Functional correction in mouse models of muscular dystrophy using exon-skipping tricyclo-DNA oligomers

Goyenvalle, Aurelie; Griffith, Graziella; Babbs, Arran; Andaloussi, Samir El; Ezzat, Kariem; Avril, Aurelie; Dugovic, Branislav; Chaussenot, Remi; Ferry, Arnaud; Voit, Thomas; Amthor, Helge; Bühr, Claudia; Schürch, Stefan; Wood, Matthew J. A.; Davies, Kay E.; Vaillend, Cyrille; Leumann, Christian; Garcia, Luis (2015). Functional correction in mouse models of muscular dystrophy using exon-skipping tricyclo-DNA oligomers. Nature medicine, 21(3), pp. 270-275. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/nm.3765

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Antisense oligonucleotides (AONs) hold promise for therapeutic correction of many genetic diseases via exon skipping, and the first AON-based drugs have entered clinical trials for neuromuscular disorders1, 2. However, despite advances in AON chemistry and design, systemic use of AONs is limited because of poor tissue uptake, and recent clinical reports confirm that sufficient therapeutic efficacy has not yet been achieved. Here we present a new class of AONs made of tricyclo-DNA (tcDNA), which displays unique pharmacological properties and unprecedented uptake by many tissues after systemic administration. We demonstrate these properties in two mouse models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a neurogenetic disease typically caused by frame-shifting deletions or nonsense mutations in the gene encoding dystrophin3, 4 and characterized by progressive muscle weakness, cardiomyopathy, respiratory failure5 and neurocognitive impairment6. Although current naked AONs do not enter the heart or cross the blood-brain barrier to any substantial extent, we show that systemic delivery of tcDNA-AONs promotes a high degree of rescue of dystrophin expression in skeletal muscles, the heart and, to a lesser extent, the brain. Our results demonstrate for the first time a physiological improvement of cardio-respiratory functions and a correction of behavioral features in DMD model mice. This makes tcDNA-AON chemistry particularly attractive as a potential future therapy for patients with DMD and other neuromuscular disorders or with other diseases that are eligible for exon-skipping approaches requiring whole-body treatment.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Departement of Chemistry and Biochemistry

UniBE Contributor:

Dugovic, Branislav; Bühr, Claudia; Schürch, Stefan and Leumann, Christian

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry

ISSN:

1078-8956

Publisher:

Nature Publishing Group

Language:

English

Submitter:

Christian Leumann

Date Deposited:

16 Mar 2015 14:39

Last Modified:

26 Aug 2015 09:46

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/nm.3765

Additional Information:

Type of Work: Letter

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.64874

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/64874

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