UBE3A encodes ubiquitin protein ligase E3A, and in neurons its expression from the paternal allele is repressed by the UBE3A antisense transcript (UBE3A-ATS). This leaves neurons susceptible to loss-of-function of maternal UBE3A. Indeed, Angelman syndrome, a severe neurodevelopmental disorder, is caused by maternal UBE3A deficiency. A promising therapeutic approach to treating Angelman syndrome is to reactivate the intact paternal UBE3A by suppressing UBE3A-ATS. Prior studies show that many neurological phenotypes of maternal Ube3a knockout mice can only be rescued by reinstating Ube3a expression in early development, indicating a restricted therapeutic window for Angelman syndrome. Here we report that reducing Ube3a-ATS by antisense oligonucleotides in juvenile or adult maternal Ube3a knockout mice rescues the abnormal electroencephalogram rhythms and sleep disturbance, two prominent clinical features of Angelman syndrome. Importantly, the degree of phenotypic improvement correlates with the increase of Ube3a protein levels. These results indicate that the therapeutic window of genetic therapies for Angelman syndrome is broader than previously thought, and electroencephalogram power spectrum and sleep architecture should be used to evaluate the clinical efficacy of therapies.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting file; Source Data files have been provided for Figure 3, Figure 3-supplement 1, Figure 3-supplement 3, and Figure 3-supplement 4.
- Mingshan Xue
- Mingshan Xue
- Mingshan Xue
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols (AN-6544) of Baylor College of Medicine.
- Samuel Pleasure, University of California, San Francisco, United States
© 2023, Lee et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Background: Viral infection is associated with a significant rewire of the host metabolic pathways, presenting attractive metabolic targets for intervention.
Methods: We chart the metabolic response of lung epithelial cells to SARS-CoV-2 infection in primary cultures and COVID-19 patient samples and perform in vitro metabolism-focused drug screen on primary lung epithelial cells infected with different strains of the virus. We perform observational analysis of Israeli patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 and comparative epidemiological analysis from cohorts in Italy and the Veteran's Health Administration in the United States. In addition, we perform a prospective non-randomized interventional open-label study in which 15 patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 were given 145 mg/day of nanocrystallized fenofibrate added to the standard of care.
Results: SARS-CoV-2 infection produced transcriptional changes associated with increased glycolysis and lipid accumulation. Metabolism-focused drug screen showed that fenofibrate reversed lipid accumulation and blocked SARS-CoV-2 replication through a PPARa-dependent mechanism in both alpha and delta variants. Analysis of 3,233 Israeli patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 supported in vitro findings. Patients taking fibrates showed significantly lower markers of immunoinflammation and faster recovery. Additional corroboration was received by comparative epidemiological analysis from cohorts in Europe and the United States. A subsequent prospective non-randomized interventional open-label study was carried out on 15 patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19. The patients were treated with 145 mg/day of nanocrystallized fenofibrate in addition to standard-of-care. Patients receiving fenofibrate demonstrated a rapid reduction in inflammation and a significantly faster recovery compared to patients admitted during the same period.
Conclusions: Taken together, our data suggest that pharmacological modulation of PPARa should be strongly considered as a potential therapeutic approach for SARS-CoV-2 infection and emphasizes the need to complete the study of fenofibrate in large randomized controlled clinical trials.
Funding: Funding was provided by European Research Council Consolidator Grants OCLD (project no. 681870) and generous gifts from the Nikoh Foundation and the Sam and Rina Frankel Foundation (YN). The interventional study was supported by Abbott (project FENOC0003).
Clinical trial number: NCT04661930.
The nuclear factor-κB (NFκB) pathway is a major thoroughfare for skeletal muscle atrophy and is driven by diverse stimuli. Targeted inhibition of NFκB through its canonical mediator IKKβ effectively mitigates loss of muscle mass across many conditions, from denervation to unloading to cancer. In this study, we used gain- and loss-of-function mouse models to examine the role of NFκB in muscle atrophy following rotator cuff tenotomy – a model of chronic rotator cuff tear. IKKβ was knocked down or constitutively activated in muscle-specific inducible transgenic mice to elicit a twofold gain or loss of NFκB signaling. Surprisingly, neither knockdown of IKKβ nor overexpression of caIKKβ significantly altered the loss of muscle mass following tenotomy. This finding was consistent across measures of morphological adaptation (fiber cross-sectional area, fiber length, fiber number), tissue pathology (fibrosis and fatty infiltration), and intracellular signaling (ubiquitin-proteasome, autophagy). Intriguingly, late-stage tenotomy-induced atrophy was exacerbated in male mice compared with female mice. This sex specificity was driven by ongoing decreases in fiber cross-sectional area, which paralleled the accumulation of large autophagic vesicles in male, but not female muscle. These findings suggest that tenotomy-induced atrophy is not dependent on NFκB and instead may be regulated by autophagy in a sex-specific manner.