Peptide-Conjugated PMOs for the Treatment of Myotonic Dystrophy.
Stoodley J., Miraz DS., Jad Y., Fischer M., Wood MJA., Varela MA.
Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) have shown great therapeutic potential in the treatment of many neuromuscular diseases including myotonic dystrophy 1 (DM1). However, systemically delivered ASOs display poor biodistribution and display limited penetration into skeletal muscle. The conjugation of cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) to phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligonucleotides (PMOs), a class of ASOs with a modified backbone, can be used to enhance ASO skeletal muscle penetration. Peptide-PMOs (P-PMOs) have been shown to be highly effective in correcting the DM1 skeletal muscle phenotype in both murine and cellular models of DM1 and at a molecular and functional level. Here we describe the synthesis and conjugation of P-PMOs and methods for analyzing their biodistribution and toxicity in the HSA-LR DM1 mouse model and their efficacy both in vitro and in vivo using FISH and RT-PCR splicing analysis.