REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0265.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: CRISPR; gene editing; Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD); exon skipping; NHEJ; dystrophin
Online: 18 January 2022 (17:30:37 CET)
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked recessive neuromuscular disorder with a prevalence of approximately 1 in 3,500-5,000 males. DMD manifests as childhood-onset muscle degeneration, followed by loss of ambulation, cardiomyopathy, and death in early adulthood due to a lack of functional dystrophin protein. Out-of-frame mutations in the dystrophin gene are the most common underlying cause of DMD. Gene editing via the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) system is a promising therapeutic for DMD, as it can permanently correct DMD mutations and thus restore the reading frame, allowing for the production of functional dystrophin. The specific mechanism of gene editing can vary based on a variety of factors such as the number of cuts generated by CRISPR, the presence of an exogenous DNA template, or the current cell cycle stage. CRISPR-mediated gene editing for DMD has been tested both in vitro and in vivo, with many of these studies discussed herein. Additionally, novel modifications to the CRISPR system such as base or prime editors allow for more precise gene editing. Despite recent advances, limitations remain including delivery efficiency, off-target mutagenesis, and long-term maintenance of dystrophin. Further studies focusing on safety and accuracy of the CRISPR system are necessary prior to clinical translation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0801.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Neuroscience And Neurology Keywords: Dysferlinopathy; limb-girdle muscular dystrophy recessive type 2 (LGMDR2); Miyoshi myopathy; distal myopathy with anterior tibial onset (DMAT); dysferlin; membrane resealing; genetic therapy; mini-dysferlin; exon skipping
Online: 13 November 2023 (10:41:28 CET)
Dysferlinopathies comprise a spectrum of muscular dystrophies characterized by progressive muscle weakness and degeneration due to mutations in the DYSF gene, which encodes the dysferlin protein critical for muscle membrane repair. This review delves into the clinical spectra of dysferlinopathies, their molecular mechanisms, and the spectrum of emerging therapeutic strategies. We explore the phenotypic heterogeneity of dysferlinopathies, highlight the incomplete understanding of genotype-phenotype correlations, and discuss the implications of various DYSF mutations. Furthermore, we examine the utility of animal models in elucidating disease mechanisms and the potential of symptomatic, pharmacological, molecular, and genetic therapies in mitigating the disease's progression. We also consider the roles of diet and metabolism in managing dysferlinopathies, as well as the impact of clinical trials on treatment paradigms. By culminating the complexities inherent in dysferlinopathies, this article emphasizes the need for multidisciplinary approaches, precision medicine, and extensive collaboration in research and clinical trial design to advance our understanding and treatment of these challenging disorders.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1728.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Medicine And Pharmacology Keywords: Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP); heterotopic ossification; bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs); ACVR1; antisense therapy
Online: 26 September 2023 (05:27:10 CEST)
Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) is an enigmatic, ultra-rare genetic disorder characterized by progressive heterotopic ossification, wherein soft connective tissues undergo pathological transformation into bone structures. This incapacitating process severely limits patient mobility and poses formidable challenges for therapeutic intervention. Predominantly caused by missense mutations in the ACVR1 gene, the disorder has hitherto defied comprehensive mechanistic understanding and effective treatment paradigms. This write-up offers a comprehensive overview of the contemporary understanding of FOP's complex pathobiology, underscored by advances in molecular genetics and proteomic studies. We shed light on targeted therapy, spanning genetic therapeutics, enzymatic and transcriptional modulation, stem cell therapies, and innovative immunotherapies. We also focused on the intricate complexities surrounding clinical trial design for ultra-rare disorders like FOP, addressing fundamental statistical limitations, ethical conundrums, and methodological advancements essential for the success of interventional studies. We advocate for the adoption of a multi-disciplinary approach that converges bench-to-bedside research, clinical expertise, and ethical considerations to tackle the challenges of ultra-rare diseases like FOP and comparable ultra-rare diseases. Overall, this article serves a dual role: as a definitive scientific resource for ongoing and future FOP research and as a call to action for innovative solutions to address methodological and ethical challenges that impede progress in the broader field of medical research for ultra-rare conditions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1964.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Neuroscience And Neurology Keywords: Antisense Oligonucleotides; Cell Penetrating Peptides; Delivery; DG9 peptide; Phosphorodi-amidate morpholino oligomers (PMO); Pip; R6G
Online: 29 August 2023 (09:48:58 CEST)
Keywords: Antisense Oligonucleotides, Cell Penetrating Peptides, Delivery, DG9 peptide, Phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (PMO), Pip, R6G.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0139.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Perinatology And Child Health Keywords: eteplirsen; golodirsen; viltolarsen; casimersen; WVE-N531; SRP-5051; DS-5141B; NS-089/NCNP-02; SCAAV9.U7.ACCA; ATL1102
Online: 9 January 2023 (04:18:24 CET)
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a debilitating and fatal genetic disease affecting 1/3500 boys globally, characterized by progressive muscle breakdown and eventual death with an average lifespan in the mid-late twenties. While no cure yet exists for DMD, gene and antisense therapies have been heavily explored in recent years to better treat this disease. Four antisense therapies have received conditional FDA approval, and many more exist in varying stages of clinical trials. These upcoming therapies often utilize novel drug chemistries to address limitations of existing therapies, and their development could herald the next generation of antisense therapy. This review article aims to summarize the current state of development for antisense-based therapies for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, exploring candidates designed for both exon skipping and gene knockdown.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0385.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Cardiac And Cardiovascular Systems Keywords: dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM); hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM); restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM); arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC); left ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy (LVNC); Duchenne muscular dystrophy; dystrophin; genome editing; CRISPR/Cas9; Cpf1 (Cas12a)
Online: 29 December 2019 (13:41:48 CET)
Cardiomyopathies are diseases of heart muscle, a significant percentage of which are genetic in origin. Cardiomyopathies can be classified as dilated, hypertrophic, restrictive, arrhythmogenic right ventricular or left ventricular non-compaction, although mixed morphologies are possible. A subset of neuromuscular disorders, notably Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies, are also characterized by cardiomyopathy aside from skeletal myopathy. The global burden of cardiomyopathies is certainly high, necessitating further research and novel therapies. Genome editing tools, which include zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) systems have emerged as increasingly important technologies in studying this group of cardiovascular disorders. In this review, we discuss the applications of genome editing in the understanding and treatment of cardiomyopathy. We also describe recent advances in genome editing that may help improve these applications, and some future prospects for genome editing in cardiomyopathy treatment.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0018.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD); CRISPR/Cas9; exon skipping therapy; gene editing; human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs); immortalized patient muscle cells; mdx mice; humanized dystrophic mouse models; deltaE50-MD dog model
Online: 2 November 2018 (05:14:23 CET)
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a fatal X-linked recessive neuromuscular disease prevalent in 1 in 3500 to 5000 males worldwide. As a result of mutations that interrupt the reading frame of the dystrophin gene (DMD), DMD is characterized by a loss of dystrophin protein which leads to decreased muscle membrane integrity, which increases susceptibility to degeneration. CRISPR/Cas9 technology has garnered interest as an avenue for DMD therapy due to its potential for permanent exon skipping, which can restore the disrupted DMD reading frame in DMD and lead to dystrophin restoration. An RNA-guided DNA endonuclease system, CRISPR/Cas9 allows for the targeted editing of specific sequences in the genome. The efficacy and safety of CRISPR/Cas9 as a therapy for DMD has been evaluated by numerous studies in vitro and in vivo, with varying rates of success. Despite the potential of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing for the long-term treatment of DMD, its translation into the clinic is currently challenged by issues such as off-targeting, immune response activation, and sub-optimal in vivo delivery. Its nature as being mostly a personalized form of therapy also limits applicability to DMD patients, who exhibit a wide spectrum of mutations. This review summarizes the various CRISPR/Cas9 strategies that have been tested in vitro and in vivo for the treatment of DMD. Perspectives on the approach will be provided, and the challenges faced by CRISPR/Cas9 in its road to the clinic will be briefly discussed.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1409.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Life Sciences Keywords: spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy; antisense therapy; oligonucleotide; splice switching; mRNA knockdown; androgen receptor; AR45
Online: 20 July 2023 (09:53:18 CEST)
Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), also known as Kennedy’s disease, is a debilitating neuromuscular disease characterized by progressive muscular weakness and neuronal degeneration, affecting 1-2 individuals per 100,000 globally. While SBMA is relatively rare, recent studies have shown a significantly higher prevalence of the disease within the indigenous population of Western Canada compared to the general population. The disease is caused by a pathogenic expansion of polyglutamine residues in the androgen receptor protein, which acts as a key transcriptional regulator for numerous genes. SBMA has no cure, and current treatments are primarily supportive and focused on symptom management. Recently, a form of precision medicine known as antisense therapy has gained traction as a promising therapeutic option for numerous neuromuscular diseases. Antisense therapy uses small synthetic oligonucleotides to confer therapeutic benefit by acting on pathogenic mRNA molecules, serving to either degrade pathogenic mRNA transcripts or helping to modulate splicing. Recent studies have explored the suitability of antisense therapy for the treatment of SBMA, primarily focused on antisense-mediated mRNA knockdown approaches. Advancements in understanding the pathogenesis of SBMA and the development of targeted therapies offer hope for improved quality of life for individuals affected by this debilitating condition. Continued research is essential to optimize these genetic approaches, ensuring their safety and efficacy.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0048.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Duchenne muscular dystrophy; CRISPR; animal models; in vivo testing; dystrophin; mutant generation
Online: 4 March 2020 (04:58:48 CET)
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a fatal X-linked recessive neuromuscular disorder most commonly caused by mutations disrupting the reading frame of the dystrophin (DMD) gene. DMD codes for dystrophin, which is critical for maintaining the integrity of muscle cell membranes. Without dystrophin, muscle cells receive heightened mechanical stress, becoming more susceptible to damage. An active body of research continues to explore therapeutic treatments for DMD as well as to further our understanding of the disease. These efforts rely on having reliable animal models that accurately recapitulate disease presentation in humans. While current animal models of DMD have served this purpose quite well, each comes with their own limitations. To help overcome this, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-based technology has been extremely useful in creating novel animal models for DMD. This review focuses on animal models developed for DMD that have been created using CRISPR, their advantages and disadvantages as well as their applications in the DMD field.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0389.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: antisense oligonucleotides; exon skipping; machine learning; ensemble learning; personalized medicine; n-of-1 therapy, splice switching; genetic disease; splicing; RNA
Online: 22 March 2023 (03:24:48 CET)
Antisense oligonucleotide (ASO)-mediated exon skipping has become a valuable tool for investigating gene function and developing gene therapy. Machine learning-based computational methods such as eSkip-Finder have been developed to predict the efficacy of ASOs via exon skipping. However, these methods are computationally demanding, and the accuracy of predictions remains suboptimal. In this study, we propose a new approach to reduce computational burden and improve prediction performance by using feature selection within machine learning algorithms and ensemble learning techniques. We evaluated our approach using a dataset of experimentally validated exon skipping events, dividing it into training and testing sets. Our results demonstrate that using a 3-way voting approach with random forest, gradient boosting, and XGBoost can significantly reduce computation time to under ten seconds while improving prediction performance, as measured by R2 for both 2’-O-methyl nucleotides (2OMe) and phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (PMOs). Additionally, the feature importance ranking derived from our approach is in good agreement with previously published results. Our findings suggest that our approach has the potential to enhance the accuracy and efficiency of predicting ASO efficacy via exon skipping. It could also facilitate the development of novel therapeutic strategies. This study could contribute to the ongoing efforts to improve ASO design and optimize gene therapy approaches.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0167.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: antisense oligonucleotides; exon skipping; machine learning; ensemble learning; personalized medicine; n-of-1 therapy; splice switching; genetic disease; splicing; RNA
Online: 9 March 2023 (04:43:55 CET)
Antisense oligonucleotide (ASO)-mediated exon skipping has emerged as a powerful tool for examining the function of genes and exons in basic research, as well as gene therapy. Computational methods, such as eSkip-Finder, have been developed to predict the efficacy of ASOs via exon skipping using machine learning. However, these methods can be computationally demanding and the prediction accuracy of the tool is not yet optimal. In this study, we propose an approach to reduce computational burden and improve prediction performance by utilizing feature selection within machine learning algorithms and employing ensemble learning techniques. The method was evaluated using a dataset of genes with experimentally validated exon skipping events. The dataset was divided into training and testing sets to assess the accuracy of the algorithm. Our results demonstrate that using a 3-way voting approach with random forest, gradient boosting, and XGBoost can significantly reduce computation time to under ten seconds while improving prediction performance, as measured by R2 for both 2’-O-methyl nucleotides (2OMe) and phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (PMOs). Additionally, the feature importance ranking derived from our approach is in good agreement with previously published results. These findings suggest that this approach has the potential to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of predicting ASO efficacy via exon skipping, facilitating the development of novel therapeutic strategies.