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Barcelona, Spain

Also-Rallo E.,CIBERER U 705 ISCIII | Alias L.,CIBERER U 705 ISCIII | Martinez-Hernandez R.,CIBERER U 705 ISCIII | Caselles L.,CIBERER U 705 ISCIII | And 4 more authors.
European Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2011

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic neuromuscular disorder caused by mutations in the SMN1 gene. The homologous copy (SMN2) is always present in SMA patients. SMN1 gene transcripts are usually full-length (FL), but exon 7 is spliced out in a high proportion of SMN2 transcripts (delta7) (Δ7). Advances in drug therapy for SMA have shown that an increase in SMN mRNA and protein levels can be achieved in vitro. We performed a systematic analysis of SMN expression in primary fibroblasts and EBV-transformed lymphoblasts from seven SMA patients with varying clinical severity and different SMN1 genotypes to determine expression differences in two accessible tissues (skin and blood). The basal expression of SMN mRNA FL and Δ7 in fibroblasts and lymphoblasts was analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR. The FL-SMN and FL/Δ7 SMN ratios were higher in control cells than in patients. Furthermore, we investigated the response of these cell lines to hydroxyurea, valproate and phenylbutyrate, drugs previously reported to upregulate SMN2. The response to treatments with these compounds was heterogeneous. We found both intra-patient and inter-patient variability even within haploidentical siblings, suggesting that tissue and individual factors may affect the response to these compounds. To optimize the stratification of patients in clinical trials, in vitro studies should be performed before enrolment so as to define each patient as a responder or non-responder to the compound under investigation. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved. Source

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