Gene therapy for type I glycogen storage diseases

Janice Y Chou, Brian C Mansfield
Current Gene Therapy 2007, 7 (2): 79-88
The type I glycogen storage diseases (GSD-I) are a group of related diseases caused by a deficiency in the glucose-6-phosphatase-alpha (G6Pase-alpha) system, a key enzyme complex that is essential for the maintenance of blood glucose homeostasis between meals. The complex consists of a glucose-6-phosphate transporter (G6PT) that translocates glucose-6-phosphate from the cytoplasm into the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum, and a G6Pase-alpha catalytic unit that hydrolyses the glucose-6-phosphate into glucose and phosphate. A deficiency in G6Pase-alpha causes GSD type Ia (GSD-Ia) and a deficiency in G6PT causes GSD type Ib (GSD-Ib). Both GSD-Ia and GSD-Ib patients manifest a disturbed glucose homeostasis, while GSD-Ib patients also suffer symptoms of neutropenia and myeloid dysfunctions. G6Pase-alpha and G6PT are both hydrophobic endoplasmic reticulum-associated transmembrane proteins that can not expressed in soluble active forms. Therefore protein replacement therapy of GSD-I is not an option. Animal models of GSD-Ia and GSD-Ib that mimic the human disorders are available. Both adenovirus- and adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene therapies have been evaluated for GSD-Ia in these model systems. While adenoviral therapy produces only short term corrections and only impacts liver expression of the gene, AAV-mediated therapy delivers the transgene to both the liver and kidney, achieving longer term correction of the GSD-Ia disorder, although there are substantial differences in efficacy depending on the AAV serotype used. Gene therapy for GSD-Ib in the animal model is still in its infancy, although an adenoviral construct has improved the metabolic profile and myeloid function. Taken together further refinements in gene therapy may hold long term benefits for the treatment of type I GSD disorders.

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