Protein delivery of an artificial transcription factor restores widespread Ube3a expression in an angelman syndrome mouse brain

Barbara J. Bailus, Benjamin Pyles, Michelle M. Mcalister, Henriette O'Geen, Sarah H. Lockwood, Alexa N. Adams, Jennifer Trang T Nguyen, Abigail Yu, Robert F Berman, David Segal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurological genetic disorder caused by loss of expression of the maternal copy of UBE3A in the brain. Due to brain-specific genetic imprinting at this locus, the paternal UBE3A is silenced by a long antisense transcript. Inhibition of the antisense transcript could lead to unsilencing of paternal UBE3A, thus providing a therapeutic approach for AS. However, widespread delivery of gene regulators to the brain remains challenging. Here, we report an engineered zinc finger-based artificial transcription factor (ATF) that, when injected i.p. or s.c., crossed the blood-brain barrier and increased Ube3a expression in the brain of an adult mouse model of AS. The factor displayed widespread distribution throughout the brain. Immunohistochemistry of both the hippocampus and cerebellum revealed an increase in Ube3a upon treatment. An ATF containing an alternative DNA-binding domain did not activate Ube3a. We believe this to be the first report of an injectable engineered zinc finger protein that can cause widespread activation of an endogenous gene in the brain. These observations have important implications for the study and treatment of AS and other neurological disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)548-555
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Therapy
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

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    Bailus, B. J., Pyles, B., Mcalister, M. M., O'Geen, H., Lockwood, S. H., Adams, A. N., Nguyen, J. T. T., Yu, A., Berman, R. F., & Segal, D. (2016). Protein delivery of an artificial transcription factor restores widespread Ube3a expression in an angelman syndrome mouse brain. Molecular Therapy, 24(3), 548-555. https://doi.org/10.1038/mt.2015.236