Myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2) is one of >40 microsatellite disorders caused by RNA repeat expansions. The DM2 repeat expansion, r(CCUG)(exp) (where "exp" denotes expanded repeating nucleotides), is harbored in intron 1 of the CCHC-type zinc finger nucleic acid binding protein (CNBP). The expanded RNA repeat causes disease by a gain-of-function mechanism, sequestering various RNA-binding proteins including the pre-mRNA splicing regulator MBNL1. Sequestration of MBNL1 results in its loss-of-function and concomitant deregulation of the alternative splicing of its native substrates. Notably, this r(CCUG)(exp )causes retention of intron 1 in the mature CNBP mRNA. Herein, we report druglike small molecules that bind the structure adopted by r(CCUG)(exp) and improve DM2-associated defects. These small molecules were optimized from screening hits from an RNA-focused small-molecule library to afford a compound that binds r(CCUG)(exp) specifically and with nanomolar affinity, facilitates endogenous degradation of the aberrantly retained intron in which it is harbored, and rescues alternative splicing defects.
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- NUCLEAR FOCI
- ABERRANT RNA