Substituting the next-best protein

Children born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy have a mutation in the X-chromosome gene that would normally code for dystrophin, a protein that provides structural integrity to skeletal muscles. The loss of this protein causes severe symptoms, including deteriorating muscle strength beginning around the age of four. While there is no cure, a promising area of research has developed around the protein utrophin, which is ~ 80% identical to dystrophin and even takes its place early during muscle development.