Huntingtin haplotypes provide prioritized target panels for allele-specific silencing in huntington disease patients of european ancestry

Chris Kay, Jennifer A. Collins, Niels H. Skotte, Amber L. Southwell, Simon C. Warby, Nicholas S. Caron, Crystal N. Doty, Betty Nguyen, Annamaria Griguoli, Colin J. Ross, Ferdinando Squitieri, Michael R. Hayden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Huntington disease (HD) is a dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the Huntingtin gene (HTT). Heterozygous polymorphisms in cis with the mutation allow for allele-specific suppression of the pathogenic HTT transcript as a therapeutic strategy. To prioritize target selection, precise heterozygosity estimates are needed across diverse HD patient populations. Here we present the first comprehensive investigation of all common target alleles across the HTT gene, using 738 reference haplotypes from the 1000 Genomes Project and 2364 haplotypes from HD patients and relatives in Canada, Sweden, France, and Italy. The most common HD haplotypes (A1, A2, and A3a) define mutually exclusive sets of polymorphisms for allele-specific therapy in the greatest number of patients. Across all four populations, a maximum of 80% are treatable using these three target haplotypes. We identify a novel deletion found exclusively on the A1 haplotype, enabling potent and selective silencing of mutant HTT in approximately 40% of the patients. Antisense oligonucleotides complementary to the deletion reduce mutant A1 HTT mRNA by 78% in patient cells while sparing wild-type HTT expression. By suppressing specific haplotypes on which expanded CAG occurs, we demonstrate a rational approach to the development of allele-specific therapy for a monogenic disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1759-1771
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Therapy
Volume23
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology

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    Kay, C., Collins, J. A., Skotte, N. H., Southwell, A. L., Warby, S. C., Caron, N. S., Doty, C. N., Nguyen, B., Griguoli, A., Ross, C. J., Squitieri, F., & Hayden, M. R. (2015). Huntingtin haplotypes provide prioritized target panels for allele-specific silencing in huntington disease patients of european ancestry. Molecular Therapy, 23(11), 1759-1771. https://doi.org/10.1038/mt.2015.128