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1.  Pathological impact of SMN2 mis-splicing in adult SMA mice 
EMBO Molecular Medicine  2013;5(10):1586-1601.
Loss-of-function mutations in SMN1 cause spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic cause of infant mortality. The related SMN2 gene expresses suboptimal levels of functional SMN protein, due to a splicing defect. Many SMA patients reach adulthood, and there is also adult-onset (type IV) SMA. There is currently no animal model for adult-onset SMA, and the tissue-specific pathogenesis of post-developmental SMN deficiency remains elusive. Here, we use an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) to exacerbate SMN2 mis-splicing. Intracerebroventricular ASO injection in adult SMN2-transgenic mice phenocopies key aspects of adult-onset SMA, including delayed-onset motor dysfunction and relevant histopathological features. SMN2 mis-splicing increases during late-stage disease, likely accelerating disease progression. Systemic ASO injection in adult mice causes peripheral SMN2 mis-splicing and affects prognosis, eliciting marked liver and heart pathologies, with decreased IGF1 levels. ASO dose–response and time-course studies suggest that only moderate SMN levels are required in the adult central nervous system, and treatment with a splicing-correcting ASO shows a broad therapeutic time window. We describe distinctive pathological features of adult-onset and early-onset SMA.
PMCID: PMC3799581  PMID: 24014320
adult-onset SMA; pathology; SMN2; spinal muscular atrophy; splicing
3.  In vitro and in silico analysis reveals an efficient algorithm to predict the splicing consequences of mutations at the 5′ splice sites 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;35(18):5995-6003.
We have found that two previously reported exonic mutations in the PINK1 and PARK7 genes affect pre-mRNA splicing. To develop an algorithm to predict underestimated splicing consequences of exonic mutations at the 5′ splice site, we constructed and analyzed 31 minigenes carrying exonic splicing mutations and their derivatives. We also examined 189 249 U2-dependent 5′ splice sites of the entire human genome and found that a new variable, the SD-Score, which represents a common logarithm of the frequency of a specific 5′ splice site, efficiently predicts the splicing consequences of these minigenes. We also employed the information contents (Ri) to improve the prediction accuracy. We validated our algorithm by analyzing 32 additional minigenes as well as 179 previously reported splicing mutations. The SD-Score algorithm predicted aberrant splicings in 198 of 204 sites (sensitivity = 97.1%) and normal splicings in 36 of 38 sites (specificity = 94.7%). Simulation of all possible exonic mutations at positions −3, −2 and −1 of the 189 249 sites predicts that 37.8, 88.8 and 96.8% of these mutations would affect pre-mRNA splicing, respectively. We propose that the SD-Score algorithm is a practical tool to predict splicing consequences of mutations affecting the 5′ splice site.
PMCID: PMC2094079  PMID: 17726045

Results 1-3 (3)