[Alternative splicing: a novel pharmacological target with wide therapeutic potential]

Jeanteur, P.; Tazi, J.

Bull Acad Natl Med

2005-05 / vol 189 / pages 949-59; discussion 959-61


Alternative splicing is a process by which a single stretch of genomic DNA yields several mRNAs encoding different proteins. Once believed to be a marginal phenomenon, alternative splicing now appears to be widespread among higher organisms and to be behind a large repertoire of human diseases. It involves a flexible mechanism for selecting splice sites, based on regulatory sequences recognized by cognate trans-acting protein factors (stimulatory SR proteins, or their antagonists). This RNA-protein interaction provides two types of targets for therapeutic manipulation. Masking regulatory RNA sequences with an antisense strategy is the most obvious, and encouraging results are beginning to accrue. Our lab is currently developing an entirely new approach in which activating proteins are targeted by small chemical molecules. A large screening program has been conducted with the chemical library from the Curie Institute. Several molecules (all indole derivatives) were found to counter the stimulatory effects of individual activating proteins, and have been selected for further development.

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Humans; Nuclear Proteins/metabolism; Exons; RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism; *Alternative Splicing/drug effects

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