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A recurrent COL6A1 pseudoexon insertion causes muscular dystrophy and is effectively targeted by splice-correction therapies

Bolduc, V; Foley, AR; Solomon-Degefa, H; Sarathy, A; Donkervoort, S; Hu, Y; Chen, GS; ... Bönnemann, CG; + view all (2019) A recurrent COL6A1 pseudoexon insertion causes muscular dystrophy and is effectively targeted by splice-correction therapies. JCI Insight , 4 (6) 10.1172/jci.insight.124403. Green open access

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Abstract

The clinical application of advanced next-generation sequencing technologies is increasingly uncovering novel classes of mutations that may serve as potential targets for precision medicine therapeutics. Here, we show that a deep intronic splice defect in the COL6A1 gene, originally discovered by applying muscle RNA sequencing in patients with clinical findings of collagen VI-related dystrophy (COL6-RD), inserts an in-frame pseudoexon into COL6A1 mRNA, encodes a mutant collagen α1(VI) protein that exerts a dominant-negative effect on collagen VI matrix assembly, and provides a unique opportunity for splice-correction approaches aimed at restoring normal gene expression. Using splice-modulating antisense oligomers, we efficiently skipped the pseudoexon in patient-derived fibroblast cultures and restored a wild-type matrix. Similarly, we used CRISPR/Cas9 to precisely delete an intronic sequence containing the pseudoexon and efficiently abolish its inclusion while preserving wild-type splicing. Considering that this splice defect is emerging as one of the single most frequent mutations in COL6-RD, the design of specific and effective splice-correction therapies offers a promising path for clinical translation.

Type: Article
Title: A recurrent COL6A1 pseudoexon insertion causes muscular dystrophy and is effectively targeted by splice-correction therapies
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1172/jci.insight.124403
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.124403
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Collagens, Extracellular matrix, Muscle Biology, Neuromuscular disease, Therapeutics
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > ICH Developmental Neurosciences Prog
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > ICH Genetics and Genomic Medicine Prog
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10070901
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