Unexpected off-targeting effects of anti-huntingtin ribozymes and siRNA in vivo.
ABSTRACT Gene transfer strategies to reduce levels of mutant huntingtin (mHtt) mRNA and protein by targeting human Htt have shown therapeutic promise in vivo. Previously, we have reported that a specific, adeno-associated viral vector (rAAV)-delivered short-hairpin RNA (siHUNT-2) targeting human Htt mRNA unexpectedly decreased levels of striatal-specific transcripts in both wild-type and R6/1 transgenic HD mice. The goal of this study was to determine whether the siHUNT-2-mediated effect was due to adverse effects of RNA interference (RNAi) expression in the brain. To this end, we designed two catalytically active hammerhead ribozymes directed against the same region of human Htt mRNA targeted by siHUNT-2 and delivered them to wild-type and R6/1 transgenic HD mice. After 10 weeks of continuous expression, these ribozymes, like siHUNT-2, negatively impacted the expression of a subset of genes in the striatum. This effect was independent of rAAV transduction and specific to the targeting of a unique sequence in human Htt mRNA. After consideration of the known potential RNAi-specific toxic mechanisms, only cleavage of an unintended RNA target can account for the data reported herein. Thus, long-term rAAV-mediated RNAi in the brain does not, in and of itself, negatively affect striatal gene expression. These findings have important implications in the development of therapeutic RNAi for the treatment of neurological disease.
Article: Minocycline inhibits caspase-1 and caspase-3 expression and delays mortality in a transgenic mouse model of Huntington disease.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Huntington disease is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease with no effective treatment. Minocycline is a tetracycline derivative with proven safety. After ischemia, minocycline inhibits caspase-1 and inducible nitric oxide synthetase upregulation, and reduces infarction. As caspase-1 and nitric oxide seem to play a role in Huntington disease, we evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of minocycline in the R6/2 mouse model of Huntington disease. We report that minocycline delays disease progression, inhibits caspase-1 and caspase-3 mRNA upregulation, and decreases inducible nitric oxide synthetase activity. In addition, effective pharmacotherapy in R6/2 mice requires caspase-1 and caspase-3 inhibition. This is the first demonstration of caspase-1 and caspase-3 transcriptional regulation in a Huntington disease model.Nature Medicine 08/2000; 6(7):797-801. · 22.46 Impact Factor