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TreatOPON - Preclinical Development of Treatments for OPA1-linked Optic Neuropathies

OPA1-linked Optic Neuropathies (OPONs) represent a group of inherited neurodegenerative disorders including isolated optic atrophy (adOA) as well as syndromic disease such as adOAplus or Behr syndrome with a variety of additional extraocular symptoms. OPONs are caused by mutations in OPA1, a nuclear encoded mitochondrial large GTPase of the dynamin family that plays a central role in mitochondrial dynamics and cristae junction maintenance. Progressive visual loss is the most common symptom in these patients resulting from a dysfunction and eventually loss of retinal ganglion cells and their axons forming the optic nerve. There is currently no therapy available for patients suffering from OPONs.

In this project we therefore further develop and validate several innovative therapeutic approaches which aim to generally elevate OPA1 expression or specifically rescue mutant OPA1 alleles or transcripts. A central objective of this project is the use of a common resource of established in vitro and in vivo models, the definition and implementation of common outcome measures applied in all teams and a pilot study on a direct comparison of the efficacy of different therapeutic approaches in a murine disease model.

TreatOPON Meeting on April 03-04,2019 at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg, Delmenhorst
Project Coordinator: Bernd Wissinger
Other Partners:  
  • Guy Lenaers (Université d‘Angers, UMR CNRS 6015, Inserm U1083 Angers/France),
  • John Neidhardt (University of Oldenburg, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dept. of Human Medicine, Oldenburg/Germany)
  • Albert Neutzner (University Basel, Dept. Biomedicine, Basel/Switzerland)
Funding Agency: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), Schweizerischer Nationalfond (SNF) as partner agencies of the ERA-NET E-Rare 3 call