Projects Archive - Foundation for Prader-Willi Research | Genetic Therapy

Under the guidance of our Scientific Advisory Board through a carefully managed grants process, FPWR selects research projects based on the collaborative input of researchers and parents, choosing projects that are both scientifically meritorious and highly relevant for individuals with PWS and their families.

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The Functional Development of Hunger Neurons in Prader-Willi Syndrome

Funded Year: 2019

AgRP ('hunger') neurons are found in the hypothalamus and control feeding, metabolism and compulsive behaviors. There is evidence that AgRP neurons may be overactive during development in PWS, which might lead to some of the characteristics of PWS. In this project, Dr. Dietrich will use a cutting edge technology developed in his lab to evaluate false

CRISPR-mediated molecular dissection of Prader-Willi syndrome

Funded Year: 2019

The PWS region of chromosome 15 consists of several genes. While we know the loss of all these genes together will lead to the characteristics of PWS, we still don’t know exactly what is the contribution of each gene. In this project, Dr Talkowski's team will use CRISPR technology (a very precise way to cut out parts of the genome) to develop false

Targeting SMCHD1 to address the underlying cause of PWS and SYS

Funded Year: 2019

Associate Professor Blewitt and her research team study how genes shift between ‘sleeping’ to ‘awake’ states, and how this impacts a range of diseases.  “A protein called SMCHD1 keeps many genes in their sleeping state,” Associate Professor Blewitt said. “We discovered that SMCHD1’s targets include some of the maternal genes that are involved in false

CRISPR-mediated 3D modeling, molecular dissection and epigenetic profiling of PWS

Funded Year: 2017

Deletions on chromosome 15 in the bands labeled 15q11.2-q13 on the chromosome inherited from a subject’s father cause Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). The unique nature of this causative genetic event has been known for many years, but the precise manner in which it causes the developmental abnormalities of PWS is not completely understood since the false

Therapeutic Potential of Blocking Zinc Finger Protein 274 Binding to the PWS Locus

Funded Year: 2017

Our goal is to understand the molecular pathways disrupted in Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) and to develop therapeutic interventions for this disorder. Through the biological process called genomic imprinting, the chromosome 15 that is inherited from the father has a set of genes that is switched on while the same set of genes on the chromosome 15 false

The molecular mechanism of SNORD116 action and possible SNORD116 substitution strategies

Funded Year: 2016

The loss of two snoRNAs, SNORD115 and SNORD116, plays a central role in the development of Prader-Willi syndrome. However, the normal function of SNORD116 is still unclear, making it difficult to understand what goes wrong when SNORD116 is lost. Dr. Stamm’s group is exploring how SNORD116 influences other genes, and their preliminary studies false

Preclinical studies of a novel epigenetic therapy for Prader-Willi syndrome

Funded Year: 2016

Despite the significant progress in understanding the molecular basis underlying Prader-Willi syndrome, little advance has been achieved in developing the treatment specifically targeting to the molecular defect. The SNORD116 between the SNRPN and UBE3A genes is important for the major features of PWS. The host transcripts and SNORD116 in the false

Reactivation of the PWS locus via disruption of the ZNF274 silencing complex (year 2)

Funded Year: 2016

Through a normal biological process called genomic imprinting, the chromosome 15 that is inherited from the father has a set of genes that are switched on while the same set of genes on the chromosome 15 inherited from the mother are switched off. In Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), there is no normal copy of the paternal chromosome 15 so patients false

Activation of silenced genes in Prader-Willi syndrome

Funded Year: 2015

The genetic causes of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) are known, including as a complex disorder involving imprinted genes that normally only function after inheritance from the father. A dozen genes contribute to the clinical problems in PWS, although what most of these genes do is poorly understood. Additionally, although numerous mouse models that false

Reactivation of the PWS locus via disruption of the ZNF274 silencing complex

Funded Year: 2015

Through a normal biological process called genomic imprinting, the chromosome 15 that is inherited from the father has a set of genes that are switched on while the same set of genes on the chromosome 15 inherited from the mother are switched off. In Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), there is no normal copy of the paternal chromosome 15 so patients false

Small molecules and therapeutic potential for PWS

Funded Year: 2014

A publication resulting from this project was highlighted in an FPWR Research Blog post “Promising First Steps Towards Genetic Therapy for Prader-Willi Syndrome” (December 2016)

Injectable protein gene activation therapy for PWS (year 2)

Funded Year: 2014

This proposal will investigate the development of a gene therapy for Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). PWS is caused by the loss of a region of human chromosome 15q11-13. Humans have two copies of chromosome 15, one the mother (maternal) and one from the father (paternal). Due to an unusual mechanism called genetic imprinting, the genes affecting PWS false

Functional Assessment of snoRNA derived microRNAs in Prader-Willi Syndrome

Funded Year: 2013

Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder, predominantly caused by a deletion on the long arm of chromosome 15. This deletion eliminates a group of genes called HBII-85 whose function is currently unknown. Therefore, this proposal aims to investigate the underlaying molecular mechanisms behind the loss of HBII-85 and how this false

Reactivation of maternally-silenced genes in PWS

Funded Year: 2013

This proposal will investigate the development of a gene therapy for Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). PWS is caused by the loss of a region of human cromosome 15q11-13. Humans have two copies of chromosome 15, one the mother (maternal) and one from the father (paternal). Due to an unusual mechanism called genetic imprinting, the genes affecting PWS false

Small molecular screening and therapeutic potential for PWS

Funded Year: 2013

Like most genetic disorders, there is no specific therapeutic intervention targeted to the molecular defect for Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). The clinical presentations of PWS are caused by paternal deficiency of genes in the chromosome 15q11-q13 region. Recent reports indicate a region between the SNRPN and UBE3A genes harboring SnoRNA clusters is false

Identification of substances that substitute for the loss of snoRNAs from the Prader-Willi critical region

Funded Year: 2009

Genetic studies strongly indicate that the Prader-Willi syndrome is caused by the loss of small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNA). SnoRNAs are short RNAs that do not encode a protein. In most cases studied, snoRNAs help in the modification of other RNAs. However, the function of the snoRNAs missing in people with Prader-Willi syndrome is not clear. In false

Exploring the potential of using demethylation drugs to treat PWS

Funded Year: 2009

More than 95% of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) cases are caused by either a large deletion of paternal chromosome 15q11-q13 or maternal uniparental disomy (UPD) of chromosome 15. The major gene or genes responsible for PWS are subject to genomic imprinting and exclusively expressed from paternal chromosome. For patients with a large chromosomal false

Activation of the maternal allele at the PWS/AS domain as a potential therapeutic approach (year 1)

Funded Year: 2009

Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) results from inactivation of a domain on the paternal chromosome 15 while the same domain on chromosome 15 that is of maternal origin is normally inactivated. This situation in Prader-Willi patients is therefore associated with complete silencing of a relatively large number of genes that are located in this domain. false

Activation of the maternal allele at the PWS/AS domain (Year 2)

Funded Year: 2009

Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) results from inactivation of a domain on the paternal chromosome 15 while the same domain on chromosome 15 that is of maternal origin is normally inactivated. This situation in Prader-Willi patients is therefore associated with complete silencing of a relatively large number of genes that are located in this domain. false

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