Dual Reporter Comparative Indexing of rAAV Pseudotyped Vectors in Chimpanzee Airway

Department of Pediatrics, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts 01655, USA.
Molecular Therapy (Impact Factor: 6.23). 10/2009; 18(3):594-600. DOI: 10.1038/mt.2009.230
Source: PubMed


Selecting the most efficient recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) serotype for airway gene therapy has been difficult due to cross-specific differences in tropism and immune response between humans and animal models. Chimpanzees--the closest surviving genetic relative of humans--provide a valuable opportunity to select the most effective serotypes for clinical trials in humans. However, designing informative experiments using this protected species is challenging due to limited availability and experimental regulations. We have developed a method using Renilla luciferase (RL) and firefly luciferase (FL) reporters to directly index the relative transduction and immune response of two promising rAAV serotypes following lung coinfection. Analysis of differential luciferase activity in chimpanzee airway brushings demonstrated a 20-fold higher efficiency for rAAV1 over rAAV5 at 90 days, a finding that was similar in polarized human airway epithelia. T-cell responses to AAV5 capsid were stronger than AAV1 capsid. This dual vector indexing approach may be useful in selecting lead vector serotypes for clinical gene therapy and suggests rAAV1 is preferred for cystic fibrosis.

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    • "In clinical trials, CFTR gene transfer was inefficient to either the surface epithelium or submucosal gland cells [16]–[19]. The discrepancy in gene transfer efficiencies between animal models and human clinical trials may be due to species-specific physiologic differences between humans and lower species [20]. Therefore, an improved model to study gene therapy in cystic fibrosis is necessary to better predict outcomes in clinical trials. "
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    ABSTRACT: Lung disease including airway infection and inflammation currently causes the majority of morbidities and mortalities associated with cystic fibrosis (CF), making the airway epithelium and the submucosal glands (SMG) novel target cells for gene therapy in CF. These target cells are relatively inaccessible to postnatal gene transfer limiting the success of gene therapy. Our previous work in a human-fetal trachea xenograft model suggests the potential benefit for treating CF in utero. In this study, we aim to validate adeno-associated virus serotype 2 (AAV2) gene transfer in a human fetal trachea xenograft model and to compare transduction efficiencies of pseudotyping AAV2 vectors in fetal xenografts and postnatal xenograft controls. Human fetal trachea or postnatal bronchus controls were xenografted onto immunocompromised SCID mice for a four-week engraftment period. After injection of AAV2/2, 2/1, 2/5, 2/7 or 2/8 with a LacZ reporter into both types of xenografts, we analyzed for transgene expression in the respiratory epithelium and SMGs. At 1 month, transduction by AAV2/2 and AAV2/8 in respiratory epithelium and SMG cells was significantly greater than that of AAV2/1, 2/5, and 2/7 in xenograft tracheas. Efficiency in SMG transduction was significantly greater in AAV2/8 than AAV2/2. At 3 months, AAV2/2 and AAV2/8 transgene expression was >99% of respiratory epithelium and SMG. At 1 month, transduction efficiency of AAV2/2 and AAV2/8 was significantly less in adult postnatal bronchial xenografts than in fetal tracheal xenografts. Based on the effectiveness of AAV vectors in SMG transduction, our findings suggest the potential utility of pseudotyped AAV vectors for treatment of cystic fibrosis. The human fetal trachea xenograft model may serve as an effective tool for further development of fetal gene therapy strategies for the in utero treatment of cystic fibrosis.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    • "The levels of transgene expression following apical infection of polarized human airway epithelia with rAAV1 and rAAV6 has been suggested to be substantially higher than that of AAV223, 28. These two serotypes also demonstrate improved gene transfer efficiency in the airway of experimental animals including mouse, rabbit, dog and chimpanzee13, 29–31. More recently, AAV variants with enhanced apical transduction were successfully generated from capsid-directed evolution on polarized HAE culture. "
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    ABSTRACT: Of the many biologically isolated adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotypes, AAV1 and AAV6 share the highest degree of sequence homology, with only six different capsid residues. We compared the transduction efficiencies of rAAV1 and rAAV6 in primary polarized human airway epithelia and found significant differences in their abilities to transduce epithelia from the apical and basolateral membranes. rAAV1 transduction was ∼10-fold higher than rAAV6 following apical infection, whereas rAAV6 transduction was ∼10-fold higher than rAAV1 following basolateral infection. Furthermore, rAAV6 demonstrated significant polarity of transduction (100-fold; basolateral » apical), whereas rAAV1 transduced from both membranes with equal efficiency. To evaluate capsid residues responsible for the observed serotype differences, we mutated the six divergent amino acids either alone or in combination. Results from these studies demonstrated that capsid residues 418 and 531 most significantly controlled membrane polarity differences in transduction between serotypes, with the rAAV6-D418E/K531E mutant demonstrating decreased (∼10-fold) basolateral transduction and the rAAV1-E418D/E531K mutant demonstrating a transduction polarity identical to rAAV6-WT (wild type). However, none of the rAAV6 mutants obtained apical transduction efficiencies of rAAV1-WT, suggesting that all six divergent capsid residues in AAV1 act in concert to improve apical transduction of HAE.Gene Therapy advance online publication, 14 June 2012; doi:10.1038/gt.2012.46.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Gene therapy
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    ABSTRACT: Fetal gene therapy is one of the possible new therapeutic strategies for congenital or perinatal diseases with high mortality or morbidity. We developed a novel delivery strategy to inject directly into the fetal mouse trachea. Intratracheal (i.t.) injection at embryonic day 18 (E18) was more efficient in targeting the fetal lung than conventional intra-amniotic (i.a.) delivery. Viral vectors derived from adeno-associated virus serotype 6.2, with tropism for the airway epithelium and not earlier tested in the fetal mouse lung, were injected into the fetal trachea. Bioluminescence (BL) imaging (BLI) was combined with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging (MRI) for noninvasive and accurate localization of transgene expression in vivo. Histological analysis for β-galactosidase (β-gal) revealed 17.5% of epithelial cells transduced in the conducting airways and 1.5% in the alveolar cells. Stable gene expression was observed up to 1 month after injection. This study demonstrates that direct injection of rAAV2/6.2 in the fetal mouse trachea is superior to i.a. delivery for transducing the lung. Second, as stable gene transfer was detected up to 1 postnatal month, this approach may be useful to evaluate fetal gene therapy for pulmonary diseases such as cystic fibrosis, requiring both substantial numbers of transduced cells as well as prolonged gene expression to obtain a stable phenotypic effect.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · Molecular Therapy
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