Impact, Characterization, and Rescue of Pre-mRNA Splicing Mutations in Lysosomal Storage Disorders.
Dardis A, Buratti E. Genes (Basel). 2018 Feb 6;9(2).
Lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) represent a group of more than 50 severe metabolic diseases caused by the deficiency of specific lysosomal hydrolases, activators, carriers, or lysosomal integral membrane proteins, leading to the abnormal accumulation of substrates within the lysosomes. Numerous mutations have been described in each disease-causing gene; among them, about 5-19% affect the pre-mRNA splicing process. In the last decade, several strategies to rescue/increase normal splicing of mutated transcripts have been developed and LSDs represent excellent candidates for this type of approach: (i) most of them are inherited in an autosomic recessive manner and patients affected by late-onset (LO) phenotypes often retain a fair amount of residual enzymatic activity; thus, even a small recovery of normal splicing may be beneficial in clinical settings; (ii) most LSDs still lack effective treatments or are currently treated with extremely expensive approaches; (iii) in few LSDs, a single splicing mutation accounts for up to 40-70% of pathogenic alleles. At present, numerous preclinical studies support the feasibility of reverting the pathological phenotype by partially rescuing splicing defects in LSDs. This review provides an overview of the impact of splicing mutations in LSDs and the related therapeutic approaches currently under investigation in these disorders.