Recent advances in antisense oligonucleotide therapy in genetic neuromuscular diseases

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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Abstract

Genetic neuromuscular diseases are caused by defective expression of nuclear or mitochondrial genes. Mutant genes may reduce expression of wild-type proteins, and strategies to activate expression of the wild-type proteins might provide therapeutic benefits. Also, a toxic mutant protein may cause cell death, and strategies that reduce mutant gene expression may provide therapeutic benefit. Synthetic antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) can recognize cellular RNA and control gene expression. In recent years, advances in ASO chemistry, creation of designer ASO molecules to enhance their safety and target delivery, and scientific controlled clinical trials to ascertain their therapeutic safety and efficacy have led to an era of plausible application of ASO technology to treat currently incurable neuromuscular diseases. Over the past 1 year, for the first time, the United States Food and Drug Administration has approved two ASO therapies in genetic neuromuscular diseases. This overview summarizes the recent advances in ASO technology, evolution and use of synthetic ASOs as a therapeutic platform, and the mechanism of ASO action by exon-skipping in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and exon-inclusion in spinal muscular atrophy, with comments on their advantages and limitations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-8
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Indian Academy of Neurology
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

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Keywords

  • Dystrophy
  • eteplirsen
  • nusinersen
  • oligonucleotide
  • spinal muscular atrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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