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Induction of cryptic pre-mRNA splice-switching by antisense oligonucleotides

Ham, K.A.ORCID: 0000-0002-7036-5334, Keegan, N.P., McIntosh, C.S., Aung-Htut, M.T., Zaw, K.ORCID: 0000-0002-4121-1985, Greer, K., Fletcher, S. and Wilton, S.D. (2021) Induction of cryptic pre-mRNA splice-switching by antisense oligonucleotides. Scientific Reports, 11 (1). Article 15137.

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Antisense oligomers (AOs) are increasingly being used to modulate RNA splicing in live cells, both for research and for the development of therapeutics. While the most common intended effect of these AOs is to induce skipping of whole exons, rare examples are emerging of AOs that induce skipping of only part of an exon, through activation of an internal cryptic splice site. In this report, we examined seven AO-induced cryptic splice sites in six genes. Five of these cryptic splice sites were discovered through our own experiments, and two originated from other published reports. We modelled the predicted effects of AO binding on the secondary structure of each of the RNA targets, and how these alterations would in turn affect the accessibility of the RNA to splice factors. We observed that a common predicted effect of AO binding was disruption of the exon definition signal within the exon’s excluded segment.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics (CMMIT)
Health Futures Institute
Publisher: Springer Nature
Copyright: © 2021 The Authors
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