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Advances in therapeutic development for spinal muscular atrophy.

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Published:1st Jun 2014
Author: Howell MD, Singh NN, Singh RN.
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Ref.:Future Med Chem. 2014;6(9):1081-99.
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a leading genetic cause of infant mortality. The disease originates from low levels of SMN protein due to deletion and/or mutations of SMN1 coupled with the inability of SMN2 to compensate for the loss of SMN1. While SMN1 and SMN2 are nearly identical, SMN2 predominantly generates a truncated protein (SMNΔ7) due to skipping of exon 7, the last coding exon. Several avenues for SMA therapy are being explored, including means to enhance SMN2 transcription, correct SMN2 exon 7 splicing, stabilize SMN/SMNΔ7 protein, manipulate SMN-regulated pathways and SMN1 gene delivery by viral vectors. This review focuses on the aspects of target discovery, validations and outcome measures for a promising therapy of SMA.

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