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Allele-specific RNA silencing of mutant ataxin-3 mediates neuroprotection in a rat model of Machado-Joseph disease.

Alves S, Nascimento-Ferreira I, Auregan G, Hassig R, Dufour N, Brouillet E, Pedroso de Lima MC, Hantraye P, Pereira de Almeida L, Déglon N - PLoS ONE (2008)

Bottom Line: Lentiviral-mediated silencing of mutant human ataxin-3 was demonstrated in vitro and in a rat model of MJD in vivo.The allele-specific silencing of ataxin-3 significantly decreased the severity of the neuropathological abnormalities associated with MJD.These data demonstrate that RNAi has potential for use in MJD treatment and constitute the first proof-of-principle for allele-specific silencing in the central nervous system.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Neurosciences and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.

ABSTRACT
Recent studies have demonstrated that RNAi is a promising approach for treating autosomal dominant disorders. However, discrimination between wild-type and mutant transcripts is essential, to preserve wild-type expression and function. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is present in more than 70% of patients with Machado-Joseph disease (MJD). We investigated whether this SNP could be used to inactivate mutant ataxin-3 selectively. Lentiviral-mediated silencing of mutant human ataxin-3 was demonstrated in vitro and in a rat model of MJD in vivo. The allele-specific silencing of ataxin-3 significantly decreased the severity of the neuropathological abnormalities associated with MJD. These data demonstrate that RNAi has potential for use in MJD treatment and constitute the first proof-of-principle for allele-specific silencing in the central nervous system.

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shRNAs mediate the in vitro allele-specific suppression of mutant or wild-type human ataxin-3 by RNAi.A–F) shAtaxMUT- or shAtaxWT-encoding plasmids selectively targeting mutant ataxin-3 and wild-type ataxin-3, respectively, resulted in much lower levels of these proteins than the mistargeted control (shGFP) or the non allele-specific shRNA. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showing the silencing of human ATX3 mRNA in 293T cells co-expressing mutant human ataxin-3 (MUT ATX3) (A, top left) or wild-type human ataxin-3 (WT ATX3) (B, top right) and shAtaxWT, shAtaxMUT, or shGFP. Endogenous ß-actin mRNA was used as an internal control for the normalization and quantitative analysis of the ataxin-3 mRNA levels. Results are expressed as the mean elative mRNA level±SEM. C and D) Western-blot analysis of lysates of 293T cells co-transfected with the plasmid constructs encoding MUT ATX3 (C, middle left) or WT ATX3 (D, middle right) and the shAtax vectors (48 hours after calcium phosphate-mediated transfection; ratio ATX3/shRNA 1∶5). Tubulin staining is shown as a loading control. E and F) Optical densitometry was normalized according to the amount of tubulin loaded in the corresponding lane. A partition ratio was calculated and expressed as a percentage (bottom). All western blots and RT-PCRs shown are representative of three or four independent experiments. Statistical significance was evaluated using Fisher's test (*p<0.05).
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pone-0003341-g002: shRNAs mediate the in vitro allele-specific suppression of mutant or wild-type human ataxin-3 by RNAi.A–F) shAtaxMUT- or shAtaxWT-encoding plasmids selectively targeting mutant ataxin-3 and wild-type ataxin-3, respectively, resulted in much lower levels of these proteins than the mistargeted control (shGFP) or the non allele-specific shRNA. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showing the silencing of human ATX3 mRNA in 293T cells co-expressing mutant human ataxin-3 (MUT ATX3) (A, top left) or wild-type human ataxin-3 (WT ATX3) (B, top right) and shAtaxWT, shAtaxMUT, or shGFP. Endogenous ß-actin mRNA was used as an internal control for the normalization and quantitative analysis of the ataxin-3 mRNA levels. Results are expressed as the mean elative mRNA level±SEM. C and D) Western-blot analysis of lysates of 293T cells co-transfected with the plasmid constructs encoding MUT ATX3 (C, middle left) or WT ATX3 (D, middle right) and the shAtax vectors (48 hours after calcium phosphate-mediated transfection; ratio ATX3/shRNA 1∶5). Tubulin staining is shown as a loading control. E and F) Optical densitometry was normalized according to the amount of tubulin loaded in the corresponding lane. A partition ratio was calculated and expressed as a percentage (bottom). All western blots and RT-PCRs shown are representative of three or four independent experiments. Statistical significance was evaluated using Fisher's test (*p<0.05).

Mentions: Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of 293T cells co-transfected with the shAtaxMUT(C) vector and a vector expressing the human mutant ataxin-3(C) gene (Fig. 1B) demonstrated robust mRNA degradation (Fig 2A). By contrast, ataxin-3 mRNA levels were slightly decreased by co-transfection with shAtaxMUT(C) and the wild-type ataxin-3(G) gene or with shAtaxWT(G) and the mutant ataxin-3(C) (Fig. 2A–B), demonstrating the selectivity of the silencing. As a control, we included an siRNA (shGFP) targeting the green fluorescent protein (Fig. 2A). RT-PCR with oligomers targeting lacZ confirmed that the decrease in ataxin-3 mRNA levels reflected siRNA efficiency rather than variations in transfection efficiency (data not shown).


Allele-specific RNA silencing of mutant ataxin-3 mediates neuroprotection in a rat model of Machado-Joseph disease.

Alves S, Nascimento-Ferreira I, Auregan G, Hassig R, Dufour N, Brouillet E, Pedroso de Lima MC, Hantraye P, Pereira de Almeida L, Déglon N - PLoS ONE (2008)

shRNAs mediate the in vitro allele-specific suppression of mutant or wild-type human ataxin-3 by RNAi.A–F) shAtaxMUT- or shAtaxWT-encoding plasmids selectively targeting mutant ataxin-3 and wild-type ataxin-3, respectively, resulted in much lower levels of these proteins than the mistargeted control (shGFP) or the non allele-specific shRNA. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showing the silencing of human ATX3 mRNA in 293T cells co-expressing mutant human ataxin-3 (MUT ATX3) (A, top left) or wild-type human ataxin-3 (WT ATX3) (B, top right) and shAtaxWT, shAtaxMUT, or shGFP. Endogenous ß-actin mRNA was used as an internal control for the normalization and quantitative analysis of the ataxin-3 mRNA levels. Results are expressed as the mean elative mRNA level±SEM. C and D) Western-blot analysis of lysates of 293T cells co-transfected with the plasmid constructs encoding MUT ATX3 (C, middle left) or WT ATX3 (D, middle right) and the shAtax vectors (48 hours after calcium phosphate-mediated transfection; ratio ATX3/shRNA 1∶5). Tubulin staining is shown as a loading control. E and F) Optical densitometry was normalized according to the amount of tubulin loaded in the corresponding lane. A partition ratio was calculated and expressed as a percentage (bottom). All western blots and RT-PCRs shown are representative of three or four independent experiments. Statistical significance was evaluated using Fisher's test (*p<0.05).
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2553199&req=5

pone-0003341-g002: shRNAs mediate the in vitro allele-specific suppression of mutant or wild-type human ataxin-3 by RNAi.A–F) shAtaxMUT- or shAtaxWT-encoding plasmids selectively targeting mutant ataxin-3 and wild-type ataxin-3, respectively, resulted in much lower levels of these proteins than the mistargeted control (shGFP) or the non allele-specific shRNA. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showing the silencing of human ATX3 mRNA in 293T cells co-expressing mutant human ataxin-3 (MUT ATX3) (A, top left) or wild-type human ataxin-3 (WT ATX3) (B, top right) and shAtaxWT, shAtaxMUT, or shGFP. Endogenous ß-actin mRNA was used as an internal control for the normalization and quantitative analysis of the ataxin-3 mRNA levels. Results are expressed as the mean elative mRNA level±SEM. C and D) Western-blot analysis of lysates of 293T cells co-transfected with the plasmid constructs encoding MUT ATX3 (C, middle left) or WT ATX3 (D, middle right) and the shAtax vectors (48 hours after calcium phosphate-mediated transfection; ratio ATX3/shRNA 1∶5). Tubulin staining is shown as a loading control. E and F) Optical densitometry was normalized according to the amount of tubulin loaded in the corresponding lane. A partition ratio was calculated and expressed as a percentage (bottom). All western blots and RT-PCRs shown are representative of three or four independent experiments. Statistical significance was evaluated using Fisher's test (*p<0.05).
Mentions: Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of 293T cells co-transfected with the shAtaxMUT(C) vector and a vector expressing the human mutant ataxin-3(C) gene (Fig. 1B) demonstrated robust mRNA degradation (Fig 2A). By contrast, ataxin-3 mRNA levels were slightly decreased by co-transfection with shAtaxMUT(C) and the wild-type ataxin-3(G) gene or with shAtaxWT(G) and the mutant ataxin-3(C) (Fig. 2A–B), demonstrating the selectivity of the silencing. As a control, we included an siRNA (shGFP) targeting the green fluorescent protein (Fig. 2A). RT-PCR with oligomers targeting lacZ confirmed that the decrease in ataxin-3 mRNA levels reflected siRNA efficiency rather than variations in transfection efficiency (data not shown).

Bottom Line: Lentiviral-mediated silencing of mutant human ataxin-3 was demonstrated in vitro and in a rat model of MJD in vivo.The allele-specific silencing of ataxin-3 significantly decreased the severity of the neuropathological abnormalities associated with MJD.These data demonstrate that RNAi has potential for use in MJD treatment and constitute the first proof-of-principle for allele-specific silencing in the central nervous system.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Neurosciences and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.

ABSTRACT
Recent studies have demonstrated that RNAi is a promising approach for treating autosomal dominant disorders. However, discrimination between wild-type and mutant transcripts is essential, to preserve wild-type expression and function. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is present in more than 70% of patients with Machado-Joseph disease (MJD). We investigated whether this SNP could be used to inactivate mutant ataxin-3 selectively. Lentiviral-mediated silencing of mutant human ataxin-3 was demonstrated in vitro and in a rat model of MJD in vivo. The allele-specific silencing of ataxin-3 significantly decreased the severity of the neuropathological abnormalities associated with MJD. These data demonstrate that RNAi has potential for use in MJD treatment and constitute the first proof-of-principle for allele-specific silencing in the central nervous system.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus