt.2013.57. Epub 2013 Oct 17

Anthony Blaeser; Susan Sparks; Susan C. Brown; Kevin Campbell, Qi Lu. Third International Workshop for Glycosylation Defects in Muscular Dystrophies, 18–19 April 2013, Charlotte, USA Brain Pathology, Brain Pathology. Volume 24, Issue 3, pages 280–284, April 2014

Lei Xu, Lu PJ., Wang CH., Keramaris E., Qiao CP., Xiao B., Blake DJ., Xiao X., Lu QL. Adeno-associated Virus 9 Mediated FKRP Gene Therapy Restores Functional Glycosylation of α-dystroglycan and Improves Muscle Functions. Molecular Therapy 2013

Wang M., Wu B., Lu P., Milazi S., Shah SN., Lu QL. l. Pluronic-PEI copolymers enhance exon skipping of 2’-O-methyle phosphorothioate oligonucleotide in cell culture and dystrophic mdx mice. Gene Ther. 2013 Oct 17. doi: 10.1038/gt.2013.57

Blaeser A, Keramaris E, Chan YM, Sparks S, Cowley D, Xiao X, Lu QL. Mouse models of fukutin-related protein mutations show a wide range of disease phenotypes. Human Genetics, 2013 Aug;132(8):923-34

Wang GQ and Lu QL. A Nitrate Ester of Sedative Alkyl Alcohol Improves Muscle Function and Structure in a Murine Model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Molecular Pharmaceutics Mol Pharm. 2013 Oct 7;10(10):3862-70.

Kendall, G.C., Ekaterina I. Mokhonova, Miriana Moran, Natalia E. Sejbuk, Derek W. Wang, Oscar Silva, Richard T. Wang, Leonel Martinez, Qi L. Lu, Robert Damoiseaux, Melissa J. Spencer, Stanley F. Nelson, M. Carrie Miceli. Dantrolene enhances antisense-mediated exon skipping in human and mouse models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Science Translational Medicine 2012 Dec 12;4(164):164ra160. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3005054.

Mingxing Wang, Jay D. Tucker, Peijuan Lu, Bo Wu, Qilong Lu. Tris[2-(acryloyloxy)ethyl]isocyanurate Cross-Linked Low-Molecular-Weight Polyethylenimine as Gene Delivery Carriers in Cell Culture and Dystrophic mdx Mice. Bioconjugate Chemistry. Bioconjug Chem. 2012 Mar 25

Bo Wu, Peijuan Lu, Caryn Cloer, Mona Shaban, Snimar Grewal, Stephanie Milazi, Sapana N Shah, Hong M. Moulton, Qi Long Lu. Long-Term Rescue of Dystrophin Expression and Improvement in Muscle Pathology and Function in Dystrophic mdx Mice by Peptide-Conjugated Morpholino. Am J Pathol. 2012, 181(2):392-400.

Atsushi Kuga, Motoi Kanagawa, Atsushi Sudo, Yiumo Michael Chan, Michiko Tajiri, Hiroshi Manya, Yamato Kikkawa, Motoyoshi Nomizu, Kazuhiro Kobayashi, Tamao Endo, Qi L. Lu, Yoshinao Wada, and Tatsushi Toda. Absence of post-phosphoryl modification in dystroglycanopathy mouse models and wild-type tissues expressing a non-laminin binding form of alpha-dystroglycan. Journal of Biological chemistry. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 287, 9560-9567.

Mingxing Wang, Peijuan Lu, Bo Wu, Jay D. Tucker, Caryn Cloer, Qilong Lu. High Efficiency and Low Toxicity of Polyethyleneimine Modified Pluronics (PEI-Pluronic) as Gene Delivery Carriers in Cell Culture and Dystrophic mdx Mice . Journal of Materials Chemistry J. Mater. Chem., 2012,22, 6038-6046

Wu B, Benrashid E, Lu P, Cloer C, Zillmer A, Shaban M, Lu QL. Targeted skipping of human dystrophin exons in transgenic mouse model systemically for antisense drug development. PLoS One. 2011;6(5):e19906.

Chi-Hsien Wang, Yiumo Michael Chan, Ru-Hang Tang, Bin Xiao, Hui Heather Zhou, Peijuan Lu, Elizabeth Keramaris-Vrantsis, Hui Zheng, Chunping Qiao, Jiangang Jiang, Juan Li, Hsin-I Ma, Qilong Lu, Xiao Xiao. Post-natal knockdown of Fukutin related protein expression in muscle by long-term RNA interference induces dystrophic pathology. Am J Pathol. 2011 Mar;178(3):1406

Wu B, Xiao B, Cloer C, Shaban M, Sali A, Lu P, Li J, Nagaraju K, Xiao X, Lu QL. One-year treatment of morpholino antisense oligomer improves skeletal and cardiac muscle functions in dystrophic mdx mice. Mol Ther. 2011 Mar;19(3):576-83.

Hu Y, Li ZF, Wu X, Lu Q. Large induces functional glycans in an O-mannosylation dependent manner and targets GlcNAc terminals on alpha-dystroglycan. PLoS One. 2011 Feb 9;6(2):e16866

Lu QL, Yokota T, Takeda S, Garcia L, Muntoni F, Partridge T. The status of exon skipping as a therapeutic approach to duchenne muscular dystrophy. Mol Ther. 2011 Jan;19(1):9-15.

Yiumo M. Chan, Susan C. Brown, Qi Lu. Second International Workshop for Glycosylation Defects in Muscular Dystrophies, 11–12 November 2010, Charlotte, USA. Brain Pathology 2011 Nov;21(6):699-704

Yiumo Michael Chan, Elizabeth Keramaris-Vrantsis, Hart Lidov, James H. Norton, Natalia Zinchenko, Helen E. Gruber, Randy Thresher, Derek J. Blake, Jignya Ashar, Jeffrey Rosenfeld and Qi L. Lu. Fukutin-related protein is essential for mouse muscle, brain and eye development and mutation recapitulates the wide clinical spectrums of dystroglycanopathies Hum. Mol. Genet. (2010) 19(20): 3995-4006

Lu PJ, Zillmer A, Wu X, Lochmuller H, Vachris J, Blake D, Chan YM, Lu QL. Mutations alter secretion of fukutin-related protein. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010 Feb;1802(2):253-8. Epub 2009 Nov 10

Hu Y, Wu B, Zillmer A, Lu P, Benrashid E, Wang M, Doran T, Shaban M, Wu X, Lu QL. Guanine analogues enhance antisense oligonucleotide-induced exon skipping in dystrophin gene in vitro and in vivo. Mol Ther. 2010 Apr;18(4):812-8 PMID: 20087314

Moulton HM, Wu B, Jearawiriyapaisarn N, Sazani P, Lu QL, Kole R. Peptide-morpholino conjugate: a promising therapeutic for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009; 1175:55-60. PMID: 19796077

Wu B, Lu P, Benrashid E, Malik S, Ashar J, Doran TJ, Lu QL.Dose-dependent restoration of dystrophin expression in cardiac muscle of dystrophic mice by systemically delivered morpholino. Gene Ther. 2009 Sep 17 PMID: 19759562

Wang GQ, Burczynski FJ, Hasinoff BB, Zhang KD, Lu QL, and Anderson JE. Development of a nitric oxide-releasing analog of the muscle relaxant guaifenesin for skeletal muscle satellite myogenesis. Molecular Pharmaceutics. 2009; 6(3):895-904.

Yokota T, Lu QL, Partridge T, Kobayashi M, Nakamura A, Takeda S, Hoffman E. Efficacy of systemic morpholino exon-skipping in duchenne dystrophy dogs. Ann Neurol. 2009 Mar 13. PMID: 19288467

Wu B, Li Y, Morcos PA, Doran TJ, Lu P, Lu QL. Octa-guanidine Morpholino Restores Dystrophin Expression in Cardiac and Skeletal Muscles and Ameliorates Pathology in Dystrophic mdx Mice. Mol Ther. 2009 Mar 10. PMID: 19277018

Yokota T, Takeda S, Lu QL, Partridge TA, Nakamura A, Hoffman EP. A renaissance for antisense oligonucleotide drugs in neurology: exon skipping breaks new ground. Arch Neurol. 2009 Jan;66(1):32-8

Wu B., Moulton HM., Iversen PL., Jiang, J., Li J., Li JB., Spurney CF., Sali A., Guerron AD., Nagaraju K., Doran T., Lu PJ., Xiao X. & Lu QL. Effective rescue of dystrophin restores cardiac functions in dystrophin-deficient mice by a morpholino oligomer. Pro. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. 2008, Sep 30, 105(39):14814-9.

Doran T., Lu PJ., Vanier GS., Collins MJ., Wu B. & Lu QL. Microwave irradiation enhances gene and oligonucleotide delivery and induces effective exon skipping in myoblasts. Gene Ther. 2008, Sep 11. on line.

Chan YM, Brown SC, Lu QL. International Workshop: Glycosylation Defects in Muscular Dystrophies - Enhancing glycosylation to fight muscle diseases, 15-16 May 2008, Charlotte, USA. Neuromuscular Disorders 2008; 18: 1002-1004 [PMID: 18974003]

Elizabeth Keramaris-Vrantsis, Pei J. Lu, Timothy Doran, Allen Zillmer, Jignya Ashar, Christopher T. Esapa, Matthew A. Benson, Derek J. Blake, Jeffrey Rosenfeld and Qi L. Lu. Fukutin-related protein localizes to the Golgi apparatus and mutations lead to mis-localization in muscle in vivo. Muscle & Nerve 2007 Oct;36(4):455-65.

Yokota T, Lu Q, Morgon JE, Davies KE, Fisher S, Tekada S, Partridge T, Expansion of revertant fibers in dystrophic mdx muscles reflects activity of muscle precursor cells and serves as an index of muscle regeneration. J Cell Sci. 2006,119:2679-87.

Alter L., Lou F., Rabinowitz A., Yin H-F., Rosenfeld J., Wilton S., Partridge T., Lu Q.L. Systemic delivery of morpholino oligonucleotide restores dystrophin expression bodywide and improves dystrophic pathology. Nature Medicine. 2006 12 (2): 175-177.

Yun-Chao Chen, Hai-Dong Liang, Qing-Ping Zhang, Martin JK Blomley, Lu Q. L. Pluronic block copolymers: novel functions in ultrasound-mediated gene transfer and against cell damage. Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2006 Jan;32(1):131-7.

Lu Q. L., Rabinowitz A., Chen Y. C., Toshifumi Y., Yin H. F., Alter J., Jadoon A., Bou-Gharios G. and Partridge T. Systemic delivery of antisense oligoribonucleotide restores dystrophin expression in body-wide skeletal muscles. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2005 4;102:198-203.

Liang H. D., Lu Q. L., Xue S. A., Halliwell M., Kodama T., Cosgrove D. O., Stauss H. J., Partridge T. A., Blomley M. J. Optimisation of ultrasound-mediated gene transfer (sonoporation) in skeletal muscle cells. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2004 Nov;30(11):1523-9

Ponticos M., Abraham D., Alexakis C., Lu Q. L., Black C., Partridge T., Bou-Gharios G. Col1a2 enhancer regulates collagen activity during development and in adult tissue repair. Matrix Biol. 2004 Feb;22(8):619-28.

Lu Qi and Terence A. Partridge Antisense therapy corrects nonsense mutation by exon skipping. Discovery Medicine, 2003, 3(19):39-44

*This is the first publication proved that oligonucleotide mediated exon skipping can achieve therapeutic effect in vivo locally with improved functions

Lu Q. L, Christopher J. Mann, Fang Lou, Georges Bou-Gharios, Glenn E. Morris, Shao-an Xue, Sue Fletcher, Terence A. Partridge & Stephen D. Wilton. Functional amounts of dystrophin produced by skipping the mutated exon in the mdx dystrophic mouse. Nature Medicine 2003, 9:1009-1015

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