Huntington's disease (HD) is a monogenic neurodegenerative disorder representing an ideal candidate for gene silencing with oligonucleotide therapeutics (i.e., antisense oligonucleotides [ASOs] and small interfering RNAs [siRNAs]). Using an ultra-sensitive branched fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) method, we show that ∼50% of wild-type HTT mRNA localizes to the nucleus and that its nuclear localization is observed only in neuronal cells. In mouse brain sections, we detect Htt mRNA predominantly in neurons, with a wide range of Htt foci observed per cell. We further show that siRNAs and ASOs efficiently eliminate cytoplasmic HTT mRNA and HTT protein, but only ASOs induce a partial but significant reduction of nuclear HTT mRNA. We speculate that, like other mRNAs, HTT mRNA subcellular localization might play a role in important neuronal regulatory mechanisms.
Keywords: ASOs; CAG repeat RNA foci; HTT mRNA; Huntington’s disease; RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization; confocal microscopy; siRNAs.
Published by Elsevier Inc.