AAV Vectors Containing rDNA Homology Display Increased Chromosomal Integration and Transgene Persistence

Oregon Stem Cell Center, Papé Family Pediatric Research Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA.
Molecular Therapy (Impact Factor: 6.43). 09/2012; 20(10):1902-11. DOI: 10.1038/mt.2012.157
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors are promising tools for gene therapy of genetic disorders, they remain mostly episomal and hence are lost during cell replication. For this reason, rAAV vectors capable of chromosomal integration would be desirable. Ribosomal DNA (rDNA) repeat sequences are overrepresented during random integration of rAAV. We therefore sought to enhance AAV integration frequency by including 28S rDNA homology arms into our vector design. A vector containing ~1 kb of homology on each side of a cDNA expression cassette for human fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase (FAH) was constructed. rAAV of serotypes 2 and 8 were injected into Fah-deficient mice, a model for human tyrosinemia type 1. Integrated FAH transgenes are positively selected in this model and rDNA-containing AAV vectors had a ~30× higher integration frequency than controls. Integration by homologous recombination (HR) into the 28S rDNA locus was seen in multiple tissues. Furthermore, rDNA-containing AAV vectors for human factor IX (hFIX) demonstrated increased transgene persistence after liver regeneration. We conclude that rDNA containing AAV vectors may be superior to conventional vector design for the treatment of genetic diseases, especially those associated with increased hepatocyte replication.

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    ABSTRACT: Viral vectors based on adeno-associated virus (AAV) are showing exciting promise in gene therapy trials targeting the adult liver. A major challenge in extending this promise to the pediatric liver is the loss of episomal vector genomes that accompanies hepatocellular proliferation during liver growth. Hence maintenance of sufficient transgene expression will be critical for success in infants and children. We therefore set out to explore the therapeutic efficacy and durability of liver-targeted gene transfer in the challenging context of a neonatal lethal urea cycle defect, using the argininosuccinate synthetase deficient mouse. Lethal neonatal hyperammonemia was prevented by prenatal and early postnatal vector delivery; however, hyperammonemia subsequently recurred limiting survival to no more than 33 days despite vector readministration. Antivector antibodies acquired in milk from vector-exposed dams were subsequently shown to be blocking vector readministration, and were avoided by crossfostering vector-treated pups to vector-naive dams. In the absence of passively acquired antivector antibodies, vector redelivery proved efficacious with mice surviving to adulthood without recurrence of significant hyperammonemia. These data demonstrate the potential of AAV vectors in the developing liver, showing that vector readministration can be used to counter growth-associated loss of transgene expression provided the challenge of antivector humoral immunity is addressed.Molecular Therapy (2013); doi:10.1038/mt.2013.139.
    Molecular Therapy 07/2013; DOI:10.1038/mt.2013.139 · 6.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The inverted terminal repeats (ITRs) of adeno-associated virus (AAV) are notoriously difficult to sequence owing to their high GC-content (70%) and palindromic sequences that result in the formation of a very stable, 125 bp long, T-shaped hairpin structure. Here we evaluate the performance of two widely used next-generation sequencing platforms, 454 GS FLX (Roche) and MiSeq Benchtop Sequencer (Illumina), in analyzing ITRs in comparatively sequencing linear amplification-meditated PCR (LAM-PCR) amplicons derived from AAV-concatemeric structures. While our data indicate that both platforms can sequence complete ITRs, efficiencies (MiSeq: 0.11% of sequence reads; 454: 0.02% of reads), frequencies (MiSeq: 171 full ITRs, 454: 3 full ITRs), and rates of deviation from the derived ITR consensus sequence (MiSeq: 0.8%-1.3%; 454: 0.5%) did differ. These results suggest that next-generation sequencing platforms can be used to specifically detect ITR mutations and sequence complete ITRs.
    BioTechniques 05/2014; 56(5):269-73. DOI:10.2144/000114170 · 2.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Genetic modification, such as the addition of exogenous genes to the MSC genome, is crucial to their use as cellular vehicles. Due to the risks associated with viral vectors such as insertional mutagenesis, the safer nonviral vectors have drawn a great deal of attention. Methods. VEGF, bFGF, vitamin C, and insulin-transferrin-selenium-X were supplemented in the MSC culture medium. The cells' proliferation and survival capacity was measured by MTT, determination of the cumulative number of cells, and a colony-forming efficiency assay. The plasmid pHr2-NL was constructed and nucleofected into MSCs. The recombinants were selected using G418 and characterized using PCR and Southern blotting. Results. BFGF is critical to MSC growth and it acted synergistically with vitamin C, VEGF, and ITS-X, causing the cells to expand significantly. The neomycin gene was targeted to the rDNA locus of human MSCs using a nonviral human ribosomal targeting vector. The recombinant MSCs retained multipotential differentiation capacity, typical levels of hMSC surface marker expression, and a normal karyotype, and none were tumorigenic in nude mice. Conclusions. Exogenous genes can be targeted to the rDNA locus of human MSCs while maintaining the characteristics of MSCs. This is the first nonviral gene targeting of hMSCs.
    05/2013; 2013:135189. DOI:10.1155/2013/135189

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