Metabolite Profiling of the Antisense Oligonucleotide Eluforsen Using Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry.Mol Ther Nucleic Acids 2019; 17:714-725MT
Eluforsen (previously known as QR-010) is a 33-mer 2'-O-methyl modified phosphorothioate antisense oligonucleotide targeting the F508del mutation in the gene encoding CFTR protein of cystic fibrosis patients. In this study, eluforsen was incubated with endo- and exonucleases and mouse liver homogenates to elucidate its in vitro metabolism. Mice and monkeys were used to determine in vivo liver and lung metabolism of eluforsen following inhalation. We developed a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry method for the identification and semi-quantitation of the metabolites of eluforsen and then applied the method for in vitro and in vivo metabolism studies. Solid-phase extraction was used following proteinase K digestion for sample preparation. Chain-shortened metabolites of eluforsen by 3' exonuclease were observed in mouse liver in an in vitro incubation system and by either 3' exonuclease or 5' exonuclease in liver and lung samples from an in vivo mouse and monkey study. This study provides approaches for further metabolite characterization of 2'-ribose-modified phosphorothioate oligonucleotides in in vitro and in vivo studies to support the development of oligonucleotide therapeutics.