RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
Preclinical evaluation of a clinical candidate AAV8 vector for ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency reveals functional enzyme from each persisting vector genome.
Ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency (OTCD), the most common and severe urea cycle disorder, is an excellent model for developing liver-directed gene therapy. No curative therapy exists except for liver transplantation which is limited by available donors and carries significant risk of mortality and morbidity. Adeno-associated virus 8 (AAV8) has been shown to be the most efficient vector for liver-directed gene transfer and is currently being evaluated in a clinical trial for treating hemophilia B. In this study, we generated a clinical candidate vector for a proposed OTC gene therapy trial in humans based on a self-complementary AAV8 vector expressing codon-optimized human OTC (hOTCco) under the control of a liver-specific promoter. Codon-optimization dramatically improved the efficacy of OTC gene therapy. Supraphysiological expression levels and activity of hOTC were achieved in adult spf(ash) mice following a single intravenous injection of hOTCco vector. Vector doses as low as 1×10(10) genome copies (GC) achieved robust and sustained correction of the OTCD biomarker orotic aciduria and clinical protection against an ammonia challenge. Functional expression of hOTC in 40% of liver areas was found in mice treated with a low vector dose of 1×10(9) GC. We suggest that the clinical candidate vector we have developed has the potential to achieve therapeutic effects in OTCD patients.
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