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All-In-One Adeno-Associated Virus Delivery And Genome Editing By Neisseria Meningitidis Cas9 In Vivo, Raed Ibraheim, Chun-Qing Song, Aamir Mir, Nadia Amrani, Wen Xue, Erik J. Sontheimer 2018 University of Massachusetts Medical School

All-In-One Adeno-Associated Virus Delivery And Genome Editing By Neisseria Meningitidis Cas9 In Vivo, Raed Ibraheim, Chun-Qing Song, Aamir Mir, Nadia Amrani, Wen Xue, Erik J. Sontheimer

RNA Therapeutics Institute Publications

BACKGROUND: Clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated proteins (Cas) have recently opened a new avenue for gene therapy. Cas9 nuclease guided by a single-guide RNA (sgRNA) has been extensively used for genome editing. Currently, three Cas9 orthologs have been adapted for in vivo genome engineering applications: Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 (SpyCas9), Staphylococcus aureus Cas9 (SauCas9), and Campylobacter jejuni (CjeCas9). However, additional in vivo editing platforms are needed, in part to enable a greater range of sequences to be accessed via viral vectors, especially those in which Cas9 and sgRNA are combined into a single vector genome.

RESULTS: Here ...


Nuclear Localization Of Huntingtin Mrna Is Specific To Cells Of Neuronal Origin, Marie C. Didiot, Chantal M. Ferguson, Socheata Ly, Andrew H. Coles, Abigail O. Smith, Alicia A. Bicknell, Lauren M. Hall, Ellen Sapp, Dimas Echeverria, Athma A. Pai, Marian DiFiglia, Melissa J. Moore, Lawrence J. Hayward, Neil Aronin, Anastasia Khvorova 2018 University of Massachusetts Medical School

Nuclear Localization Of Huntingtin Mrna Is Specific To Cells Of Neuronal Origin, Marie C. Didiot, Chantal M. Ferguson, Socheata Ly, Andrew H. Coles, Abigail O. Smith, Alicia A. Bicknell, Lauren M. Hall, Ellen Sapp, Dimas Echeverria, Athma A. Pai, Marian Difiglia, Melissa J. Moore, Lawrence J. Hayward, Neil Aronin, Anastasia Khvorova

RNA Therapeutics Institute Publications

Huntington's disease (HD) is a monogenic neurodegenerative disorder representing an ideal candidate for gene silencing with oligonucleotide therapeutics (i.e., antisense oligonucleotides [ASOs] and small interfering RNAs [siRNAs]). Using an ultra-sensitive branched fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) method, we show that approximately 50% of wild-type HTT mRNA localizes to the nucleus and that its nuclear localization is observed only in neuronal cells. In mouse brain sections, we detect Htt mRNA predominantly in neurons, with a wide range of Htt foci observed per cell. We further show that siRNAs and ASOs efficiently eliminate cytoplasmic HTT mRNA and HTT protein, but ...


Numerous Recursive Sites Contribute To Accuracy Of Splicing In Long Introns In Flies, Athma A. Pai, Joseph M. Paggi, Paul Yan, Karen Adelman, Christopher B. Burge 2018 University of Massachusetts Medical School

Numerous Recursive Sites Contribute To Accuracy Of Splicing In Long Introns In Flies, Athma A. Pai, Joseph M. Paggi, Paul Yan, Karen Adelman, Christopher B. Burge

Open Access Articles

Recursive splicing, a process by which a single intron is removed from pre-mRNA transcripts in multiple distinct segments, has been observed in a small subset of Drosophila melanogaster introns. However, detection of recursive splicing requires observation of splicing intermediates that are inherently unstable, making it difficult to study. Here we developed new computational approaches to identify recursively spliced introns and applied them, in combination with existing methods, to nascent RNA sequencing data from Drosophila S2 cells. These approaches identified hundreds of novel sites of recursive splicing, expanding the catalog of recursively spliced fly introns by 4-fold. A subset of recursive ...


Rna Binding Proteins Co-Localize With Small Tau Inclusions In Tauopathy, Brandon F. Maziuk, Daniel J. Apicco, Anna Lourdes Cruz, Lulu Jiang, Peter E. A. Ash, Edroaldo Lummertz. da Rocha, Cheng Zhang, Wai Haung Yu, John D. Leszyk, Jose F. Abisambra, Hu Li, Benjamin Wolozin 2018 Boston University

Rna Binding Proteins Co-Localize With Small Tau Inclusions In Tauopathy, Brandon F. Maziuk, Daniel J. Apicco, Anna Lourdes Cruz, Lulu Jiang, Peter E. A. Ash, Edroaldo Lummertz. Da Rocha, Cheng Zhang, Wai Haung Yu, John D. Leszyk, Jose F. Abisambra, Hu Li, Benjamin Wolozin

Open Access Articles

The development of insoluble, intracellular neurofibrillary tangles composed of the microtubule-associated protein tau is a defining feature of tauopathies, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Accumulating evidence suggests that tau pathology co-localizes with RNA binding proteins (RBPs) that are known markers for stress granules (SGs). Here we used proteomics to determine how the network of tau binding proteins changes with disease in the rTg4510 mouse, and then followed up with immunohistochemistry to identify RNA binding proteins that co-localize with tau pathology. The tau interactome networks revealed striking disease-related changes in interactions between tau and a multiple RBPs, and biochemical fractionation studies ...


Fluorescently Labeled Sirnas And Their Theranostic Applications In Cancer Gene Therapy, Stephen David Kozuch 2018 Seton Hall University

Fluorescently Labeled Sirnas And Their Theranostic Applications In Cancer Gene Therapy, Stephen David Kozuch

Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs)

Gene therapy has emerged as a promising precision nano-medicine strategy in the treatment of numerous diseases including cancer. At the forefront of its utility are the applications of short-interfering RNA (siRNA), that silence oncogenic mRNA expression leading to cancer cell death through the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway. Despite the therapeutic potential, siRNAs are limited by poor pharmacological properties, which has hindered their translation into the clinic. Recent studies, however, have highlighted the applications of modified siRNAs, including the use of fluorescent probes and siRNA nanostructures in cancer detection and treatment. The siRNAs reported in this thesis are designed to target ...


Anril: A Lncrna At The Cdkn2a/B Locus With Roles In Cancer And Metabolic Disease, Yahui Kong, Chih-Heng Hsieh, Laura C. Alonso 2018 University of Massachusetts Medical School

Anril: A Lncrna At The Cdkn2a/B Locus With Roles In Cancer And Metabolic Disease, Yahui Kong, Chih-Heng Hsieh, Laura C. Alonso

Open Access Articles

The CDKN2A/B genomic locus is associated with risk of human cancers and metabolic disease. Although the locus contains several important protein-coding genes, studies suggest disease roles for a lesser-known antisense lncRNA encoded at this locus, called ANRIL. ANRIL is a complex gene containing at least 21 exons in simians, with many reported linear and circular isoforms. Like other genes, abundance of ANRIL is regulated by epigenetics, classic transcription regulation, splicing, and post-transcriptional influences such as RNA stability and microRNAs. Known molecular functions of ANRIL include in cis and in trans gene regulation through chromatin modification complexes, and influence over ...


Heavily And Fully Modified Rnas Guide Efficient Spycas9-Mediated Genome Editing, Aamir Mir, Julia F. Alterman, Matthew R. Hassler, Alexandre J. Debacker, Edward Hudgens, Dimas Echeverria, Michael H. Brodsky, Anastasia Khvorova, Jonathan K. Watts, Erik J. Sontheimer 2018 University of Massachusetts Medical School

Heavily And Fully Modified Rnas Guide Efficient Spycas9-Mediated Genome Editing, Aamir Mir, Julia F. Alterman, Matthew R. Hassler, Alexandre J. Debacker, Edward Hudgens, Dimas Echeverria, Michael H. Brodsky, Anastasia Khvorova, Jonathan K. Watts, Erik J. Sontheimer

Open Access Articles

RNA-based drugs depend on chemical modifications to increase potency and to decrease immunogenicity in vivo. Chemical modification will likely improve the guide RNAs involved in CRISPR-Cas9-based therapeutics as well. Cas9 orthologs are RNA-guided microbial effectors that cleave DNA. Here, we explore chemical modifications at all positions of the crRNA guide and tracrRNA cofactor. We identify several heavily modified versions of crRNA and tracrRNA that are more potent than their unmodified counterparts. In addition, we describe fully chemically modified crRNAs and tracrRNAs (containing no 2'-OH groups) that are functional in human cells. These designs will contribute to Cas9-based therapeutics since ...


Nuclear Export Through Nuclear Envelope Remodeling In Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, Baojin Ding, Anne M. Mirza, James A. Ashley, Vivian Budnik, Mary Munson 2018 University of Massachusetts Medical School

Nuclear Export Through Nuclear Envelope Remodeling In Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, Baojin Ding, Anne M. Mirza, James A. Ashley, Vivian Budnik, Mary Munson

University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

In eukaryotes, subsets of exported mRNAs are organized into large ribonucleoprotein (megaRNP) granules. How megaRNPs exit the nucleus is unclear, as their diameters are much larger than the nuclear pore complex (NPC) central channel. We previously identified a non-canonical nuclear export mechanism in Drosophila (Speese et al., Cell 2012) and mammals (Ding et al., in preparation), in which megaRNPs exit the nucleus by budding across nuclear envelope (NE) membranes. Here, we present evidence for a similar pathway in the nucleus of the budding yeast S. cerevisiae, which contain morphologically similar granules bearing mRNAs. Wild-type yeast displayed these granules at very ...


Crystal Structure Of The Catalytic Domain Of Hiv-1 Restriction Factor Apobec3g In Complex With Ssdna, Atanu Maiti, Wazo Myint, Tapan Kanai, Krista Delviks-Frankenberry, Christina Sierra Rodriguez, Vinay K. Pathak, Celia A. Schiffer, Hiroshi Matsuo 2018 Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research

Crystal Structure Of The Catalytic Domain Of Hiv-1 Restriction Factor Apobec3g In Complex With Ssdna, Atanu Maiti, Wazo Myint, Tapan Kanai, Krista Delviks-Frankenberry, Christina Sierra Rodriguez, Vinay K. Pathak, Celia A. Schiffer, Hiroshi Matsuo

Open Access Articles

The human APOBEC3G protein is a cytidine deaminase that generates cytidine to deoxy-uridine mutations in single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), and capable of restricting replication of HIV-1 by generating mutations in viral genome. The mechanism by which APOBEC3G specifically deaminates 5'-CC motifs has remained elusive since structural studies have been hampered due to apparently weak ssDNA binding of the catalytic domain of APOBEC3G. We overcame the problem by generating a highly active variant with higher ssDNA affinity. Here, we present the crystal structure of this variant complexed with a ssDNA substrate at 1.86 A resolution. This structure reveals atomic-level interactions ...


Computer Design Of Microfluidic Mixers For Protein/Rna Folding Studies, Venkatesh Inguva, Sagar V. Kathuria, Osman Bilsel, Blair James Perot 2018 University of Massachusetts Amherst

Computer Design Of Microfluidic Mixers For Protein/Rna Folding Studies, Venkatesh Inguva, Sagar V. Kathuria, Osman Bilsel, Blair James Perot

Open Access Articles

Kinetic studies of biological macromolecules increasingly use microfluidic mixers to initiate and monitor reaction progress. A motivation for using microfluidic mixers is to reduce sample consumption and decrease mixing time to microseconds. Some applications, such as small-angle x-ray scattering, also require large ( > 10 micron) sampling areas to ensure high signal-to-noise ratios and to minimize parasitic scattering. Chaotic to marginally turbulent mixers are well suited for these applications because this class of mixers provides a good middle ground between existing laminar and turbulent mixers. In this study, we model various chaotic to marginally turbulent mixing concepts such as flow turning, flow ...


Optimization Of The Split-Spinach Aptamer For Monitoring Contiguous Rna Nanoparticle Assembly, Jack M. O'Hara 2018 Seattle Pacific University

Optimization Of The Split-Spinach Aptamer For Monitoring Contiguous Rna Nanoparticle Assembly, Jack M. O'Hara

Honors Projects

The emerging field of RNA nanotechnology takes advantage of the RNA’s ability to self-assemble into exquisite structures. As nanoparticle design continues to advance and move into increasingly complex biological systems, tools to monitor their assembly and location will be of great importance. Here, a split-aptamer system is used to monitor assembly of a six-membered nanoring based on fluorescence feedback of a fluorophore. First, the split-aptamer is designed into two of the six pieces of the ring. Through mutation and deletion, we optimize the fluorescence feedback established when a six membered nanoparticle assembles, compared to partial assembly. We demonstrate that ...


Impact Of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms On Hpa Axis Functionality In Depression, Claire Kelly 2018 Union College

Impact Of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms On Hpa Axis Functionality In Depression, Claire Kelly

Honors Theses

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis plays a primary role in stress response through the regulated secretion of the glucocorticoid hormone cortisol. Diseases of cortisol dysregulation such as Cushing’s syndrome (hypercortisolemia) and Addison’s Disease (hypocortisolemia) are both associated with depression. Based on this we, and others, have hypothesized that mutations in the genes for the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), the closely related mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), and regulatory proteins associated with cortisol or GR function may contribute to depression in the absence of hyper- or hypo-cortisolemia. Our study investigated the genotypic frequency in the clinical population of several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs ...


Imp3 Stabilization Of Wnt5b Mrna Facilitates Taz Activation In Breast Cancer, Sanjoy Samanta, Santosh Guru, Ameer L. Elaimy, John J. Amante, Jianhong Ou, Jun Yu, Lihua Julie Zhu, Arthur M. Mercurio 2018 University of Massachusetts Medical School

Imp3 Stabilization Of Wnt5b Mrna Facilitates Taz Activation In Breast Cancer, Sanjoy Samanta, Santosh Guru, Ameer L. Elaimy, John J. Amante, Jianhong Ou, Jun Yu, Lihua Julie Zhu, Arthur M. Mercurio

University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

Insulin-like growth factor-2 mRNA-binding protein 3 (IMP3) is an oncofetal protein associated with many aggressive cancers and implicated in the function of breast cancer stem cells (CSCs). The mechanisms involved, however, are poorly understood. We observed that IMP3 facilitates the activation of TAZ, a transcriptional co-activator of Hippo signaling that is necessary for the function of breast CSCs. The mechanism by which IMP3 activates TAZ involves both mRNA stability and transcriptional regulation. IMP3 stabilizes the mRNA of an alternative WNT ligand (WNT5B) indirectly by repressing miR145-5p, which targets WNT5B, resulting in TAZ activation by alternative WNT signaling. IMP3 also facilitates ...


A New In Vitro Assay Measuring Direct Interaction Of Nonsense Suppressors With The Eukaryotic Protein Synthesis Machinery, Martin Y. Ng, Haibo Zhang, Amy Weil, Vijay Singh, Ryan M. Jamiolkowski, Alireza Baradaran-Heravi, Michel Roberge, Allan Jacobson, Ellen Welch, Yale Goldman, Barry S. Cooperman 2018 University of Pennsylvania

A New In Vitro Assay Measuring Direct Interaction Of Nonsense Suppressors With The Eukaryotic Protein Synthesis Machinery, Martin Y. Ng, Haibo Zhang, Amy Weil, Vijay Singh, Ryan M. Jamiolkowski, Alireza Baradaran-Heravi, Michel Roberge, Allan Jacobson, Ellen Welch, Yale Goldman, Barry S. Cooperman

University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

Nonsense suppressors (NonSups) treat premature termination codon (PTC) disorders by inducing the selection of near cognate tRNAs at the PTC position, allowing readthrough of the PTC and production of full-length protein. Studies of NonSup-induced readthrough of eukaryotic PTCs have been carried out using animals, cells or crude cell extracts. In these studies, NonSups can promote readthrough directly, by binding to components of the protein synthesis machinery, or indirectly, by inhibiting nonsense-mediated mRNA decay or by other mechanisms. Here we utilize a highly-purified in vitro system (Zhang et al., 2016. eLife 5: e13429) to measure exclusively direct NonSup-induced readthrough. Of 17 ...


Development Of Lc-Ms For The Identification And Characterization Of Non-Adjacent Dna Photoproduct Formation In G-Quadruplex Forming Sequences, Claudia Posadas 2018 Washington University in St. Louis

Development Of Lc-Ms For The Identification And Characterization Of Non-Adjacent Dna Photoproduct Formation In G-Quadruplex Forming Sequences, Claudia Posadas

Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Ultraviolet light is well known to induce cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD) and pyrimidine (6–4) pyrimidone photoproducts in duplex DNA, which interfere with DNA replication and transcription. Recently, a new class of DNA photoproducts known as anti cyclobutanepyrimidine dimers have been discovered, which form in G-quadruplex forming sequences in solution. G-quadruplex structures have been proposed to form in human DNA telomeres and certain promoters in vivo but evidence for their existence has been lacking. Since anti-cyclobutante pyrimidine dimers have been shown to form in G-quadruplex forming sequences, their formation in irradiated human cells could be used to confirm the ...


Systematic Pan-Cancer Analysis Of Somatic Allele Frequency, Liam Spurr, Muzi Li, Nawaf Alomran, Qianqian Zhang, Paula Restrepo, Mercedeh Movassagh, Chris Trenkov, Nerissa Tunnessen, Tatiyana Apanasovich, Keith A. Crandall, Nathan Edwards, Anelia Horvath 2018 George Washington University

Systematic Pan-Cancer Analysis Of Somatic Allele Frequency, Liam Spurr, Muzi Li, Nawaf Alomran, Qianqian Zhang, Paula Restrepo, Mercedeh Movassagh, Chris Trenkov, Nerissa Tunnessen, Tatiyana Apanasovich, Keith A. Crandall, Nathan Edwards, Anelia Horvath

Open Access Articles

Imbalanced expression of somatic alleles in cancer can suggest functional and selective features, and can therefore indicate possible driving potential of the underlying genetic variants. To explore the correlation between allele frequency of somatic variants and total gene expression of their harboring gene, we used the unique data set of matched tumor and normal RNA and DNA sequencing data of 5523 distinct single nucleotide variants in 381 individuals across 10 cancer types obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). We analyzed the allele frequency in the context of the variant and gene functional features and linked it with changes in ...


Engineered Exosomes For Delivery Of Therapeutic Sirnas To Neurons, Reka A. Haraszti 2018 University of Massachusetts Medical School

Engineered Exosomes For Delivery Of Therapeutic Sirnas To Neurons, Reka A. Haraszti

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Extracellular vesicles (EVs), exosomes and microvesicles, transfer endogenous RNAs between neurons over short and long distances. We have explored EVs for siRNA delivery to brain. (1) We optimized siRNA chemical modifications and siRNA conjugation to lipids for EV-mediated delivery. (2) We developed a GMP-compatible, scalable method to manufacture active EVs in bulk. (3) We characterized lipid and protein content of EVs in detail. (4) We established how protein and lipid composition relates to siRNA delivering activity of EVs, and we reverse engineered natural exosomes (small EVs) into artificial exosomes based on these data.

We established that cholesterol-conjugated siRNAs passively associate ...


Substrate Sequence Selectivity Of Apobec3a Implicates Intra-Dna Interactions, Tania V. Silvas, Shurong Hou, Wazo Myint, Ellen A. Nalivaika, Mohan Somasundaran, Brian A. Kelch, Hiroshi Matsuo, Nese Kurt Yilmaz, Celia A. Schiffer 2018 University of Massachusetts Medical School

Substrate Sequence Selectivity Of Apobec3a Implicates Intra-Dna Interactions, Tania V. Silvas, Shurong Hou, Wazo Myint, Ellen A. Nalivaika, Mohan Somasundaran, Brian A. Kelch, Hiroshi Matsuo, Nese Kurt Yilmaz, Celia A. Schiffer

Open Access Articles

The APOBEC3 (A3) family of human cytidine deaminases is renowned for providing a first line of defense against many exogenous and endogenous retroviruses. However, the ability of these proteins to deaminate deoxycytidines in ssDNA makes A3s a double-edged sword. When overexpressed, A3s can mutate endogenous genomic DNA resulting in a variety of cancers. Although the sequence context for mutating DNA varies among A3s, the mechanism for substrate sequence specificity is not well understood. To characterize substrate specificity of A3A, a systematic approach was used to quantify the affinity for substrate as a function of sequence context, length, secondary structure, and ...


All-In-One Adeno-Associated Virus Delivery And Genome Editing By Neisseria Meningitidis Cas9 In Vivo, Raed Ibraheim, Chun-Qing Song, Aamir Mir, Nadia Amrani, Wen Xue, Erik J. Sontheimer 2018 University of Massachusetts Medical School

All-In-One Adeno-Associated Virus Delivery And Genome Editing By Neisseria Meningitidis Cas9 In Vivo, Raed Ibraheim, Chun-Qing Song, Aamir Mir, Nadia Amrani, Wen Xue, Erik J. Sontheimer

University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

Clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated proteins (Cas) have recently opened a new avenue for gene therapy. Cas9 nuclease guided by a single-guide RNA (sgRNA) has been extensively used for genome editing. Currently, three Cas9 orthologs have been adapted forin vivo genome engineering applications: SpyCas9, SauCas9 and CjeCas9. However, additional in vivo editing platforms are needed, in part to enable a greater range of sequences to be accessed via viral vectors, especially those in which Cas9 and sgRNA are combined into a single vector genome. Here, we present an additional in vivo editing platform using Neisseria ...


Nmecas9 Is An Intrinsically High-Fidelity Genome Editing Platform, Nadia Amrani, Xin D. Gao, Pengpeng Liu, Alireza Edraki, Aamir Mir, Raed Ibraheim, Ankit Gupta, Kanae E. Sasaki, Tong Wu, Thomas G. Fazzio, Lihua Julie Zhu, Scot A. Wolfe, Erik J. Sontheimer 2018 University of Massachusetts Medical School

Nmecas9 Is An Intrinsically High-Fidelity Genome Editing Platform, Nadia Amrani, Xin D. Gao, Pengpeng Liu, Alireza Edraki, Aamir Mir, Raed Ibraheim, Ankit Gupta, Kanae E. Sasaki, Tong Wu, Thomas G. Fazzio, Lihua Julie Zhu, Scot A. Wolfe, Erik J. Sontheimer

University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

Background: The development of CRISPR genome editing has transformed biomedical research. Most applications reported thus far rely upon the Cas9 protein from Streptococcus pyogenes SF370 (SpyCas9). With many RNA guides, wild-type SpyCas9 can induce significant levels of unintended mutations at near-cognate sites, necessitating substantial efforts toward the development of strategies to minimize off-target activity. Although the genome-editing potential of thousands of other Cas9 orthologs remains largely untapped, it is not known how many will require similarly extensive engineering to achieve single-site accuracy within large (e.g. mammalian) genomes. In addition to its off-targeting propensity, SpyCas9 is encoded by a relatively ...


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