A Novel Morpholino Oligomer Targeting ISS-N1 Improves Rescue of Severe Spinal Muscular Atrophy Transgenic Mice

Haiyan Zhou, Narinder Janghra, Chalermchai Mitrpant, Rachel L. Dickinson, Karen Anthony, Loren Price, Ian C. Eperon, Stephen D. Wilton, Jennifer Morgan, Francesco Muntoni

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


In the search for the most efficacious antisense oligonucleotides (AOs) aimed at inducing SMN2 exon 7 inclusion, we systematically assessed three AOs, PMO25 (-10, -34), PMO18 (-10, -27), and PMO20 (-10, -29), complementary to the SMN2 intron 7 splicing silencer (ISS-N1). PMO25 was the most efficacious in augmenting exon 7 inclusion in vitro in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) patient fibroblasts and in vitro splicing assays. PMO25 and PMO18 were compared further in a mouse model of severe SMA. After a single intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection in neonatal mice, PMO25 increased the life span of severe SMA mice up to 30-fold, with average survival greater by 3-fold compared with PMO18 at a dose of 20 μg/g and 2-fold at 40 μg/g. Exon 7 inclusion was increased in the CNS but not in peripheral tissues. Systemic delivery of PMO25 at birth achieved a similar outcome and produced increased exon 7 inclusion both in the CNS and peripherally. Systemic administration of a 10-μg/g concentration of PMO25 conjugated to an octaguanidine dendrimer (VMO25) increased the life span only 2-fold in neonatal type I SMA mice, although it prevented tail necrosis in mild SMA mice. Higher doses and ICV injection of VMO25 were associated with toxicity. We conclude that (1) the 25-mer AO is more efficient than the 18-mer and 20-mer in modifying SMN2 splicing in vitro; (2) it is more efficient in prolonging survival in SMA mice; and (3) naked Morpholino oligomers are more efficient and safer than the Vivo-Morpholino and have potential for future SMA clinical applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-342
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Gene Therapy
Issue number3
Early online date21 Jan 2013
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jan 2013


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