survival motor neuron
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2022 ◽  
Vol 16 (1) ◽  
Cempaka Thursina Srie Setyaningrum ◽  
Indra Sari Kusuma Harahap ◽  
Dian Kesumapramudya Nurputra ◽  
Irwan Taufiqur Rachman ◽  
Nur Imma Fatimah Harahap

Abstract Background Spinal muscular atrophy is a genetic disorder characterized by degeneration of lower motor neurons, leading to progressive muscular atrophy and even paralysis. Spinal muscular atrophy usually associated with a defect of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN-1) gene. Classification of spinal muscular atrophy is based on the age of onset and maximum motor function milestone achieved. Although spinal muscular atrophy can be screened for in newborns, and even confirmed earlier genetically, this remains difficult in Third World countries such as Indonesia. Case presentation A 28-year-old Asian woman in the first trimester of her second pregnancy, was referred to the neurology department from the obstetric department. Her milestone history showed she was developmentally delayed and the ability to walk independently was reached at 26 months old. At 8 years old, she started to stumble and lose balance while walking. At this age, spinal muscular atrophy was suspected because of her clinical presentations, without any molecular genetic testing. She was married at the age of 25 years and was soon pregnant with her first child. At the gestational age of 32 weeks, her first pregnancy was ended by an emergency caesarean section because of premature rupture of the membranes. In this second pregnancy, she was referred early to the general hospital from the district hospital to receive multidisciplinary care. She and her first daughter underwent genetic testing for spinal muscular atrophy, which has been readily available in our institution since 2018, to confirm the diagnosis and prepare for genetic counseling. Conclusions Managing pregnancy in a patient with spinal muscular atrophy should be performed collaboratively. In this case, genetic testing of spinal muscular atrophy and the collaborative management of this patient allowed the clinical decision making and genetic counseling throughout her pregnancy and delivery.

2022 ◽  
Albano Pinto ◽  
Catarina Cunha ◽  
Raquel Chaves ◽  
Matthew ER Butchbach ◽  
Filomena Adega

Abstract Transposable elements (TEs) are interspersed repetitive DNA sequences with the ability to mobilize in the genome. The recent development of improved tools for evaluating TE-derived sequences in genomic studies has enabled an increasing attention to the contribution of TEs to human development and disease. Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive motor neuron disease that is caused by deletions or mutations in the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. SMN2 gene is a nearly perfect duplication of SMN1. Both genes (collectively known as SMN1/SMN2) are highly enriched in TEs. A comprehensive analysis of TEs insertions in the SMN1/2 loci of SMA carriers, patients and healthy/control individuals was completed to perceive TE dynamics in SMN1/2 and try to establish a link between these elements and SMA.We found an Alu insertion in the promoter region and one L1 element in the 3’UTR that likely play an important role as an alternative promoter and as an alternative terminator to the gene, respectively. Additionally, the several Alu repeats inserted in the genes’ introns influence splicing, giving rise to alternative splicing events that cause RNA circularization and the birth of new alternative exons. These Alu repeats present throughout the genes are also prone to recombination events that can lead to SMN1 exons deletions, that ultimately lead to SMA. The many good and bad implications associated with the presence of TEs inside SMN1/2 make this genomic region ideal for understanding the implications of TEs on genomic evolution as well as on human genomic disease.

2021 ◽  
Vol 10 (23) ◽  
pp. 5540
Andrada Mirea ◽  
Elena-Silvia Shelby ◽  
Mihaela Axente ◽  
Mihaela Badina ◽  
Liliana Padure ◽  

Background: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular progressive disease, characterized by decreased amounts of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, due to an autosomal recessive genetic defect. Despite recent research, there is still no cure. Nusinersen, an antisense oligonucleotide acting on the SMN2 gene, is intrathecally administered all life long, while onasemnogene abeparvovec-xioi, a gene therapy, is administered intravenously only once. Both therapies have proven efficacy, with best outcomes obtained when administered presymptomatically. In recent years, disease-modifying therapies such as nusinersen and onasemnogene abeparvovec-xioi have changed the natural history of SMA. Methods: We observed seven SMA type I patients, who received both therapies. We compared their motor function trajectories, ventilation hours and cough assist sessions to a control group of patients who received one therapy, in order to investigate whether combination therapy may be more effective than a single intervention alone. Results: Patients who received both therapies, compared to the monotherapy cohort, had the same motor function trajectory. Moreover, it was observed that the evolution of motor function was better in the 6 months following the first therapy than in the first 6 months after adding the second treatment. Conclusions: Our results suggest that early treatment is more important than combined therapy.

Genes ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (10) ◽  
pp. 1621
Yogik Onky Silvana Wijaya ◽  
Hisahide Nishio ◽  
Emma Tabe Eko Niba ◽  
Kentaro Okamoto ◽  
Haruo Shintaku ◽  

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a lower motor neuron disease, once considered incurable. The main symptoms are muscle weakness and muscular atrophy. More than 90% of cases of SMA are caused by homozygous deletion of survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1). Emerging treatments, such as splicing modulation of SMN2 and SMN gene replacement therapy, have improved the prognoses and motor functions of patients. However, confirmed diagnosis by SMN1 testing is often delayed, suggesting the presence of diagnosis-delayed or undiagnosed cases. To enable patients to access the right treatments, a screening system for SMA is essential. Even so, the current newborn screening system using dried blood spots is still invasive and cumbersome. Here, we developed a completely non-invasive screening system using dried saliva spots (DSS) as an alternative DNA source to detect SMN1 deletion. In this study, 60 DSS (40 SMA patients and 20 controls) were tested. The combination of modified competitive oligonucleotide priming-polymerase chain reaction and melting peak analysis clearly distinguished DSS samples with and without SMN1. In conclusion, these results suggest that our system with DSS is applicable to SMA patient detection in the real world.

2021 ◽  
Vol 1 (9) ◽  
Reimbursement Team

CADTH reimbursement reviews are comprehensive assessments of the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness, as well as patient and clinician perspectives, of a drug or drug class. The assessments inform non-binding recommendations that help guide the reimbursement decisions of Canada's federal, provincial, and territorial governments, with the exception of Quebec. This review assesses onasemnogene abeparvovec (Zolgensma), given as a single-dose IV infusion of 1.1 × 1014 vector genomes/kg Indication: For the treatment of pediatric patients with 5q SMA with biallelic mutations in the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene and: 3 or fewer copies of the SMN2 gene or infantile-onset SMA  

2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (19) ◽  
pp. 10234
Kwangman Choi ◽  
Ansook Yang ◽  
Jiyeon Baek ◽  
Hyejeong Jeong ◽  
Yura Kang ◽  

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by homozygous survival of motor neurons 1 (SMN1) gene deletion, leaving a duplicate gene, SMN2, as the sole source of SMN protein. However, a defect in SMN2 splicing, involving exon 7 skipping, results in a low level of functional SMN protein. Therefore, the upregulation of SMN protein expression from the SMN2 gene is generally considered to be one of the best therapeutic strategies to treat SMA. Most of the SMA drug discovery is based on synthetic compounds, and very few natural compounds have been explored thus far. Here, we performed an unbiased mechanism-independent and image-based screen of a library of microbial metabolites in SMA fibroblasts using an SMN-specific immunoassay. In doing so, we identified brefeldin A (BFA), a well-known inhibitor of ER-Golgi protein trafficking, as a strong inducer of SMN protein. The profound increase in SMN protein was attributed to, in part, the rescue of the SMN2 pre-mRNA splicing defect. Intriguingly, BFA increased the intracellular calcium concentration, and the BFA-induced exon 7 inclusion of SMN2 splicing, was abrogated by the depletion of intracellular calcium and by the pharmacological inhibition of calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinases (CaMKs). Moreover, BFA considerably reduced the expression of Tra2-β and SRSF9 proteins in SMA fibroblasts and enhanced the binding of PSF and hnRNP M to an exonic splicing enhancer (ESE) of exon 7. Together, our results demonstrate a significant role for calcium and its signaling on the regulation of SMN splicing, probably through modulating the expression/activity of splicing factors.

2021 ◽  
Ying Xu ◽  
Tingting Song ◽  
Xiaozhou Wang ◽  
Jiao Zheng ◽  
Yu Li ◽  

Abstract Background: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a common neuromuscular disorder, caused by absence of both copies of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. Population-wide SMA screening to quantify copy number of SMN1 is recommended by multiple regions. SMN1 diagnostic assay with simplified procedure, high sensitivity and throughput is still needed.Methods: Real-Time PCR with High-Resolution Melting for the quantification of the SMN1 gene exon 7 copies and SMN1 gene exon 8 copies was established and confirmed by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). The diagnosis of 2563 individuals including SMA patients, suspected cases and the general population were analyzed by the real-time PCR. The results were compared with the gold standard test MPLA. Results: In this study, the homozygous deletions, heterozygous deletions were identified by Real-Time PCR with High-Resolution Melting method with an incidence of 10.18% and 2.42%, respectively. In addition, the R value distribution (P>0.05) among the 8 replicates and the coefficient of variation (CV<0.003) suggested that the qPCR screening test had high reproducibility. High concordance was obtained between Real-Time PCR with High-Resolution Melting and MPLA. Conclusions: The qPCR based on High-Resolution Melting provides a sensitive and high-throughput approach to large-scale SMA carrier screening with low cost and labor.

Genes ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (9) ◽  
pp. 1346
Jan Lejman ◽  
Grzegorz Zieliński ◽  
Piotr Gawda ◽  
Monika Lejman

It has been estimated that 80% of the pre-mRNA undergoes alternative splicing, which exponentially increases the flow of biological information in cellular processes and can be an attractive therapeutic target. It is a crucial mechanism to increase genetic diversity. Disturbed alternative splicing is observed in many disorders, including neuromuscular diseases and carcinomas. Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease. Homozygous deletion in 5q13 (the region coding for the motor neuron survival gene (SMN1)) is responsible for 95% of SMA cases. The nearly identical SMN2 gene does not compensate for SMN loss caused by SMN1 gene mutation due to different splicing of exon 7. A pathologically low level of survival motor neuron protein (SMN) causes degeneration of the anterior horn cells in the spinal cord with associated destruction of α-motor cells and manifested by muscle weakness and loss. Understanding the regulation of the SMN2 pre-mRNA splicing process has allowed for innovative treatment and the introduction of new medicines for SMA. After describing the concept of splicing modulation, this review will cover the progress achieved in this field, by highlighting the breakthrough accomplished recently for the treatment of SMA using the mechanism of alternative splicing.

2021 ◽  
Vol 1 (8) ◽  
Reimbursement Team

CADTH recommends that Evrysdi should be reimbursed by public drug plans for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in patients aged 2 months and older, if certain conditions are met. Evrysdi should only be reimbursed if the patient is under the care of a specialist with experience in the diagnosis and management of SMA, it is not used in combination with nusinersen or onasemnogene abeparvovec, and the price is reduced. Evrysdi should only be reimbursed to treat patients aged 2 months to 7 months with genetic documentation of 2 or 3 copies of the survival motor neuron 2 (SMN2) gene or non-ambulatory patients aged 8 months to 25 years with genetic documentation of 2 or 3 copies of the SMN2 gene. Patients are ineligible if they currently require permanent invasive ventilation. After 12 months of treatment, patients should be assessed to ensure clinical benefit.

2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (16) ◽  
pp. 9029
Mar Costa-Roger ◽  
Laura Blasco-Pérez ◽  
Ivon Cuscó ◽  
Eduardo F. Tizzano

After 26 years of discovery of the determinant survival motor neuron 1 and the modifier survival motor neuron 2 genes (SMN1 and SMN2, respectively), three SMN-dependent specific therapies are already approved by FDA and EMA and, as a consequence, worldwide SMA patients are currently under clinical investigation and treatment. Bi-allelic pathogenic variants (mostly deletions) in SMN1 should be detected in SMA patients to confirm the disease. Determination of SMN2 copy number has been historically employed to correlate with the phenotype, predict disease evolution, stratify patients for clinical trials and to define those eligible for treatment. In view that discordant genotype-phenotype correlations are present in SMA, besides technical issues with detection of SMN2 copy number, we have hypothesized that copy number determination is only the tip of the iceberg and that more deepen studies of variants, sequencing and structures of the SMN2 genes are necessary for a better understanding of the disease as well as to investigate possible influences in treatment responses. Here, we highlight the importance of a comprehensive approach of SMN1 and SMN2 genetics with the perspective to apply for better prediction of SMA in positive neonatal screening cases and early diagnosis to start treatments.

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