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Proof-of-concept: Antisense oligonucleotide mediated skipping of fibrillin-1 exon 52

Cale, J.M., Greer, K., Fletcher, S. and Wilton, S.D. (2021) Proof-of-concept: Antisense oligonucleotide mediated skipping of fibrillin-1 exon 52. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22 (7). Article 3479.

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Marfan syndrome is one of the most common dominantly inherited connective tissue disorders, affecting 2–3 in 10,000 individuals, and is caused by one of over 2800 unique FBN1 mutations. Mutations in FBN1 result in reduced fibrillin-1 expression, or the production of two different fibrillin-1 monomers unable to interact to form functional microfibrils. Here, we describe in vitro evaluation of antisense oligonucleotides designed to mediate exclusion of FBN1 exon 52 during pre-mRNA splicing to restore monomer homology. Antisense oligonucleotide sequences were screened in healthy control fibroblasts. The most effective sequence was synthesised as a phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer, a chemistry shown to be safe and effective clinically. We show that exon 52 can be excluded in up to 100% of FBN1 transcripts in healthy control fibroblasts transfected with PMO52. Immunofluorescent staining revealed the loss of fibrillin 1 fibres with ~50% skipping and the subsequent re-appearance of fibres with >80% skipping. However, the effect of exon skipping on the function of the induced fibrillin-1 isoform remains to be explored. Therefore, these findings demonstrate proof-of-concept that exclusion of an exon from FBN1 pre-mRNA can result in internally truncated but identical monomers capable of forming fibres and lay a foundation for further investigation to determine the effect of exon skipping on fibrillin-1 function.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics (CMMIT)
Health Futures Institute
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2021 by the authors
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