Nucleic acids research

Functional characterization of the common c.-32-13T>G mutation of GAA gene: identification of potential therapeutic agents.

PMID 24150945


Glycogen storage disease type II is a lysosomal storage disorder due to mutations of the GAA gene, which causes lysosomal alpha-glucosidase deficiency. Clinically, glycogen storage disease type II has been classified in infantile and late-onset forms. Most late-onset patients share the leaky splicing mutation c.-32-13T>G. To date, the mechanism by which the c.-32-13T>G mutation affects the GAA mRNA splicing is not fully known. In this study, we demonstrate that the c.-32-13T>G mutation abrogates the binding of the splicing factor U2AF65 to the polypyrimidine tract of exon 2 and that several splicing factors affect exon 2 inclusion, although the only factor capable of acting in the c.-32-13 T>G context is the SR protein family member, SRSF4 (SRp75). Most importantly, a preliminary screening using small molecules described to be able to affect splicing profiles, showed that resveratrol treatment resulted in a significant increase of normal spliced GAA mRNA, GAA protein content and activity in cells transfected with a mutant minigene and in fibroblasts from patients carrying the c-32-13T>G mutation. In conclusion, this work provides an in-depth functional characterization of the c.-32-13T>G mutation and, most importantly, an in vitro proof of principle for the use of small molecules to rescue normal splicing of c.-32-13T>G mutant alleles.