[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The biodistribution of transgene expression in the CNS after localized stereotaxic vector delivery is an important issue for the safety of gene therapy for neurological diseases. The cellular specificity of transgene expression from rAAV2/1 vectors (recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors pseudotyped with viral capsids from serotype 1) using the tetracycline-inducible (TetON) expression cassette in comparison with the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter was investigated in the rat nigrostriatal pathway. After intrastriatal injection, although green fluorescent protein (GFP) was expressed mainly in neurons with both vectors, the relative proportions of DARPP-32-positive projection neurons and parvalbumin-positive interneurons were, respectively, 13:1 and 2:1 for the CMV and TetON vectors. DARP32-positive neurons projecting to the globus pallidus were strongly GFP positive with both vectors, whereas those projecting to the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNpr) were efficiently labeled by the CMV vector but poorly by the TetON vector. Numerous GFP-positive cells were evidenced in the subventricular zone with both vectors. However, in the olfactory bulb (OB), GFP-positive neurons were observed with the CMV vector but not the TetON vector. We conclude that the absence of significant amounts of transgene product in distant regions (SN and OB) constitutes a safety advantage of the AAV2/1-TetON vector for striatal gene therapy. Midbrain injections resulted in selective GFP expression in tyrosine hydroxylase-positive neurons by the TetON vector whereas with the CMV vector, GFP-positive cells covered a widespread area of the midbrain. The biodistribution of GFP protein corresponded to that of the transcripts and not of the viral genomes. We conclude that the rAAV2/1-TetON vector constitutes an interesting tool for specific transgene expression in midbrain dopaminergic neurons.
Human gene therapy 11/2008; 19(11):1293-305. · 4.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The CCHCR1 gene (Coiled-Coil alpha-Helical Rod protein 1) within the major psoriasis susceptibility locus PSORS1 is a plausible candidate gene for the risk effect. We have previously generated transgenic mice overexpressing either the psoriasis-associated risk allele CCHCR1*WWCC or the normal allele of CCHCR1. All transgenic CCHCR1 mice appeared phenotypically normal, but exhibited altered expression of genes relevant to the pathogenesis of psoriasis, including upregulation of hyperproliferation markers keratins 6, 16 and 17. Here, we challenged the skin of CCHCR1 transgenic mice with wounding or 12-O-tetradecanoyl-13-acetate (TPA), treatments able to induce epidermal hyperplasia and proliferation that both are hallmarks of psoriasis. These experiments revealed that CCHCR1 regulates keratinocyte proliferation. Early wound healing on days 1 and 4 was delayed, and TPA-induced epidermal hyperproliferation was less pronounced in mice with the CCHCR1*WWCC risk allele than in mice with the normal allele or in wild-type animals. Finally, we demonstrated that overexpression of CCHCR1 affects basal keratinocyte proliferation in mice; CCHCR1*WWCC mice had less proliferating keratinocytes than the non-risk allele mice. Similarly, keratinocytes isolated from risk allele mice proliferated more slowly in culture than wild-type cells when measured by BrdU labeling and ELISA. Our data show that CCHCR1 may function as a negative regulator of keratinocyte proliferation. Thus, aberrant function of CCHCR1 may lead to abnormal keratinocyte proliferation which is a key feature of psoriatic epidermis.
Human Molecular Genetics 05/2008; 17(7):1043-51. · 7.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The HCR gene, officially called Coiled-Coil alpha-Helical Rod protein 1 (CCHCR1), located within the major psoriasis susceptibility locus PSORS1, is a plausible candidate gene for the risk effect. Recently, CCHCR1 was shown to promote steroidogenesis by interacting with the steroidogenic acute regulator protein (StAR). Here, we examined the role of CCHCR1 in psoriasis and cutaneous steroid metabolism. We found that CCHCR1 and StAR are expressed in basal keratinocytes in overlapping areas of the human skin, and CCHCR1 stimulated pregnenolone production in steroidogenesis assay. Overexpression of either the CCHCR1*WWCC risk allele or the non-risk allele enhanced steroid synthesis in vitro. Furthermore, the cytochrome P450scc enzyme was expressed in human keratinocytes and was induced by forskolin, a known activator of steroidogenesis, and forskolin also upregulated CCHCR1. CCHCR1 has an altered expression pattern in lesional psoriatic skin compared to normal healthy skin, suggesting its dysregulation in psoriasis. We found that the expression of CCHCR1 is downregulated twofold at the mRNA level in cultured non-lesional psoriatic keratinocytes when compared to non-psoriatic healthy cells. Our results also suggest a connection between CCHCR1 and vitamin D metabolism in keratinocytes. The expression of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene was lower in non-lesional psoriatic keratinocytes than in healthy cells. Furthermore, Vdr expression was downregulated in the keratinocytes of mice overexpressing the CCHCR1*WWCC risk allele when compared to keratinocytes from mice with the non-risk allele of CCHCR1. Finally, we demonstrate that other agents relevant for psoriasis and/or the regulation of steroidogenesis influence CCHCR1 expression in keratinocytes, including insulin, EGF, cholesterol, estrogen, and cyclosporin A. Taken the role of steroid hormones, including vitamin D and estrogen, in cell proliferation, epidermal barrier homeostasis, differentiation, and immune response, our results suggest a role for CCHCR1 in the pathogenesis of psoriasis via the regulation of skin steroid metabolism.
Journal of Molecular Medicine 07/2007; 85(6):589-601. · 4.77 Impact Factor