Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene product is not identical in muscle and brain


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked recessive disorder resulting in progressive degeneration of the muscle. It affects about 1 in 3,500 male children. Seeker's muscular dystrophy is a less severe disease allelic to DMD. Some 30% of DMD patients suffer from various degrees of mental retardation (see ref. 1 for review). The giant DMD gene spans about 2,000 kilobases and codes for a 14-kilobase messenger RNA and a protein of molecular weight 427,000 (ref. 2). DMD mRNA is most abundant in skeletal and cardiac muscle and less so in smooth muscle3,5. We reported that the expression of the gene is developmentally regulated during the differentiation of primary muscle cultures and in myogenic cell lines in a way similar to the expression of muscle-specific genes such as myosin light chain 2 and skeletal muscle actin5. Similar results have been obtained with human primary myogenic cells6. Significant levels of DMD mRNA are found in brain tissue5,7. Here we show that the transcript of the DMD gene and the amino terminal of the encoded protein differ in brain and muscle. The 5′ ends of these mRNA species are derived from different exons. The results suggest that the two mRNA types are transcribed from different promoters.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Moser, H. Hum. Genet. 66, 17–40 (1984).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Koenig, M., Monaco, A. R. & Kunkel, L. M. Cell 53, 219–228 (1988).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Monaco, A. P. et al. Nature 323, 646–650 (1986).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Hoffman, E. P., Monaco, A. P., Feener, C. C. & Kunkel, L. M. Science 238, 347–350 (1987).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Nudel, U., Robzyk, K. & Yaffe, D. Nature 331, 635–638 (1988).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Lev, A. A., Feener, C. C., Kunkel, L. M. & Brown, R. H. Jr J. biol. Chem. 262, 15817–15820 (1987).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Chamberlain, J. S. et al. Science 239, 1416–1418 (1988).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Melton, D. A. et al. Nucleic Acids Res. 12, 7035–7056 (1984).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Koenig, M. et al. Cell 50, 509–517 (1987).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Breitbart, R. E., Andreadis, A. & Nadal-Ginard, B. A. Rev. Biochem. 56, 467–495 (1987).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Auffray, C., Nageotte, R., Chambraud, B. & Rougeon, F. Nucleic Acids Res. 8, 1231–1241 (1980).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Chelly, J., Kaplan, J.-C., Maire, P., Gautron, S. & Kahn, A. Nature 333, 858–860 (1988).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Hoffman, E. P., Hudecki, M. S., Rosenberg, P. A., Pollina, C. M. & Kunkel, L. M. Neuron 1, 411–420 (1988).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Sanger, F., Nicklen, S. & Coulen, A. R. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 74, 5463–5467 (1977).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Maxam, A. M. & Gilbert, W. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 74, 560–564 (1977).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Mueller, P. & Hinnebusch, A. G. Cell 45, 201–207 (1986).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Nudel, U., Zuk, D., Einat, P. et al. Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene product is not identical in muscle and brain. Nature 337, 76–78 (1989).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing