Suzan M. Hammond

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Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) results from loss of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, with retention of its nearly identical homolog, SMN2. There is a direct correlation between disease severity and SMN2 copy number. Mice do not have a Smn2 gene, and thus cannot naturally replicate the disorder. However, two murine models of SMA have been(More)
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by low survival motor neuron (SMN) levels and patients represent a clinical spectrum due primarily to varying copies of the survival motor neuron-2 (SMN2) gene. Patient and animals studies show that disease severity is abrogated as SMN levels increase. Since therapies currently being pursued target the induction of(More)
Antisense oligonucleotides (AOs) are currently the most promising therapeutic intervention for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). AOs modulate dystrophin pre-mRNA splicing, thereby specifically restoring the dystrophin reading frame and generating a truncated but semifunctional dystrophin protein. Challenges in the development of this approach are the(More)
Numerous human genetic diseases are caused by mutations that give rise to aberrant alternative splicing. Recently, several of these debilitating disorders have been shown to be amenable for splice-correcting oligonucleotides (SCOs) that modify splicing patterns and restore the phenotype in experimental models. However, translational approaches are required(More)
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a fatal neuromuscular disorder caused by mutations in the Dmd gene. In addition to skeletal muscle wasting, DMD patients develop cardiomyopathy, which significantly contributes to mortality. Antisense oligonucleotides (AOs) are a promising DMD therapy, restoring functional dystrophin protein by exon skipping. However, a(More)
Splice switching oligonucleotides (SSOs) induce alternative splicing of pre-mRNA and typically employ chemical modifications to increase nuclease resistance and binding affinity to target pre-mRNA. Here we describe a new SSO non-base modifier (a naphthyl-azo group, "ZEN™") to direct exon exclusion in mutant dystrophin pre-mRNA to generate functional(More)
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is caused by absence of the integral structural protein, dystrophin, which renders muscle fibres susceptible to injury and degeneration. This ultimately results in cardiorespiratory dysfunction, which is the predominant cause of death in DMD patients, and highlights the importance of therapeutic targeting of the(More)
Oligonucleotide analogs have provided novel therapeutics targeting various disorders. However, their poor cellular uptake remains a major obstacle for their clinical development. Negatively charged oligonucleotides, such as 2'-O-Methyl RNA and locked nucleic acids have in recent years been delivered successfully into cells through complex formation with(More)
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