Dual-isoform hUBE3A gene transfer improves behavioral and seizure outcomes in Angelman syndrome model mice

Matthew C. Judson, Charles Shyng, Jeremy M. Simon, Courtney R. Davis, A. Mattijs Punt, Mirabel T. Salmon, Noah W. Miller, Kimberly D. Ritola, Ype Elgersma, David G. Amaral, Steven J. Gray, Benjamin D. Philpot*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Loss of the maternal UBE3A allele causes Angelman syndrome (AS), a debilitating neurodevelopmental disorder. Here, we devised an AS treatment strategy based on reinstating dual-isoform expression of human UBE3A (hUBE3A) in the developing brain. Kozak sequence engineering of our codon-optimized vector (hUBE3Aopt) enabled translation of both short and long hUBE3A protein isoforms at a near-endogenous 3:1 (short/long) ratio, a feature that could help to support optimal therapeutic outcomes. To model widespread brain delivery and early postnatal onset of hUBE3A expression, we packaged the hUBE3Aopt vector into PHP.B capsids and performed intracerebroventricular injections in neonates. This treatment significantly improved motor learning and innate behaviors in AS mice, and it rendered them resilient to epileptogenesis and associated hippocampal neuropathologies induced by seizure kindling. hUBE3A overexpression occurred frequently in the hippocampus but was uncommon in the neocortex and other major brain structures; furthermore, it did not correlate with behavioral performance. Our results demonstrate the feasibility, tolerability, and therapeutic potential for dual-isoform hUBE3A gene transfer in the treatment of AS.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere144712
JournalJCI insight
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Angelman Syndrome Foundation, the NICHD (grant R01HD093771), the NIMH (grant R01MH120229), and the NINDS (grant R01NS114086). CS was supported by an NIH T32 postdoctoral training grant through the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (NIH T32HD040127). Microscopy was performed at the Neuroscience Microscopy Core Facility, supported, in part, by funding from the NIH-NINDS Neuroscience Center Support Grant P30 NS045892 and the NIH-NICHD Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center Support Grant U54 HD079124.

Publisher Copyright:
: © 2021, Judson et al.


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