Journal Article

Strategems <i>in Vitro</i> for Gene Therapies Directed to Dominant Mutations

Sophia Millington-Ward, Brian O'Neill, Gearoid Tuohy, Najma Al-Jandal, Anna-Sophia Kiang, Paul F. Kenna, Arpad Palfi, Patrick Hayden, Fiona Mansergh, Avril Kennan, Peter Humphries and G. Jane Farrar

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 6, issue 9, pages 1415-1426
Published in print September 1997 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online September 1997 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI:
Strategems in Vitro for Gene Therapies Directed to Dominant Mutations

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A major difficulty associated with the design of gene therapies for autosomal dominant diseases is the immense intragenic heterogeneity often encountered in such conditions. In order to overcome such difficulties we have designed, and evaluated in vitro, three strategies which avoid a requirement to target individual mutations for genetic suppression. In the first, normal and mutant alleles are suppressed by targeting sequences in transcribed but untranslated regions of transcript (UTRs), enabling introduction of a replacement gene with the correct coding sequencing but altered UTRs to prevent suppression. A second approach involves suppression in coding sequence and concurrent introduction of a replacement gene by exploiting the degeneracy of the genetic code. A third strategy utilises intragenic polymorphism to suppress the disease allele specifically, the advantage being that a proportion of patients with different disease mutations have the same polymorphism. These approaches provide a wider choice of target sequence than those directed to single disease mutations and are appropriate for many mutations within a given gene. General methods for suppression may be directed towards the primary defect or a secondary effect associated with the disease process, such as apoptosis. Three general methods targeting the primary defect which circumvent problems of allelic genetic heterogeneity are explored in vitro using hammerhead ribozymes designed to target transcripts from the rhodopsin, peripherin and collagen 1A1 and 1A2 genes, extensive genetic heterogeneity being a feature of associated disease pathologies.

Journal Article.  7982 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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