Gene Therapy for Huntington's Disease Using Targeted Endonucleases.

07:00 EST 1st January 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Gene Therapy for Huntington's Disease Using Targeted Endonucleases."

Huntington's disease (HD) is a hereditary neurological disorder caused by expansion of the CAG repeat tract in the huntingtin gene (HTT). The mutant protein with a long polyglutamine tract is toxic to cells, especially neurons, leading to their progressive degeneration. Similar to many other monogenic diseases, HD is a good target for gene therapy approaches, including the use of programmable endonucleases. Here, we describe a protocol for HTT gene knock out using a modified Cas9 protein (nickase, Cas9n) and a pair of sgRNAs flanking the repeats. Recently, we showed that excision of the CAG repeat tract resulted in a frameshift mutation and premature translation termination. As a model, we used HD patient-derived fibroblasts electroporated with a pair of plasmid vectors expressing CRISPR-Cas9n tools. Efficient HTT inactivation independent of the CAG tract length was confirmed by Western blotting. A modified version of this protocol involving precise excision of the CAG repeats and insertion of a new DNA sequence by homology directed repair may also be used for the generation of new isogenic cellular models of HD.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
ISSN: 1940-6029
Pages: 269-284


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Membrane glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored glycoproteins that may aggregate into rod-like structures. The prion protein (PRNP) gene is characterized by five TANDEM REPEAT SEQUENCES that encode a highly unstable protein region of five octapeptide repeats. Mutations in the repeat region and elsewhere in this gene are associated with CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB DISEASE; FATAL FAMILIAL INSOMNIA; GERSTMANN-STRAUSSLER DISEASE; Huntington disease-like 1, and KURU.

Treatments with drugs which interact with or block synthesis of specific cellular components characteristic of the individual's disease in order to stop or interrupt the specific biochemical dysfunction involved in progression of the disease.

The introduction of new genes into cells for the purpose of treating disease by restoring or adding gene expression. Techniques include insertion of retroviral vectors, transfection, homologous recombination, and injection of new genes into the nuclei of single cell embryos. The entire gene therapy process may consist of multiple steps. The new genes may be introduced into proliferating cells in vivo (e.g., bone marrow) or in vitro (e.g., fibroblast cultures) and the modified cells transferred to the site where the gene expression is required. Gene therapy may be particularly useful for treating enzyme deficiency diseases, hemoglobinopathies, and leukemias and may also prove useful in restoring drug sensitivity, particularly for leukemia.

Radiotherapy where cytotoxic radionuclides are linked to antibodies in order to deliver toxins directly to tumor targets. Therapy with targeted radiation rather than antibody-targeted toxins (IMMUNOTOXINS) has the advantage that adjacent tumor cells, which lack the appropriate antigenic determinants, can be destroyed by radiation cross-fire. Radioimmunotherapy is sometimes called targeted radiotherapy, but this latter term can also refer to radionuclides linked to non-immune molecules (see RADIOTHERAPY).

A protein that is highly expressed in the nervous system as well as other tissues; its size and structure vary due to polymorphisms. Expanded CAG TRINUCLEOTIDE REPEATS have been identified in the Huntingtin (HD) Gene of patients with HUNTINGTON DISEASE and are associated with abnormal PROTEIN AGGREGATES. Huntingtin interacts with proteins involved in a variety of gene expression and cellular processes; it is also essential for embryonic development.

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