Evaluation of systemic gentamicin as translational readthrough therapy for a patient with epidermolysis bullosa simplex with muscular dystrophy owing to PLEC1 pathogenic nonsense variants. Articles uri icon

publication date

  • March 2022

start page

  • 439

end page

  • 443


  • 4


  • 158

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2168-6068


  • Importance: Epidermolysis bullosa simplex with muscular dystrophy (EBS-MD) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by pathogenic variants in PLEC1, which encodes plectin. It is characterized by mild mucocutaneous fragility and blistering and muscle weakness. Translational readthrough-inducing drugs, such as repurposed aminoglycoside antibiotics, may represent a valuable therapeutic alternative for untreatable rare diseases caused by nonsense variants.

    Objective: To evaluate whether systemic gentamicin, at a dose of 7.5 mg/kg/d for 14 consecutive days, is clinically beneficial in a patient with EBS-MD.

    Design, Setting, and Participants: A single patient in Madrid, Spain, received 2 treatment courses with gentamicin on July 2019 and February 2020 with a follow-up period of 120 and 150 days, respectively.

    Results: In this case report of a woman in her 30s with EBS-MD, before gentamicin treatment, the patient had mucocutaneous involvement, skeletal and respiratory muscle weakness, and myalgia that negatively affected her quality of life. Outcomes were evaluated with extensive laboratory tests and clinical scales. No nephrotoxic or ototoxic effects were detected after intravenous gentamicin administration. Gentamicin treatment was followed by plectin expression in the skin for at least 5 months. Although minimal changes were noted in skeletal muscle function (as measured by the Hammersmith functional motor scale and its expanded version: 6/40 to 7/40 and from 10/66 to 11/66, respectively) and respiratory musculature (maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures D0 vs D16, MIP: 2.86 vs 3.63 KPa and MEP: 2.93 vs 4.63 KPa), myalgia disappeared (VAS dropped from 6 to 0), and quality of life improved (EuroQoL-5D-3L pain and anxiety dropped from 2 to 1).

    Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this single case report suggest that gentamicin treatment may help suppress PLEC1 premature termination codons and induce plectin expression in EBS-MD primary keratinocytes and skin. Our study suggests that gentamicin may play an important role in treating EBS-MD owing to nonsense variants.


  • dermatology; genetics and genomics; muscular dystrophy; neurology; neuromuscular diseases; pediatrics