Targeting GH-1 splicing as a novel pharmacological strategy for growth hormone deficiency type II
Authors: Miletta, Maria Consolata; Flueck, Christa E.; Mullis, Primus-E.
Isolated growth hormone deficiency type II (IGHD II) is a rare genetic splicing disorder characterized by reduced growth hormone (GH) secretion and short stature. It is mainly caused by autosomal dominant negative mutations within the growth hormone gene (GH-1) which results in missplicing at the mRNA level and the subsequent loss of exon 3, producing the 17.5-kDa GH isoform: a mutant and inactive GH protein that reduces the stability and the secretion of the 22-kDa GH isoform, the main biologically active GH form. At present, patients suffering from IGHD II are treated with daily injections of recombinant human GH (rhGH) in order to reach normal height. However, this type of replacement therapy, although effective in terms of growth, does not prevent the toxic effects of the 17.5-kDa mutant on the pituitary gland, which may eventually lead to other hormonal deficiencies. As the severity of the disease inversely correlates with the 17.5-kDa/22-kDa ratio, increasing the inclusion of exon 3 is expected to ameliorate disease symptoms. This review focuses on the recent advances in experimental and therapeutic strategies applicable to treat IGHD II in clinical and preclinical contexts. Several avenues for alternative IGHD II therapy will be discussed including the use of small interfering RNA (siRNA) and short hairpin RNA (shRNA) constructs that specifically target the exon 3-deleted transcripts as well as the application of histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) and antisense oligonucleotides (AONs) to enhance full-length GH-1 transcription, correct GH-1 exon 3 splicing and manipulate GH pathway. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Partial versus Productive Immunoglobulin Heavy Locus Rearrangements in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Implications for B-Cell Receptor Stereotypy
Authors: Tsakou, Eugenia; Agathagelidis, Andreas; Boudjoghra, Myriam; Raff, Thorsten; Dagklis, Antonis; Chatzouli, Maria; Smilevska, Tatjana; Bourikas, George; Merle-Beral, Helene; Manioudaki-Kavallieratou, Eleni; Anagnostopoulos, Achilles; Brueggemann, Monika; Davi, Frederic; Stamatopoulos, Kostas; Belessi, Chrysoula
The frequent occurrence of stereotyped heavy complementarity-determining region 3 (VH CDR3) sequences among unrelated cases with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is widely taken as evidence for antigen selection. Stereotyped VH CDR3 sequences are often defined by the selective association of certain immunoglobulin heavy diversity (IGHD) genes in specific reading frames with certain immunoglobulin heavy joining (IGHJ) genes. To gain insight into the mechanisms underlying VH CDR3 restrictions and also determine the developmental stage when restrictions in VH CDR3 are imposed, we analyzed partial IGHD-IGHJ rearrangements (D-J) in 829 CLL cases and compared the productively rearranged D-J joints (that is, in-frame junctions without junctional stop codons) to (a) the productive immunoglobulin heavy variable (IGHV)-IGHD-IGHJ rearrangements (V-D-J) from the same cases and (b) 174 D-J rearrangements from 160 precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cases (pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)), Partial D-J rearrangements were detected in 272/829 CLL cases (32.8%). Sequence analysis was feasible in 238 of 272 D-J rearrangements; 198 of 238 (83.2%) were productively rearranged. The D-J joints in CLL did not differ significantly from those in pre-B ALL except for higher frequency of the IGHD7-27 and IGHJ6 genes in the latter. Among CLL carrying productively rearranged D-J, comparison of the IGHD gene repertoire in productive V-D-J versus D-J revealed the following: (a) overuse of IGHD reading frames encoding hydrophilic peptides among V-D-J and (b) selection of the IGHD3-3 and IGHD6-19 genes in V-D-J junctions. These results document that the IGHD and IGHJ gene biases in the CLL expressed VH CDR3 repertoire are not stochastic but are directed by selection operating at the immunoglobulin protein level.