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A single administration of morpholino antisense oligomer rescues spinal muscular atrophy in mouse

Porensky, P.N., Mitrpant, C., McGovern, V.L., Bevan, A.K., Foust, K.D., Kaspar, B.K., Wilton, S.D. and Burghes, A.H.M. (2012) A single administration of morpholino antisense oligomer rescues spinal muscular atrophy in mouse. Human Molecular Genetics, 21 (7). pp. 1625-1638.

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Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by α-motor neuron loss in the spinal cord anterior horn. SMA results from deletion or mutation of the Survival Motor Neuron 1 gene (SMN1) and retention of SMN2. A single nucleotide difference between SMN1 and SMN2 results in exclusion of exon 7 from the majority of SMN2 transcripts, leading to decreased SMN protein levels and development of SMA. A series of splice enhancers and silencers regulate incorporation of SMN2 exon 7; these splice motifs can be blocked with antisense oligomers (ASOs) to alter SMN2 transcript splicing. We have evaluated a morpholino oligomer against ISS-N1 (HSMN2Ex7D(-10,-29)), and delivered this morpholino (MO) to postnatal day 0 (P0) SMA pups (Smn -/-, SMN2+/+, SMN∆7 +/+) by intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection. Survival was increased markedly from 15 days to over 100 days. Delayed CNS MO injection has moderate efficacy, and delayed peripheral injection has mild survival advantage, suggesting that early CNS ASO administration is essential for SMA therapy consideration. ICV treatment increased full-length SMN2 transcript as well as SMN protein in neural tissue, but only minimally in peripheral tissue. Interval analysis shows a decrease in alternative splice modification over time. We suggest that CNS increases of SMN will have a major impact on SMA, and an early increase of SMN level results in correction of motor phenotypes. Last, the early introduction by intrathecal delivery of morpholino oligomers is a potential treatment for SMA patients.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright: © The Author 2011
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