Reactivating the FMR1 Gene to Reverse Fragile X Syndrome

Reactivating the FMR1 Gene to Reverse Fragile X Syndrome

FRAXA Research Foundation and The Pierce Family Fragile X Foundation have awarded a 2019 grant of $90,000 to Dr. Jeannie Lee’s lab at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital. They have discovered a method that will reactivate the FMR1 gene by treating cells with a cocktail of small molecules, under a specific regimen in vitro (patent filing pending).

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Gene Therapy Translational Studies for Fragile X Syndrome

Gene Therapy Translational Studies for Fragile X Syndrome

With this $90,000 award from FRAXA Research Foundation, Drs. Ernest Pedapati, Christina Gross, and student Lindsay Beasley will pursue preclinical gene therapy approaches using AAV (adeno-associated virus) vectors for treating Fragile X syndrome at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Dr. Craig Erickson elaborates about this in this video.

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Reintroducing FMRP via Tat to Reduce Symptoms of Fragile X Syndrome

Reintroducing FMRP via Tat to Reduce Symptoms of Fragile X Syndrome

FRAXA Research Foundation and the Fragile X Research Foundation of Canada have awarded a grant of $100,000 over two years to Dr. Raymond Turner at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. Dr. Turner and postdoctoral fellow Xiaoqin Zhan, PhD are attempting to reactivate a segment of FMRP to reverse symptoms of Fragile X in a mouse model of the disease to reduce abnormal behaviors.

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CRISPR Reactivation of the Fragile X Gene

CRISPR Reactivation of the Fragile X Gene

“We are trying to target the first event that goes wrong in Fragile X syndrome”, says Todd, “One reason our previous attempts to develop treatments for Fragile X syndrome have failed is that they’ve tried to target the downstream effects of losing the Fragile X protein. The protein does many things… bypassing all the functions that it normally takes care of has proven difficult from a pharmacologic perspective.”

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Genome-wide Screen for FMR1 Reactivation in Human FXS Neural Cells

Genome-wide Screen for FMR1 Reactivation in Human FXS Neural Cells

Drs. Mahmoud Pouladi and Kagistia Utami at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore have won a $67,500 research grant from FRAXA Research Foundation. Their goal is to reactivate the gene which is silenced in people who have Fragile X syndrome.

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Investigating Gene Reactivation to Treat Fragile X Syndrome

Investigating Gene Reactivation to Treat Fragile X Syndrome

With a $180,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation from 2016-2017, Dr. Jeannie Lee and her team at Harvard are working to reactivate the gene that is silenced in Fragile X syndrome.

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Small Molecules To Target r(CGG) Expansions to Treat Fragile X Syndrome

Small Molecules To Target r(CGG) Expansions to Treat Fragile X Syndrome

With a 2-year, $90,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation, Dr.’s Matthew Disney and Wang-Yong Yang worked to correct the underlying problem in Fragile X: the silencing of the Fragile X gene (FMR1) and the resulting lack of FMRP (Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein). Their approach was to use novel small molecules to target the abnormal CGG repeats before the FMR1 gene.

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Test-Bed for Screening Drugs which Can Reactivate the FMR1 Gene

Test-Bed for Screening Drugs which Can Reactivate the FMR1 Gene

With $146,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation over 2012-2013, Drs. Anita Bhattacharyya and Xinyu Zhao at the University of Wisconsin developed a new mouse model of Fragile X syndrome which will enable testing of gene reactivation and gene therapy approaches to treatment. They transplanted human Fragile X neural cells differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells into brains of neonatal mice and then testing for FMR1 reactivation. In 2015, The John Merck Fund assumed support for this work with a generous grant of $750,000 to the scientists. Results published.

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FMR1 Gene Delivery Using Herpes Simplex Virus Vectors

FMR1 Gene Delivery Using Herpes Simplex Virus Vectors

With $89,000 from FRAXA Research Foundation over 2001-2005, Dr. David Bloom investigated gene therapy for Fragile X. The Bloom lab specializes in the development of gene therapy techniques, and they have succeeded in transferring the Fragile X gene (fmr1) into the brains of live mice, using viral vectors. They studied ways to enhance this process, with the ultimate goal of gene therapy for people with Fragile X.

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Prospects For Gene Therapy in the Fragile X

With a $90,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation from 2000-2002, Dr. Mario Rattazzi at the New York State Institute for Basic Research explored gene therapy: ways to transfer the FMR1 gene across the blood-brain-barrier in normal rats and mice, and then in FMR1 knockout mice. Results published.

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