Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) is a rare inherited retinal disorder affecting approximately 1:50,000 people worldwide. So far, mutations in 25 genes have been associated with LCA, with CEP290 (encoding the Centrosomal protein of 290 kDa) being the most frequently mutated gene. The most recurrent LCA-causing CEP290 mutation, c.2991+1655A>G, causes the insertion of a pseudoexon into a variable proportion of CEP290 transcripts. We previously demonstrated that antisense oligonucleotides (AONs) have a high therapeutic potential for patients homozygously harbouring this mutation, although to date, it is unclear whether rescuing one single allele is enough to restore CEP290 function. Here, we assessed the AON efficacy at RNA, protein and cellular levels in samples that are compound heterozygous for this mutation, together with a protein-truncating mutation in CEP290. We demonstrate that AONs can efficiently restore splicing and increase protein levels. However, due to a high variability in ciliation among the patient-derived cell lines, the efficacy of the AONs was more difficult to assess at the cellular level. This observation points towards the importance of the severity of the second allele and possibly other genetic variants present in each individual. Overall, AONs seem to be a promising tool to treat CEP290-associated LCA, not only in homozygous but also in compound heterozygous carriers of the c.2991+1655A>G variant.

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Keywords Antisense oligonucleotides, CEP290, Compound heterozygosity, Leber congenital amaurosis, Splicing correction
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms19030753, hdl.handle.net/1765/105260
Journal International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Duijkers, L. (Lonneke), van den Born, L.I, Neidhardt, J. (John), Bax, N.M, Pierrache, L, Klevering, B.J. (B. Jeroen), … Garanto, A. (Alejandro). (2018). Antisense oligonucleotide-based splicing correction in individuals with leber congenital amaurosis due to compound heterozygosity for the c.2991+1655A>G mutation in CEP290. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(3). doi:10.3390/ijms19030753