eSkip-Finder: a machine learning-based web application and database to identify the optimal sequences of antisense oligonucleotides for exon skipping

Shuntaro Chiba, Kenji Rowel Q. Lim, Narin Sheri, Saeed Anwar, Esra Erkut, Md Nur Ahad Shah, Tejal Aslesh, Stanley Woo, Omar Sheikh, Rika Maruyama, Hiroaki Takano, Katsuhiko Kunitake, William Duddy, Yasushi Okuno, Yoshitsugu Aoki, Toshifumi Yokota

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Abstract

Exon skipping using antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) has recently proven to be a powerful tool for mRNA splicing modulation. Several exon-skipping ASOs have been approved to treat genetic diseases worldwide. However, a significant challenge is the difficulty in selecting an optimal sequence for exon skipping. The efficacy of ASOs is often unpredictable, because of the numerous factors involved in exon skipping. To address this gap, we have developed a computational method using machine-learning algorithms that factors in many parameters as well as experimental data to design highly effective ASOs for exon skipping. eSkip-Finder (https://eskip-finder.org) is the first web-based resource for helping researchers identify effective exon skipping ASOs. eSkip-Finder features two sections: 1) a predictor of the exon skipping efficacy of novel ASOs and 2) a database of exon skipping ASOs. The predictor facilitates rapid analysis of a given set of exon/intron sequences and ASO lengths to identify effective ASOs for exon skipping based on a machine-learning model trained by experimental data. We confirmed that predictions correlated well with in vitro skipping efficacy of sequences that were not included in the training data. The database enables users to search for ASOs using queries such as gene name, species, and exon number.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNucleic Acids Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2021

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