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Nucleic Acid Ther. 2014 Jun;24(3):199-209. doi: 10.1089/nat.2013.0476. Epub 2014 Apr 2.

Exploring the effect of sequence length and composition on allele-selective inhibition of human huntingtin expression by single-stranded silencing RNAs.

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1
1 Departments of Pharmacology and Biochemistry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas , Dallas, Texas.

Abstract

Mutant huntingtin (HTT) protein is the cause of Huntington's disease (HD), an incurable neurological disorder. Almost all patients are heterozygous for mutant HTT and approaches that reduce levels of mutant HTT while leaving expression of wild-type HTT intact might be ideal options for therapeutic development. We have developed several allele-selective strategies for silencing HTT, including single-stranded silencing RNAs (ss-siRNAs). ss-siRNAs are oligonucleotides containing chemical modifications that permit action through the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway. Modified ss-siRNAs chosen to test the effects of varying oligomer length, lipid modification, the introduction of mismatched bases, and variation of chemical modification. We find that several modified ss-siRNA are potent and allele-selective inhibitors of HTT expression. An ss-siRNA with three mismatched bases relative to the CAG repeat was an allele-selective inhibitor of HTT expression in the HdhQ175 mouse model. Multiple allele-selective ss-siRNAs provide a wide platform of modifications to draw on for further optimization and therapeutic development. Our data provide insights into how ss-siRNAs can be modified to improve their properties and facilitate the discovery of the lead compounds necessary for further development.

PMID:
24694346
PMCID:
PMC4026301
DOI:
10.1089/nat.2013.0476
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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