Ultrasound-enhanced delivery of morpholino with Bubble liposomes ameliorates the myotonia of myotonic dystrophy model mice.
ABSTRACT: Phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligonucleotide (PMO)-mediated control of the alternative splicing of the chloride channel 1 (CLCN1) gene is a promising treatment for myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) because the abnormal splicing of this gene causes myotonia in patients with DM1. In this study, we optimised a PMO sequence to correct Clcn1 alternative splicing and successfully remedied the myotonic phenotype of a DM1 mouse model, the HSALR mouse. To enhance the efficiency of delivery of PMO into HSALR mouse muscles, Bubble liposomes, which have been used as a gene delivery tool, were applied with ultrasound exposure. Effective delivery of PMO led to increased expression of Clcn1 protein in skeletal muscle and the amelioration of myotonia. Thus, PMO-mediated control of the alternative splicing of the Clcn1 gene must be important target of antisense therapy of DM1.
Project description:Functional depletion of the alternative splicing factors Muscleblind-like (MBNL 1 and 2) is at the basis of the neuromuscular disease myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1). We previously showed the efficacy of miRNA downregulation in Drosophila DM1 model. Here, we screen for miRNAs that regulate MBNL1 and MBNL2 in HeLa cells. We thus identify miR-23b and miR-218, and confirm that they downregulate MBNL proteins in this cell line. Antagonists of miR-23b and miR-218 miRNAs enhance MBNL protein levels and rescue pathogenic missplicing events in DM1 myoblasts. Systemic delivery of these "antagomiRs" similarly boost MBNL expression and improve DM1-like phenotypes, including splicing alterations, histopathology, and myotonia in the HSALR DM1 model mice. These mammalian data provide evidence for therapeutic blocking of the miRNAs that control Muscleblind-like protein expression in myotonic dystrophy.
Project description:Myotonic dystrophy type I (DM1) is a disabling multisystemic disease that predominantly affects skeletal muscle. It is caused by expanded CTG repeats in the 3'-UTR of the dystrophia myotonica protein kinase (DMPK) gene. RNA hairpins formed by elongated DMPK transcripts sequester RNA-binding proteins, leading to mis-splicing of numerous pre-mRNAs. Here, we have investigated whether DM1-associated muscle pathology is related to deregulation of central metabolic pathways, which may identify potential therapeutic targets for the disease. In a well-characterized mouse model for DM1 (HSALR mice), activation of AMPK signaling in muscle was impaired under starved conditions, while mTORC1 signaling remained active. In parallel, autophagic flux was perturbed in HSALR muscle and in cultured human DM1 myotubes. Pharmacological approaches targeting AMPK/mTORC1 signaling greatly ameliorated muscle function in HSALR mice. AICAR, an AMPK activator, led to a strong reduction of myotonia, which was accompanied by partial correction of misregulated alternative splicing. Rapamycin, an mTORC1 inhibitor, improved muscle relaxation and increased muscle force in HSALR mice without affecting splicing. These findings highlight the involvement of AMPK/mTORC1 deregulation in DM1 muscle pathophysiology and may open potential avenues for the treatment of this disease.
Project description:Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is the most common muscular dystrophy in adults and as yet no cure for DM1. Here, we report the potential of manumycin A for a novel DM1 therapeutic reagent. DM1 is caused by expansion of CTG repeat. Mutant transcripts containing expanded CUG repeats lead to aberrant regulation of alternative splicing. Myotonia (delayed muscle relaxation) is the most commonly observed symptom in DM1 patients and is caused by aberrant splicing of the skeletal muscle chloride channel (CLCN1) gene. Identification of small-molecule compounds that correct aberrant splicing in DM1 is attracting much attention as a way of improving understanding of the mechanism of DM1 pathology and improving treatment of DM1 patients. In this study, we generated a reporter screening system and searched for small-molecule compounds. We found that manumycin A corrects aberrant splicing of Clcn1 in cell and mouse models of DM1.
Project description:Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) targeting pathologic RNAs have shown promising therapeutic corrections for many genetic diseases including myotonic dystrophy (DM1). Thus, ASO strategies for DM1 can abolish the toxic RNA gain-of-function mechanism caused by nucleus-retained mutant DMPK (DM1 protein kinase) transcripts containing CUG expansions (CUGexps). However, systemic use of ASOs for this muscular disease remains challenging due to poor drug distribution to skeletal muscle. To overcome this limitation, we test an arginine-rich Pip6a cell-penetrating peptide and show that Pip6a-conjugated morpholino phosphorodiamidate oligomer (PMO) dramatically enhanced ASO delivery into striated muscles of DM1 mice following systemic administration in comparison with unconjugated PMO and other ASO strategies. Thus, low-dose treatment with Pip6a-PMO-CAG targeting pathologic expansions is sufficient to reverse both splicing defects and myotonia in DM1 mice and normalizes the overall disease transcriptome. Moreover, treated DM1 patient-derived muscle cells showed that Pip6a-PMO-CAG specifically targets mutant CUGexp-DMPK transcripts to abrogate the detrimental sequestration of MBNL1 splicing factor by nuclear RNA foci and consequently MBNL1 functional loss, responsible for splicing defects and muscle dysfunction. Our results demonstrate that Pip6a-PMO-CAG induces long-lasting correction with high efficacy of DM1-associated phenotypes at both molecular and functional levels, and strongly support the use of advanced peptide conjugates for systemic corrective therapy in DM1.
Project description:Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is a life-threatening and chronically debilitating neuromuscular disease caused by the expansion of a CTG trinucleotide repeat in the 3' UTR of the DMPK gene. The mutant RNA forms insoluble structures capable of sequestering RNA binding proteins of the Muscleblind-like (MBNL) family, which ultimately leads to phenotypes. In this work, we demonstrate that treatment with the antiautophagic drug chloroquine was sufficient to up-regulate MBNL1 and 2 proteins in Drosophila and mouse (HSALR) models and patient-derived myoblasts. Extra Muscleblind was functional at the molecular level and improved splicing events regulated by MBNLs in all disease models. In vivo, chloroquine restored locomotion, rescued average cross-sectional muscle area, and extended median survival in DM1 flies. In HSALR mice, the drug restored muscular strength and histopathology signs and reduced the grade of myotonia. Taken together, these results offer a means to replenish critically low MBNL levels in DM1.
Project description:Expanded CUG repeat RNA in the dystrophia myotonia protein kinase (DMPK) gene causes myotonic dystrophy type?1 (DM1) and sequesters RNA processing proteins, such as the splicing factor muscleblind-like 1 protein (MBNL1). Sequestration of splicing factors results in the mis-splicing of some pre-mRNAs. Small molecules that rescue the mis-splicing in the DM1 cells have drawn attention as potential drugs to treat DM1. Herein we report a new molecule JM642 consisted of two 1,3-diaminoisoquinoline chromophores having an auxiliary aromatic unit at the C5 position. JM642 alternates the splicing pattern of the pre-mRNA of the Ldb3 gene in the DM1 cell model and Clcn1 and Atp2a1 genes in the DM1 mouse model. In vitro binding analysis by surface plasmon resonance (SPR) assay to the r(CUG) repeat and disruption of ribonuclear foci in the DM1 cell model suggested the binding of JM642 to the expanded r(CUG) repeat in vivo, eventually rescue the mis-splicing.
Project description:Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is an RNA dominant disease in which mutant transcripts containing an expanded CUG repeat (CUGexp) cause muscle dysfunction by interfering with biogenesis of other mRNAs. The toxic effects of mutant RNA are mediated partly through sequestration of splicing regulator Muscleblind-like 1 (Mbnl1), a protein that binds to CUGexp RNA. A gene that is prominently affected encodes chloride channel 1 (Clcn1), resulting in hyperexcitability of muscle (myotonia). To identify DM1-affected genes and study mechanisms for dysregulation, we performed global mRNA profiling in transgenic mice that express CUGexp RNA, as compared to Mbnl1 knockout and Clcn1 null mice. We found that the majority of changes induced by CUGexp RNA in skeletal muscle can be explained by reduced activity of Mbnl1, including many changes that are secondary to myotonia. The pathway most affected comprises genes involved in calcium signaling and homeostasis. Some effects of CUGexp RNA on gene expression are caused by abnormal alternative splicing or downregulation of Mbnl1-interacting mRNAs. However, several of the most highly dysregulated genes showed altered transcription, as indicated by parallel changes of the corresponding premRNAs. These results support the idea that trans-dominant effects of CUGexp RNA on gene expression in this transgenic model may occur at the level of transcription, RNA processing, and mRNA decay, and are mediated mainly but not entirely through sequestration of Mbnl1. Experiment Overall Design: All experiments involved generating expression profiles of quadriceps muscles taken from mice. Experiments 1 and 2: samples were hybridized to Moe430A and Moe430B arrays. Experiment 3: samples were hybridized to Mouse Genome 430 2.0 array. Experiment 1 compared expression profiles of wild-type mice (FVB strain) with two lines, designated 20b and 41, of CUGexp transgenic mice with FVB background. Experiment 2 compared expression profiles of Clcn1-null (myotonic) mice with the wild-type background strain (BALB). Experiment 3 compared expression profiles of Mbnl1-null mice with the wild-type background strain (FVB).
Project description:Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is a genetic disorder characterized by muscle wasting, myotonia, cataracts, cardiac arrhythmia, hyperinsulinism and intellectual deficits, and is caused by expansion of a CTG repeat in the 3'UTR of the Dystrophia Myotonica-Protein Kinase (DMPK) gene. The DMPK transcripts containing expanded CUG repeats accumulate in nuclear foci and ultimately cause mis-splicing of secondary genes through the dysregulation of RNA-binding proteins including Muscleblind 1 (MBNL1) and CUG binding protein 1 (CUGBP1). Correction of mis-splicing of genes such as the Skeletal muscle-specific chloride channel 1 (CLCN1), Cardiac troponin T (TNNT2), Insulin receptor (INSR) and Sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)ATPase 1 (SERCA1) may alleviate some of the symptoms of DM1; hence identification of small molecule modulators is an important step towards a therapy for DM1 patients. Here we describe the generation of immortalized myoblast cell lines derived from healthy (DMPK CTG(5)) and DM1 patient (DMPK CTG(1000)) fibroblasts by constitutive overexpression of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) and inducible overexpression of the Myoblast determination factor (MYOD). MBNL1-containing nuclear foci, mis-splicing events and defective myotube differentiation defects characteristic of DM1 were observed in these cells. A CLCN1 luciferase minigene construct (CLCN1-luc) was stably introduced to monitor intron 2 retention in the DM1 cellular context (a reported splicing defect in DM1). The assay was validated by performing a high-throughput screen (HTS) of ~13,000 low molecular weight compounds against the CLCN1-luc DM1 myoblast cell line, providing an ideal system for conducting HTS to better understand and treat DM1.
Project description:Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is a chronically debilitating, rare genetic disease that originates from an expansion of a noncoding CTG repeat in the dystrophia myotonica protein kinase (DMPK) gene. The expansion becomes pathogenic when DMPK transcripts contain 50 or more repetitions due to the sequestration of the muscleblind-like (MBNL) family of proteins. Depletion of MBNLs causes alterations in splicing patterns in transcripts that contribute to clinical symptoms such as myotonia and muscle weakness and wasting. We previously found that microRNA (miR)-23b directly regulates MBNL1 in DM1 myoblasts and mice and that antisense technology ("antagomiRs") blocking this microRNA (miRNA) boosts MBNL1 protein levels. Here, we show the therapeutic effect over time in response to administration of antagomiR-23b as a treatment in human skeletal actin long repeat (HSALR) mice. Subcutaneous administration of antagomiR-23b upregulated the expression of MBNL1 protein and rescued splicing alterations, grip strength, and myotonia in a dose-dependent manner with long-lasting effects. Additionally, the effects of the treatment on grip strength and myotonia were still slightly notable after 45 days. The pharmacokinetic data obtained provide further evidence that miR-23b could be a valid therapeutic target for DM1.
Project description:Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is an autosomal dominant, CTG•CAG microsatellite expansion disease. Expanded CUG repeat RNA sequester the muscleblind-like (MBNL) family of RNA-binding proteins, thereby disrupting their normal cellular function which leads to global mis-regulation of RNA processing. Previously, the small molecule furamidine was shown to reduce CUG foci and rescue mis-splicing in a DM1 HeLa cell model and to rescue mis-splicing in the HSALR DM1 mouse model, but furamidine's mechanism of action was not explored. Here we use a combination of biochemical, cell toxicity, and genomic studies in DM1 patient-derived myotubes and the HSALR DM1 mouse model to investigate furamidine's mechanism of action. Mis-splicing rescue was observed in DM1 myotubes and the HSALR DM1 mouse with furamidine treatment. Interestingly, while furamidine was found to bind CTG•CAG repeat DNA with nanomolar affinity, a reduction in expanded CUG repeat transcript levels was observed in the HSALR DM1 mouse but not DM1 patient-derived myotubes. Further investigation in these cells revealed that furamidine treatment at nanomolar concentrations led to up-regulation of MBNL1 and MBNL2 protein levels and a reduction of ribonuclear foci. Additionally, furamidine was shown to bind CUG RNA with nanomolar affinity and disrupted the MBNL1 -CUG RNA complex in vitro at micromolar concentrations. Furamidine's likely promiscuous interactions in vitro and in vivo appear to affect multiple pathways in the DM1 mechanism to rescue mis-splicing, yet surprisingly furamidine was shown globally to rescue many mis-splicing events with only modest off-target effects on gene expression in the HSALR DM1 mouse model. Importantly, over 20% of the differentially expressed genes were shown to be returned, to varying degrees, to wild-type expression levels.