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Mol Ther. 2011 Dec;19(12):2178-85. doi: 10.1038/mt.2011.201. Epub 2011 Oct 4.

Potent and selective antisense oligonucleotides targeting single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the Huntington disease gene / allele-specific silencing of mutant huntingtin.

Author information

  • 1Program in Neuroscience, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, Child and Family Research Institute, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Abstract

Huntington disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by CAG-expansion in the huntingtin gene (HTT) that results in a toxic gain of function in the mutant huntingtin protein (mHTT). Reducing the expression of mHTT is therefore an attractive therapy for HD. However, wild-type HTT protein is essential for development and has critical roles in maintaining neuronal health. Therapies for HD that reduce wild-type HTT may therefore generate unintended negative consequences. We have identified single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) targets in the human HD population for the disease-specific targeting of the HTT gene. Using primary cells from patients with HD and the transgenic YAC18 and BACHD mouse lines, we developed antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) molecules that potently and selectively silence mHTT at both exonic and intronic SNP sites. Modification of these ASOs with S-constrained-ethyl (cET) motifs significantly improves potency while maintaining allele selectively in vitro. The developed ASO is potent and selective for mHTT in vivo after delivery to the mouse brain. We demonstrate that potent and selective allele-specific knockdown of the mHTT protein can be achieved at therapeutically relevant SNP sites using ASOs in vitro and in vivo.

PMID:
21971427
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3242664
Free PMC Article
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