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Autosomal recessive spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is linked to mutations in the survival motor neuron (SMN) gene. The SMN protein has been implicated at several levels of mRNA biogenesis and is expressed ubiquitously. Studies in various model organisms have shown that the loss of function of the SMN gene leads to embryonic lethality. The human contains two(More)
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a common neurodegenerative disease that is caused by mutations in the survival of motor neuron gene (SMN), leading to reduced levels of the SMN protein in affected individuals. In SMA, motor neurons selectively degenerate, however, the mechanism of cell death and the precise role of SMN in this process are not completely(More)
Gene silencing with double-stranded RNA (RNAi) has proved useful for gene function studies, and should be especially well suited to studying diseases resulting in embryonal lethality where transgenic animal models are difficult to generate. We are applying this approach to the autosomal recessive disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). SMA is caused by(More)
This review examines applications of nucleic acid technology in the form of catalytic nucleic acids (ribozymes and DNAzymes) and RNA interference (RNAi) in the CNS. The basic mechanism of catalytic nucleic acids and RNAi is reviewed, and potentials and problems highlighted. Recent advances in chemical modifications and delivery techniques are summarized.(More)
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