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Hum Mol Genet. 2004 May 1;13(9):893-903. Epub 2004 Mar 3.

Aminoglycoside-mediated rescue of a disease-causing nonsense mutation in the V2 vasopressin receptor gene in vitro and in vivo.

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  • 1Institute of Biochemistry, Department of Molecular Biochemistry, Medical Faculty, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.


Many human diseases are caused by inactivating mutations in specific G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). In about 10% of these cases, a premature stop codon leads to the generation of a truncated, functionally inactive receptor protein. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that such GPCR mutations can be functionally rescued in vitro and in vivo by treatment with aminoglycoside antibiotics, which are known for their ability to suppress premature termination codons. As a model system, we studied a mutant V2 vasopressin receptor (AVPR2) containing the inactivating E242X nonsense mutation which mimics human X-linked nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (XNDI) when introduced into mice via gene targeting techniques. Studies with cultured mammalian cells expressing the E242X mutant receptor showed that G418 (geneticin) was by far the most potent aminoglycoside antibiotic capable of suppressing the E242X nonsense codon. Strikingly, G418 treatment increased AVP-mediated cAMP responses in cultured kidney collecting duct cells prepared from E242X mutant mice in vitro, and significantly improved the urine-concentrating ability of E242X mutant mice in vivo. This is the first study demonstrating that G418 (aminoglycosides) can ameliorate the clinical symptoms of a disease-causing premature stop codon in a member of the GPCR superfamily.

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