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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1999 Jul 5;260(2):313-7.

Inosine(15.1) hammerhead ribozymes for targeting the transthyretin-30 mutation.

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Department of Gastroenterologie and Hepatologie, Medical School Hannover, Hannover, D-30623, Germany.


The most common cause of hereditary amyloidosis (HA) is the val30met mutation in the transthyretin protein (TTR-met30). The mutation is caused by a mononucleic substitution from G to A (GUC to AUC) in the transthyretin gene resulting in the exchange for the amino acids valine to methionine in the corresponding protein sequence. The aim of our work was the development of a specific cleavage of TTR-30 mRNA using hammerhead ribozymes. We chemically modified nuclease stable hammerhead ribozymes to target the TTR-30 mRNA with high specificity. The exchange of adenosine(15.1) with inosine(15.1) in the catalytic core of the hammerhead ribozyme resulted in a change of the cleavable target sequence from N(16.2)U(16.1)H(17) to N(16. 2)C(16.1)H(17) without loss in ribozymal activity (Nucleic Acids Res. 26, 2279-2285, 1998). This modification allowed a specific cleavage of the TTR-30 mutation ("gCC Gug" to "gCC Aug"). In vitro experiments with TTR-30 mRNA demonstrated that the RNase stable inosine(15.1) hammerhead ribozyme cleaved the TTR-30 mRNA with 100% specificity and with a velocity of 0.23 min(-1), whereas no cleavage occured in the wildtype mRNA of TTR. In conclusion, the development of this NCH specific hammerhead ribozyme represents a promising tool for future in vivo therapeutic application for TTR-met30 induced hereditary amyloidosis.

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