Doxycycline-controlled splicing modulation by regulated antisense U7 snRNA expression cassettes

Marquis, J.; Kampfer, S.S.; Angehrn, L.; Schümperli, Daniel (2009). Doxycycline-controlled splicing modulation by regulated antisense U7 snRNA expression cassettes. Gene therapy, 16(1), pp. 70-7. London: Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/gt.2008.138

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Many diseases affect pre-mRNA splicing, and alternative splicing is a major source of proteome diversity and an important mechanism for modulating gene expression. The ability to regulate a specific splicing event is therefore desirable; for example, to understand splicing-associated pathologies. We have developed methods based on modified U7 snRNAs, which allow us to induce efficient skipping or inclusion of selected exons. Here, we have adapted these U7 tools to a regulatable system that relies on a doxycycline-sensitive version of the Kruppel-associated box (KRAB)/KAP1 transcriptional silencing. Co-transduction of target cells with two lentiviral vectors, one carrying the KRAB protein and the other the regulatable U7 cassette, allows a tight regulation of the modified U7 snRNA. No leakage is observed in the repressed state, whereas full induction can be obtained with doxycycline in ng ml(-1) concentrations. Only a few days are necessary for a full switch, and the induction/repression can be repeated over several cycles without noticeable loss of control. Importantly, the U7 expression correlates with splicing correction, as shown for the skipping of an aberrant beta-globin exon created by a thalassaemic mutation and the promotion of exon 7 inclusion in the human SMN2 gene, an important therapeutic target for spinal muscular atrophy.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Cell Biology

UniBE Contributor:

Schümperli, Daniel


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




Nature Publishing Group




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:21

Last Modified:

26 Feb 2016 06:12

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:




URI: (FactScience: 205846)

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