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Antisense morpholino oligonucleotides have been commonly used in zebrafish to inhibit mRNA function, either by inhibiting pre-mRNA splicing or by blocking translation initiation. Even with the advent of genome editing by CRISP/Cas9 technology, morpholinos provide a useful and rapid tool to knockdown gene expression. This is especially true when dealing with multiple alleles and large gene families where genetic redundancy can complicate knockout of all family members. miRNAs are small noncoding RNAs that are often encoded in gene families and can display extensive genetic redundancy. This redundancy, plus their small size which can limit targeting by CRISPR/Cas9, makes morpholino-based strategies particularly attractive for inhibition of miRNA function. We provide the rationale, background, and methods to inhibit miRNA function with antisense morpholinos during early development and in the adult retina in zebrafish.
5-Hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), 5-formylcytosine (5fC), and 5-carboxylcytosine (5caC) form during active demethylation of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) and are implicated in epigenetic regulation of the genome. They are differentially processed by thymine DNA glycosylase (TDG), an enzyme involved in active demethylation of 5mC. Three modified Dickerson-Drew dodecamer (DDD) sequences, amenable to crystallographic and spectroscopic analyses and containing the 5'-CG-3' sequence associated with genomic cytosine methylation, containing 5hmC, 5fC, or 5caC placed site-specifically into the 5'-T(8)X(9)G(10)-3' sequence of the DDD, were compared. The presence of 5caC at the X(9) base increased the stability of the DDD, whereas 5hmC or 5fC did not. Both 5hmC and 5fC increased imino proton exchange rates and calculated rate constants for base pair opening at the neighboring base pair A(5):T(8), whereas 5caC did not. At the oxidized base pair G(4):X(9), 5fC exhibited an increase in the imino proton exchange rate and the calculated kop. In all cases, minimal effects to imino proton exchange rates occurred at the neighboring base pair C(3):G(10). No evidence was observed for imino tautomerization, accompanied by wobble base pairing, for 5hmC, 5fC, or 5caC when positioned at base pair G(4):X(9); each favored Watson-Crick base pairing. However, both 5fC and 5caC exhibited intranucleobase hydrogen bonding between their formyl or carboxyl oxygens, respectively, and the adjacent cytosine N(4) exocyclic amines. The lesion-specific differences observed in the DDD may be implicated in recognition of 5hmC, 5fC, or 5caC in DNA by TDG. However, they do not correlate with differential excision of 5hmC, 5fC, or 5caC by TDG, which may be mediated by differences in transition states of the enzyme-bound complexes.
BACKGROUND - Experimental data indicate that reducing factor XI levels attenuates thrombosis without causing bleeding, but the role of factor XI in the prevention of postoperative venous thrombosis in humans is unknown. FXI-ASO (ISIS 416858) is a second-generation antisense oligonucleotide that specifically reduces factor XI levels. We compared the efficacy and safety of FXI-ASO with those of enoxaparin in patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty.
METHODS - In this open-label, parallel-group study, we randomly assigned 300 patients who were undergoing elective primary unilateral total knee arthroplasty to receive one of two doses of FXI-ASO (200 mg or 300 mg) or 40 mg of enoxaparin once daily. The primary efficacy outcome was the incidence of venous thromboembolism (assessed by mandatory bilateral venography or report of symptomatic events). The principal safety outcome was major or clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding.
RESULTS - Around the time of surgery, the mean (±SE) factor XI levels were 0.38±0.01 units per milliliter in the 200-mg FXI-ASO group, 0.20±0.01 units per milliliter in the 300-mg FXI-ASO group, and 0.93±0.02 units per milliliter in the enoxaparin group. The primary efficacy outcome occurred in 36 of 134 patients (27%) who received the 200-mg dose of FXI-ASO and in 3 of 71 patients (4%) who received the 300-mg dose of FXI-ASO, as compared with 21 of 69 patients (30%) who received enoxaparin. The 200-mg regimen was noninferior, and the 300-mg regimen was superior, to enoxaparin (P<0.001). Bleeding occurred in 3%, 3%, and 8% of the patients in the three study groups, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS - This study showed that factor XI contributes to postoperative venous thromboembolism; reducing factor XI levels in patients undergoing elective primary unilateral total knee arthroplasty was an effective method for its prevention and appeared to be safe with respect to the risk of bleeding. (Funded by Isis Pharmaceuticals; FXI-ASO TKA ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01713361.).
The structurally related exocyclic guanine adducts α-hydroxypropano-dG (α-OH-PdG), γ-hydroxypropano-dG (γ-OH-PdG), and M1dG are formed when DNA is exposed to the reactive aldehydes acrolein and malondialdehyde (MDA). These lesions are believed to form the basis for the observed cytotoxicity and mutagenicity of acrolein and MDA. In an effort to understand the enzymatic pathways and chemical mechanisms that are involved in the repair of acrolein- and MDA-induced DNA damage, we investigated the ability of the DNA repair enzyme AlkB, an α-ketoglutarate/Fe(II) dependent dioxygenase, to process α-OH-PdG, γ-OH-PdG, and M1dG in both single- and double-stranded DNA contexts. By monitoring the repair reactions using quadrupole time-of-flight (Q-TOF) mass spectrometry, it was established that AlkB can oxidatively dealkylate γ-OH-PdG most efficiently, followed by M1dG and α-OH-PdG. The AlkB repair mechanism involved multiple intermediates and complex, overlapping repair pathways. For example, the three exocyclic guanine adducts were shown to be in equilibrium with open-ring aldehydic forms, which were trapped using (pentafluorobenzyl)hydroxylamine (PFBHA) or NaBH4. AlkB repaired the trapped open-ring form of γ-OH-PdG but not the trapped open-ring of α-OH-PdG. Taken together, this study provides a detailed mechanism by which three-carbon bridge exocyclic guanine adducts can be processed by AlkB and suggests an important role for the AlkB family of dioxygenases in protecting against the deleterious biological consequences of acrolein and MDA.
N(5)-Substituted formamidopyrimidine adducts have been observed from the reaction of dGuo or DNA with aziridine containing electrophiles, including nitrogen mustards. However, the role of substituted Fapy-dGuo adducts in the biological response to nitrogen mustards and related species has not been extensively explored. We have developed chemistry for the site-specific synthesis of oligonucleotides containing an N(5)-nitrogen mustard Fapy-dGuo using the phosphoramidite approach. The lesion was found to be a good substrate for Escherichia coli endonuclease IV and formamidopyrimidine glycosylase.
Plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels show a strong inverse correlation with atherosclerotic vascular disease. Previous studies have demonstrated that antagonism of miR-33 in vivo increases circulating HDL and reverse cholesterol transport (RCT), thereby reducing the progression and enhancing the regression of atherosclerosis. While the efficacy of short-term anti-miR-33 treatment has been previously studied, the long-term effect of miR-33 antagonism in vivo remains to be elucidated. Here, we show that long-term therapeutic silencing of miR-33 increases circulating triglyceride (TG) levels and lipid accumulation in the liver. These adverse effects were only found when mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD). Mechanistically, we demonstrate that chronic inhibition of miR-33 increases the expression of genes involved in fatty acid synthesis such as acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) and fatty acid synthase (FAS) in the livers of mice treated with miR-33 antisense oligonucleotides. We also report that anti-miR-33 therapy enhances the expression of nuclear transcription Y subunit gamma (NFYC), a transcriptional regulator required for DNA binding and full transcriptional activation of SREBP-responsive genes, including ACC and FAS. Taken together, these results suggest that persistent inhibition of miR-33 when mice are fed a high-fat diet (HFD) might cause deleterious effects such as moderate hepatic steatosis and hypertriglyceridemia. These unexpected findings highlight the importance of assessing the effect of chronic inhibition of miR-33 in non-human primates before we can translate this therapy to humans.
© 2014 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license.
Alternative splicing is a major cellular mechanism in metazoans for generating proteomic diversity. A large proportion of protein-coding genes in multicellular organisms undergo alternative splicing, and in humans, it has been estimated that nearly 90 % of protein-coding genes-much larger than expected-are subject to alternative splicing. Genomic analyses of alternative splicing have illuminated its universal role in shaping the evolution of genomes, in the control of developmental processes, and in the dynamic regulation of the transcriptome to influence phenotype. Disruption of the splicing machinery has been found to drive pathophysiology, and indeed reprogramming of aberrant splicing can provide novel approaches to the development of molecular therapy. This review focuses on the recent progress in our understanding of alternative splicing brought about by the unprecedented explosive growth of genomic data and highlights the relevance of human splicing variation on disease and therapy.
The serine hydrolase α/β hydrolase domain 6 (ABHD6) has recently been implicated as a key lipase for the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) in the brain. However, the biochemical and physiological function for ABHD6 outside of the central nervous system has not been established. To address this, we utilized targeted antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) to selectively knock down ABHD6 in peripheral tissues in order to identify in vivo substrates and understand ABHD6's role in energy metabolism. Here, we show that selective knockdown of ABHD6 in metabolic tissues protects mice from high-fat-diet-induced obesity, hepatic steatosis, and systemic insulin resistance. Using combined in vivo lipidomic identification and in vitro enzymology approaches, we show that ABHD6 can hydrolyze several lipid substrates, positioning ABHD6 at the interface of glycerophospholipid metabolism and lipid signal transduction. Collectively, these data suggest that ABHD6 inhibitors may serve as therapeutics for obesity, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and type II diabetes.
Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The miR-200 family is well known to inhibit the epithelial-mesenchymal transition, suggesting it may therapeutically inhibit metastatic biology. However, conflicting reports regarding the role of miR-200 in suppressing or promoting metastasis in different cancer types have left unanswered questions. Here we demonstrate a difference in clinical outcome based on miR-200's role in blocking tumour angiogenesis. We demonstrate that miR-200 inhibits angiogenesis through direct and indirect mechanisms by targeting interleukin-8 and CXCL1 secreted by the tumour endothelial and cancer cells. Using several experimental models, we demonstrate the therapeutic potential of miR-200 delivery in ovarian, lung, renal and basal-like breast cancers by inhibiting angiogenesis. Delivery of miR-200 members into the tumour endothelium resulted in marked reductions in metastasis and angiogenesis, and induced vascular normalization. The role of miR-200 in blocking cancer angiogenesis in a cancer-dependent context defines its utility as a potential therapeutic agent.