Targeting Gys1 with AAV‐SaCas9 Decreases Pathogenic Polyglucosan Bodies and Neuroinflammation in Adult Polyglucosan Body and Lafora Disease Mouse Models

Emrah Gumusgoz, Dikran R. Guisso, Sahba Kasiri, Jun Wu, Matthew Dear, Brandy Verhalen, Silvia Nitschke, Sharmistha Mitra, Felix Nitschke, Berge A. Minassian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many adult and most childhood neurological diseases have a genetic basis. CRISPR/Cas9 biotechnology holds great promise in neurological therapy, pending the clearance of major delivery, efficiency, and specificity hurdles. We applied CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in its simplest modality, namely inducing gene sequence disruption, to one adult and one pediatric disease. Adult polyglucosan body disease is a neurodegenerative disease resembling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Lafora disease is a severe late childhood onset progressive myoclonus epilepsy. The pathogenic insult in both is formation in the brain of glycogen with overlong branches, which precipitates and accumulates into polyglucosan bodies that drive neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. We packaged Staphylococcus aureus Cas9 and a guide RNA targeting the glycogen synthase gene, Gys1, responsible for brain glycogen branch elongation in AAV9 virus, which we delivered by neonatal intracerebroventricular injection to one mouse model of adult polyglucosan body disease and two mouse models of Lafora disease. This resulted, in all three models, in editing of approximately 17% of Gys1 alleles and a similar extent of reduction of Gys1 mRNA across the brain. The latter led to approximately 50% reductions of GYS1 protein, abnormal glycogen accumulation, and polyglucosan bodies, as well as ameliorations of neuroinflammatory markers in all three models. Our work represents proof of principle for virally delivered CRISPR/Cas9 neurotherapeutics in an adult-onset (adult polyglucosan body) and a childhood-onset (Lafora) neurological diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNeurotherapeutics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • AAV9
  • APBD
  • CRISPR/Cas9
  • EPM2A
  • EPM2B
  • GBE1
  • GYS1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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