Development of LNA Gapmer Oligonucleotide-Based Therapy for ALS/FTD Caused by the C9orf72 Repeat Expansion.
Sathyaprakash C., Manzano R., Varela MA., Hashimoto Y., Wood MJA., Talbot K., Aoki Y.
Several neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), have a complex genetic background, in addition to cases where the disease appears to manifest sporadically. The recent discovery of the hexanucleotide repeat expansion in the C9orf72 gene as the causative agent of ALS (C9ALS) gives rise to the opportunity to develop new therapies directed at this mutation , which is responsible for a large proportion of ALS and/or frontotemporal dementia cases. Mammalian models conscientiously replicating the late-onset motor defects and cellular pathologies seen in human patients do not exist. In this context, patient-derived cells give us a platform to test potential antisense oligonucleotide therapies, which could be the key to treat this subtype of motor neuron disease. Recently, we described that locked nucleic acid gapmer oligonucleotide-based treatment targeting C9orf72 repeat expanded transcripts resulted in recovery from the disease-related phenotypes in patient-derived fibroblasts. Our findings highlight the therapeutic potential of C9ALS using this gapmer oligonucleotide-based approach.