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Muscling in on microarrays

Expression profiling of skeletal muscle from Duchenne patients identifies a hundred associated genes.

Jonathan Weitzman(jonathanweitzman@hotmail.com)

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a degenerative disease of the skeletal muscle fibers and is caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. In the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Judith Haslett and colleagues have used microarray analysis of muscle from DMD patient biopsies to gain insights into the molecular pathways affected in dystrophic skeletal muscle (PNAS, doi/10.1073/pnas.192571199, October 28, 2002).

Twelve quadriceps biopsies from DMD patients were compared with unaffected controls and the hybridization data analyzed using two different statistical methods (t test analysis and geometric fold-change analysis). Over one hundred genes were identified, many of which fit with the histopathology of the disease, for example, several components of the proliferating connective tissue were found to be overexpressed in DMD muscle.

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