Antisense oligonucleotide-mediated correction of CFTR splicing improves chloride secretion in cystic fibrosis patient-derived bronchial epithelial cells.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Jun 10;:
Authors: Michaels WE, Bridges RJ, Hastings ML
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene, encoding an anion channel that conducts chloride and bicarbonate across epithelial membranes. Mutations that disrupt pre-mRNA splicing occur in >15% of CF cases. One common CFTR splicing mutation is CFTR c.3718-2477C>T (3849+10 kb C>T), which creates a new 5′ splice site, resulting in splicing to a cryptic exon with a premature termination codon. Splice-switching antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) have emerged as an effective therapeutic strategy to block aberrant splicing. We test an ASO targeting the CFTR c.3718-2477C>T mutation and show that it effectively blocks aberrant splicing in primary bronchial epithelial (hBE) cells from CF patients with the mutation. ASO treatment results in long-term improvement in CFTR activity in hBE cells, as demonstrated by a recovery of chloride secretion and apical membrane conductance. We also show that the ASO is more effective at recovering chloride secretion in our assay than ivacaftor, the potentiator treatment currently available to these patients. Our findings demonstrate the utility of ASOs in correcting CFTR expression and channel activity in a manner expected to be therapeutic in patients.
PMID: 32520327 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]