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Open AccessArticle

Development of Novel Chemically-Modified Nucleic Acid Molecules for Efficient Inhibition of Human MAPT Gene Expression

1
Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics, Murdoch University, Perth 6150, Australia
2
Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science, Perth 6150, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2020, 11(6), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11060667
Received: 7 May 2020 / Revised: 15 June 2020 / Accepted: 17 June 2020 / Published: 19 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
The hyperphosphorylation of the microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) has been implicated in various neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. It has been hypothesized that the reduction of MAPT would result in depolymerizing neurofibrillary tangles and could be a potential strategy for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies. In this study, we report the development of novel DNAzymes and splice-modulating antisense oligonucleotides (AOs) for the efficient inhibition of MAPT. We designed and synthesized a range of DNAzymes and 2ʹ-O-methyl (2’-OMe)-modified AOs on a phosphorothioate (PS) backbone targeting various exons across the MAPT gene transcript. Our results demonstrated that RNV563, an arm-loop-arm-type DNAzyme targeting exon 13, and an AO candidate AO4, targeting exon 4, efficiently downregulated MAPT RNA expression by 58% and 96%, respectively. In addition, AO4 also reduced the MAPT protein level by 74%. In line with our results, we believe that AO4 could be used as a potential therapeutic molecule for Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies. View Full-Text
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; MAPT; tau; DNAzymes; antisense oligonucleotides Alzheimer’s disease; MAPT; tau; DNAzymes; antisense oligonucleotides
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Chakravarthy, M.; Chen, S.; Wang, T.; Veedu, R.N. Development of Novel Chemically-Modified Nucleic Acid Molecules for Efficient Inhibition of Human MAPT Gene Expression. Genes 2020, 11, 667.

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