ARTICLE | Discovery & Translation

Neonatal disease interception for Huntington disease; two self-assembling vaccines and more

BioCentury’s roundup of translational news

September 23, 2022 11:44 PM UTC

A group led by Sandrine Humbert at Grenoble Alpes University showed in Science that pharmacologically enhancing glutamatergic transmission with an ampakine during neonatal periods to correct early functional abnormalities rescued Huntington disease deficits, normalized brain morphology and delayed disease onset in adult mice. The disease interception strategy was developed based on findings that mice with mutations in the HTT gene have less cortical layer 2/3 excitatory synaptic activity, express fewer glutamatergic receptors and show sensorimotor deficits during the first postnatal week compared with wild-type mice, which was associated with adult onset of the disease despite the circuit self-normalizing in the second postnatal week.

Scientists from Sichuan University and Peking Union Medical College presented in Nature Communications a SARS-CoV-2 self-assembling subunit vaccine completely protected mice and non-human primates following live virus challenge with Omicron and Delta variants, and demonstrated a strong boosting effect after two doses of mRNA vaccines. The authors developed the vaccine by directly linking the RBD protein sequence of the Delta variant and the SARS-CoV-2 S2 subunit spike heptad-repeat sequences 1 and 2, which can self-assemble into a trimer...