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Intrathecal delivery of frataxin mRNA encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles to dorsal root ganglia as a potential therapeutic for Friedreich's ataxia

In Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) patients, diminished frataxin (FXN) in sensory neurons is thought to yield the predominant pathology associated with disease. In this study, we demonstrate successful usage of RNA transcript therapy (RTT) as an exogenous human FXN supplementation strategy in vitro and in vivo, specifically to dorsal root ganglia (DRG). Initially, 293 T cells were transfected with codon optimized human FXN mRNA, which was translated to yield FXN protein. Importantly, FXN was rapidly processed into the mature functional form of FXN (mFXN). Next, FXN mRNA, in the form of lipid nanoparticles (LNPs), was administered intravenously in adult mice. Examination of liver homogenates demonstrated efficient FXN LNP uptake in hepatocytes and revealed that the mitochondrial maturation machinery had efficiently processed all FXN protein to mFXN in ~24 h in vivo.

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