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      Hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis: a model of medical progress for a fatal disease

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          RNAi-mediated gene silencing in non-human primates.

          The opportunity to harness the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway to silence disease-causing genes holds great promise for the development of therapeutics directed against targets that are otherwise not addressable with current medicines. Although there are numerous examples of in vivo silencing of target genes after local delivery of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), there remain only a few reports of RNAi-mediated silencing in response to systemic delivery of siRNA, and there are no reports of systemic efficacy in non-rodent species. Here we show that siRNAs, when delivered systemically in a liposomal formulation, can silence the disease target apolipoprotein B (ApoB) in non-human primates. APOB-specific siRNAs were encapsulated in stable nucleic acid lipid particles (SNALP) and administered by intravenous injection to cynomolgus monkeys at doses of 1 or 2.5 mg kg(-1). A single siRNA injection resulted in dose-dependent silencing of APOB messenger RNA expression in the liver 48 h after administration, with maximal silencing of >90%. This silencing effect occurred as a result of APOB mRNA cleavage at precisely the site predicted for the RNAi mechanism. Significant reductions in ApoB protein, serum cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein levels were observed as early as 24 h after treatment and lasted for 11 days at the highest siRNA dose, thus demonstrating an immediate, potent and lasting biological effect of siRNA treatment. Our findings show clinically relevant RNAi-mediated gene silencing in non-human primates, supporting RNAi therapeutics as a potential new class of drugs.
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            Fluorescence detection in automated DNA sequence analysis.

            We have developed a method for the partial automation of DNA sequence analysis. Fluorescence detection of the DNA fragments is accomplished by means of a fluorophore covalently attached to the oligonucleotide primer used in enzymatic DNA sequence analysis. A different coloured fluorophore is used for each of the reactions specific for the bases A, C, G and T. The reaction mixtures are combined and co-electrophoresed down a single polyacrylamide gel tube, the separated fluorescent bands of DNA are detected near the bottom of the tube, and the sequence information is acquired directly by computer.
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              Relative apical sparing of longitudinal strain using two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography is both sensitive and specific for the diagnosis of cardiac amyloidosis.

              The diagnosis of cardiac amyloidosis (CA) is challenging owing to vague symptomatology and non-specific echocardiographic findings. To describe regional patterns in longitudinal strain (LS) using two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography in CA and to test the hypothesis that regional differences would help differentiate CA from other causes of increased left ventricular (LV) wall thickness. 55 consecutive patients with CA were compared with 30 control patients with LV hypertrophy (n=15 with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, n=15 with aortic stenosis). A relative apical LS of 1.0, defined using the equation (average apical LS/(average basal LS + mid-LS)), was sensitive (93%) and specific (82%) in differentiating CA from controls (area under the curve 0.94). In a logistic regression multivariate analysis, relative apical LS was the only parameter predictive of CA (p=0.004). CA is characterised by regional variations in LS from base to apex. A relative 'apical sparing' pattern of LS is an easily recognisable, accurate and reproducible method of differentiating CA from other causes of LV hypertrophy.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Neurology
                Nat Rev Neurol
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1759-4758
                1759-4766
                June 17 2019
                Article
                10.1038/s41582-019-0210-4
                © 2019

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