Lentiviral gene therapy using cellular promoters cures type 1 Gaucher disease in mice.

Dahl M, Doyle A, Olsson K, Månsson JE, Marques AR, Mirzaian M, Aerts JM, Ehinger M, Rothe M, Modlich U, Schambach A, Karlsson S
Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy 2015; 2352015May: 835-44

Abstract

Gaucher disease is caused by an inherited deficiency of the enzyme glucosylceramidase. Due to the lack of a fully functional enzyme, there is progressive build-up of the lipid component glucosylceramide. Insufficient glucosylceramidase activity results in hepatosplenomegaly, cytopenias, and bone disease in patients. Gene therapy represents a future therapeutic option for patients unresponsive to enzyme replacement therapy and lacking a suitable bone marrow donor. By proof-of-principle experiments, we have previously demonstrated a reversal of symptoms in a murine disease model of type 1 Gaucher disease, using gammaretroviral vectors harboring strong viral promoters to drive glucosidase β-acid (GBA) gene expression. To investigate whether safer vectors can correct the enzyme deficiency, we utilized self-inactivating lentiviral vectors (SIN LVs) with the GBA gene under the control of human phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK) and CD68 promoter, respectively. Here, we report prevention of, as well as reversal of, manifest disease symptoms after lentiviral gene transfer. Glucosylceramidase activity above levels required for clearance of glucosylceramide from tissues resulted in reversal of splenomegaly, reduced Gaucher cell infiltration and a restoration of hematological parameters. These findings support the use of SIN-LVs with cellular promoters in future clinical gene therapy protocols for type 1 Gaucher disease.

Affiliation: 1] Department of Molecular Medicine and Gene Therapy, Lund University, Lund, Sweden [2] Lund Strategic Center for Stem Cell Biology and Cell Therapy, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.

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