Nagashima-type palmoplantar keratosis (NPPK) is an autosomal recessive skin disorder with a high, unmet medical need that is caused by mutations in SERPINB7. Almost all NPPK patients carry the founder nonsense mutation c.796C>T (p.Arg266Ter) in the last exon of SERPINB7. Here we sought to determine whether topical "nonsense-suppression (readthrough)" therapy using gentamicin is applicable to NPPK. First, we demonstrated that gentamicin enhanced readthrough activity in cells transfected with SERPINB7 cDNA carrying the mutation and promoted full-length SERPINB7 protein synthesis in NPPK keratinocytes. We next conducted an investigator-blinded, randomized, bilaterally controlled compassionate use study of topical gentamicin in which five NPPK patients with c.796C>T were enrolled. Patients' selfreported improvement of hyperkeratosis was significantly greater on the gentamicin side than the control side (P=0.0349). In two patients, hyperkeratosis was improved on the gentamicin side, as determined by a blinded-investigator assessment. These results indicate the therapeutic potential of topical gentamicin for NPPK. Unexpectedly, we also found that mutant SERPINB7 mRNAs harboring r.796c>u were degraded by nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. Furthermore, the truncated SERPINB7 protein was degraded via a proteasome-mediated pathway. These findings provide important insights into the mRNA/protein quality control system in humans, which could be a potential therapeutic target for genetic diseases. (199 words).
- Journal article