Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam

Rotterdam, Netherlands
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van der Wal E.,Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam | van der Wal E.,Erasmus Medical Center | Bergsma A.J.,Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam | Bergsma A.J.,Erasmus Medical Center | And 5 more authors.
Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids | Year: 2017

The most common variant causing Pompe disease is c.-32-13T>G (IVS1) in the acid α-glucosidase (GAA) gene, which weakens the splice acceptor of GAA exon 2 and induces partial and complete exon 2 skipping. It also allows a low level of leaky wild-type splicing, leading to a childhood/adult phenotype. We hypothesized that cis-acting splicing motifs may exist that could be blocked using antisense oligonucleotides (AONs) to promote exon inclusion. To test this, a screen was performed in patient-derived primary fibroblasts using a tiling array of U7 small nuclear RNA (snRNA)-based AONs. This resulted in the identification of a splicing regulatory element in GAA intron 1. We designed phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer-based AONs to this element, and these promoted exon 2 inclusion and enhanced GAA enzyme activity to levels above the disease threshold. These results indicate that the common IVS1 GAA splicing variant in Pompe disease is subject to negative regulation, and inhibition of a splicing regulatory element using AONs is able to restore canonical GAA splicing and endogenous GAA enzyme activity. © 2017 The Author(s)

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