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    Therapeutic strategies for rare diseases based on exon skipping are aimed at mediating the elimination of mutated exons and restoring the reading frame of the affected protein. We explored the capability of polypurine reverse-Hoogsteen hairpins (PPRHs) to cause exon skipping in NB6 cells carrying a duplication of exon 2 of the DHFR gene that causes a frameshift abolishing DHFR activity. Different editing PPRHs were designed and transfected in NB6 cells followed by incubation in a DHFR-selective medium lacking hypoxanthine and thymidine. Surviving colonies were analyzed by DNA sequencing, RT-PCR, Western blotting and DHFR enzymatic activity. Transfection of editing PPRHs originated colonies in the DHFR-selective medium. DNA sequencing results proved that the DHFR sequence in all these colonies corresponded to the wildtype sequence with just one copy of exon 2. In the edited colonies, the skipping of the additional exon was confirmed at the mRNA level, the DHFR protein was restored, and it showed high levels of DHFR activity. Editing-PPRHs are able to cause exon skipping at the DNA level and could be applied as a possible therapeutic tool for rare diseases.


    Véronique Noé, Carlos J Ciudad. Polypurine Reverse-Hoogsteen Hairpins as a Tool for Exon Skipping at the Genomic Level in Mammalian Cells. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Apr 06;22(7)

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    PMID: 33917446

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