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Sample records for retinal gene therapy

  1. Gene Therapy for Retinal Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Samiy, Nasrollah

    2014-01-01

    Gene therapy has a growing research potential particularly in the field of ophthalmic and retinal diseases owing to three main characteristics of the eye; accessibility in terms of injections and surgical interventions, its immune-privileged status facilitating the accommodation to the antigenicity of a viral vector, and tight blood-ocular barriers which save other organs from unwanted contamination. Gene therapy has tremendous potential for different ocular diseases. In fact, the perspective of gene therapy in the field of eye research does not confine to exclusive monogenic ophthalmic problems and it has the potential to include gene based pharmacotherapies for non-monogenic problems such as age related macular disease and diabetic retinopathy. The present article has focused on how gene transfer into the eye has been developed and used to treat retinal disorders with no available therapy at present. PMID:25709778

  2. What Is Next for Retinal Gene Therapy?

    PubMed

    Vandenberghe, Luk H

    2015-10-01

    The field of gene therapy for retinal blinding disorders is experiencing incredible momentum, justified by hopeful results in early stage clinical trials for inherited retinal degenerations. The premise of the use of the gene as a drug has come a long way, and may have found its niche in the treatment of retinal disease. Indeed, with only limited treatment options available for retinal indications, gene therapy has been proven feasible, safe, and effective and may lead to durable effects following a single injection. Here, we aim at putting into context the promise and potential, the technical, clinical, and economic boundaries limiting its application and development, and speculate on a future in which gene therapy is an integral component of ophthalmic clinical care.

  3. What Is Next for Retinal Gene Therapy?

    PubMed Central

    Vandenberghe, Luk H.

    2015-01-01

    The field of gene therapy for retinal blinding disorders is experiencing incredible momentum, justified by hopeful results in early stage clinical trials for inherited retinal degenerations. The premise of the use of the gene as a drug has come a long way, and may have found its niche in the treatment of retinal disease. Indeed, with only limited treatment options available for retinal indications, gene therapy has been proven feasible, safe, and effective and may lead to durable effects following a single injection. Here, we aim at putting into context the promise and potential, the technical, clinical, and economic boundaries limiting its application and development, and speculate on a future in which gene therapy is an integral component of ophthalmic clinical care. PMID:25877395

  4. Gene therapy for retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Reichel, M B; Ali, R R; Hunt, D M; Bhattacharya, S S

    1997-01-01

    Inherited retinal degenerations are a group of diseases leading to blindness through progressive loss of vision in many patients. Although with the cloning of more and more disease genes the knowledge on the molecular genetics of these conditions and on the apoptotic pathway as the common disease mechanism is steadily increasing, there is still no cure for those affected. In recent years, new experimental treatments have evolved through the efforts of many investigators and have been explored in animal models. The rationale of the different strategies for developing a treatment based on gene replacement or rescue of the diseased neuronal tissue with growth factors will be outlined and discussed in this paper. PMID:9323717

  5. Prospectives for Gene Therapy of Retinal Degenerations

    PubMed Central

    Thumann, Gabriele

    2012-01-01

    Retinal degenerations encompass a large number of diseases in which the retina and associated retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells progressively degenerate leading to severe visual disorders or blindness. Retinal degenerations can be divided into two groups, a group in which the defect has been linked to a specific gene and a second group that has a complex etiology that includes environmental and genetic influences. The first group encompasses a number of relatively rare diseases with the most prevalent being Retinitis pigmentosa that affects approximately 1 million individuals worldwide. Attempts have been made to correct the defective gene by transfecting the appropriate cells with the wild-type gene and while these attempts have been successful in animal models, human gene therapy for these inherited retinal degenerations has only begun recently and the results are promising. To the second group belong glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR). These retinal degenerations have a genetic component since they occur more often in families with affected probands but they are also linked to environmental factors, specifically elevated intraocular pressure, age and high blood sugar levels respectively. The economic and medical impact of these three diseases can be assessed by the number of individuals affected; AMD affects over 30 million, DR over 40 million and glaucoma over 65 million individuals worldwide. The basic defect in these diseases appears to be the relative lack of a neurogenic environment; the neovascularization that often accompanies these diseases has suggested that a decrease in pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), at least in part, may be responsible for the neurodegeneration since PEDF is not only an effective neurogenic and neuroprotective agent but also a potent inhibitor of neovascularization. In the last few years inhibitors of vascularization, especially antibodies against vascular endothelial cell

  6. Retinal Gene Therapy: Current Progress and Future Prospects

    PubMed Central

    Ku, Cristy A.; Pennesi, Mark E.

    2015-01-01

    Clinical trials treating inherited retinal dystrophy caused by RPE65 mutations had put retinal gene therapy at the forefront of gene therapy. Both successes and limitations in these clinical trials have fueled developments in gene vectors, which continue to further advance the field. These novel gene vectors aim to more safely and efficiently transduce retinal cells, expand the gene packaging capacity of AAV, and utilize new strategies to correct the varying mechanisms of dysfunction found with inherited retinal dystrophies. With recent clinical trials and numerous pre-clinical studies utilizing these novel vectors, the future of ocular gene therapy continues to hold vast potential. PMID:26609316

  7. Gene therapy in animal models of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Rossmiller, Brian; Mao, Haoyu; Lewin, Alfred S

    2012-01-01

    Gene therapy for dominantly inherited genetic disease is more difficult than gene-based therapy for recessive disorders, which can be treated with gene supplementation. Treatment of dominant disease may require gene supplementation partnered with suppression of the expression of the mutant gene either at the DNA level, by gene repair, or at the RNA level by RNA interference or transcriptional repression. In this review, we examine some of the gene delivery approaches used to treat animal models of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa, focusing on those models associated with mutations in the gene for rhodopsin. We conclude that combinatorial approaches have the greatest promise for success.

  8. Nanoparticle-based Technologies for Retinal Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Adijanto, Jeffrey; Naash, Muna I

    2015-01-01

    For patients with hereditary retinal diseases, retinal gene therapy offers significant promise for the prevention of retinal degeneration. While adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based systems remain the most popular gene delivery method due to their high efficiency and successful clinical results, other delivery systems, such as non-viral nanoparticles (NPs) are being developed as additional therapeutic options. NP technologies come in several categories (e.g., polymer, liposomes, peptide compacted DNA), several of which have been tested in mouse models of retinal disease. Here, we discuss the key biochemical features of the different NPs that influence how they are internalized into cells, escape from endosomes, and are delivered into the nucleus. We review the primary mechanism of NP uptake by retinal cells and highlight various NPs that have been successfully used for in vivo gene delivery to the retina and RPE. Finally, we consider the various strategies that can be implemented in the plasmid DNA to generate persistent, high levels of gene expression. PMID:25592325

  9. Gene Therapy for Retinal Disease: What Lies Ahead.

    PubMed

    MacLaren, Robert E

    2015-01-01

    Gene therapy in simple terms can be defined as a medical treatment that exerts its effects using molecules of DNA or RNA within cells. Most traditional drugs act by mechanisms that include binding to cell surface receptors, inhibiting enzymes in intracellular pathways or by modifying transcription. These approaches rely to some extent on a normal genetic make-up of the cell in the final common pathway, which raises significant challenges in diseases that are caused by specific gene mutations. An alternative gene therapy approach to change the behaviour of cells at the most fundamental level by one single genetic modification is therefore potentially very powerful and wide ranging. This paper presents an overview of retinal gene therapy at the current time and highlights the future therapeutic potential for a number of diseases that are currently incurable.

  10. Prospects for retinal cone-targeted gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Alexander, John J; Hauswirth, William W

    2008-06-01

    Gene therapy strategies that target therapeutic genes to retinal cones are a worthy goal both because cone photoreceptor diseases are severely vision limiting and because many retinal diseases that do not affect cones directly eventually lead to cone loss, the reason for eventual blindness. Human achromatopsia is a genetic disease of cones that renders them nonfunctional but otherwise intact. Thus, animal models of achromatopsia were used in conjunction with adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors whose serotype efficiently transduces cones and with a promoter that limits transgene expression to cones. In the Gnat2(cpfl3) mouse model of one genetic form of human achromatopsia, we were able to demonstrate recovery of normal cone function and visual acuity after a single subretinal treatment of vector that supplied wild-type Gnat2 protein to cones. This validates the overall strategy of targeting cones using recombinant viral vectors and justifies a more complete examination of animal models of cone disease as a prelude to considering a clinical gene therapy trial. PMID:18596991

  11. AAV-mediated gene therapy in mouse models of recessive retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Pang, Ji-jing; Lei, Lei; Dai, Xufeng; Shi, Wei; Liu, Xuan; Dinculescu, Astra; McDowell, J. Hugh

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, more and more mutant genes that cause retinal diseases have been detected. At the same time, many naturally occurring mouse models of retinal degeneration have also been found, which show similar changes to human retinal diseases. These, together with improved viral vector quality allow more and more traditionally incurable inherited retinal disorders to become potential candidates for gene therapy. Currently, the most common vehicle to deliver the therapeutic gene into target retinal cells is the adeno-associated viral vector (AAV). Following delivery to the immuno-priviledged subretinal space, AAV-vectors can efficiently target both retinal pigment epithelium and photoreceptor cells, the origin of most retinal degenerations. This review focuses on the AAV-based gene therapy in mouse models of recessive retinal degenerations, especially those in which delivery of the correct copy of the wild-type gene has led to significant beneficial effects on visual function, as determined by morphological, biochemical, electroretinographic and behavioral analysis. The past studies in animal models and ongoing successful LCA2 clinical trials, predict a bright future for AAV gene replacement treatment for inherited recessive retinal diseases. PMID:22300136

  12. Gene Therapy to Rescue Retinal Degeneration Caused by Mutations in Rhodopsin

    PubMed Central

    Rossmiller, Brian P.; Ryals, Renee C.; Lewin, Alfred S.

    2015-01-01

    Retinal gene therapy has proven safe and at least partially successful in clinical trials and in numerous animal models. Gene therapy requires characterization of the progression of the disease and understanding of its genetic cause. Testing gene therapies usually requires an animal model that recapitulates the key features of the human disease, though photoreceptors and cells of the retinal pigment epithelium produced from patient-derived stem cells may provide an alternative test system for retinal gene therapy. Gene therapy also requires a delivery system that introduces the therapeutic gene to the correct cell type and does not cause unintended damage to the tissue. Current systems being tested in the eye are nanoparticles, pseudotyped lentiviruses, and adeno-associated virus (AAV) of various serotypes. Here, we describe the techniques of AAV vector design as well as the in vivo and ex vivo tests necessary for assessing the efficacy of retinal gene therapy to treat retinal degeneration caused by mutations in the rhodopsin gene. PMID:25697537

  13. Gene therapy restores vision and delays degeneration in the CNGB1(-/-) mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Michalakis, Stylianos; Koch, Susanne; Sothilingam, Vithiyanjali; Garcia Garrido, Marina; Tanimoto, Naoyuki; Schulze, Elisabeth; Becirovic, Elvir; Koch, Fred; Seide, Christina; Beck, Susanne C; Seeliger, Mathias W; Mühlfriedel, Regine; Biel, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a severe retinal disease characterized by a progressive degeneration of rod photoreceptors and a secondary loss of cone function. Here, we used CNGB1-deficient (CNGB1(-/-)) mice, a mouse model for autosomal recessive RP, to evaluate the efficacy of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector-mediated gene therapy for the treatment of RP. The treatment restored normal expression of rod CNG channels and rod-driven light responses in the CNGB1(-/-) retina. This led to a substantial delay of retinal degeneration and long-term preservation of retinal morphology. Finally, treated CNGB1(-/-) mice performed significantly better than untreated mice in a rod-dependent vision-guided behavior test. In summary, this study holds promise for the treatment of rod channelopathy-associated retinitis pigmentosa by AAV-mediated gene replacement.

  14. Dawn of ocular gene therapy: implications for molecular diagnosis in retinal disease

    PubMed Central

    Jacques, ZANEVELD; Feng, WANG; Xia, WANG; Rui, CHEN

    2013-01-01

    Personalized medicine aims to utilize genomic information about patients to tailor treatment. Gene replacement therapy for rare genetic disorders is perhaps the most extreme form of personalized medicine, in that the patients’ genome wholly determines their treatment regimen. Gene therapy for retinal disorders is poised to become a clinical reality. The eye is an optimal site for gene therapy due to the relative ease of precise vector delivery, immune system isolation, and availability for monitoring of any potential damage or side effects. Due to these advantages, clinical trials for gene therapy of retinal diseases are currently underway. A necessary precursor to such gene therapies is accurate molecular diagnosis of the mutation(s) underlying disease. In this review, we discuss the application of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) to obtain such a diagnosis and identify disease causing genes, using retinal disorders as a case study. After reviewing ocular gene therapy, we discuss the application of NGS to the identification of novel Mendelian disease genes. We then compare current, array based mutation detection methods against next NGS-based methods in three retinal diseases: Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis, Retinitis Pigmentosa, and Stargardt’s disease. We conclude that next-generation sequencing based diagnosis offers several advantages over array based methods, including a higher rate of successful diagnosis and the ability to more deeply and efficiently assay a broad spectrum of mutations. However, the relative difficulty of interpreting sequence results and the development of standardized, reliable bioinformatic tools remain outstanding concerns. In this review, recent advances NGS based molecular diagnoses are discussed, as well as their implications for the development of personalized medicine. PMID:23393028

  15. Myosin7a Deficiency Results in Reduced Retinal Activity Which Is Improved by Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Colella, Pasqualina; Sommella, Andrea; Marrocco, Elena; Di Vicino, Umberto; Polishchuk, Elena; Garrido, Marina Garcia; Seeliger, Mathias W.; Polishchuk, Roman; Auricchio, Alberto

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in MYO7A cause autosomal recessive Usher syndrome type IB (USH1B), one of the most frequent conditions that combine severe congenital hearing impairment and retinitis pigmentosa. A promising therapeutic strategy for retinitis pigmentosa is gene therapy, however its pre-clinical development is limited by the mild retinal phenotype of the shaker1 (sh1−/−) murine model of USH1B which lacks both retinal functional abnormalities and degeneration. Here we report a significant, early-onset delay of sh1−/− photoreceptor ability to recover from light desensitization as well as a progressive reduction of both b-wave electroretinogram amplitude and light sensitivity, in the absence of significant loss of photoreceptors up to 12 months of age. We additionally show that subretinal delivery to the sh1−/− retina of AAV vectors encoding the large MYO7A protein results in significant improvement of sh1−/− photoreceptor and retinal pigment epithelium ultrastructural anomalies which is associated with improvement of recovery from light desensitization. These findings provide new tools to evaluate the efficacy of experimental therapies for USH1B. In addition, although AAV vectors expressing large genes might have limited clinical applications due to their genome heterogeneity, our data show that AAV-mediated MYO7A gene transfer to the sh1−/− retina is effective. PMID:23991031

  16. AAV-mediated Gene Therapy Halts Retinal Degeneration in PDE6β-deficient Dogs.

    PubMed

    Pichard, Virginie; Provost, Nathalie; Mendes-Madeira, Alexandra; Libeau, Lyse; Hulin, Philippe; Tshilenge, Kizito-Tshitoko; Biget, Marine; Ameline, Baptiste; Deschamps, Jack-Yves; Weber, Michel; Le Meur, Guylène; Colle, Marie-Anne; Moullier, Philippe; Rolling, Fabienne

    2016-05-01

    We previously reported that subretinal injection of AAV2/5 RK.cpde6β allowed long-term preservation of photoreceptor function and vision in the rod-cone dysplasia type 1 (rcd1) dog, a large animal model of naturally occurring PDE6β deficiency. The present study builds on these earlier findings to provide a detailed assessment of the long-term effects of gene therapy on the spatiotemporal pattern of retinal degeneration in rcd1 dogs treated at 20 days of age. We analyzed the density distribution of the retinal layers and of particular photoreceptor cells in 3.5-year-old treated and untreated rcd1 dogs. Whereas no rods were observed outside the bleb or in untreated eyes, gene transfer halted rod degeneration in all vector-exposed regions. Moreover, while gene therapy resulted in the preservation of cones, glial cells and both the inner nuclear and ganglion cell layers, no cells remained in vector-unexposed retinas, except in the visual streak. Finally, the retinal structure of treated 3.5-year-old rcd1 dogs was identical to that of unaffected 4-month-old rcd1 dogs, indicating near complete preservation. Our findings indicate that gene therapy arrests the degenerative process even if intervention is initiated after the onset of photoreceptor degeneration, and point to significant potential of this therapeutic approach in future clinical trials.

  17. The intricacies of neurotrophic factor therapy for retinal ganglion cell rescue in glaucoma: a case for gene therapy

    PubMed Central

    Foldvari, Marianna; Chen, Ding Wen

    2016-01-01

    Regeneration of damaged retinal ganglion cells (RGC) and their axons is an important aspect of reversing vision loss in glaucoma patients. While current therapies can effectively lower intraocular pressure, they do not provide extrinsic support to RGCs to actively aid in their protection and regeneration. The unmet need could be addressed by neurotrophic factor gene therapy, where plasmid DNA, encoding neurotrophic factors, is delivered to retinal cells to maintain sufficient levels of neurotrophins in the retina. In this review, we aim to describe the intricacies in the design of the therapy including: the choice of neurotrophic factor, the site and route of administration and target cell populations for gene delivery. Furthermore, we also discuss the challenges currently being faced in RGC-related therapy development with special considerations to the existence of multiple RGC subtypes and the lack of efficient and representative in vitro models for rapid and reliable screening in the drug development process. PMID:27482199

  18. Gene therapy into photoreceptors and Müller glial cells restores retinal structure and function in CRB1 retinitis pigmentosa mouse models.

    PubMed

    Pellissier, Lucie P; Quinn, Peter M; Alves, C Henrique; Vos, Rogier M; Klooster, Jan; Flannery, John G; Heimel, J Alexander; Wijnholds, Jan

    2015-06-01

    Mutations in the Crumbs-homologue-1 (CRB1) gene lead to severe recessive inherited retinal dystrophies. Gene transfer therapy is the most promising cure for retinal dystrophies and has primarily been applied for recessive null conditions via a viral gene expression vector transferring a cDNA encoding an enzyme or channel protein, and targeting expression to one cell type. Therapy for the human CRB1 disease will be more complex, as CRB1 is a structural and signaling transmembrane protein present in three cell classes: Müller glia, cone and rod photoreceptors. In this study, we applied CRB1 and CRB2 gene therapy vectors in Crb1-retinitis pigmentosa mouse models at mid-stage disease. We tested if CRB expression restricted to Müller glial cells or photoreceptors or co-expression in both is required to recover retinal function. We show that targeting both Müller glial cells and photoreceptors with CRB2 ameliorated retinal function and structure in Crb1 mouse models. Surprisingly, targeting a single cell type or all cell types with CRB1 reduced retinal function. We show here the first pre-clinical studies for CRB1-related eye disorders using CRB2 vectors and initial elucidation of the cellular mechanisms underlying CRB1 function.

  19. Limbal Approach-Subretinal Injection of Viral Vectors for Gene Therapy in Mice Retinal Pigment Epithelium.

    PubMed

    Park, Sung Wook; Kim, Jin Hyoung; Park, Woo Jin; Kim, Jeong Hun

    2015-01-01

    The eye is a small and enclosed organ which makes it an ideal target for gene therapy. Recently various strategies have been applied to gene therapy in retinopathies using non-viral and viral gene delivery to the retina and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Subretinal injection is the best approach to deliver viral vectors directly to RPE cells. Before the clinical trial of a gene therapy, it is inevitable to validate the efficacy of the therapy in animal models of various retinopathies. Thus, subretinal injection in mice becomes a fundamental technique for an ocular gene therapy. In this protocol, we provide the easy and replicable technique for subretinal injection of viral vectors to experimental mice. This technique is modified from the intravitreal injection, which is widely used technique in ophthalmology clinics. The representative results of RPE/choroid/scleral complex flat-mount will help to understand the efficacy of this technique and adjust the volume and titer of viral vectors for the extent of gene transduction.

  20. Modern retinal laser therapy.

    PubMed

    Kozak, Igor; Luttrull, Jeffrey K

    2015-01-01

    Medicinal lasers are a standard source of light to produce retinal tissue photocoagulation to treat retinovascular disease. The Diabetic Retinopathy Study and the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study were large randomized clinical trials that have shown beneficial effect of retinal laser photocoagulation in diabetic retinopathy and have dictated the standard of care for decades. However, current treatment protocols undergo modifications. Types of lasers used in treatment of retinal diseases include argon, diode, dye and multicolor lasers, micropulse lasers and lasers for photodynamic therapy. Delivery systems include contact lens slit-lamp laser delivery, indirect ophthalmocope based laser photocoagulation and camera based navigated retinal photocoagulation with retinal eye-tracking. Selective targeted photocoagulation could be a future alternative to panretinal photocoagulation. PMID:25892934

  1. Coating nanocarriers with hyaluronic acid facilitates intravitreal drug delivery for retinal gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Martens, Thomas F; Remaut, Katrien; Deschout, Hendrik; Engbersen, Johan F J; Hennink, Wim E; van Steenbergen, Mies J; Demeester, Jo; De Smedt, Stefaan C; Braeckmans, Kevin

    2015-03-28

    Retinal gene therapy could potentially affect the lives of millions of people suffering from blinding disorders. Yet, one of the major hurdles remains the delivery of therapeutic nucleic acids to the retinal target cells. Due to the different barriers that need to be overcome in case of topical or systemic administration, intravitreal injection is an attractive alternative administration route for large macromolecular therapeutics. Here it is essential that the therapeutics do not aggregate and remain mobile in the vitreous humor in order to reach the retina. In this study, we have evaluated the use of hyaluronic acid (HA) as an electrostatic coating for nonviral polymeric gene nanomedicines, p(CBA-ABOL)/pDNA complexes, to provide them with an anionic hydrophilic surface for improved intravitreal mobility. Uncoated polyplexes had a Z-averaged diameter of 108nm and a zeta potential of +29mV. We evaluated polyplexes coated with HA of different molecular weights (22kDa, 137kDa and 2700kDa) in terms of size, surface charge and complexation efficiency and noticed their zeta potentials became anionic at 4-fold molar excess of HA-monomers compared to cationic monomers, resulting in submicron ternary polyplexes. Next, we used a previously optimized ex vivo model based on excised bovine eyes and fluorescence single particle tracking (fSPT) microscopy to evaluate mobility in intact vitreous humor. It was confirmed that HA-coated polyplexes had good mobility in bovine vitreous humor, similar to polyplexes functionalized with polyethylene glycol (PEG), except for those coated with high molecular weight HA (2700kDa). However, contrary to PEGylated polyplexes, HA-coated polyplexes were efficiently taken up in vitro in ARPE-19 cells, despite their negative charge, indicating uptake via CD44-receptor mediated endocytosis. Furthermore, the HA-polyplexes were able to induce GFP expression in this in vitro cell line without apparent cytotoxicity, where coating with low molecular

  2. Successful arrest of photoreceptor and vision loss expands the therapeutic window of retinal gene therapy to later stages of disease.

    PubMed

    Beltran, William A; Cideciyan, Artur V; Iwabe, Simone; Swider, Malgorzata; Kosyk, Mychajlo S; McDaid, Kendra; Martynyuk, Inna; Ying, Gui-Shuang; Shaffer, James; Deng, Wen-Tao; Boye, Sanford L; Lewin, Alfred S; Hauswirth, William W; Jacobson, Samuel G; Aguirre, Gustavo D

    2015-10-27

    Inherited retinal degenerations cause progressive loss of photoreceptor neurons with eventual blindness. Corrective or neuroprotective gene therapies under development could be delivered at a predegeneration stage to prevent the onset of disease, as well as at intermediate-degeneration stages to slow the rate of progression. Most preclinical gene therapy successes to date have been as predegeneration interventions. In many animal models, as well as in human studies, to date, retinal gene therapy administered well after the onset of degeneration was not able to modify the rate of progression even when successfully reversing dysfunction. We evaluated consequences of gene therapy delivered at intermediate stages of disease in a canine model of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) caused by a mutation in the Retinitis Pigmentosa GTPase Regulator (RPGR) gene. Spatiotemporal natural history of disease was defined and therapeutic dose selected based on predegeneration results. Then interventions were timed at earlier and later phases of intermediate-stage disease, and photoreceptor degeneration monitored with noninvasive imaging, electrophysiological function, and visual behavior for more than 2 y. All parameters showed substantial and significant arrest of the progressive time course of disease with treatment, which resulted in long-term improved retinal function and visual behavior compared with control eyes. Histology confirmed that the human RPGR transgene was stably expressed in photoreceptors and associated with improved structural preservation of rods, cones, and ON bipolar cells together with correction of opsin mislocalization. These findings in a clinically relevant large animal model demonstrate the long-term efficacy of RPGR gene augmentation and substantially broaden the therapeutic window for intervention in patients with RPGR-XLRP.

  3. Successful arrest of photoreceptor and vision loss expands the therapeutic window of retinal gene therapy to later stages of disease

    PubMed Central

    Beltran, William A.; Cideciyan, Artur V.; Iwabe, Simone; Swider, Malgorzata; Kosyk, Mychajlo S.; McDaid, Kendra; Martynyuk, Inna; Ying, Gui-Shuang; Shaffer, James; Deng, Wen-Tao; Boye, Sanford L.; Lewin, Alfred S.; Hauswirth, William W.; Jacobson, Samuel G.; Aguirre, Gustavo D.

    2015-01-01

    Inherited retinal degenerations cause progressive loss of photoreceptor neurons with eventual blindness. Corrective or neuroprotective gene therapies under development could be delivered at a predegeneration stage to prevent the onset of disease, as well as at intermediate-degeneration stages to slow the rate of progression. Most preclinical gene therapy successes to date have been as predegeneration interventions. In many animal models, as well as in human studies, to date, retinal gene therapy administered well after the onset of degeneration was not able to modify the rate of progression even when successfully reversing dysfunction. We evaluated consequences of gene therapy delivered at intermediate stages of disease in a canine model of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) caused by a mutation in the Retinitis Pigmentosa GTPase Regulator (RPGR) gene. Spatiotemporal natural history of disease was defined and therapeutic dose selected based on predegeneration results. Then interventions were timed at earlier and later phases of intermediate-stage disease, and photoreceptor degeneration monitored with noninvasive imaging, electrophysiological function, and visual behavior for more than 2 y. All parameters showed substantial and significant arrest of the progressive time course of disease with treatment, which resulted in long-term improved retinal function and visual behavior compared with control eyes. Histology confirmed that the human RPGR transgene was stably expressed in photoreceptors and associated with improved structural preservation of rods, cones, and ON bipolar cells together with correction of opsin mislocalization. These findings in a clinically relevant large animal model demonstrate the long-term efficacy of RPGR gene augmentation and substantially broaden the therapeutic window for intervention in patients with RPGR-XLRP. PMID:26460017

  4. Evaluation of an Optimized Injection System for Retinal Gene Therapy in Human Patients.

    PubMed

    Fischer, M Dominik; Hickey, Doron G; Singh, Mandeep S; MacLaren, Robert E

    2016-08-01

    Many retinal gene therapy clinical trials require subretinal injections of small volumes of adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector solutions in patients with retinal dystrophies, using equipment not specifically designed for this purpose. We therefore evaluated an optimized injection system in order to identify variables that might influence the rate of injection and final dose of vector delivered. An optimized injection system was assembled with a 41G polytetrafluoroethylene tip for retinal gene therapy. Flow rate was recorded at relevant infusion pressures (2-22 psi [14-152 kPa]), different target pressures (0.02-30 mm Hg [0.003-4 kPa]) and temperatures (18°C vs. 36°C) using a semiautomated Accurus(®) Surgical System. Retention of AAV2/8 and AAV2/8(Y733F) vector was quantified after simulating loading/injection with or without 0.001% Pluronic(®) F-68 (PF-68). The optimized injection system provided a linear flow rate (μl/s)-to-infusion pressure (psi) relationship (y = 0.62x; r(2) = 0.99), independent of temperature and pressure changes relevant for intraocular surgery (18-36°C, 0.02-30 mm Hg). Differences in length of 41G polytetrafluoroethylene tips caused significant variation in flow rate (p < 0.001). Use of PF-68 significantly (p < 0.001) reduced loss of vector genomes in the injection system by 55% (AAV2/8) and 52% (AAV2/8(Y733F)). A customized subretinal injection system assembled using equipment currently available in the operating room can deliver a controlled volume of vector at a fixed rate across a range of possible clinical parameters encountered in vitreoretinal surgery. The inclusion of 0.001% PF-68 had a significant effect on the final dose of vector genomes delivered. The described technique is currently used successfully in a clinical trial. PMID:27480111

  5. Hypotrichosis and juvenile macular dystrophy caused by CDH3 mutation: A candidate disease for retinal gene therapy

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Mandeep S.; Broadgate, Suzanne; Mathur, Ranjana; Holt, Richard; Halford, Stephanie; MacLaren, Robert E.

    2016-01-01

    Hypotrichosis with juvenile macular dystrophy (HJMD) is an autosomal recessive disorder that causes childhood visual impairment. HJMD is caused by mutations in CDH3 which encodes cadherin-3, a protein expressed in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells that may have a key role in intercellular adhesion. We present a case of HJMD and analyse its phenotypic and molecular characteristics to assess the potential for retinal gene therapy as a means of preventing severe visual loss in this condition. Longitudinal in vivo imaging of the retina showed the relative anatomical preservation of the macula, which suggested the presence of a therapeutic window for gene augmentation therapy to preserve visual acuity. The coding sequence of CDH3 fits within the packaging limit of recombinant adeno-associated virus vectors that have been shown to be safe in clinical trials and can efficiently target RPE cells. This report expands the number of reported cases of HJMD and highlights the phenotypic characteristics to consider when selecting candidates for retinal gene therapy. PMID:27157923

  6. Low molecular weight oligochitosans for non-viral retinal gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Puras, G; Zarate, J; Aceves, M; Murua, A; Díaz, A R; Avilés-Triguero, M; Fernández, E; Pedraz, J L

    2013-02-01

    Ultrapure oligochitosans have recently been evaluated as a promising tool for corneal gene therapy; however, there are no reports regarding the potential use of this polymer in other ocular tissues. We have prepared and characterized at pH 7.1 oligochitosan/pCMS-EGFP polyplexes to evaluate the transfection efficiency in rat retinas after subretinal and intravitreal administration. Polyplexes were characterized in terms of shape, size, surface charge, DNA condensation, and transfection efficiency in HEK-293 and ARPE-19 culture cells. Polyplexes were positively charged, around 10 mV, and size oscillated between 256.5 ± 56 and 67.3 ± 0.44 nm, depending on the nitrogenous/phosphate ratio. Polyplexes efficiently protected the plasmid against enzymatic digestion. A drastic increase in transfection efficiency was observed when pH slightly decreased from 7.4 to 7.1 in both HEK-293 (from 19.1% to 51.5%) and ARPE-19 (from 2.0% to 36.5%) cells (data normalized to Lipofectamine™ 2000). In rat retinas, subretinal administrations transfected cells mainly in the RPE layer, whereas intravitreal injections transfected cells in the inner nuclear and plexiform layers of the retina and mainly in the ganglion cell layer. This study establishes the base for future treatments of genetic retinal disorders with low molecular weight oligochitosan polyplexes.

  7. Plasticity of the human visual system after retinal gene therapy in patients with Leber’s congenital amaurosis

    PubMed Central

    Ashtari, Manzar; Zhang, Hui; Cook, Philip A.; Cyckowski, Laura L.; Shindler, Kenneth S.; Marshall, Kathleen A.; Aravand, Puya; Vossough, Arastoo; Gee, James C.; Maguire, Albert M.; Baker, Chris I.; Bennett, Jean

    2015-01-01

    Much of our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying plasticity in the visual cortex in response to visual impairment, vision restoration, and environmental interactions comes from animal studies. We evaluated human brain plasticity in a group of patients with Leber’s congenital amaurosis (LCA), who regained vision through gene therapy. Using non-invasive multimodal neuroimaging methods, we demonstrated that reversing blindness with gene therapy promoted long-term structural plasticity in the visual pathways emanating from the treated retina of LCA patients. The data revealed improvements and normalization along the visual fibers corresponding to the site of retinal injection of the gene therapy vector carrying the therapeutic gene in the treated eye compared to the visual pathway for the untreated eye of LCA patients. After gene therapy, the primary visual pathways (for example, geniculostriate fibers) in the treated retina were similar to those of sighted control subjects, whereas the primary visual pathways of the untreated retina continued to deteriorate. Our results suggest that visual experience, enhanced by gene therapy, may be responsible for the reorganization and maturation of synaptic connectivity in the visual pathways of the treated eye in LCA patients. The interactions between the eye and the brain enabled improved and sustained long-term visual function in patients with LCA after gene therapy. PMID:26180100

  8. [New drug therapy for retinal degeneration].

    PubMed

    Ohguro, Hiroshi

    2008-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is an inherited retinal degeneration characterized by nyctalopia, ring scotoma, and bone-spicule pigmentation of the retina. So far, no effective therapy has been found for RP. As a possible molecular etiology of RP, retina-specific gene deficits are most likely involved, but little has been identified in terms of intracellular mechanisms leading to retinal photoreceptor cell death at post-translational levels. In order to find an effective therapy for RP, we must look for underlying common mechanisms that are responsible for the development of RP, instead of designing a specific therapy for each of the RP types with different causes. Therefore, in the present study, several animal models with different causes of RP were studied, including (1)Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats with a deficit of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) function caused by rhodopsin mutation; (2) P23H rats, (3) S334ter rats, (4) photo stress rats, (5) retinal degeneration (rd) mice with a deficit of phosphodiesterase(PDE) function; and (6) cancer-associated retinopathy (CAR) model rats with a deficit of recoverin-dependent photoreceptor adaptation function. In each of these models, the following assessments were made in order to elucidate common pathological mechanisms among the models: (1) retinal function assessed by electroretinogram (ERG), (2) retinal morphology, (3) retinoid analysis, (4) rhodopsin regeneration, (5) rhodopsin phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, and (6) cytosolic cGMP levels. We found that unregulated photoreceptor adaptation processes caused by an imbalance of rhodopsin phosphorylation and dephosphorylation caused retinal dysfunction leading to photoreceptor cell death. As possible candidate drugs for normalizing these retinal dysfunctions and stopping further retinal degeneration, nilvadipine, a Ca channel blocker, retinoid derivatives, and anthocyanine were chosen and tested to determine their effect on the above animal models with

  9. Gene Augmentation Therapy Restores Retinal Function and Visual Behavior in a Sheep Model of CNGA3 Achromatopsia.

    PubMed

    Banin, Eyal; Gootwine, Elisha; Obolensky, Alexey; Ezra-Elia, Raaya; Ejzenberg, Ayala; Zelinger, Lina; Honig, Hen; Rosov, Alexander; Yamin, Esther; Sharon, Dror; Averbukh, Edward; Hauswirth, William W; Ofri, Ron

    2015-09-01

    Achromatopsia is a hereditary form of day blindness caused by cone photoreceptor dysfunction. Affected patients suffer from congenital color blindness, photosensitivity, and low visual acuity. Mutations in the CNGA3 gene are a major cause of achromatopsia, and a sheep model of this disease was recently characterized by our group. Here, we report that unilateral subretinal delivery of an adeno-associated virus serotype 5 (AAV5) vector carrying either the mouse or the human intact CNGA3 gene under the control of the red/green opsin promoter results in long-term recovery of visual function in CNGA3-mutant sheep. Treated animals demonstrated shorter maze passage times and a reduced number of collisions with obstacles compared with their pretreatment status, with values close to those of unaffected sheep. This effect was abolished when the treated eye was patched. Electroretinography (ERG) showed marked improvement in cone function. Retinal expression of the transfected human and mouse CNGA3 genes at the mRNA level was shown by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and cone-specific expression of CNGA3 protein was demonstrated by immunohistochemisrty. The rescue effect has so far been maintained for over 3 years in the first-treated animals, with no obvious ocular or systemic side effects. The results support future application of subretinal AAV5-mediated gene-augmentation therapy in CNGA3 achromatopsia patients. PMID:26087757

  10. Gene Augmentation Therapy Restores Retinal Function and Visual Behavior in a Sheep Model of CNGA3 Achromatopsia

    PubMed Central

    Banin, Eyal; Gootwine, Elisha; Obolensky, Alexey; Ezra-Elia, Raaya; Ejzenberg, Ayala; Zelinger, Lina; Honig, Hen; Rosov, Alexander; Yamin, Esther; Sharon, Dror; Averbukh, Edward; Hauswirth, William W; Ofri, Ron

    2015-01-01

    Achromatopsia is a hereditary form of day blindness caused by cone photoreceptor dysfunction. Affected patients suffer from congenital color blindness, photosensitivity, and low visual acuity. Mutations in the CNGA3 gene are a major cause of achromatopsia, and a sheep model of this disease was recently characterized by our group. Here, we report that unilateral subretinal delivery of an adeno-associated virus serotype 5 (AAV5) vector carrying either the mouse or the human intact CNGA3 gene under the control of the red/green opsin promoter results in long-term recovery of visual function in CNGA3-mutant sheep. Treated animals demonstrated shorter maze passage times and a reduced number of collisions with obstacles compared with their pretreatment status, with values close to those of unaffected sheep. This effect was abolished when the treated eye was patched. Electroretinography (ERG) showed marked improvement in cone function. Retinal expression of the transfected human and mouse CNGA3 genes at the mRNA level was shown by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and cone-specific expression of CNGA3 protein was demonstrated by immunohistochemisrty. The rescue effect has so far been maintained for over 3 years in the first-treated animals, with no obvious ocular or systemic side effects. The results support future application of subretinal AAV5-mediated gene-augmentation therapy in CNGA3 achromatopsia patients. PMID:26087757

  11. Gene Augmentation Therapy Restores Retinal Function and Visual Behavior in a Sheep Model of CNGA3 Achromatopsia.

    PubMed

    Banin, Eyal; Gootwine, Elisha; Obolensky, Alexey; Ezra-Elia, Raaya; Ejzenberg, Ayala; Zelinger, Lina; Honig, Hen; Rosov, Alexander; Yamin, Esther; Sharon, Dror; Averbukh, Edward; Hauswirth, William W; Ofri, Ron

    2015-09-01

    Achromatopsia is a hereditary form of day blindness caused by cone photoreceptor dysfunction. Affected patients suffer from congenital color blindness, photosensitivity, and low visual acuity. Mutations in the CNGA3 gene are a major cause of achromatopsia, and a sheep model of this disease was recently characterized by our group. Here, we report that unilateral subretinal delivery of an adeno-associated virus serotype 5 (AAV5) vector carrying either the mouse or the human intact CNGA3 gene under the control of the red/green opsin promoter results in long-term recovery of visual function in CNGA3-mutant sheep. Treated animals demonstrated shorter maze passage times and a reduced number of collisions with obstacles compared with their pretreatment status, with values close to those of unaffected sheep. This effect was abolished when the treated eye was patched. Electroretinography (ERG) showed marked improvement in cone function. Retinal expression of the transfected human and mouse CNGA3 genes at the mRNA level was shown by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and cone-specific expression of CNGA3 protein was demonstrated by immunohistochemisrty. The rescue effect has so far been maintained for over 3 years in the first-treated animals, with no obvious ocular or systemic side effects. The results support future application of subretinal AAV5-mediated gene-augmentation therapy in CNGA3 achromatopsia patients.

  12. Cone specific promoter for use in gene therapy of retinal degenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Dyka, Frank M; Boye, Sanford L; Ryals, Renee C; Chiodo, Vince A; Boye, Shannon E; Hauswirth, William W

    2014-01-01

    Achromatopsia (ACHM) is caused by a progressive loss of cone photoreceptors leading to color blindness and poor visual acuity. Animal studies and human clinical trials have shown that gene replacement therapy with adeno-associate virus (AAV) is a viable treatment option for this disease. Although there have been successful attempts to optimize capsid proteins for increased specificity, it is simpler to restrict expression via the use of cell type-specific promoters. To target cone photoreceptors, a chimeric promoter consisting of an enhancer element of interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein promoter and a minimal sequence of the human transducin alpha-subunit promoter (IRBPe/GNAT2) was created. Additionally, a synthetic transducin alpha-subunit promoter (synGNAT2/GNAT2) containing conserved sequence blocks located downstream of the transcriptional start was created. The strength and specificity of these promoters were evaluated in murine retina by immunohistochemistry. The results showed that the chimeric, (IRBPe/GNAT2) promoter is more efficient and specific than the synthetic, synGNAT2/GNAT2 promoter. Additionally, IRBPe/GNAT2-mediated expression was found in all cone subtypes and it was improved over existing promoters currently used for gene therapy of achromatopsia. PMID:24664760

  13. Antisense Oligonucleotide Therapy for Inherited Retinal Dystrophies.

    PubMed

    Gerard, Xavier; Garanto, Alejandro; Rozet, Jean-Michel; Collin, Rob W J

    2016-01-01

    Inherited retinal dystrophies (IRDs) are an extremely heterogeneous group of genetic diseases for which currently no effective treatment strategies exist. Over the last decade, significant progress has been made utilizing gene augmentation therapy for a few genetic subtypes of IRD, although several technical challenges so far prevent a broad clinical application of this approach for other forms of IRD. Many of the mutations leading to these retinal diseases affect pre-mRNA splicing of the mutated genes . Antisense oligonucleotide (AON)-mediated splice modulation appears to be a powerful approach to correct the consequences of such mutations at the pre-mRNA level , as demonstrated by promising results in clinical trials for several inherited disorders like Duchenne muscular dystrophy, hypercholesterolemia and various types of cancer. In this mini-review, we summarize ongoing pre-clinical research on AON-based therapy for a few genetic subtypes of IRD , speculate on other potential therapeutic targets, and discuss the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead to translate splice modulation therapy for retinal disorders to the clinic.

  14. The Retinal Homeobox (Rx) gene is necessary for retinal regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Martinez-De Luna, Reyna I.; Kelly, Lisa E.; El-Hodiri, Heithem M.

    2011-01-01

    The Retinal Homeobox (Rx) gene is essential for vertebrate eye development. Rx function is required for the specification and maintenance of retinal progenitor cells (RPCs). Loss of Rx function leads to a lack of eye development in a variety of species. Here we show that Rx function is also necessary during retinal regeneration. We performed a thorough characterization of retinal regeneration after partial retinal resection in pre-metamorphic X. laevis. We show that after injury the wound is repopulated with retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) that express Rx and other RPC marker genes. We used an shRNA-based approach to specifically silence Rx expression in vivo in tadpoles. We found that loss of Rx function results in impaired retinal regeneration, including defects in the cells that repopulate the wound and the RPE at the wound site. We show that the regeneration defects can be rescued by provision of exogenous Rx. These results demonstrate for the first time that Rx, in addition to being essential during retinal development, also functions during retinal regeneration. PMID:21334323

  15. [Retinitis pigmentosa: eye sight restoration by optogenetic therapy].

    PubMed

    Roska, Botond; Busskamp, Volker; Sahel, José Alain; Picaud, Serge

    2013-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a hereditary retinal disease leading to blindness, which affects two million people worldwide. Restoring vision in these blind patients was proposed by gene delivery of microbial light-activated ionic channels or pumps "optogenetic proteins" to transform surviving cells into artificial photoreceptors. This therapeutic strategy was validated in blind animal models of RP by recording at the level of the retina and cortex and by behavioural tests. The translational potentials of these optogenetic approaches have been evaluated using in vitro studies on post-mortem human retinal tissues. Here, we review these recent results and discuss the potential clinical applications of the optogenetic therapy for RP patients.

  16. Intracerebroventricular gene therapy that delays neurological disease progression is associated with selective preservation of retinal ganglion cells in a canine model of CLN2 disease.

    PubMed

    Whiting, Rebecca E H; Jensen, Cheryl A; Pearce, Jacqueline W; Gillespie, Lauren E; Bristow, Daniel E; Katz, Martin L

    2016-05-01

    CLN2 disease is one of a group of lysosomal storage disorders called the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs). The disease results from mutations in the TPP1 gene that cause an insufficiency or complete lack of the soluble lysosomal enzyme tripeptidyl peptidase-1 (TPP1). TPP1 is involved in lysosomal protein degradation, and lack of this enzyme results in the accumulation of protein-rich autofluorescent lysosomal storage bodies in numerous cell types including neurons throughout the central nervous system and the retina. CLN2 disease is characterized primarily by progressive loss of neurological functions and vision as well as generalized neurodegeneration and retinal degeneration. In children the progressive loss of neurological functions typically results in death by the early teenage years. A Dachshund model of CLN2 disease with a null mutation in TPP1 closely recapitulates the human disorder with a progression from disease onset at approximately 4 months of age to end-stage at 10-11 months. Delivery of functional TPP1 to the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), either by periodic infusion of the recombinant protein or by a single administration of a TPP1 gene therapy vector to the CSF, significantly delays the onset and progression of neurological signs and prolongs life span but does not prevent the loss of vision or modest retinal degeneration that occurs by 11 months of age. In this study we found that in dogs that received the CSF gene therapy treatment, the degeneration of the retina and loss of retinal function continued to progress during the prolonged life spans of the treated dogs. Eventually the normal cell layers of the retina almost completely disappeared. An exception was the ganglion cell layer. In affected dogs that received TPP1 gene therapy to the CSF and survived an average of 80 weeks, ganglion cell axons were present in numbers comparable to those of normal Dachshunds of similar age. The selective preservation of the retinal ganglion cells suggests

  17. Safety and Efficacy of Suicide Gene Therapy with Adenosine Deaminase 5-Fluorocytosine Silmutaneously in in Vitro Cultures of Melanoma and Retinal Cell Lines

    PubMed Central

    Sakkas, Antonios; Zarogoulidis, Paul; Domvri, Kalliopi; Hohenforst-Schmidt, Wolfgang; Bougiouklis, Dimitris; Kakolyris, Stylianos; Zarampoukas, Thomas; Kioumis, Ioannis; Pitsiou, Georgia; Huang, Haidong; Li, Qiang; Meditskou, Soultana; Tsiouda, Theodora; Pezirkianidis, Nikolaos; Zarogoulidis, Konstantinos

    2014-01-01

    Local treatment as a treatment modality is gaining increased general acceptance over time. Novel drugs and methodologies of local administration are being investigated in an effort to achieve disease local control. Suicide gene therapy is a method that has been investigated as a local treatment with simultaneously distant disease control. In our current experiment we purchased HTB-70 (melanoma cell line, derived from metastatic axillary node) and CRL-2302 (human retinal epithelium) were from ATCC LGC Standards and Ancotil®, 2.5 g/250 ml (1 g/00ml) (5-Flucytosine) MEDA; Pharmaceuticals Ltd. UK. Adenosine Cytosine Deaminase (Ad.CD) was also used in order to convert the pro-drug 5-Flucytosine to the active 5-Fluoracil. Three different concentrations of 5-Flucytosine (5-FC) were administered (0.2ml, 0.8ml and 1.2ml). At indicated time-points (4h, 8h and 24h) cell viability and apoptosis were measured. Our concept was to investigate whether suicide gene therapy with Ad. CD-5-FC could be used with safety and efficiency as a future local treatment for melanoma located in the eye cavity. Indeed, our results indicated that in every 5-FC administration had mild cytotoxicity for the retinal cells, while increased apoptosis was observed for the melanoma cell line. PMID:24799955

  18. Genes and Gene Therapy

    MedlinePlus

    ... correctly, a child can have a genetic disorder. Gene therapy is an experimental technique that uses genes to ... or prevent disease. The most common form of gene therapy involves inserting a normal gene to replace an ...

  19. Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Baum, Bruce J

    2014-01-01

    Applications of gene therapy have been evaluated in virtually every oral tissue, and many of these have proved successful at least in animal models. While gene therapy will not be used routinely in the next decade, practitioners of oral medicine should be aware of the potential of this novel type of treatment that doubtless will benefit many patients with oral diseases. PMID:24372817

  20. Retinal dystrophies, genomic applications in diagnosis and prospects for therapy.

    PubMed

    Nash, Benjamin M; Wright, Dale C; Grigg, John R; Bennetts, Bruce; Jamieson, Robyn V

    2015-04-01

    Retinal dystrophies (RDs) are degenerative diseases of the retina which have marked clinical and genetic heterogeneity. Common presentations among these disorders include night or colour blindness, tunnel vision and subsequent progression to complete blindness. The known causative disease genes have a variety of developmental and functional roles with mutations in more than 120 genes shown to be responsible for the phenotypes. In addition, mutations within the same gene have been shown to cause different disease phenotypes, even amongst affected individuals within the same family highlighting further levels of complexity. The known disease genes encode proteins involved in retinal cellular structures, phototransduction, the visual cycle, and photoreceptor structure or gene regulation. This review aims to demonstrate the high degree of genetic complexity in both the causative disease genes and their associated phenotypes, highlighting the more common clinical manifestation of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The review also provides insight to recent advances in genomic molecular diagnosis and gene and cell-based therapies for the RDs. PMID:26835369

  1. Retinal dystrophies, genomic applications in diagnosis and prospects for therapy

    PubMed Central

    Nash, Benjamin M.; Wright, Dale C.; Grigg, John R.; Bennetts, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    Retinal dystrophies (RDs) are degenerative diseases of the retina which have marked clinical and genetic heterogeneity. Common presentations among these disorders include night or colour blindness, tunnel vision and subsequent progression to complete blindness. The known causative disease genes have a variety of developmental and functional roles with mutations in more than 120 genes shown to be responsible for the phenotypes. In addition, mutations within the same gene have been shown to cause different disease phenotypes, even amongst affected individuals within the same family highlighting further levels of complexity. The known disease genes encode proteins involved in retinal cellular structures, phototransduction, the visual cycle, and photoreceptor structure or gene regulation. This review aims to demonstrate the high degree of genetic complexity in both the causative disease genes and their associated phenotypes, highlighting the more common clinical manifestation of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The review also provides insight to recent advances in genomic molecular diagnosis and gene and cell-based therapies for the RDs. PMID:26835369

  2. Cell Therapy Applications for Retinal Vascular Diseases: Diabetic Retinopathy and Retinal Vein Occlusion.

    PubMed

    Park, Susanna S

    2016-04-01

    Retinal vascular conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusion, remain leading causes of vision loss. No therapy exists to restore vision loss resulting from retinal ischemia and associated retinal degeneration. Tissue regeneration is possible with cell therapy. The goal would be to restore or replace the damaged retinal vasculature and the retinal neurons that are damaged and/or degenerating from the hypoxic insult. Currently, various adult cell therapies have been explored as potential treatment. They include mesenchymal stem cells, vascular precursor cells (i.e., CD34+ cells, hematopoietic cells or endothelial progenitor cells), and adipose stromal cells. Preclinical studies show that all these cells have a paracrine trophic effect on damaged ischemic tissue, leading to tissue preservation. Endothelial progenitor cells and adipose stromal cells integrate into the damaged retinal vascular wall in preclinical models of diabetic retinopathy and ischemia-reperfusion injury. Mesenchymal stem cells do not integrate as readily but appear to have a primary paracrine trophic effect. Early phase clinical trials have been initiated and ongoing using mesenchymal stem cells or autologous bone marrow CD34+ cells injected intravitreally as potential therapy for diabetic retinopathy or retinal vein occlusion. Adipose stromal cells or pluripotent stem cells differentiated into endothelial colony-forming cells have been explored in preclinical studies and show promise as possible therapies for retinal vascular disorders. The relative safety or efficacy of these various cell therapies for treating retinal vascular disorders have yet to be determined.

  3. [Gene therapy].

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Fragoso, L

    1997-01-01

    In the last years there has been much progress in our understanding of molecular mechanisms in the pathogenesis of disease. In this review we provide an overview of gene therapy, its most actualized techniques for gene delivery, and we give specific examples of laboratory and clinical achievements to date. The development of methods for delivering genes to mammalian cells has stimulated great interest in the possibility of treating human disease by gene-based therapies. As a result, concepts and methods that would have been considered purely science fiction 50 years ago are now used in the treatment of diseases. The widespread application of gene therapy technology to many diseases is already breaking down the traditional boundaries of modern medicine. However, despite its progress, several key technical drawbacks need to be overcome before gene therapy can be used safely and effectively in clinical settings. Technological developments, particularly in the areas of gene delivery and cell transplantation, will be critical for the successful practice of gene therapy.

  4. Developing Cellular Therapies for Retinal Degenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bharti, Kapil; Rao, Mahendra; Hull, Sara Chandros; Stroncek, David; Brooks, Brian P.; Feigal, Ellen; van Meurs, Jan C.; Huang, Christene A.; Miller, Sheldon S.

    2014-01-01

    Biomedical advances in vision research have been greatly facilitated by the clinical accessibility of the visual system, its ease of experimental manipulation, and its ability to be functionally monitored in real time with noninvasive imaging techniques at the level of single cells and with quantitative end-point measures. A recent example is the development of stem cell–based therapies for degenerative eye diseases including AMD. Two phase I clinical trials using embryonic stem cell–derived RPE are already underway and several others using both pluripotent and multipotent adult stem cells are in earlier stages of development. These clinical trials will use a variety of cell types, including embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cell–derived RPE, bone marrow– or umbilical cord–derived mesenchymal stem cells, fetal neural or retinal progenitor cells, and adult RPE stem cells–derived RPE. Although quite distinct, these approaches, share common principles, concerns and issues across the clinical development pipeline. These considerations were a central part of the discussions at a recent National Eye Institute meeting on the development of cellular therapies for retinal degenerative disease. At this meeting, emphasis was placed on the general value of identifying and sharing information in the so-called “precompetitive space.” The utility of this behavior was described in terms of how it could allow us to remove road blocks in the clinical development pipeline, and more efficiently and economically move stem cell–based therapies for retinal degenerative diseases toward the clinic. Many of the ocular stem cell approaches we discuss are also being used more broadly, for nonocular conditions and therefore the model we develop here, using the precompetitive space, should benefit the entire scientific community. PMID:24573369

  5. Gene expression changes during retinal development and rod specification

    PubMed Central

    Carrigan, Matthew; Hokamp, Karsten; Farrar, G. Jane

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) typically results from individual mutations in any one of >70 genes that cause rod photoreceptor cells to degenerate prematurely, eventually resulting in blindness. Gene therapies targeting individual RP genes have shown efficacy at clinical trial; however, these therapies require the surviving photoreceptor cells to be viable and functional, and may be economically feasible for only the more commonly mutated genes. An alternative potential treatment strategy, particularly for late stage disease, may involve stem cell transplants into the photoreceptor layer of the retina. Rod progenitors from postnatal mouse retinas can be transplanted and can form photoreceptors in recipient adult retinas; optimal numbers of transplantable cells are obtained from postnatal day 3–5 (P3–5) retinas. These cells can also be expanded in culture; however, this results in the loss of photoreceptor potential. Gene expression differences between postnatal retinas, cultured retinal progenitor cells (RPCs), and rod photoreceptor precursors were investigated to identify gene expression patterns involved in the specification of rod photoreceptors. Methods Microarrays were used to investigate differences in gene expression between cultured RPCs that have lost photoreceptor potential, P1 retinas, and fresh P5 retinas that contain significant numbers of transplantable photoreceptors. Additionally, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) sorted Rho-eGFP-expressing rod photoreceptor precursors were compared with Rho-eGFP-negative cells from the same P5 retinas. Differential expression was confirmed with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR). Results Analysis of the microarray data sets, including the use of t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding (t-SNE) to identify expression pattern neighbors of key photoreceptor specific genes, resulted in the identification of 636 genes differentially regulated during rod specification. Forty-four of these

  6. Biology and therapy of inherited retinal degenerative disease: insights from mouse models

    PubMed Central

    Veleri, Shobi; Lazar, Csilla H.; Chang, Bo; Sieving, Paul A.; Banin, Eyal; Swaroop, Anand

    2015-01-01

    Retinal neurodegeneration associated with the dysfunction or death of photoreceptors is a major cause of incurable vision loss. Tremendous progress has been made over the last two decades in discovering genes and genetic defects that lead to retinal diseases. The primary focus has now shifted to uncovering disease mechanisms and designing treatment strategies, especially inspired by the successful application of gene therapy in some forms of congenital blindness in humans. Both spontaneous and laboratory-generated mouse mutants have been valuable for providing fundamental insights into normal retinal development and for deciphering disease pathology. Here, we provide a review of mouse models of human retinal degeneration, with a primary focus on diseases affecting photoreceptor function. We also describe models associated with retinal pigment epithelium dysfunction or synaptic abnormalities. Furthermore, we highlight the crucial role of mouse models in elucidating retinal and photoreceptor biology in health and disease, and in the assessment of novel therapeutic modalities, including gene- and stem-cell-based therapies, for retinal degenerative diseases. PMID:25650393

  7. Transcorneal Electrical Stimulation Therapy for Retinal Disease

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2012-05-03

    Retinitis Pigmentosa; Macula Off; Primary Open Angle Glaucoma; Hereditary Macular Degeneration; Treated Retina Detachment; Retinal Artery Occlusion; Retinal Vein Occlusion; Non-Arthritic-Anterior-Ischemic Optic-Neuropathy; Hereditary Autosomal Dominant Optic Atrophy; Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration; Ischemic Macula Edema

  8. Proof of concept for AAV2/5-mediated gene therapy in iPSC-derived retinal pigment epithelium of a choroideremia patient

    PubMed Central

    Cereso, Nicolas; Pequignot, Marie O; Robert, Lorenne; Becker, Fabienne; De Luca, Valerie; Nabholz, Nicolas; Rigau, Valerie; De Vos, John; Hamel, Christian P; Kalatzis, Vasiliki

    2014-01-01

    Inherited retinal dystrophies (IRDs) comprise a large group of genetically and clinically heterogeneous diseases that lead to progressive vision loss, for which a paucity of disease-mimicking animal models renders preclinical studies difficult. We sought to develop pertinent human cellular IRD models, beginning with choroideremia, caused by mutations in the CHM gene encoding Rab escort protein 1 (REP1). We reprogrammed REP1-deficient fibroblasts from a CHM-/y patient into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which we differentiated into retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). This iPSC-derived RPE is a polarized monolayer with a classic morphology, expresses characteristic markers, is functional for fluid transport and phagocytosis, and mimics the biochemical phenotype of patients. We assayed a panel of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector serotypes and showed that AAV2/5 is the most efficient at transducing the iPSC-derived RPE and that CHM gene transfer normalizes the biochemical phenotype. The high, and unmatched, in vitro transduction efficiency is likely aided by phagocytosis and mimics the scenario that an AAV vector encounters in vivo in the subretinal space. We demonstrate the superiority of AAV2/5 in the human RPE and address the potential of patient iPSC–derived RPE to provide a proof-of-concept model for gene replacement in the absence of an appropriate animal model. PMID:26015956

  9. Adeno-associated virus mediated SOD gene therapy protects the retinal ganglion cells from chronic intraocular pressure elevation induced injury via attenuating oxidative stress and improving mitochondrial dysfunction in a rat model

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Wenmin; Tang, Luosheng; Zeng, Jun; Chen, Baihua

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: This study aimed to determine whether chronic intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation induces retinal oxidative stress and alters mitochondrial morphology and function of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) and to explore the effects of AAV-SOD2 gene therapy on the RGC survival and mitochondrial dysfunction. Methods: Chronic experimental glaucoma was induced unilaterally in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats by laser burns at trabecular meshwork and episcleral veins 2 times with an interval of one week. One eye of each rat was intravitreally pretreated with recombinant adeno-associated virus expressing SOD2 (AAV-SOD2) or recombinant AAV expressing GFP (AAV-GFP) 21 days before glaucoma induction. RGCs counting, morphometric analysis of retina and optic nerve, and detection of activities of retinal SOD2 and catalase, MDA, mitochondrial morphology, mitochondrial dynamin protein OPA1 and DRP-1 expressions were conducted at 4, 8, 12 and 24 weeks. Results: Severe RGC loss, degeneration of optic nerve, reduced thickness of RGC layer and nerve fiber layer, significant decrease in total SOD and catalase activities, mitochondrial dysfunction and increased MDA were observed at 4, 8, 12 and 24 weeks after glaucoma. Pretreatment with AAV-SOD2 significantly reduced MDA and attenuated the damage to RGCs through a mitochondria-related pathway. Conclusion: AAV mediated pre-treatment with SOD2 is able to attenuate oxidative stress and improve mitochondrial dysfunction of RGC and optic nerve secondary to glaucoma. Thus, SOD2 may be used to prevent the retinal RGCs from glaucoma, which provides a promising strategy for glaucoma therapy. PMID:27158370

  10. [Developments in gene delivery vectors for ocular gene therapy].

    PubMed

    Khabou, Hanen; Dalkara, Deniz

    2015-05-01

    Gene therapy is quickly becoming a reality applicable in the clinic for inherited retinal diseases. Its remarkable success in safety and efficacy, in clinical trials for Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA) type II generated significant interest and opened up possibilities for a new era of retinal gene therapies. Success in these clinical trials was mainly due to the favorable characteristics of the retina as a target organ. The eye offers several advantages as it is readily accessible and has some degree of immune privilege making it suitable for application of viral vectors. The viral vectors most frequently used for retinal gene delivery are lentivirus, adenovirus and adeno-associated virus (AAV). Here we will discuss the use of these viral vectors in retinal gene delivery with a strong focus on favorable properties of AAV. Thanks to its small size, AAV diffuses well in the inter-neural matrix making it suitable for applications in neural retina. Building on this initial clinical success with LCA II, we have now many opportunities to extend this proof-of-concept to other retinal diseases using AAV as a vector. This article will discuss what are some of the most imminent cellular targets for such therapies and the AAV toolkit that has been built to target these cells successfully. We will also discuss some of the challenges that we face in translating AAV-based gene therapies to the clinic.

  11. Effects of Subretinal Gene Transfer at Different Time Points in a Mouse Model of Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Xufeng; Zhang, Hua; Han, Juanjuan; He, Ying; Zhang, Yangyang; Qi, Yan; Pang, Ji-jing

    2016-01-01

    Lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase 1 (LPCAT1) is necessary for photoreceptors to generate an important lipid component of their membranes. The absence of LPCAT1 results in early and rapid rod and cone degeneration. Retinal degeneration 11 (rd11) mice carry a mutation in the Lpcat1 gene, and are an excellent model of early-onset rapid retinal degeneration (RD). To date, no reports have documented gene therapy administration in the rd11 mouse model at different ages. In this study, the AAV8 (Y733F)-smCBA-Lpcat1 vector was subretinally injected at postnatal day (P) 10, 14, 18, or 22. Four months after injection, immunohistochemistry and analysis of retinal morphology showed that treatment at P10 rescued about 82% of the wild-type retinal thickness. However, the diffusion of the vector and the resulting rescue were limited to an area around the injection site that was only 31% of the total retinal area. Injection at P14 resulted in vector diffusion that covered approximately 84% of the retina, and we found that gene therapy was more effective against RD when exposure to light was limited before and after treatment. We observed long-term preservation of electroretinogram (ERG) responses, and preservation of retinal structure, indicating that early treatment followed by limited light exposure can improve gene therapy effectiveness for the eyes of rd11 mice. Importantly, delayed treatment still partially preserved M-cones, but not S-cones, and M-cones in the rd11 retina appeared to have a longer window of opportunity for effective preservation with gene therapy. These results provide important information regarding the effects of subretinal gene therapy in the mouse model of LPCAT1-deficiency. PMID:27228218

  12. Neuroprotective therapy for argon-laser-induced retinal injury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belkin, Michael; Rosner, Mordechai; Solberg, Yoram; Turetz, Yosef

    1999-06-01

    Laser photocoagulation treatment of the central retina is often complicated by an immediate side effect of visual impairment, caused by the unavoidable laser-induced destruction of the normal tissue lying adjacent to the lesion and not affected directly by the laser beam. Furthermore, accidental laser injuries are at present untreatable. A neuroprotective therapy for salvaging the normal tissue might enhance the benefit obtained from treatment and allow safe perifoveal photocoagulation. We have developed a rat model for studying the efficacy of putative neuroprotective compounds in ameliorating laser-induced retinal damage. Four compounds were evaluated: the corticosteroid methylprednisolone, the glutamate-receptor blocker MK-801, the anti-oxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase, and the calcim-overload antagonist flunarizine. The study was carried out in two steps: in the first, the histopathological development of retinal laser injuries was studied. Argon laser lesions were inflicted in the retinas of 18 pigmented rats. The animals were sacrificed after 3, 20 or 60 days and their retinal lesions were evaluated under the light microscope. The laser injury mainly involved the outer layers of the retina, where it destroyed significant numbers of photoreceptor cells. Over time, evidence of two major histopathological processes was observed: traction of adjacent nomral retinal cells into the central area of the lesion forming an internal retinal bulging, and a retinal pigmented epithelial proliferative reaction associated with subretinal neovascularization and invations of the retinal lesion site by phagocytes. The neuroprotective effects of each of the four compounds were verified in a second step of the study. For each drug tested, 12 rats were irradiated wtih argon laser inflictions: six of them received the tested agent while the other six were treated with the corresponding vehicle. Twenty days after laser expsoure, the rats were sacrificed and their lesions were

  13. Rpe65 as a modifier gene for inherited retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Samardzija, M.; Wenzel, A.; Naash, M.; Remé, C. E.; Grimm, C.

    2009-01-01

    Light accelerates progression of retinal degeneration in many animal models of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). A sequence variant in the Rpe65 gene (Rpe65450Leu or Rpe65450Met) can act as a modulator of light-damage susceptibility in mice by influencing the kinetics of rhodopsin regeneration and thus by modulating the photon absorption. Depending on exposure duration and light intensity applied, white fluorescent light induces photoreceptor apoptosis and retinal degeneration in wild-type mice by the activation of one of two known molecular pathways. These pathways depend, respectively, on activation of the transcription factor c-Fos/AP-1 and on phototransduction activity. Here we tested Rpe65 as a genetic modifier for inherited retinal degeneration and analysed which degenerative pathway is activated in a transgenic mouse model of autosomal dominant RP. We show that retinal degeneration was reduced in mice expressing the Rpe65450Met variant and that these mice retained more visual pigment rhodopsin than did transgenic mice expressing the Rpe65450Leu variant. In addition, lack of phototransduction slowed retinal degeneration whereas ablation of c-Fos had no effect. We conclude that sequence variations in the Rpe65 gene can act as genetic modifiers in inherited retinal degeneration, presumably by regulating the daily rate of photon absorption through the modulation of rhodopsin regeneration kinetics. Increased absorption of photons and/or light sensitivity appear to accelerate retinal degeneration via an apoptotic cascade which involves phototransduction but not c-Fos. PMID:16519667

  14. Let There Be Light: Gene and Cell Therapy for Blindness.

    PubMed

    Dalkara, Deniz; Goureau, Olivier; Marazova, Katia; Sahel, José-Alain

    2016-02-01

    Retinal degenerative diseases are a leading cause of irreversible blindness. Retinal cell death is the main cause of vision loss in genetic disorders such as retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt disease, and Leber congenital amaurosis, as well as in complex age-related diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. For these blinding conditions, gene and cell therapy approaches offer therapeutic intervention at various disease stages. The present review outlines advances in therapies for retinal degenerative disease, focusing on the progress and challenges in the development and clinical translation of gene and cell therapies. A significant body of preclinical evidence and initial clinical results pave the way for further development of these cutting edge treatments for patients with retinal degenerative disorders.

  15. Novel Approaches for Retinal Drug and Gene Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Stephen J.

    2014-01-01

    The ARVO 2014 minisymposium on “Novel Approaches for Retinal Drug and Gene Delivery” was held on May 6, 2014 in Orlando, FL. The main intent of the symposium was to review recent advances in retinal drug and gene delivery with specific emphasis on novel approaches that address current limitations and have the potential to translate into clinical practice. The symposium was sponsored by Translational Vision Science and Technology. PMID:25346872

  16. Recent Advances of Stem Cell Therapy for Retinitis Pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    He, Yuxi; Zhang, Yan; Liu, Xin; Ghazaryan, Emma; Li, Ying; Xie, Jianan; Su, Guanfang

    2014-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of inherited retinal disorders characterized by progressive loss of photoreceptors and eventually leads to retina degeneration and atrophy. Until now, the exact pathogenesis and etiology of this disease has not been clear, and many approaches for RP therapies have been carried out in animals and in clinical trials. In recent years, stem cell transplantation-based attempts made some progress, especially the transplantation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs). This review will provide an overview of stem cell-based treatment of RP and its main problems, to provide evidence for the safety and feasibility for further clinical treatment. PMID:25141102

  17. Myocardial gene therapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isner, Jeffrey M.

    2002-01-01

    Gene therapy is proving likely to be a viable alternative to conventional therapies in coronary artery disease and heart failure. Phase 1 clinical trials indicate high levels of safety and clinical benefits with gene therapy using angiogenic growth factors in myocardial ischaemia. Although gene therapy for heart failure is still at the pre-clinical stage, experimental data indicate that therapeutic angiogenesis using short-term gene expression may elicit functional improvement in affected individuals.

  18. Gene therapy for radioprotection.

    PubMed

    Everett, W H; Curiel, D T

    2015-03-01

    Radiation therapy is a critical component of cancer treatment with over half of patients receiving radiation during their treatment. Despite advances in image-guided therapy and dose fractionation, patients receiving radiation therapy are still at risk for side effects due to off-target radiation damage of normal tissues. To reduce normal tissue damage, researchers have sought radioprotectors, which are agents capable of protecting tissue against radiation by preventing radiation damage from occurring or by decreasing cell death in the presence of radiation damage. Although much early research focused on small-molecule radioprotectors, there has been a growing interest in gene therapy for radioprotection. The amenability of gene therapy vectors to targeting, as well as the flexibility of gene therapy to accomplish ablation or augmentation of biologically relevant genes, makes gene therapy an excellent strategy for radioprotection. Future improvements to vector targeting and delivery should greatly enhance radioprotection through gene therapy.

  19. Regeneration of the retina: toward stem cell therapy for degenerative retinal diseases.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Sohee; Oh, Il-Hoan

    2015-04-01

    Degenerative retinal diseases affect millions of people worldwide, which can lead to the loss of vision. However, therapeutic approaches that can reverse this process are limited. Recent efforts have allowed the possibility of the stem cell-based regeneration of retinal cells and repair of injured retinal tissues. Although the direct differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into terminally differentiated photoreceptor cells comprises one approach, a series of studies revealed the intrinsic regenerative potential of the retina using endogenous retinal stem cells. Muller glial cells, ciliary pigment epithelial cells, and retinal pigment epithelial cells are candidates for such retinal stem cells that can differentiate into multiple types of retinal cells and be integrated into injured or developing retina. In this review, we explore our current understanding of the cellular identity of these candidate retinal stem cells and their therapeutic potential for cell therapy against degenerative retinal diseases. PMID:25560700

  20. The Status of RPE65 Gene Therapy Trials: Safety and Efficacy.

    PubMed

    Pierce, Eric A; Bennett, Jean

    2015-01-01

    Several groups have reported the results of clinical trials of gene augmentation therapy for Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) because of mutations in the RPE65 gene. These studies have used subretinal injection of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors to deliver the human RPE65 cDNA to the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells of the treated eyes. In all of the studies reported to date, this approach has been shown to be both safe and effective. The successful clinical trials of gene augmentation therapy for retinal degeneration caused by mutations in the RPE65 gene sets the stage for broad application of gene therapy to treat retinal degenerative disorders.

  1. Clinical characteristics and current therapies for inherited retinal degenerations.

    PubMed

    Sahel, José-Alain; Marazova, Katia; Audo, Isabelle

    2014-10-16

    Inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs) encompass a large group of clinically and genetically heterogeneous diseases that affect approximately 1 in 3000 people (>2 million people worldwide) (Bessant DA, Ali RR, Bhattacharya SS. 2001. Molecular genetics and prospects for therapy of the inherited retinal dystrophies. Curr Opin Genet Dev 11: 307-316.). IRDs may be inherited as Mendelian traits or through mitochondrial DNA, and may affect the entire retina (e.g., rod-cone dystrophy, also known as retinitis pigmentosa, cone dystrophy, cone-rod dystrophy, choroideremia, Usher syndrome, and Bardet-Bidel syndrome) or be restricted to the macula (e.g., Stargardt disease, Best disease, and Sorsby fundus dystrophy), ultimately leading to blindness. IRDs are a major cause of severe vision loss, with profound impact on patients and society. Although IRDs remain untreatable today, significant progress toward therapeutic strategies for IRDs has marked the past two decades. This progress has been based on better understanding of the pathophysiological pathways of these diseases and on technological advances.

  2. Clinical characteristics and current therapies for inherited retinal degenerations.

    PubMed

    Sahel, José-Alain; Marazova, Katia; Audo, Isabelle

    2015-02-01

    Inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs) encompass a large group of clinically and genetically heterogeneous diseases that affect approximately 1 in 3000 people (>2 million people worldwide) (Bessant DA, Ali RR, Bhattacharya SS. 2001. Molecular genetics and prospects for therapy of the inherited retinal dystrophies. Curr Opin Genet Dev 11: 307-316.). IRDs may be inherited as Mendelian traits or through mitochondrial DNA, and may affect the entire retina (e.g., rod-cone dystrophy, also known as retinitis pigmentosa, cone dystrophy, cone-rod dystrophy, choroideremia, Usher syndrome, and Bardet-Bidel syndrome) or be restricted to the macula (e.g., Stargardt disease, Best disease, and Sorsby fundus dystrophy), ultimately leading to blindness. IRDs are a major cause of severe vision loss, with profound impact on patients and society. Although IRDs remain untreatable today, significant progress toward therapeutic strategies for IRDs has marked the past two decades. This progress has been based on better understanding of the pathophysiological pathways of these diseases and on technological advances. PMID:25324231

  3. 76 FR 22405 - Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-21

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee... be open to the public. Name of Committee: Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee... gene therapy products for the treatment of retinal disorders. Topics to be considered include...

  4. Regulated Gene Therapy.

    PubMed

    Breger, Ludivine; Wettergren, Erika Elgstrand; Quintino, Luis; Lundberg, Cecilia

    2016-01-01

    Gene therapy represents a promising approach for the treatment of monogenic and multifactorial neurological disorders. It can be used to replace a missing gene and mutated gene or downregulate a causal gene. Despite the versatility of gene therapy, one of the main limitations lies in the irreversibility of the process: once delivered to target cells, the gene of interest is constitutively expressed and cannot be removed. Therefore, efficient, safe and long-term gene modification requires a system allowing fine control of transgene expression.Different systems have been developed over the past decades to regulate transgene expression after in vivo delivery, either at transcriptional or post-translational levels. The purpose of this chapter is to give an overview on current regulatory system used in the context of gene therapy for neurological disorders. Systems using external regulation of transgenes using antibiotics are commonly used to control either gene expression using tetracycline-controlled transcription or protein levels using destabilizing domain technology. Alternatively, specific promoters of genes that are regulated by disease mechanisms, increasing expression as the disease progresses or decreasing expression as disease regresses, are also examined. Overall, this chapter discusses advantages and drawbacks of current molecular methods for regulated gene therapy in the central nervous system.

  5. Hydroxyl PAMAM dendrimer-based gene vectors for transgene delivery to human retinal pigment epithelial cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mastorakos, Panagiotis; Kambhampati, Siva P.; Mishra, Manoj K.; Wu, Tony; Song, Eric; Hanes, Justin; Kannan, Rangaramanujam M.

    2015-02-01

    Ocular gene therapy holds promise for the treatment of numerous blinding disorders. Despite the significant progress in the field of viral and non-viral gene delivery to the eye, significant obstacles remain in the way of achieving high-level transgene expression without adverse effects. The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is involved in the pathogenesis of retinal diseases and is a key target for a number of gene-based therapeutics. In this study, we addressed the inherent drawbacks of non-viral gene vectors and combined different approaches to design an efficient and safe dendrimer-based gene-delivery platform for delivery to human RPE cells. We used hydroxyl-terminated polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers functionalized with various amounts of amine groups to achieve effective plasmid compaction. We further used triamcinolone acetonide (TA) as a nuclear localization enhancer for the dendrimer-gene complex and achieved significant improvement in cell uptake and transfection of hard-to-transfect human RPE cells. To improve colloidal stability, we further shielded the gene vector surface through incorporation of PEGylated dendrimer along with dendrimer-TA for DNA complexation. The resultant complexes showed improved stability while minimally affecting transgene delivery, thus improving the translational relevance of this platform.Ocular gene therapy holds promise for the treatment of numerous blinding disorders. Despite the significant progress in the field of viral and non-viral gene delivery to the eye, significant obstacles remain in the way of achieving high-level transgene expression without adverse effects. The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is involved in the pathogenesis of retinal diseases and is a key target for a number of gene-based therapeutics. In this study, we addressed the inherent drawbacks of non-viral gene vectors and combined different approaches to design an efficient and safe dendrimer-based gene-delivery platform for delivery to human RPE

  6. Vector platforms for gene therapy of inherited retinopathies

    PubMed Central

    Trapani, Ivana; Puppo, Agostina; Auricchio, Alberto

    2014-01-01

    Inherited retinopathies (IR) are common untreatable blinding conditions. Most of them are inherited as monogenic disorders, due to mutations in genes expressed in retinal photoreceptors (PR) and in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). The retina’s compatibility with gene transfer has made transduction of different retinal cell layers in small and large animal models via viral and non-viral vectors possible. The ongoing identification of novel viruses as well as modifications of existing ones based either on rational design or directed evolution have generated vector variants with improved transduction properties. Dozens of promising proofs of concept have been obtained in IR animal models with both viral and non-viral vectors, and some of them have been relayed to clinical trials. To date, recombinant vectors based on the adeno-associated virus (AAV) represent the most promising tool for retinal gene therapy, given their ability to efficiently deliver therapeutic genes to both PR and RPE and their excellent safety and efficacy profiles in humans. However, AAVs’ limited cargo capacity has prevented application of the viral vector to treatments requiring transfer of genes with a coding sequence larger than 5 kb. Vectors with larger capacity, i.e. nanoparticles, adenoviral and lentiviral vectors are being exploited for gene transfer to the retina in animal models and, more recently, in humans. This review focuses on the available platforms for retinal gene therapy to fight inherited blindness, highlights their main strengths and examines the efforts to overcome some of their limitations. PMID:25124745

  7. Impact of injection therapy on retinal patients with diabetic macular edema or retinal vein occlusion

    PubMed Central

    Sivaprasad, Sobha; Oyetunde, Sesan

    2016-01-01

    Purpose An important factor in the choice of therapy is the impact it has on the patient’s quality of life. This survey aimed to understand treatment burden, treatment-related anxiety and worry, and practical issues such as appointment attendance and work absence in patients receiving injection therapy for diabetic macular edema (DME) or retinal vein occlusion (RVO). Patients and methods A European sample of 131 retinal patients completed a detailed questionnaire to elucidate the impact of injection therapy on individuals with DME or RVO. Results RVO and DME greatly impact a patient’s quality of life. An intensive injection regimen and the requirements for multiple hospital visits place a large practical burden on the patient. Each intravitreal injection appointment (including travel time) was reported to take an average of 4.5 hours, with a total appointment burden over 6 months of 13.5 hours and 20 hours for RVO and DME patients, respectively. This creates a significant burden on patient time and may make appointment attendance difficult. Indeed, 53% of working patients needed to take at least 1 day off work per appointment and 71% of patients required a carer’s assistance at the time of the injection appointment, ~6.3 hours per injection. In addition to practical issues, three-quarters of patients reported experiencing anxiety about their most recent injection treatment, with 54% of patients reporting that they were anxious for at least 2 days prior to the injection. Patients’ most desired improvement to their treatment regimen was to have fewer injections and to require fewer appointments, to achieve the same visual results. Conclusion Patients’ quality of life is clearly very affected by having to manage an intensive intravitreal injection regimen, with a considerable treatment burden having a large negative effect. Reducing the appointment burden to achieve the same visual outcomes and the provision of additional support for patients to attend

  8. Induced pluripotent stem cell therapies for retinal disease

    PubMed Central

    Comyn, Oliver; Lee, Edward; MacLaren, Robert E

    2010-01-01

    Purpose of review: This review will discuss how recent advances with induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have brought the science of stem cell biology much closer to clinical application for patients with retinal degeneration. Recent findings: The ability to generate embryonic stem (ES) cells by reprogramming DNA taken from adult cells was demonstrated by the cloning of Dolly the sheep by somatic cell nuclear transfer over ten years ago. Recently it has been shown that adult cells can be reprogrammed directly, without the need for a surrogate oocyte through the generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. The method of reprogramming has since been optimised to avoid the use of retroviruses, making the process considerably safer. Last year human iPS cells were isolated from an 80 year old patient with neurodegenerative disease and differentiated into neurons in vitro. Summary: For stem cell therapies, the retina has the optimal combination of ease of surgical access, combined with an ability to observe transplanted cells directly through the clear ocular media. The question now is which retinal diseases are most appropriate targets for clinical trials using iPS cell approaches. PMID:19949329

  9. Measurements of retinal temperature increase during photodynamic therapy for choroidal neovascularization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Hongxia; Yang, Zaifu; Gu, Ying; Li, Xiaoxia; Zhao, Youquan; Zhang, Luyong; Qiu, Haixia

    2010-11-01

    To study the risk of retinal thermal injury from 532 nm laser during photodynamic therapy (PDT) for choroidal neovascularization (CNV) by measuring the retinal temperature increase of rabbit eyes. A microthermocouple technique was developed to measure retinal temperature increase during PDT in pigmented and non-pigmented rabbit eyes. The 532 nm laser exposures were performed with 100-s duration, 2-mm spot size, and retinal irradiance ranging from 400 to 1600 mW/cm2. A K-type microthermocouple was inserted through the sclerotomy and advanced until the tip reached the retina at the posterior pole. The thermocouple was connected a computer that recorded and analyzed retinal temperature data. The results showed that the retinal temperature increase during laser exposure was proportional to retinal irradiance with a particular spot diameter, exposure duration, wavelength, and fundus pigmentation. And the measured retinal temperature increases in pigmented rabbits were a little higher than those in albino rabbits under the same radiant condition. Retinal threshold irradiance required for visible lesions at laser wavelength of 532 nm with 2.0-mm spot size and 100-s duration was 1657 mW/cm2 in albino and 1003 mW/cm2 in pigmented rabbits, respectively, corresponding to retinal temperature increase of about 8 °C and 6 °C. The measured temperatures in albino and pigmented rabbit eyes were both lower than the model predictions, especially in pigmented rabbits. Therefore, further parameter modifying should be performed to obtain accuracy prediction of retinal temperature.

  10. Vaginal gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Gascón, Alicia; Del Pozo-Rodríguez, Ana; Isla, Arantxazu; Solinís, María Angeles

    2015-09-15

    In the last years, vaginal gene therapy has gained increasing attention mainly for the treatment and control of sexually transmitted infections. DNA delivery has been also suggested to improve reproductive outcomes for women with deficiencies in the female reproductive tract. Although no product has reached clinical phase, preclinical investigations reveal the potential of the vaginal tract as an effective administration route for gene delivery. This review focuses on the main advantages and challenges of vaginal gene therapy, and on the most used nucleic acid delivery systems, including viral and non-viral vectors. Additionally, the advances in the application of vaginal gene therapy for the treatment and/or prevention of infectious diseases such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the human papillomavirus (HPV) or the herpes simplex virus (HSV) are presented.

  11. Distilling a Visual Network of Retinitis Pigmentosa Gene-Protein Interactions to Uncover New Disease Candidates

    PubMed Central

    Boloc, Daniel; Castillo-Lara, Sergio; Marfany, Gemma; Gonzàlez-Duarte, Roser; Abril, Josep F.

    2015-01-01

    Background Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a highly heterogeneous genetic visual disorder with more than 70 known causative genes, some of them shared with other non-syndromic retinal dystrophies (e.g. Leber congenital amaurosis, LCA). The identification of RP genes has increased steadily during the last decade, and the 30% of the cases that still remain unassigned will soon decrease after the advent of exome/genome sequencing. A considerable amount of genetic and functional data on single RD genes and mutations has been gathered, but a comprehensive view of the RP genes and their interacting partners is still very fragmentary. This is the main gap that needs to be filled in order to understand how mutations relate to progressive blinding disorders and devise effective therapies. Methodology We have built an RP-specific network (RPGeNet) by merging data from different sources: high-throughput data from BioGRID and STRING databases, manually curated data for interactions retrieved from iHOP, as well as interactions filtered out by syntactical parsing from up-to-date abstracts and full-text papers related to the RP research field. The paths emerging when known RP genes were used as baits over the whole interactome have been analysed, and the minimal number of connections among the RP genes and their close neighbors were distilled in order to simplify the search space. Conclusions In contrast to the analysis of single isolated genes, finding the networks linking disease genes renders powerful etiopathological insights. We here provide an interactive interface, RPGeNet, for the molecular biologist to explore the network centered on the non-syndromic and syndromic RP and LCA causative genes. By integrating tissue-specific expression levels and phenotypic data on top of that network, a more comprehensive biological view will highlight key molecular players of retinal degeneration and unveil new RP disease candidates. PMID:26267445

  12. Retinal gene delivery by rAAV and DNA electroporation

    PubMed Central

    Venkatesh, Aditya; Ma, Shan; Langellotto, Fernanda; Gao, Guangping; Punzo, Claudio

    2013-01-01

    Ocular gene therapy is a fast growing area of research. The eye is an ideal organ for gene therapy since it is immune privileged, easily accessible, and direct viral delivery results primarily in local infection. Because the eye is not a vital organ, mutations in eye specific genes tend to be more common. To date, over 40 eye specific genes have been identified which harbor mutations that lead to blindness. Gene therapy with recombinant Adeno Associated Virus (rAAV) holds the promise to treat patients with such mutations. However, proof-of-concept and safety evaluation for gene therapy remains to be established for most of these diseases. This unit describes the in vivo delivery of genes to the mouse eye by rAAV-mediated gene transfer and plasmid DNA electroporation. Advantages and limitations of these methods are discussed, and detailed protocols for gene delivery, required materials, as well as subsequent tissue processing methods are described. PMID:23408132

  13. Microarray analysis of gene expression in adult retinal ganglion cells.

    PubMed

    Ivanov, Dmitry; Dvoriantchikova, Galina; Nathanson, Lubov; McKinnon, Stuart J; Shestopalov, Valery I

    2006-01-01

    Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) transfer visual information to the brain and are known to be susceptible to selective degeneration in various neuropathies such as glaucoma. This selective vulnerability suggests that these highly specialized neurons possess a distinct gene expression profile that becomes altered by neuropathy-associated stresses, which lead to the RGC death. In this study, to identify genes expressed predominantly in adult RGCs, a global transcriptional profile of purified primary RGCs has been compared to that of the whole retina. To avoid alterations of the original gene expression profile by cell culture conditions, we isolated RNA directly from adult RGCs purified by immunopanning without prior sub-cultivation. Genes expressed predominantly in RGCs included: Nrg1, Rgn, 14-3-3 family (Ywhah, Ywhaz, Ywhab), Nrn1, Gap43, Vsnl1, Rgs4. Some of these genes may serve as novel markers for these neurons. Our analysis revealed enrichment in genes controlling the pro-survival pathways in RGCs as compared to other retinal cells. PMID:16376886

  14. Gene therapy for brain tumors.

    PubMed

    Bansal, K; Engelhard, H H

    2000-09-01

    "Gene therapy" can be defined as the transfer of genetic material into a patient's cells for therapeutic purposes. To date, a diverse and creative assortment of treatment strategies utilizing gene therapy have been devised, including gene transfer for modulating the immune system, enzyme prodrug ("suicide gene") therapy, oncolytic therapy, replacement/therapeutic gene transfer, and antisense therapy. For malignant glioma, gene-directed prodrug therapy using the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase gene was the first gene therapy attempted clinically. A variety of different strategies have now been pursued experimentally and in clinical trials. Although, to date, gene therapy for brain tumors has been found to be reasonably safe, concerns still exist regarding issues related to viral delivery, transduction efficiency, potential pathologic response of the brain, and treatment efficacy. Improved viral vectors are being sought, and potential use of gene therapy in combination with other treatments is being investigated.

  15. Progressive Outer Retinal Necrosis and Immunosuppressive Therapy in Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Coisy, Solène; Ebran, Jean-Marc; Milea, Dan

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Progressive outer retinal necrosis (PORN) is a rare but devastating infectious retinitis associated with varicella zoster virus (VZV) and responsible for severe visual loss. Case Report A 59-year-old man treated for generalized myasthenia with oral azathioprine and prednisone presented with severe unilateral necrotizing retinitis. Polymerase chain reaction of the aqueous and vitreous humors was diagnostic for VZV PORN. Conclusion VZV PORN is a severe potential ocular complication of immunosuppression, prompting urgent diagnosis and appropriate treatment. PMID:24926266

  16. [Retinal Cell Therapy Using iPS Cells].

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Masayo

    2016-03-01

    Progress in basic research, starting with the work on neural stem cells in the middle 1990's to embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells at present, will lead the cell therapy (regenerative medicine) of various organs, including the central nervous system to a big medical field in the future. The author's group transplanted iPS cell-derived retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell sheets to the eye of a patient with exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in 2014 as a clinical research. Replacement of the RPE with the patient's own iPS cell-derived young healthy cell sheet will be one new radical treatment of AMD that is caused by cellular senescence of RPE cells. Since it was the first clinical study using iPS cell-derived cells, the primary endpoint was safety judged by the outcome one year after surgery. The safety of the cell sheet has been confirmed by repeated tumorigenisity tests using immunodeficient mice, as well as purity of the cells, karyotype and genetic analysis. It is, however, also necessary to prove the safety by clinical studies. Following this start, a good strategy considering cost and benefit is needed to make regenerative medicine a standard treatment in the future. Scientifically, the best choice is the autologous RPE cell sheet, but autologous cell are expensive and sheet transplantation involves a risky part of surgical procedure. We should consider human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matched allogeneic transplantation using the HLA 6 loci homozyous iPS cell stock that Prof. Yamanaka of Kyoto University is working on. As the required forms of donor cells will be different depending on types and stages of the target diseases, regenerative medicine will be accomplished in a totally different manner from the present small molecule drugs. Proof of concept (POC) of photoreceptor transplantation in mouse is close to being accomplished using iPS cell-derived photoreceptor cells. The shortest possible course for treatment

  17. Airway gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Davies, Jane C; Alton, Eric W F W

    2005-01-01

    Given both the accessibility and the genetic basis of several pulmonary diseases, the lungs and airways initially seemed ideal candidates for gene therapy. Several routes of access are available, many of which have been refined and optimized for nongene drug delivery. Two respiratory diseases, cystic fibrosis (CF) and alpha1-antitrypsin (alpha1-AT) deficiency, are relatively common; the single gene responsible has been identified and current treatment strategies are not curative. This type of inherited disease was the obvious initial target for gene therapy, but it has become clear that nongenetic and acquired diseases, including cancer, may also be amenable to this approach. The majority of preclinical and clinical studies in the airway have involved viral vectors, although for diseases such as CF, likely to require repeated application, non-viral delivery systems have clear advantages. However, with both approaches a range of barriers to gene expression have been identified that are limiting success in the airway and alveolar region. This chapter reviews these issues, strategies aimed at overcoming them, and progress into clinical trials with non-viral vectors in a variety of pulmonary diseases.

  18. Retinitis Pigmentosa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr, Ronald E.

    1979-01-01

    The author describes the etiology of retinitis pigmentosa, a visual dysfunction which results from progressive loss of the retinal photoreceptors. Sections address signs and symptoms, ancillary findings, heredity, clinical diagnosis, therapy, and research. (SBH)

  19. Development of gene and stem cell therapy for ocular neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jing-Xue; Wang, Ning-Li; Lu, Qing-Jun

    2015-01-01

    Retinal degenerative diseases pose a serious threat to eye health, but there is currently no effective treatment available. Recent years have witnessed rapid development of several cutting-edge technologies, such as gene therapy, stem cell therapy, and tissue engineering. Due to the special features of ocular structure, some of these technologies have been translated into ophthalmological clinic practice with fruitful achievements, setting a good example for other fields. This paper reviews the development of the gene and stem cell therapies in ophthalmology. PMID:26086019

  20. Features specific to retinal pigment epithelium cells derived from three-dimensional human embryonic stem cell cultures — a new donor for cell therapy

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhengya; Li, Qiyou; Xu, Haiwei; Yin, Zheng Qin

    2016-01-01

    Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) transplantation is a particularly promising treatment of retinal degenerative diseases affecting RPE-photoreceptor complex. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) provide an abundant donor source for RPE transplantation. Herein, we studied the time-course characteristics of RPE cells derived from three-dimensional human ESCs cultures (3D-RPE). We showed that 3D-RPE cells possessed morphology, ultrastructure, gene expression profile, and functions of authentic RPE. As differentiation proceeded, 3D-RPE cells could mature gradually with decreasing proliferation but increasing functions. Besides, 3D-RPE cells could form polarized monolayer with functional tight junction and gap junction. When grafted into the subretinal space of Royal College of Surgeons rats, 3D-RPE cells were safe and efficient to rescue retinal degeneration. This study showed that 3D-RPE cells were a new donor for cell therapy of retinal degenerative diseases. PMID:27009841

  1. Presentation of Complex Homozygous Allele in ABCA4 Gene in a Patient with Retinitis Pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Audere, Māreta; Rutka, Katrīna; Šepetiene, Svetlana; Lāce, Baiba

    2015-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa is a degenerative retinal disease characterized by progressive photoreceptor damage, which causes loss of peripheral and night vision and the development of tunnel vision and may result in loss of central vision. This study describes a patient with retinitis pigmentosa caused by a mutation in the ABCA4 gene with complex allele c.1622T>C, p.L541P; c.3113C>T, p.A1038V in homozygous state. PMID:26229699

  2. Promising and delivering gene therapies for vision loss

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho, Livia S.; Vandenberghe, Luk H.

    2014-01-01

    The maturity in our understanding of the genetics and the pathogenesis of disease in degenerative retinal disorders has intersected in past years with a novel treatment paradigm in which a genetic intervention may lead to sustained therapeutic benefit, and in some cases even restoration of vision. Here, we review this prospect of retinal gene therapy, discuss the enabling technologies that have led to first-in-human demonstrations of efficacy and safety, and the road that led to this exciting point in time. PMID:25094052

  3. nanosheets for gene therapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kou, Zhongyang; Wang, Xin; Yuan, Renshun; Chen, Huabin; Zhi, Qiaoming; Gao, Ling; Wang, Bin; Guo, Zhaoji; Xue, Xiaofeng; Cao, Wei; Guo, Liang

    2014-10-01

    A new class of two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterial, transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) such as MoS2, MoSe2, WS2, and WSe2 which have fantastic physical and chemical properties, has drawn tremendous attention in different fields recently. Herein, we for the first time take advantage of the great potential of MoS2 with well-engineered surface as a novel type of 2D nanocarriers for gene delivery and therapy of cancer. In our system, positively charged MoS2-PEG-PEI is synthesized with lipoic acid-modified polyethylene glycol (LA-PEG) and branched polyethylenimine (PEI). The amino end of positively charged nanomaterials can bind to the negatively charged small interfering RNA (siRNA). After detection of physical and chemical characteristics of the nanomaterial, cell toxicity was evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) was investigated as a well-known oncogene, which was a critical regulator of cell cycle transmission at multiple levels. Through knockdown of PLK1 with siRNA carried by novel nanovector, qPCR and Western blot were used to measure the interfering efficiency; apoptosis assay was used to detect the transfection effect of PLK1. All results showed that the novel nanocarrier revealed good biocompatibility, reduced cytotoxicity, as well as high gene-carrying ability without serum interference, thus would have great potential for gene delivery and therapy.

  4. Saporin suicide gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Zarovni, Natasa; Vago, Riccardo; Fabbrini, Maria Serena

    2009-01-01

    New genes useful in suicide gene therapy are those encoding toxins such as plant ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs), which can irreversibly block protein synthesis, triggering apoptotic cell death. Plasmids expressing a cytosolic saporin (SAP) gene from common soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) are generated by placing the region encoding the mature plant toxin under the control of strong viral promoters and may be placed under tumor-specific promoters. The ability of the resulting constructs to inhibit protein synthesis is tested in cultured tumor cells co-transfected with a luciferase reporter gene. SAP expression driven by the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter (pCI-SAP) demonstrates that only 10 ng ofplasmid DNA per 1.6 x 10(4) B16 melanoma cells drastically reduces luciferase reporter activity to 18% of that in control cells (1). Direct intratumoral injections are performed in an aggressive melanoma model. B16 melanoma-bearing mice injected with pCI-SAP complexed with lipofectamine or N-(2,3-dioleoyloxy-1-propyl) trimethylammonium methyl sulfate (DOTAP) show a noteworthy attenuation in tumor growth, and this effect is significantly augmented by repeated administrations of the DNA complexes. Here, we describe in detail this cost-effective and safe suicide gene approach. PMID:19565907

  5. [Impact of anti-VEGF therapy on the cellular microenvironment in retinal angiogenesis].

    PubMed

    Nakao, Shintaro

    2014-11-01

    Various large-scale studies show the efficacy of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy in treatment of retinal diseases. Based on the evidence, it is expected that this therapeutic strategy will be used widely for various retinal vascular diseases including diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusion. Leukocyte infiltration is an important step that occurs during angiogenesis in inflammatory diseases. Various studies report that infiltrated leukocytes are a prerequisite for retinal angiogenesis, including diabetic retinopathy. Furthermore, the fibrovascular membrane (FVM) microenvironment consists of stromal components (extracellular matrix, myofibroblasts and leukocytes) supported by angiogenesis (endothelial cells and pericytes). The activity of proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) is thought to be determined by the angiogenesis-assisted FVM microenvironment status. Recently, we investigated whether intravitreal anti-VEGF therapy modulates leukocyte infiltration in retinal angiogenesis using the surgically obtained FVM in pars plana vitrectomy with or without pretreatment with bevacizumab. The effect of anti-VEGF therapy on leukocyte infiltration was also examined with a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy. Moreover, the impact of anti-VEGF therapy on endothelial cells, pericytes and myofibroblasts was also examined using the FVM. We could observe that anti-VEGF therapy blocked leukocyte infiltration as well as re-entry from the retina. The therapy also could induce the contraction of blood vessels, increasing the pericyte ratio and transforming growth factor-β expression in the FVM. Our data indicate anti-VEGF therapy could attain anti-inflammation, vessel contraction and vessel maturation, resulting in the resolution of retinal edema as well as the prevention of intraoperative hemorrhage.

  6. Retinal microglia: just bystander or target for therapy?

    PubMed

    Karlstetter, Marcus; Scholz, Rebecca; Rutar, Matt; Wong, Wai T; Provis, Jan M; Langmann, Thomas

    2015-03-01

    Resident microglial cells can be regarded as the immunological watchdogs of the brain and the retina. They are active sensors of their neuronal microenvironment and rapidly respond to various insults with a morphological and functional transformation into reactive phagocytes. There is strong evidence from animal models and in situ analyses of human tissue that microglial reactivity is a common hallmark of various retinal degenerative and inflammatory diseases. These include rare hereditary retinopathies such as retinitis pigmentosa and X-linked juvenile retinoschisis but also comprise more common multifactorial retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and uveitis as well as neurological disorders with ocular manifestation. In this review, we describe how microglial function is kept in balance under normal conditions by cross-talk with other retinal cells and summarize how microglia respond to different forms of retinal injury. In addition, we present the concept that microglia play a key role in local regulation of complement in the retina and specify aspects of microglial aging relevant for chronic inflammatory processes in the retina. We conclude that this resident immune cell of the retina cannot be simply regarded as bystander of disease but may instead be a potential therapeutic target to be modulated in the treatment of degenerative and inflammatory diseases of the retina.

  7. Retinitis Pigmentosa Treatment with Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine Therapies.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jian; Peng, Qinghua

    2015-01-01

    Current management of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) includes an attempt at slowing down the degenerative process through therapies that use either Western or traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Novel therapies in Western medicine (WM) include use of tailor-made gene therapy, transplantation of stem cells, or neuroprotection treatment. TCM treatment includes two major approaches. These are orally applied herbal decoctions and acupuncture. In fact, all TCM treatments are based on the differentiation of a symptom-complex, which is the characteristic essence of TCM. Thus, diagnosed RP may be treated via the liver, the kidney, and the spleen. The principle behind these treatments is to invigorate the blood and brighten the eyes by toning up the liver and the kidney. Also treatments to cope with deficiencies in the two concepts that are unique and fundamental to TCM are considered: Qi or "vital energy" and Yin and Yang or the harmony of all the opposite elements and forces that make up existence. In particular, the Qi deficiency that results from blood stasis is addressed in these treatments. This paper also puts forward the existing problems and the prospect of the future development on integrating TCM with WM. PMID:26124961

  8. Retinitis Pigmentosa Treatment with Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine Therapies.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jian; Peng, Qinghua

    2015-01-01

    Current management of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) includes an attempt at slowing down the degenerative process through therapies that use either Western or traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Novel therapies in Western medicine (WM) include use of tailor-made gene therapy, transplantation of stem cells, or neuroprotection treatment. TCM treatment includes two major approaches. These are orally applied herbal decoctions and acupuncture. In fact, all TCM treatments are based on the differentiation of a symptom-complex, which is the characteristic essence of TCM. Thus, diagnosed RP may be treated via the liver, the kidney, and the spleen. The principle behind these treatments is to invigorate the blood and brighten the eyes by toning up the liver and the kidney. Also treatments to cope with deficiencies in the two concepts that are unique and fundamental to TCM are considered: Qi or "vital energy" and Yin and Yang or the harmony of all the opposite elements and forces that make up existence. In particular, the Qi deficiency that results from blood stasis is addressed in these treatments. This paper also puts forward the existing problems and the prospect of the future development on integrating TCM with WM.

  9. A case of atypical progressive outer retinal necrosis after highly active antiretroviral therapy.

    PubMed

    Woo, Se Joon; Yu, Hyeong Gon; Chung, Hum

    2004-06-01

    This is a report of an atypical case of progressive outer retinal necrosis (PORN) and the effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on the clinical course of viral retinitis in an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patient. A 22-year-old male patient infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) presented with unilaterally reduced visual acuity and a dense cataract. After cataract extraction, retinal lesions involving the peripheral and macular areas were found with perivascular sparing and the mud-cracked, characteristic appearance of PORN. He was diagnosed as having PORN based on clinical features and was given combined antiviral treatment. With concurrent HAART, the retinal lesions regressed, with the regression being accelerated by further treatment with intravenous acyclovir and ganciclovir. This case suggests that HAART may change the clinical course of PORN in AIDS patients by improving host immunity. PORN should be included in the differential diagnosis of acute unilateral cataract in AIDS patients. PMID:15255240

  10. A case of atypical progressive outer retinal necrosis after highly active antiretroviral therapy.

    PubMed

    Woo, Se Joon; Yu, Hyeong Gon; Chung, Hum

    2004-06-01

    This is a report of an atypical case of progressive outer retinal necrosis (PORN) and the effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on the clinical course of viral retinitis in an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patient. A 22-year-old male patient infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) presented with unilaterally reduced visual acuity and a dense cataract. After cataract extraction, retinal lesions involving the peripheral and macular areas were found with perivascular sparing and the mud-cracked, characteristic appearance of PORN. He was diagnosed as having PORN based on clinical features and was given combined antiviral treatment. With concurrent HAART, the retinal lesions regressed, with the regression being accelerated by further treatment with intravenous acyclovir and ganciclovir. This case suggests that HAART may change the clinical course of PORN in AIDS patients by improving host immunity. PORN should be included in the differential diagnosis of acute unilateral cataract in AIDS patients.

  11. Human Gene Therapy: Genes without Frontiers?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simon, Eric J.

    2002-01-01

    Describes the latest advancements and setbacks in human gene therapy to provide reference material for biology teachers to use in their science classes. Focuses on basic concepts such as recombinant DNA technology, and provides examples of human gene therapy such as severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome, familial hypercholesterolemia, and…

  12. Ex vivo gene therapy and vision.

    PubMed

    Gregory-Evans, Kevin; Bashar, A M A Emran; Tan, Malcolm

    2012-04-01

    Ex vivo gene therapy, a technique where genetic manipulation of cells is undertaken remotely and more safely since it is outside the body, is an emerging therapeutic strategy particularly well suited to targeting a specific organ rather than for treating a whole organism. The eye and visual pathways therefore make an attractive target for this approach. With blindness still so prevalent worldwide, new approaches to treatment would also be widely applicable and a significant advance in improving quality of life. Despite being a relatively new approach, ex vivo gene therapy has already achieved significant advances in the treatment of blindness in pre-clinical trials. In particular, advances are being achieved in corneal disease, glaucoma, retinal degeneration, stroke and multiple sclerosis through genetic re-programming of cells to replace degenerate cells and through more refined neuroprotection, modulation of inflammation and replacement of deficient protein. In this review we discuss the latest developments in ex vivo gene therapy relevant to the visual pathways and highlight the challenges that need to be overcome for progress into clinical trials.

  13. [Gene therapy for hereditary ophthalmological diseases: Advances and future perspectives].

    PubMed

    Chacón-Camacho, Óscar Francisco; Astorga-Carballo, Aline; Zenteno, Juan Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Gene therapy is a promising new therapeutic strategy that could provide a novel and more effective way of targeting hereditary ophthalmological diseases. The eye is easily accessible, highly compartmentalized, and an immune-privileged organ that gives advantages as an ideal gene therapy target. Recently, important advances in the availability of various intraocular vector delivery routes and viral vectors that are able to efficiently transduce specific ocular cell types have been described. Gene therapy has advanced in some retinal inherited dystrophies; in this way, preliminary success is now being reported for the treatment of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). This review will provide an update in the field of gene therapy for the treatment of ocular inherited diseases.

  14. Gene therapy for hemophilia

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Geoffrey L.; Herzog, Roland W.

    2015-01-01

    Hemophilia is an X-linked inherited bleeding disorder consisting of two classifications, hemophilia A and hemophilia B, depending on the underlying mutation. Although the disease is currently treatable with intravenous delivery of replacement recombinant clotting factor, this approach represents a significant cost both monetarily and in terms of quality of life. Gene therapy is an attractive alternative approach to the treatment of hemophilia that would ideally provide life-long correction of clotting activity with a single injection. In this review, we will discuss the multitude of approaches that have been explored for the treatment of both hemophilia A and B, including both in vivo and ex vivo approaches with viral and nonviral delivery vectors. PMID:25553466

  15. Retinal Diseases Caused by Mutations in Genes Not Specifically Associated with the Clinical Diagnosis

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Yanming; Li, Jianli; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Jing; Lewis, Richard A.; Wong, Lee-Jun

    2016-01-01

    Purpose When seeking a confirmed molecular diagnosis in the research setting, patients with one descriptive diagnosis of retinal disease could carry pathogenic variants in genes not specifically associated with that description. However, this event has not been evaluated systematically in clinical diagnostic laboratories that validate fully all target genes to minimize false negatives/positives. Methods We performed targeted next-generation sequencing analysis on 207 ocular disease-related genes for 42 patients whose DNA had been tested negative for disease-specific panels of genes known to be associated with retinitis pigmentosa, Leber congenital amaurosis, or exudative vitreoretinopathy. Results Pathogenic variants, including single nucleotide variations and copy number variations, were identified in 9 patients, including 6 with variants in syndromic retinal disease genes and 3 whose molecular diagnosis could not be distinguished easily from their submitted clinical diagnosis, accounting for 21% (9/42) of the unsolved cases. Conclusion Our study underscores the clinical and genetic heterogeneity of retinal disorders and provides valuable reference to estimate the fraction of clinical samples whose retinal disorders could be explained by genes not specifically associated with the corresponding clinical diagnosis. Our data suggest that sequencing a larger set of retinal disorder related genes can increase the molecular diagnostic yield, especially for clinically hard-to-distinguish cases. PMID:27788217

  16. Inherited retinal diseases in dogs: advances in gene/mutation discovery

    PubMed Central

    Miyadera, Keiko

    2015-01-01

    1. Inherited retinal diseases (RDs) are vision-threatening conditions affecting humans as well as many domestic animals. Through many years of clinical studies of the domestic dog population, a wide array of RDs has been phenotypically characterized. Extensive effort to map the causative gene and to identify the underlying mutation followed. Through candidate gene, linkage analysis, genome-wide association studies, and more recently, by means of next-generation sequencing, as many as 31 mutations in 24 genes have been identified as the underlying cause for canine RDs. Most of these genes have been associated with human RDs providing opportunities to study their roles in the disease pathogenesis and in normal visual function. The canine model has also contributed in developing new treatments such as gene therapy which has been clinically applied to human patients. Meanwhile, with increasing knowledge of the molecular architecture of RDs in different subpopulations of dogs, the conventional understanding of RDs as a simple monogenic disease is beginning to change. Emerging evidence of modifiers that alters the disease outcome is complicating the interpretation of DNA tests. In this review, advances in the gene/mutation discovery approaches and the emerging genetic complexity of canine RDs are discussed. PMID:26120276

  17. [Morphologic aspects of therapy-resistant cytomegalovirus retinitis].

    PubMed

    Meyer, P; Bernauer, W; Daicker, B; Zimmerli, W; Rüttimann, S

    1992-05-01

    Intravenous ganciclovir treatment was performed in eight male AIDS patients with primary unilateral CMV-retinitis. Three patients developed slowly progressive CMV-retinitis in the fellow eye despite adequate dose of ganciclovir. These different CMV-manifestations are shown in a sequence of fundus pictures. Three types of CMV-lesions were observed in connection with this study. Untreated central lesions showed the aspect of crumbled cheese and ketchup. Untreated lesions in the peripherie were yellowish-white, granular, "dry" and showed in most cases no haemorrhages. Lesions appearing during treatment showed initially "dry" white opaque subretinal areas, turning later on to the typical aspect of untreated lesions. The progression could not be stopped by highdose ganciclovir i.v. and thus bilateral blindness resulted after 12 to 22 months. The level of CD4-lymphocytes in the blood was diminished in all patients, but much more in patients with progressive disease. PMID:1319528

  18. Anti-VEGF Therapy for Retinal Vein Occlusions.

    PubMed

    Campa, Claudio; Alivernini, Giuseppe; Bolletta, Elena; Parodi, Maurizio Battaglia; Perri, Paolo

    2016-01-01

    Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is the second most common cause of visual loss in the Western World. RVO is usually classified into branch RVO (BRVO) and central RVO (CRVO) according to the anatomical site of the vascular occlusion. The pathogenesis of RVO is not yet fully understood, however an important event is the intraluminal thrombus formation, which is usually secondary to several conditions such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes and thrombophilia. The blockage of venous circulation causes an elevation of intraluminal pressure in the capillaries, leading to hemorrhages and leakage of fluid within the retina, increase of interstitial pressure and a consequent reduction of retinal perfusion. Ischemia may develop resulting in secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that causes further vascular leakage and retinal oedema. VEGF has therefore a leading role in RVO pathogenesis and symptoms. As a consequence use of anti-VEGF agents by intravitreal injections has become very common with the aim to improve the clinical outcomes in these patients. Currently 2 anti-VEGF agents (ranimizumab and aflibercept) have been FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and EMA (European Medicine Agency) approved for the treatment of RVO, while another VEGF inhibitor (bevacizumab) is often used "off-label" in clinical practice. Many treatment regimens have been suggested in the clinical trials with these drugs, as monthly injections or injections when needed, however the ideal regimen has not been defined yet. We conducted a systematic review searching MEDLINE for the following terms: retinal vein occlusion, ranibizumab, bevacizumab, aflibercept, vascular endothelial growth factor, macular oedema. Data were extracted by one author (AG and BE) and checked by a second (BPM, CC). Aim of this article was to review available data for each drug, focusing on their efficacy and safety trying to compare their advantages and limits.

  19. Cell therapy using retinal progenitor cells shows therapeutic effect in a chemically-induced rotenone mouse model of Leber hereditary optic neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Mansergh, Fiona C; Chadderton, Naomi; Kenna, Paul F; Gobbo, Oliviero L; Farrar, G Jane

    2014-11-01

    Primary mitochondrial disorders occur at a prevalence of one in 10 000; ∼50% of these demonstrate ocular pathology. Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is the most common primary mitochondrial disorder. LHON results from retinal ganglion cell pathology, which leads to optic nerve degeneration and blindness. Over 95% of cases result from one of the three common mutations in mitochondrial genes MTND1, MTND4 and MTND6, which encode elements of the complex I respiratory chain. Various therapies for LHON are in development, for example, intravitreal injection of adeno-associated virus carrying either the yeast NDI1 gene or a specific subunit of mammalian Complex I have shown visual improvement in animal models. Given the course of LHON, it is likely that in many cases prompt administration may be necessary before widespread cell death. An alternative approach for therapy may be the use of stem cells to protect visual function; this has been evaluated by us in a rotenone-induced model of LHON. Freshly dissected embryonic retinal cells do not integrate into the ganglion cell layer (GCL), unlike similarly obtained photoreceptor precursors. However, cultured retinal progenitor cells can integrate in close proximity to the GCL, and act to preserve retinal function as assessed by manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging, optokinetic responses and ganglion cell counts. Cell therapies for LHON therefore represent a promising therapeutic approach, and may be of particular utility in treating more advanced disease. PMID:24569607

  20. Cell therapy using retinal progenitor cells shows therapeutic effect in a chemically-induced rotenone mouse model of Leber hereditary optic neuropathy

    PubMed Central

    Mansergh, Fiona C; Chadderton, Naomi; Kenna, Paul F; Gobbo, Oliviero L; Farrar, G Jane

    2014-01-01

    Primary mitochondrial disorders occur at a prevalence of one in 10 000; ∼50% of these demonstrate ocular pathology. Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is the most common primary mitochondrial disorder. LHON results from retinal ganglion cell pathology, which leads to optic nerve degeneration and blindness. Over 95% of cases result from one of the three common mutations in mitochondrial genes MTND1, MTND4 and MTND6, which encode elements of the complex I respiratory chain. Various therapies for LHON are in development, for example, intravitreal injection of adeno-associated virus carrying either the yeast NDI1 gene or a specific subunit of mammalian Complex I have shown visual improvement in animal models. Given the course of LHON, it is likely that in many cases prompt administration may be necessary before widespread cell death. An alternative approach for therapy may be the use of stem cells to protect visual function; this has been evaluated by us in a rotenone-induced model of LHON. Freshly dissected embryonic retinal cells do not integrate into the ganglion cell layer (GCL), unlike similarly obtained photoreceptor precursors. However, cultured retinal progenitor cells can integrate in close proximity to the GCL, and act to preserve retinal function as assessed by manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging, optokinetic responses and ganglion cell counts. Cell therapies for LHON therefore represent a promising therapeutic approach, and may be of particular utility in treating more advanced disease. PMID:24569607

  1. Gene therapy: progress and predictions

    PubMed Central

    Collins, Mary; Thrasher, Adrian

    2015-01-01

    The first clinical gene delivery, which involved insertion of a marker gene into lymphocytes from cancer patients, was published 25 years ago. In this review, we describe progress since then in gene therapy. Patients with some inherited single-gene defects can now be treated with their own bone marrow stem cells that have been engineered with a viral vector carrying the missing gene. Patients with inherited retinopathies and haemophilia B can also be treated by local or systemic injection of viral vectors. There are also a number of promising gene therapy approaches for cancer and infectious disease. We predict that the next 25 years will see improvements in safety, efficacy and manufacture of gene delivery vectors and introduction of gene-editing technologies to the clinic. Gene delivery may also prove a cost-effective method for the delivery of biological medicines. PMID:26702034

  2. Gene therapy for lung disease.

    PubMed

    Ennist, D L

    1999-06-01

    Gene therapy is a new field of medical research that has great potential to influence the course of treatment of human disease. The lung has been a particularly attractive target organ for gene therapy due to its accessibility and the identification of genetic deficits for a number of lung diseases. Several clinical trials have shown evidence of low levels of gene transfer and expression, but without any benefit to the patients involved. Thus, current studies are focusing on further research and technological improvements to the vectors. Gene therapy is now beginning to benefit from a shift in emphasis from clinical trials to the development of better tools and procedures to deliver gene therapy to the bedside.

  3. Animal models and different therapies for treatment of retinitis pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Rivas, Miren Agurtzane; Vecino, Elena

    2009-10-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a heterogeneous group of retinal degenerative diseases initially affecting the rod photoreceptor. Patients present with night blindness, loss of peripheral vision and finally the loss of central vision, as a consequence of death of cone photoreceptors. RP is a genetic disease, showing inheritance of autosomal dominant (AD), autosomal recessive (AR) or X-linked (XL) recessive traits, although some patients have no family history of RP (simplex RP). Many animal models of RP are available and have led to a better understanding of the pathology of the disease, and to the development of therapeutic strategies aimed at curing or slowing down the genetic disorder. In this review, we describe the selected animal models (natural and transgenic) and their phenotypes and genotypes, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the use of each animal. Also, we look at different therapeutic strategies being studied worldwide and report the latest results. Nevertheless, many obstacles will have to be overcome before most of these strategies can be applied to humans. PMID:19688697

  4. Gene therapy: proceed with caution.

    PubMed

    Grobstein, C; Flower, M

    1984-04-01

    On 6 February 1984 the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee of the National Institutes of Health approved a recommendation that the committee provide prior review of research protocols involving human gene therapy. Grobstein and Flower trace the development of public policy in response to concerns about the dangers of gene therapy, especially as it applies to germ line alteration. They offer guidelines and propose principles for an oversight body to confront the immediate and long term technical, social, and ethical implications of human genetic modification. An accompanying article presents a plea for the development of gene therapy by the mother of three children who have sickle cell anemia.

  5. Gene Therapy for Lung Cancer.

    PubMed

    Lara-Guerra, Humberto; Roth, Jack A

    2016-01-01

    Gene therapy was originally conceived to treat monogenic diseases. The replacement of a defective gene with a functional gene can theoretically cure the disease. In cancer, multiple genetic defects are present and the molecular profile changes during the course of the disease, making the replacement of all defective genes impossible. To overcome these difficulties, various gene therapy strategies have been adopted, including immune stimulation, transfer of suicide genes, inhibition of driver oncogenes, replacement of tumor-suppressor genes that could mediate apoptosis or anti-angiogenesis, and transfer of genes that enhance conventional treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Some of these strategies have been tested successfully in non-small-cell lung cancer patients and the results of laboratory studies and clinical trials are reviewed herein. PMID:27481008

  6. Gene therapy on the move

    PubMed Central

    Kaufmann, Kerstin B; Büning, Hildegard; Galy, Anne; Schambach, Axel; Grez, Manuel

    2013-01-01

    The first gene therapy clinical trials were initiated more than two decades ago. In the early days, gene therapy shared the fate of many experimental medicine approaches and was impeded by the occurrence of severe side effects in a few treated patients. The understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms leading to treatment- and/or vector-associated setbacks has resulted in the development of highly sophisticated gene transfer tools with improved safety and therapeutic efficacy. Employing these advanced tools, a series of Phase I/II trials were started in the past few years with excellent clinical results and no side effects reported so far. Moreover, highly efficient gene targeting strategies and site-directed gene editing technologies have been developed and applied clinically. With more than 1900 clinical trials to date, gene therapy has moved from a vision to clinical reality. This review focuses on the application of gene therapy for the correction of inherited diseases, the limitations and drawbacks encountered in some of the early clinical trials and the revival of gene therapy as a powerful treatment option for the correction of monogenic disorders. PMID:24106209

  7. Gene therapy and nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Hughes, J; Alusi, G; Wang, Y

    2012-06-01

    In 2003, a non-replicating adenoviral gene therapy product received the world`s first government licence for the treatment of head and neck cancer. Two years later approval was granted to a replication-selective adenovirus for the treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in combination with chemotherapy. This review introduces the reader to gene therapy as an emerging treatment modality, and outlines its application to the management of nasopharyngeal carcinoma by examining recent pre-clinical and clinical research.

  8. Gene Therapy for Pituitary Tumors

    PubMed Central

    Seilicovich, Adriana; Pisera, Daniel; Sciascia, Sandra A.; Candolfi, Marianela; Puntel, Mariana; Xiong, Weidong; Jaita, Gabriela; Castro, Maria G.

    2009-01-01

    Pituitary tumors are the most common primary intracranial neoplasms. Although most pituitary tumors are considered typically benign, others can cause severe and progressive disease. The principal aims of pituitary tumor treatment are the elimination or reduction of the tumor mass, normalization of hormone secretion and preservation of remaining pituitary function. In spite of major advances in the therapy of pituitary tumors, for some of the most difficult tumors, current therapies that include medical, surgical and radiotherapeutic methods are often unsatisfactory and there is a need to develop new treatment strategies. Gene therapy, which uses nucleic acids as drugs, has emerged as an attractive therapeutic option for the treatment of pituitary tumors that do not respond to classical treatment strategies if the patients become intolerant to the therapy. The development of animal models for pituitary tumors and hormone hypersecretion has proven to be critical for the implementation of novel treatment strategies and gene therapy approaches. Preclinical trials using several gene therapy approaches for the treatment of anterior pituitary diseases have been successfully implemented. Several issues need to be addressed before clinical implementation becomes a reality, including the development of more effective and safer viral vectors, uncovering novel therapeutic targets and development of targeted expression of therapeutic transgenes. With the development of efficient gene delivery vectors allowing long-term transgene expression with minimal toxicity, gene therapy will become one of the most promising approaches for treating pituitary adenomas. PMID:16457646

  9. Bacteria in gene therapy: bactofection versus alternative gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Pálffy, R; Gardlík, R; Hodosy, J; Behuliak, M; Resko, P; Radvánský, J; Celec, P

    2006-01-01

    Recent advances in gene therapy can be attributed to improvements of gene delivery vectors. New viral and nonviral transport vehicles that considerably increase the efficiency of transfection have been prepared. However, these vectors still have many disadvantages that are difficult to overcome, thus, a new approach is needed. The approach of bacterial delivery could in the future be important for gene therapy applications. In this article we try to summarize the most important modifications that are used for the preparation of applied strains, difficulties that are related with bacterial gene delivery and the current use of bactofection in animal experiments and clinical trials. Important differences to the alternative gene therapy (AGT) are discussed. AGT resembles bacteria-mediated protein delivery, as the therapeutical proteins are produced not by host cells but by the bacteria in situ and the expression can be regulated exogenously. Although the procedure of bacterial gene delivery is far from being definitely solved, bactofection remains a promising technique for transfection in human gene therapy.

  10. Evidence for an enduring ischaemic penumbra following central retinal artery occlusion, with implications for fibrinolytic therapy.

    PubMed

    McLeod, David; Beatty, Stephen

    2015-11-01

    The rationale behind hyperacute fibrinolytic therapy for cerebral and retinal arterial occlusion is to rescue ischaemic cells from irreversible damage through timely restitution of tissue perfusion. In cerebral stroke, an anoxic tissue compartment (the "infarct core") is surrounded by a hypoxic compartment (the "ischaemic penumbra"). The latter comprises electrically-silent neurons that undergo delayed apoptotic cell death within 1-6 h unless salvaged by arterial recanalisation. Establishment of an equivalent hypoxic compartment within the inner retina following central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) isn't widely acknowledged. During experimental CRAO, electroretinography reveals 3 oxygenation-based tissue compartments (anoxic, hypoxic and normoxic) that contribute 32%, 27% and 41% respectively to the pre-occlusion b-wave amplitude. Thus, once the anoxia survival time (≈2 h) expires, the contribution from the infarcted posterior retina is irreversibly extinguished, but electrical activity continues in the normoxic periphery. Inbetween these compartments, an annular hypoxic zone (the "penumbra obscura") endures in a structurally-intact but functionally-impaired state until retinal reperfusion allows rapid recovery from electrical silence. Clinically, residual circulation of sufficient volume flow rate generates the heterogeneous fundus picture of "partial" CRAO. Persistent retinal venous hypoxaemia signifies maximal extraction of oxygen by an enduring "polar penumbra" that permeates or largely replaces the infarct core. On retinal reperfusion some days later, the retinal venous oxygen saturation reverts to normal and vision improves. Thus, penumbral inner retina, marginally oxygenated by the choroid or by residual circulation, isn't at risk of delayed apoptotic infarction (unlike hypoxic cerebral cortex). Emergency fibrinolytic intervention is inappropriate, therefore, once the duration of CRAO exceeds 2 h. PMID:26113210

  11. Evidence for an enduring ischaemic penumbra following central retinal artery occlusion, with implications for fibrinolytic therapy.

    PubMed

    McLeod, David; Beatty, Stephen

    2015-11-01

    The rationale behind hyperacute fibrinolytic therapy for cerebral and retinal arterial occlusion is to rescue ischaemic cells from irreversible damage through timely restitution of tissue perfusion. In cerebral stroke, an anoxic tissue compartment (the "infarct core") is surrounded by a hypoxic compartment (the "ischaemic penumbra"). The latter comprises electrically-silent neurons that undergo delayed apoptotic cell death within 1-6 h unless salvaged by arterial recanalisation. Establishment of an equivalent hypoxic compartment within the inner retina following central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) isn't widely acknowledged. During experimental CRAO, electroretinography reveals 3 oxygenation-based tissue compartments (anoxic, hypoxic and normoxic) that contribute 32%, 27% and 41% respectively to the pre-occlusion b-wave amplitude. Thus, once the anoxia survival time (≈2 h) expires, the contribution from the infarcted posterior retina is irreversibly extinguished, but electrical activity continues in the normoxic periphery. Inbetween these compartments, an annular hypoxic zone (the "penumbra obscura") endures in a structurally-intact but functionally-impaired state until retinal reperfusion allows rapid recovery from electrical silence. Clinically, residual circulation of sufficient volume flow rate generates the heterogeneous fundus picture of "partial" CRAO. Persistent retinal venous hypoxaemia signifies maximal extraction of oxygen by an enduring "polar penumbra" that permeates or largely replaces the infarct core. On retinal reperfusion some days later, the retinal venous oxygen saturation reverts to normal and vision improves. Thus, penumbral inner retina, marginally oxygenated by the choroid or by residual circulation, isn't at risk of delayed apoptotic infarction (unlike hypoxic cerebral cortex). Emergency fibrinolytic intervention is inappropriate, therefore, once the duration of CRAO exceeds 2 h.

  12. Perspectives on Best Practices for Gene Therapy Programs

    PubMed Central

    Cheever, Thomas R.; Berkley, Dale; Braun, Serge; Brown, Robert H.; Byrne, Barry J.; Chamberlain, Jeffrey S.; Cwik, Valerie; Duan, Dongsheng; Federoff, Howard J.; High, Katherine A.; Kaspar, Brian K.; Klinger, Katherine W.; Larkindale, Jane; Lincecum, John; Mavilio, Fulvio; McDonald, Cheryl L.; McLaughlin, James; Weiss McLeod, Bonnie; Mendell, Jerry R.; Nuckolls, Glen; Stedman, Hansell H.; Tagle, Danilo A.; Vandenberghe, Luk H.; Wang, Hao; Wernett, Pamela J.; Wilson, James M.; Porter, John D.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract With recent successes in gene therapy trials for hemophilia and retinal diseases, the promise and prospects for gene therapy are once again garnering significant attention. To build on this momentum, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Muscular Dystrophy Association jointly hosted a workshop in April 2014 on “Best Practices for Gene Therapy Programs,” with a focus on neuromuscular disorders. Workshop participants included researchers from academia and industry as well as representatives from the regulatory, legal, and patient advocacy sectors to cover the gamut from preclinical optimization to intellectual property concerns and regulatory approval. The workshop focused on three key issues in the field: (1) establishing adequate scientific premise for clinical trials in gene therapy, (2) addressing regulatory process issues, and (3) intellectual property and commercialization issues as they relate to gene therapy. The outcomes from the discussions at this workshop are intended to provide guidance for researchers and funders in the gene therapy field. PMID:25654329

  13. Vectors for cancer gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Zhang, J; Russell, S J

    1996-09-01

    Many viral and non-viral vector systems have now been developed for gene therapy applications. In this article, the pros and cons of these vector systems are discussed in relation to the different cancer gene therapy strategies. The protocols used in cancer gene therapy can be broadly divided into six categories including gene transfer to explanted cells for use as cell-based cancer vaccines; gene transfer to a small number of tumour cells in situ to achieve a vaccine effect; gene transfer to vascular endothelial cells (VECs) lining the blood vessels of the tumour to interfere with tumour angiogenesis; gene transfer to T lymphocytes to enhance their antitumour effector capability; gene transfer to haemopoietic stem cells (HSCs) to enhance their resistance to cytotoxic drugs and gene transfer to a large number of tumour cells in situ to achieve nonimmune tumour reduction with or without bystander effect. Each of the six strategies makes unique demands on the vector system and these are discussed with reference to currently available vectors. Aspects of vector biology that are in need of further development are discussed in some detail. The final section points to the potential use of replicating viruses as delivery vehicles for efficient in vivo gene transfer to disseminated cancers.

  14. Gene therapy for metachromatic leukodystrophy.

    PubMed

    Rosenberg, Jonathan B; Kaminsky, Stephen M; Aubourg, Patrick; Crystal, Ronald G; Sondhi, Dolan

    2016-11-01

    Leukodystrophies (LDs) are rare, often devastating genetic disorders with neurologic symptoms. There are currently no disease-specific therapeutic approaches for these diseases. In this review we use metachromatic leukodystrophy as an example to outline in the brief the therapeutic approaches to MLD that have been tested in animal models and in clinical trials, such as enzyme-replacement therapy, bone marrow/umbilical cord blood transplants, ex vivo transplantation of genetically modified hematopoietic stem cells, and gene therapy. These studies suggest that to be successful the ideal therapy for MLD must provide persistent and high level expression of the deficient gene, arylsulfatase A in the CNS. Gene therapy using adeno-associated viruses is therefore the ideal choice for clinical development as it provides the best balance of potential for efficacy with reduced safety risk. Here we have summarized the published preclinical data from our group and from others that support the use of a gene therapy with AAVrh.10 serotype for clinical development as a treatment for MLD, and as an example of the potential of gene therapy for LDs especially for Krabbe disease, which is the focus of this special issue. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27638601

  15. Gene Therapy for Cartilage Repair

    PubMed Central

    Madry, Henning; Orth, Patrick; Cucchiarini, Magali

    2011-01-01

    The concept of using gene transfer strategies for cartilage repair originates from the idea of transferring genes encoding therapeutic factors into the repair tissue, resulting in a temporarily and spatially defined delivery of therapeutic molecules to sites of cartilage damage. This review focuses on the potential benefits of using gene therapy approaches for the repair of articular cartilage and meniscal fibrocartilage, including articular cartilage defects resulting from acute trauma, osteochondritis dissecans, osteonecrosis, and osteoarthritis. Possible applications for meniscal repair comprise meniscal lesions, meniscal sutures, and meniscal transplantation. Recent studies in both small and large animal models have demonstrated the applicability of gene-based approaches for cartilage repair. Chondrogenic pathways were stimulated in the repair tissue and in osteoarthritic cartilage using genes for polypeptide growth factors and transcription factors. Although encouraging data have been generated, a successful translation of gene therapy for cartilage repair will require an ongoing combined effort of orthopedic surgeons and of basic scientists. PMID:26069580

  16. Journey from Jumping Genes to Gene Therapy.

    PubMed

    Whartenby, Katharine A

    2015-01-01

    Gene therapy for cancer is a still evolving approach that resulted from a long history of studies into genetic modification of organisms. The fascination with manipulating gene products has spanned hundreds if not thousands of years, beginning with observations of the hereditary nature of traits in plants and culminating to date in the alteration of genetic makeup in humans via modern technology. From early discoveries noting the potential for natural mobility of genetic material to the culmination of clinical trials in a variety of disease, gene transfer has had an eventful and sometimes tumultuous course. Within the present review is a brief history of the biology of gene transfer, how it came to be applied to genetic diseases, and its early applications to cancer therapies. Some of the different types of methods used to modify cells, the theories behind the approaches, and some of the limitations encountered along the way are reviewed. PMID:27279244

  17. [Therapy of arterial vascular occlusions of retinal and optic nerve (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Küchle, H J; Richard, G

    1979-01-01

    The authors report on 136 cases of arterial occlusion (80 patients suffering from occlusion of the retinal vessels and 56 patients with vascular occlusion in the optic nerve) who were treated with the vasoactive xanthic substance Pentoxifylline (Trental). A part from its positive effect on the vascular circulation, Trental also helps to improve microcirculation in the retinal and optic nerve tissue damaged by hypoxia. After a 2-week infusion therapy with additional digitalisation, treatment was continued for another 3-6 months with oral administration of Trental 400. In 50 cases therapy was combined with the systemic administration of corticosteroids. Under the mentioned therapy a definitely improved visual acuity (at least 3 lines on the eye charts) was achieved in 56% of the cases with occlusion of the retinal vessels and in 51% of the cases with vascular occlusion in the optic nerve, i.e., in 54% of the total number of patients. Whether or not the additional administration of corticosteroids helped to this effect was not proved. PMID:545196

  18. Transcutaneous Electrical Retinal Stimulation Therapy for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Shinoda, Kei; Imamura, Yutaka; Matsuda, Sayaka; Seki, Maiko; Uchida, Atsuro; Grossman, Terry; Tsubota, Kazuo

    2008-01-01

    This reports the preliminary outcome of a transpalpebral electrical retinal stimulation therapy for age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). Twenty-one patients consisting of 16 with wet-type (Group-W) and 5 with dry-type (Group-D) ARMD with a mean age of 73.9 ± 9.5 years (range 51 to 85 years) were recruited for this study. Transpalpebral electrical retinal stimulation (20 minutes, 800 μA) was applied on the patients 4 times per day for up to 1 month. The mean best-corrected visual acuity (Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study [ETDRS] score) changed from 29.5±5.1 to 31.8±5.0 in Group-W and from 39.8±4.7 to 42.9±4.9 in Group-D. Neither ocular nor systemic adverse effects were observed with the exception of one patient who developed contact dermatitis. Due to several limitations such as lack of control, patients’ learning effect, etc, the efficacy of the therapy could not be drawn. This preliminary study, however, showed that the transpalpebral electrical retinal stimulation therapy can be non-invasively applied on wet-type ARMD patients. PMID:19526044

  19. Vision from next generation sequencing: multi-dimensional genome-wide analysis for producing gene regulatory networks underlying retinal development, aging and disease.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hyun-Jin; Ratnapriya, Rinki; Cogliati, Tiziana; Kim, Jung-Woong; Swaroop, Anand

    2015-05-01

    Genomics and genetics have invaded all aspects of biology and medicine, opening uncharted territory for scientific exploration. The definition of "gene" itself has become ambiguous, and the central dogma is continuously being revised and expanded. Computational biology and computational medicine are no longer intellectual domains of the chosen few. Next generation sequencing (NGS) technology, together with novel methods of pattern recognition and network analyses, has revolutionized the way we think about fundamental biological mechanisms and cellular pathways. In this review, we discuss NGS-based genome-wide approaches that can provide deeper insights into retinal development, aging and disease pathogenesis. We first focus on gene regulatory networks (GRNs) that govern the differentiation of retinal photoreceptors and modulate adaptive response during aging. Then, we discuss NGS technology in the context of retinal disease and develop a vision for therapies based on network biology. We should emphasize that basic strategies for network construction and analyses can be transported to any tissue or cell type. We believe that specific and uniform guidelines are required for generation of genome, transcriptome and epigenome data to facilitate comparative analysis and integration of multi-dimensional data sets, and for constructing networks underlying complex biological processes. As cellular homeostasis and organismal survival are dependent on gene-gene and gene-environment interactions, we believe that network-based biology will provide the foundation for deciphering disease mechanisms and discovering novel drug targets for retinal neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25668385

  20. Gene therapy in corneal transplantation.

    PubMed

    Qazi, Yureeda; Hamrah, Pedram

    2013-01-01

    Corneal transplantation is the most commonly performed organ transplantation. Immune privilege of the cornea is widely recognized, partly because of the relatively favorable outcome of corneal grafts. The first-time recipient of corneal allografts in an avascular, low-risk setting can expect a 90% success rate without systemic immunosuppressive agents and histocompatibility matching. However, immunologic rejection remains the major cause of graft failure, particularly in patients with a high risk for rejection. Corticosteroids remain the first-line therapy for the prevention and treatment of immune rejection. However, current pharmacological measures are limited in their side-effect profiles, repeated application, lack of targeted response, and short duration of action. Experimental ocular gene therapy may thus present new horizons in immunomodulation. From efficient viral vectors to sustainable alternative splicing, we discuss the progress of gene therapy in promoting graft survival and postulate further avenues for gene-mediated prevention of allogeneic graft rejection.

  1. Vision from next generation sequencing: Multi-dimensional genome-wide analysis for producing gene regulatory networks underlying retinal development, aging and disease

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Hyun-Jin; Ratnapriya, Rinki; Cogliati, Tiziana; Kim, Jung-Woong; Swaroop, Anand

    2015-01-01

    Genomics and genetics have invaded all aspects of biology and medicine, opening uncharted territory for scientific exploration. The definition of “gene” itself has become ambiguous, and the central dogma is continuously being revised and expanded. Computational biology and computational medicine are no longer intellectual domains of the chosen few. Next generation sequencing (NGS) technology, together with novel methods of pattern recognition and network analyses, has revolutionized the way we think about fundamental biological mechanisms and cellular pathways. In this review, we discuss NGS-based genome-wide approaches that can provide deeper insights into retinal development, aging and disease pathogenesis. We first focus on gene regulatory networks (GRNs) that govern the differentiation of retinal photoreceptors and modulate adaptive response during aging. Then, we discuss NGS technology in the context of retinal disease and develop a vision for therapies based on network biology. We should emphasize that basic strategies for network construction and analyses can be transported to any tissue or cell type. We believe that specific and uniform guidelines are required for generation of genome, transcriptome and epigenome data to facilitate comparative analysis and integration of multi-dimensional data sets, and for constructing networks underlying complex biological processes. As cellular homeostasis and organismal survival are dependent on gene-gene and gene-environment interactions, we believe that network-based biology will provide the foundation for deciphering disease mechanisms and discovering novel drug targets for retinal neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25668385

  2. Gene therapy in clinical medicine

    PubMed Central

    Selkirk, S

    2004-01-01

    Although the field of gene therapy has experienced significant setbacks and limited success, it is one of the most promising and active research fields in medicine. Interest in this therapeutic modality is based on the potential for treatment and cure of some of the most malignant and devastating diseases affecting humans. Over the next decade, the relevance of gene therapy to medical practices will increase and it will become important for physicians to understand the basic principles and strategies that underlie the therapeutic intervention. This report reviews the history, basic strategies, tools, and several current clinical paradigms for application. PMID:15466989

  3. Gene therapy for paediatric leukaemia.

    PubMed

    Rousseau, R F; Bollard, C M; Heslop, H E

    2001-07-01

    Improvements in the chemotherapeutic and transplant regimens have had a significant impact in improving survival rates for paediatric leukaemia. However, there are still important problems to address including what options are available for patients with chemoresistant disease and what strategies are available to avoid the concerns regarding the toxicity associated with highly cytotoxic treatment regimens. Gene therapy and immunotherapy protocols hold great promise. Using gene transfer of a marker gene, a number of biological issues in the therapy of leukaemia have been addressed. For example, by gene marking autologous bone marrow grafts it has been possible to demonstrate that infused marrow contributes to relapse in acute and chronic myeloid leukaemias. In the allogeneic transplant setting, genetically modified T-cells have proven valuable for the prophylaxis and treatment of viral diseases and may have an important role in preventing or treating disease relapse. Gene transfer is also being used to modify tumour function, enhance immunogenicity, and confer drug-resistance to normal haematopoietic stem cells. With the continued scientific advancements in this field, gene therapy will almost certainly have a major impact on the treatment of paediatric leukaemia in the future. PMID:11727502

  4. Dark-Adaptation Functions in Molecularly Confirmed Achromatopsia and the Implications for Assessment in Retinal Therapy Trials

    PubMed Central

    Aboshiha, Jonathan; Luong, Vy; Cowing, Jill; Dubis, Adam M.; Bainbridge, James W.; Ali, Robin R.; Webster, Andrew R.; Moore, Anthony T.; Fitzke, Frederick W.; Michaelides, Michel

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. To describe the dark-adaptation (DA) functions in subjects with molecularly proven achromatopsia (ACHM) using refined testing conditions with a view to guiding assessment in forthcoming gene therapy trials. Methods. The DA functions of nine subjects with ACHM were measured and compared with those of normal observers. The size and retinal location of the stimuli used to measure DA sensitivities were varied in four distinct testing condition sets, and the effect of altering these parameters assessed. Results. In three of the four testing condition sets, achromats had significantly higher mean final thresholds than normal observers, whereas in the fourth condition set they did not. A larger, more central stimulus revealed the greatest difference between the final DA thresholds of achromat and normal subjects, and also demonstrated the slowest rate of recovery among the achromat group. Conclusions. In this, the largest study of DA functions in molecularly proven ACHM to date, we have identified optimal testing conditions that accentuate the relative difference between achromats and normal observers. These findings can help optimize DA testing in future trials, as well as help resolve the dichotomy in the literature regarding the normality or otherwise of DA functions in ACHM. Furthermore, the shorter testing time and less intense adaptation light used in these experiments may prove advantageous for more readily and reliably probing scotopic function in retinal disease, and be particularly valuable in the frequent post therapeutic assessments required in the context of the marked photophobia in ACHM. PMID:25168900

  5. Experimental therapies: gene therapies and oncolytic viruses.

    PubMed

    Hulou, M Maher; Cho, Choi-Fong; Chiocca, E Antonio; Bjerkvig, Rolf

    2016-01-01

    Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor in adults. Over the past three decades, the overall survival time has only improved by a few months, therefore novel alternative treatment modalities are needed to improve clinical management strategies. Such strategies should ultimately extend patient survival. At present, the extensive insight into the molecular biology of gliomas, as well as into genetic engineering techniques, has led to better decision processes when it comes to modifying the genome to accommodate suicide genes, cytokine genes, and tumor suppressor genes that may kill cancer cells, and boost the host defensive immune system against neoantigenic cytoplasmic and nuclear targets. Both nonreplicative viral vectors and replicating oncolytic viruses have been developed for brain cancer treatment. Stem cells, microRNAs, nanoparticles, and viruses have also been designed. These have been armed with transgenes or peptides, and have been used both in laboratory-based experiments as well as in clinical trials, with the aim of improving selective killing of malignant glioma cells while sparing normal brain tissue. This chapter reviews the current status of gene therapies for malignant gliomas and highlights the most promising viral and cell-based strategies under development. PMID:26948355

  6. Concise review: toward stem cell-based therapies for retinal neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Bull, Natalie D; Martin, Keith R

    2011-08-01

    Loss of sight due to irreversible retinal neurodegeneration imposes a significant disease burden on both patients and society. Glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration are the commonest neurodegenerative blinding diseases in the developed world, and both are becoming increasingly prevalent as populations age. Our heavy reliance on our sense of sight means that visual loss often severely restricts day-to-day life, making it difficult to function without additional support. Visual impairment also limits employment possibilities, adding to the economic burden. Current therapies for many degenerative retinopathies are limited in their efficacy, often treating the effects of disease rather than the underlying causes. Consequently, the development of novel adjunctive neuroprotective and neuroregenerative treatments are important goals. Evidence from animal models suggests that stem cells could be useful as part of novel new treatment strategies for eye disease. The accessibility of the eye and extensive repertoire of available surgical techniques may facilitate the translation of stem cell-based therapies, for example, via transplantation, to the retina more rapidly than to other parts of the central nervous system. This concise review will examine how cell therapies are being applied experimentally for neuroregenerative and neuroprotective treatment of currently incurable degenerative retinal diseases. Furthermore, recent progress toward clinical translation of such therapies will be highlighted.

  7. Identification of mouse retinal genes differentially regulated by dim and bright cyclic light rearing.

    PubMed

    Huang, Hu; Frank, Mark Barton; Dozmorov, Igor; Cao, Wei; Cadwell, Craig; Knowlton, Nick; Centola, Michael; Anderson, Robert E

    2005-05-01

    Bright cyclic light rearing protects BALB/c mice from light-induced photoreceptor apoptosis compared to dim cyclic light rearing. We used a microarray approach to search for putative neuroprotection genes that were up- or down-regulated under these environmental conditions. Retinal protection by bright cyclic rearing was determined by quantitative histology and DNA fragmentation analysis. Total RNA was isolated from 5-week-old mice raised in bright (400 lux) or dim (5 lux) cyclic light and prepared for analysis on microarrays produced using a 70-mer oligonucleotide library that represented 16,463 mouse genes. Genes of interest were identified using statistically robust bioinformatics analysis methods that were developed in-house. Changes in some genes were confirmed with quantitative real time PCR. We found that 952 genes were up- or down-regulated by bright cyclic light rearing compared to dim cyclic light rearing. One hundred and eighty-four of them, having >/=2-fold differences, were grouped into 13 categories, and selected for further consideration. Eleven up-regulated and two down-regulated genes were confirmed by semi-quantitative PCR. Five neuroprotection-associated genes were up-regulated by bright cyclic light rearing as confirmed by real-time PCR. The human orthologue chromosomal location of 22 differentially expressed genes map to known retinal degeneration loci. Using PathwayAssist software, we modeled the pathway networks of up- and down-regulated genes that are functionally related to the retina. We identified retinal genes that are differentially regulated by environmental light history. Those that directly affect cell processes such as survival, apoptosis, and transcription are likely play a pivotal role in the regulation of retinal neuroprotection against light-induced photoreceptor apoptosis.

  8. Ethics of Gene Therapy Debated.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Borman, Stu

    1991-01-01

    Presented are the highlights of a press conference featuring biomedical ethicist LeRoy Walters of Georgetown University and attorney Andrew Kimbrell of the Foundation on Economic Trends. The opposing points of view of these two speakers serve to outline the pros and cons of the gene therapy issue. (CW)

  9. Eyes open to stem cells: safety trial may pave the way for cell therapy to treat retinal disease in patients

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    A clinical trial using human embryonic stem cell (hESC) therapy for an inherited retinal degenerative disease is about to commence. The Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) trial will treat patients with Stargardt's macular dystrophy using transplanted retinal pigment epithelium derived from hESCs. Currently, no effective treatment is available for Stargardt's disease so a stem cell-based therapy that can slow progression of this blinding condition could represent a significant breakthrough. While there are some hurdles to clear, the ACT trial is a fine example of translational research that could eventually pave the way for a range of stem cell therapies for the retina and other tissues. PMID:22152341

  10. Splicing-correcting therapeutic approaches for retinal dystrophies: where endogenous gene regulation and specificity matter.

    PubMed

    Bacchi, Niccolò; Casarosa, Simona; Denti, Michela A

    2014-05-27

    Splicing is an important and highly regulated step in gene expression. The ability to modulate it can offer a therapeutic option for many genetic disorders. Antisense-mediated splicing-correction approaches have recently been successfully exploited for some genetic diseases, and are currently demonstrating safety and efficacy in different clinical trials. Their application for the treatment of retinal dystrophies could potentially solve a vast panel of cases, as illustrated by the abundance of mutations that could be targeted and the versatility of the technique. In this review, we will give an insight of the different therapeutic strategies, focusing on the current status of their application for retinal dystrophies.

  11. [Gene therapy for osteoarticular disorders].

    PubMed

    Gouze, Jean-Noël; Evans, Christopher H; Ghivizzani, Steven C; Gouze, Elvire

    2007-03-01

    Osteoarticular disorders are the major cause of disability in Europe and North America. It is estimated that rheumatoid arthritis affects 1 % of the population and that more than two third of people over age 55 develop osteoarthritis. Because there are no satisfactory treatments, gene therapy offers a new therapeutic approach. The delivery of cDNA encoding anti-arthritic proteins to articular cells has shown therapeutic efficacy in numerous animal models in vivo. Through the development and the experimental progresses that have been made for both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, this review discusses the different gene therapy strategies available today and the safety issues with which they may be associated. Among the different vectors available today, adeno-associated virus seems the best candidate for a direct in vivo gene delivery approach for the treatment of joint disorders. PMID:17349293

  12. Exercise and Cyclic Light Preconditioning Protect Against Light-Induced Retinal Degeneration and Evoke Similar Gene Expression Patterns.

    PubMed

    Chrenek, Micah A; Sellers, Jana T; Lawson, Eric C; Cunha, Priscila P; Johnson, Jessica L; Girardot, Preston E; Kendall, Cristina; Han, Moon K; Hanif, Adam; Ciavatta, Vincent T; Gogniat, Marissa A; Nickerson, John M; Pardue, Machelle T; Boatright, Jeffrey H

    2016-01-01

    To compare patterns of gene expression following preconditioning cyclic light rearing versus preconditioning aerobic exercise. BALB/C mice were preconditioned either by rearing in 800 lx 12:12 h cyclic light for 8 days or by running on treadmills for 9 days, exposed to toxic levels of light to cause light-induced retinal degeneration (LIRD), then sacrificed and retinal tissue harvested. Subsets of mice were maintained for an additional 2 weeks and for assessment of retinal function by electroretinogram (ERG). Both preconditioning protocols partially but significantly preserved retinal function and morphology and induced similar leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) gene expression pattern. The data demonstrate that exercise preconditioning and cyclic light preconditioning protect photoreceptors against LIRD and evoke a similar pattern of retinal LIF gene expression. It may be that similar stress response pathways mediate the protection provided by the two preconditioning modalities.

  13. Branch retinal artery occlusion associated with photodynamic therapy in a circumscribed choroidal haemangioma.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Yangyan; Guo, Xiaojian; Ouyang, Pingbo

    2013-12-01

    We report a case with retinal arteriole occlusion after a single photodynamic therapy (PDT). A 33-year-old man presented with decreased visual acuity of the right eye, 20/200, for four months. Diagnosed as circumscribed choroidal haemangioma (CCH), he was treated with the PDT. Specifically, 6 mg/m(2) of verteporfin was administered intravenously in 10 min. Laser treatment was performed 15 min after the infusion with an exposure of 75 J/cm(2) for 125 s. The patient was followed up a week later and then every month for 5 months. Complaining about central visual field defect two days post treatment, he was diagnosed with inferior macular artery occlusion with FA. After three months further treatment, the tumor regressed completely but local retinal atrophy was observed. The best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was 20/30 with visual field defect. Following this, extensive blood tests were performed, revealing no abnormality. Our result indicates that under certain conditions infarction of retinal arterioles can develop following PDT.

  14. Image Defocus and Altered Retinal Gene Expression in Chick: Clues to the Pathogenesis of Ametropia

    PubMed Central

    McGlinn, Alice M.; Baldwin, Donald A.; Tobias, John W.; Iuvone, P. Michael; Khurana, Tejvir S.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose. Because of the retina's role in refractive development, this study was conducted to analyze the retinal transcriptome in chicks wearing a spectacle lens, a well-established means of inducing refractive errors, to identify gene expression alterations and to develop novel mechanistic hypotheses about refractive development. Methods. One-week-old white Leghorn chicks wore a unilateral spectacle lens of +15 or −15 D for 6 hours or 3 days. With total RNA from the retina/(retinal pigment epithelium, RPE), chicken gene microarrays were used to compare gene expression levels between lens-wearing and contralateral control eyes (n = 6 chicks for each condition). Normalized microarray signal intensities were evaluated by analysis of variance, using a false discovery rate of <10% as the statistical criterion. Selected differentially expressed genes were validated by qPCR. Results. Very few retina/RPE transcripts were differentially expressed after plus lens wear. In contrast, approximately 1300 transcripts were differentially expressed under each of the minus lens conditions, with minimal overlap. For each condition, low fold-changes typified the altered transcriptome. Differentially regulated genes under the minus lens conditions included many potentially informative signaling molecules and genes whose protein products have roles in intrinsic retinal circadian rhythms. Conclusions. Plus or minus lens wear induce markedly different, not opposite, alterations in retina/RPE gene expression. The initial retinal responses to defocus are quite different from those when the eye growth patterns are well established, suggesting that different mechanisms govern the initiation and persistence or progression of refractive errors. The gene lists identify promising signaling candidates and regulatory pathways for future study, including a potential role for circadian rhythms in refractive development. PMID:21642623

  15. Gene Therapy and Children (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... screenings or other regular exams. previous continue The Future of Gene Therapy To cure genetic diseases, scientists ... Gene therapy's potential to revolutionize medicine in the future is exciting, and hopes are high for its ...

  16. Heat shock protein expression as guidance for the therapeutic window of retinal laser therapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jenny; Huie, Philip; Dalal, Roopa; Lee, Seungjun; Tan, Gavin; Lee, Daeyoung; Lavinksy, Daniel; Palanker, Daniel

    2016-03-01

    Unlike conventional photocoagulation, non-damaging retinal laser therapy (NRT) limits laser-induced heating to stay below the retinal damage threshold and therefore requires careful dosimetry. Without the adverse effects associated with photocoagulation, NRT can be applied to critical areas of the retina and repeatedly to manage chronic disorders. Although the clinical benefits of NRT have been demonstrated, the mechanism of therapeutic effect and width of the therapeutic window below damage threshold are not well understood. Here, we measure activation of heat shock response via laser-induced hyperthermia as one indication of cellular response. A 577 nm laser is used with the Endpoint Management (EpM) user interface, a titration algorithm, to set experimental pulse energies relative to a barely visible titration lesion. Live/dead staining and histology show that the retinal damage threshold in rabbits is at 40% of titration energy on EpM scale. Heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) expression in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) was detected by whole-mount immunohistochemistry after different levels of laser treatment. We show HSP70 expression in the RPE beginning at 25% of titration energy indicating that there is a window for NRT between 25% and 40% with activation of the heat shock protein expression in response to hyperthermia. HSP70 expression is also seen at the perimeter of damaging lesions, as expected based on a computational model of laser heating. Expression area for each pulse energy setting varied between laser spots due to pigmentation changes, indicating the relatively narrow window of non-damaging activation and highlighting the importance of proper titration.

  17. Photoreceptor Rescue by an Abbreviated Human RPGR Gene in a Murine Model of X-linked Retinitis Pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Pawlyk, Basil S.; Adamian, Michael; Sun, Xun; Bulgakov, Oleg V.; Shu, Xinhua; Smith, Alexander J.; Berson, Eliot L.; Ali, Robin R.; Khani, Shahrokh; F.Wright, Alan; Sandberg, Michael A.; Li, Tiansen

    2015-01-01

    The X-linked RP3 gene codes for the ciliary protein RPGR and accounts for over 10% of inherited retinal degenerations. The critical RPGR-ORF15 splice variant contains a highly repetitive purine-rich linker region that renders it unstable and difficult to adapt for gene therapy. To test the hypothesis that the precise length of the linker region is not critical for function, we evaluated whether AAV-mediated replacement gene therapy with a human ORF15 variant containing in-frame shortening of the linker region could reconstitute RPGR function in vivo. We delivered human RPGR-ORF15 replacement genes with deletion of most (314-codons, “short form”) or 1/3 (126-codons, “long form”) of the linker region to Rpgr null mice. Human RPGR-ORF15 expression was detected post-treatment with both forms of ORF15 transgenes. However, only the long form correctly localized to the connecting cilia and led to significant functional and morphological rescue of rods and cones. Thus the highly repetitive region of RPGR is functionally important but that moderate shortening of its length, which confers the advantage of added stability, preserves its function. These findings provide a theoretical basis for optimizing replacement gene design in clinical trials for X-linked RP3. PMID:26348595

  18. [The pulsation and the pressure of the central retinal vein and their relation to glaucoma damage and therapy].

    PubMed

    Stodtmeister, R

    2008-07-01

    Until now the pressure in the intraocular veins was generally equated with the intraocular pressure. According to recently available knowledge the pressure in the central retinal vein may be considerably higher than the intraocular pressure. Therefore, the pressure in the veins of the prelaminar layer of the optic nerve head may be higher than the intraocular pressure also. In this case the perfusion pressure equals the difference: arterial pressure minus central retinal venous pressure. It has been shown that the central retinal venous pressure is higher in glaucoma patients than in healthy subjects and it is higher in the eyes with the larger excavation in patients with unequal excavations. The central retinal venous pressure is a considerable risk factor for the progression of glaucoma damage. It seems to be appropriate to judge the pulsation of the central retinal vein in glaucoma patients, assessing the risk of glaucoma damage, and to measure the pressure in the central retinal vein by contact lens dynamometry. It may be concluded that a solely pressure-lowering therapy is ineffective in eyes in which the pressure of the central retinal vein is higher than the intraocular pressure. That may apply to about 40-50% of glaucoma patients.

  19. Mutation analysis in 129 genes associated with other forms of retinal dystrophy in 157 families with retinitis pigmentosa based on exome sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yan; Guan, Liping; Xiao, Xueshan; Zhang, Jianguo; Li, Shiqiang; Jiang, Hui; Jia, Xiaoyun; Yang, Jianhua; Guo, Xiangming; Yin, Ye; Wang, Jun

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Mutations in 60 known genes were previously identified by exome sequencing in 79 of 157 families with retinitis pigmentosa (RP). This study analyzed variants in 129 genes associated with other forms of hereditary retinal dystrophy in the same cohort. Methods Apart from the 73 genes previously analyzed, a further 129 genes responsible for other forms of hereditary retinal dystrophy were selected based on RetNet. Variants in the 129 genes determined by whole exome sequencing were selected and filtered by bioinformatics analysis. Candidate variants were confirmed by Sanger sequencing and validated by analysis of available family members and controls. Results A total of 90 candidate variants were present in the 129 genes. Sanger sequencing confirmed 83 of the 90 variants. Analysis of family members and controls excluded 76 of these 83 variants. The remaining seven variants were considered to be potential pathogenic mutations; these were c.899A>G, c.1814C>G, and c.2107C>T in BBS2; c.1073C>T and c.1669C>T in INPP5E; and c.3582C>G and c.5704–5C>G in CACNA1F. Six of these seven mutations were novel. The mutations were detected in five unrelated patients without a family history, including three patients with homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in BBS2 and INPP5E, and two patients with hemizygous mutations in CACNA1F. None of the patients had mutations in the genes associated with autosome dominant retinal dystrophy. Conclusions Only a small portion of patients with RP, about 3% (5/157), had causative mutations in the 129 genes associated with other forms of hereditary retinal dystrophy. PMID:25999675

  20. Fine genetic mapping of a gene for autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa on chromosome 6p21

    SciTech Connect

    Shugart, Yin Y.; Banerjee, P.; Knowles, J.A.

    1995-08-01

    The inherited retinal degenerations known as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) can be caused by mutations at many different loci and can be inherited as an autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant, or X-linked recessive trait. Two forms of autosomal recessive (arRP) have been reported to cosegregate with mutations in the rhodopsin gene and the beta-subunit of rod phosphodiesterase on chromosome 4p. Genetic linkage has been reported on chromosomes 6p and 1q. In a large Dominican family, we reported an arRp gene near the region of the peripherin/RDS gene. Four recombinations were detected between the disease locus and an intragenic marker derived from peripherin/RDS. 26 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  1. Gene Therapy for PRPH2-Associated Ocular Disease: Challenges and Prospects

    PubMed Central

    Conley, Shannon M.; Naash, Muna I.

    2014-01-01

    The peripherin-2 (PRPH2) gene encodes a photoreceptor-specific tetraspanin protein called peripherin-2/retinal degeneration slow (RDS), which is critical for the formation and maintenance of rod and cone outer segments. Over 90 different disease-causing mutations in PRPH2 have been identified, which cause a variety of forms of retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration. Given the disease burden associated with PRPH2 mutations, the gene has long been a focus for preclinical gene therapy studies. Adeno-associated viruses and compacted DNA nanoparticles carrying PRPH2 have been successfully used to mediate improvement in the rds−/− and rds+/− mouse models. However, complexities in the pathogenic mechanism for PRPH2-associated macular disease coupled with the need for a precise dose of peripherin-2 to combat a severe haploinsufficiency phenotype have delayed the development of clinically viable genetic treatments. Here we discuss the progress and prospects for PRPH2-associated gene therapy. PMID:25167981

  2. The Basic Science of Gene Therapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulligan, Richard C.

    1993-05-01

    The development over the past decade of methods for delivering genes to mammalian cells has stimulated great interest in the possibility of treating human disease by gene-based therapies. However, despite substantial progress, a number of key technical issues need to be resolved before gene therapy can be safely and effectively applied in the clinic. Future technological developments, particularly in the areas of gene delivery and cell transplantation, will be critical for the successful practice of gene therapy.

  3. Retinal nerve fiber layer and ganglion cell layer thickness in patients receiving systemic isotretinoin therapy.

    PubMed

    Sekeryapan, Berrak; Dılek, Nursel; Oner, Veysi; Turkyılmaz, Kemal; Aslan, Mehmet Gokhan

    2013-10-01

    To evaluate the effect of oral isotretinoin therapy on retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and ganglion cell layer (GCL) thickness by spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT). This prospective study included newly diagnosed nodulocystic acne patients about to receive isotretinoin treatment. Macular average GCL thickness and peripapillary average, temporal, nasal, inferior, and superior quadrant RNFL thickness were measured by OCT before and after isotretinoin treatment. Pre- and post-treatment measurements were compared with paired t test. Fifty-six eyes of 28 patients were included. The mean duration of the treatment was 6.5 ± 1.3 months. The mean average GCL thickness was 90.04 ± 5.87 (80-96) μm at baseline and 90.75 ± 6.34 (81-96) μm after treatment. The mean average RNFL thickness was 93.25 ± 6.06 μm (84-107) before treatment and 93.05 ± 5.54 μm (82-106) after treatment. There were no statistically significant differences between pre- and post-treatment values (all p > 0.05). A 6-month course of systemic isotretinoin therapy seems to have no unfavorable effect on retinal ganglion cells; however, larger studies with longer follow-up periods are needed to be conclusive.

  4. Gene therapy for heart failure.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Barry

    2015-09-01

    Heart failure is a major public health problem throughout the world and it is likely that its prevalence will continue to grow over the next several decades. Despite advances in the treatment of heart failure, morbidity and mortality remain unacceptably high. Gene transfer therapy provides a novel strategy for targeting abnormalities in cardiac cells that adversely affect cardiac function. New vectors for gene delivery, mainly adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) that are preferentially taken up by cardiomyocytes, can result in sustained transgene expression. The cardiac isoform of sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca(2+)ATPase (SERCA2a) plays a major role in regulating calcium levels in cardiomyocytes. Abnormal calcium handling by the failing heart caused by a reduction in SERCA2a activity adversely affects both systolic and diastolic function. The Calcium Upregulation by Percutaneous Administration of Gene Therapy in Cardiac Disease (CUPID) study was a Phase 2a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, dose-finding study that was performed in patients with advanced heart failure due to systolic dysfunction. Eligible patients received AAV/SERCA2a or placebo by direct antegrade infusion into the coronary circulation. At the end of 12 months, patients receiving high-dose therapy (i.e. 1×10(13) DNase Resistant Particles) had evidence of favorable changes in several clinically relevant domains compared to patients treated with placebo. There were no safety concerns at any dose of AAV/SERCA2a. Patients treated with AAV/SERCA2a exhibited a striking reduction in cardiovascular events that persisted through 36 months of follow-up compared to patients who received placebo. Transgene expression was detected in the myocardium of patients receiving AAV/SERCA2a gene therapy as long as 31 months after delivery. A second Phase 2b study, CUPID 2, designed to confirm this favorable effect on heart failure events, is currently underway with the results expected to be presented later in

  5. Gene therapy on demand: site specific regulation of gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Jazwa, Agnieszka; Florczyk, Urszula; Jozkowicz, Alicja; Dulak, Jozef

    2013-08-10

    Since 1990 when the first clinical gene therapy trial was conducted, much attention and considerable promise have been given to this form of treatment. Gene therapy has been used with success in patients suffering from severe combined immunodeficiency syndromes (X-SCID and ADA-deficiency), Leber's congenital amaurosis, hemophilia, β-thalassemia and adrenoleukodystrophy. Last year, the first therapeutic vector (Glybera) for treatment of lipoprotein lipase deficiency has been registered in the European Union. Nevertheless, there are still several numerous issues that need to be improved to make this technique more safe, effective and easily accessible for patients. Introduction of the therapeutic gene to the given cells should provide the level of expression which will restore the production of therapeutic protein to normal values or will provide therapeutic efficacy despite not fully physiological expression. However, in numerous diseases the expression of therapeutic genes has to be kept at certain level for some time, and then might be required to be switched off to be activated again when worsening of the symptoms may aggravate the risk of disease relapse. In such cases the promoters which are regulated by local conditions may be more required. In this article the special emphasis is to discuss the strategies of regulation of gene expression by endogenous stimuli. Particularly, the hypoxia- or miRNA-regulated vectors offer the possibilities of tight but, at the same time, condition-dependent and cell-specific expression. Such means have been already tested in certain pathophysiological conditions. This creates the chance for the translational approaches required for development of effective treatments of so far incurable diseases. PMID:23566848

  6. Relationship between angiotensin I-converting enzyme insertion/deletion gene polymorphism and retinal vein occlusion

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    To evaluate the association between angiotensin I-converting enzyme insertion/deletion (ACE I/D) gene polymorphism and retinal vein occlusion (RVO). A total of 80 patients with retinal vein occlusion who was admitted to the Eye Department of Kartal Training and Research Hospital between 2008 and 2011, and 80 subjects were enrolled in this retrospective case–control study. Patients who experienced RVO within one week to six months of study enrolment were included, and those with coronary artery diseases, prior myocardial infarction history and coagulation disturbances were excluded from the study. The diagnosis was made by ophthalmoscopic fundus examination and fluorescein angiography. The ACE gene I/D polymorphism was determined by polymerase chain reaction, and the ACE gene was classified into three types: I/I, I/D and D/D. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, ACE D/D genotype (p = 0.035), diabetes-mellitus (p = 0.019) and hypertension (p = 0.001) were found to be independent predictive factors for RVO. The results of the present study reveal that ACE D/D polymorphism is an independent predictive factor for RVO. However, one cannot definitely conclude that ACE gene polymorphism is a risk factor for retinal vein occlusion. PMID:25161389

  7. Leber Congenital Amaurosis due to RPE65 Mutations and its Treatment with Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Cideciyan, Artur V.

    2010-01-01

    Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) is a rare hereditary retinal degeneration caused by mutations in more than a dozen genes. RPE65, one of these mutated genes, is highly expressed in the retinal pigment epithelium where it encodes the retinoid isomerase enzyme essential for the production of chromophore which forms the visual pigment in rod and cone photoreceptors of the retina. Congenital loss of chromophore production due to RPE65-deficiency together with progressive photoreceptor degeneration cause severe and progressive loss of vision. RPE65-associated LCA recently gained recognition outside of specialty ophthalmic circles due to early success achieved by three clinical trials of gene therapy using recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors. The trials were built on multitude of basic, pre-clinical and clinical research defining the pathophysiology of the disease in human subjects and animal models, and demonstrating the proof-of-concept of gene (augmentation) therapy. Substantial gains in visual function of clinical trial participants provided evidence for physiologically relevant biological activity resulting from a newly introduced gene. This article reviews the current knowledge on retinal degeneration and visual dysfunction in animal models and human patients with RPE65 disease, and examines the consequences of gene therapy in terms of improvement of vision reported. PMID:20399883

  8. In Vivo CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Editing Corrects Retinal Dystrophy in the S334ter-3 Rat Model of Autosomal Dominant Retinitis Pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Bakondi, Benjamin; Lv, Wenjian; Lu, Bin; Jones, Melissa K; Tsai, Yuchun; Kim, Kevin J; Levy, Rachelle; Akhtar, Aslam Abbasi; Breunig, Joshua J; Svendsen, Clive N; Wang, Shaomei

    2016-03-01

    Reliable genome editing via Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR)/Cas9 may provide a means to correct inherited diseases in patients. As proof of principle, we show that CRISPR/Cas9 can be used in vivo to selectively ablate the rhodopsin gene carrying the dominant S334ter mutation (Rho(S334)) in rats that model severe autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. A single subretinal injection of guide RNA/Cas9 plasmid in combination with electroporation generated allele-specific disruption of Rho(S334), which prevented retinal degeneration and improved visual function.

  9. Chromosomal localization of three mouse diacylglycerol kinase (DAGK) genes: Genes sharing sequence homology to the Drosophila retinal degeneration A (rdgA) gene

    SciTech Connect

    Pilz, A.; Hunt, D.; Fitzgibbon, J.

    1995-04-10

    There is growing evidence to support some form of light-activated phosphoinositide signal transduction pathway in the mammalian retina. Although this pathway plays no obvious role in mammalian phototransduction, mutations in this pathway cause retinal degenerations in Drosophila. These include the retinal-degeneration A mutant, which is caused by an alteration in an eye-specific diacylglycerol kinase (DAGK) gene. In our efforts to consider genes mutated in Drosophila as candidates for mammalian eye disease, we have initially determined the map position of three DAGK genes in the mouse. 21 refs., 2 figs.

  10. AAV-Mediated Clarin-1 Expression in the Mouse Retina: Implications for USH3A Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Wen-Tao; Dyka, Frank M.; Min, Seok-Hong; Boye, Sanford L.; Chiodo, Vince A.; Abrahan, Carolina E.; Zhu, Ping; Li, Qiuhong; Strettoi, Enrica; Novelli, Elena; Nagel-Wolfrum, Kerstin; Wolfrum, Uwe; Smith, W. Clay; Hauswirth, William W.

    2016-01-01

    Usher syndrome type III (USH3A) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in clarin-1 (CLRN1) gene, leading to progressive retinal degeneration and sensorineural deafness. Efforts to develop therapies for preventing photoreceptor cell loss are hampered by the lack of a retinal phenotype in the existing USH3 mouse models and by conflicting reports regarding the endogenous retinal localization of clarin-1, a transmembrane protein of unknown function. In this study, we used an AAV-based approach to express CLRN1 in the mouse retina in order to determine the pattern of its subcellular localization in different cell types. We found that all major classes of retinal cells express AAV-delivered CLRN1 driven by the ubiquitous, constitutive small chicken β-actin promoter, which has important implications for the design of future USH3 gene therapy studies. Within photoreceptor cells, AAV-expressed CLRN1 is mainly localized at the inner segment region and outer plexiform layer, similar to the endogenous expression of other usher proteins. Subretinal delivery using a full strength viral titer led to significant loss of retinal function as evidenced by ERG analysis, suggesting that there is a critical limit for CLRN1 expression in photoreceptor cells. Taken together, these results suggest that CLRN1 expression is potentially supported by a variety of retinal cells, and the right combination of AAV vector dose, promoter, and delivery method needs to be selected to develop safe therapies for USH3 disorder. PMID:26881841

  11. Evolutionary relationships and diversification of barhl genes within retinal cell lineages

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Basic helix-loop-helix and homeodomain transcription factors have been shown to specify all different neuronal cell subtypes composing the vertebrate retina. The appearance of gene paralogs of such retina-specific transcription factors in lower vertebrates, with differently evolved function and/or conserved non-coding elements, might provide an important source for the generation of neuronal diversity within the vertebrate retinal architecture. In line with this hypothesis, we investigated the evolution of the homeobox Barhl family of transcription factors, barhl1 and barhl2, in the teleost and tetrapod lineages. In tetrapod barhl2, but not barhl1, is expressed in the retina and is important for amacrine cell specification. Zebrafish has three barhl paralogs: barhl1.1, barhl1.2 and barhl2, but their precise spatio-temporal retinal expression, as well as their function is yet unknown. Results Here we performed a meticulous expression pattern comparison of all known barhl fish paralogs and described a novel barhl paralog in medaka. Our detailed analysis of zebrafish barhl gene expression in wild type and mutant retinas revealed that only barhl1.2 and barhl2 are present in the retina. We also showed that these two paralogs are expressed in distinct neuronal lineages and are differently regulated by Atoh7, a key retinal-specific transcription factor. Finally, we found that the two retained medaka fish barhl paralogs, barhl1 and barhl2, are both expressed in the retina, in a pattern reminiscent of zebrafish barhl1.2 and barhl2 respectively. By performing phylogenetic and synteny analysis, we provide evidence that barhl retinal expression domain is an ancestral feature, probably lost in tetrapods due to functional redundancy. Conclusions Functional differences among retained paralogs of key retina-specific transcription factors between teleosts and tetrapods might provide important clues for understanding their potential impact on the generation of retinal

  12. Altered aldose reductase gene regulation in cultured human retinal pigment epithelial cells.

    PubMed Central

    Henry, D N; Del Monte, M; Greene, D A; Killen, P D

    1993-01-01

    Aldose reductase (AR2), a putative "hypertonicity stress protein" whose gene is induced by hyperosmolarity, protects renal medullary cells against the interstitial hyperosmolarity of antidiuresis by catalyzing the synthesis of millimolar concentrations of intracellular sorbitol from glucose. Although AR2 gene induction has been noted in a variety of renal and nonrenal cells subjected to hypertonic stress in vitro, the functional significance of AR2 gene expression in cells not normally exposed to a hyperosmolar milieu is not fully understood. The physiological impact of basal AR2 expression in such cells may be limited to hyperglycemic states in which AR2 promotes pathological polyol accumulation, a mechanism invoked in the pathogenesis of diabetic complications. Since AR2 overexpression in the retinal pigment epithelium has been associated with diabetic retinopathy, the regulation of AR2 gene expression and associated changes in sorbitol and myo-inositol were studied in human retinal pigment epithelial cells in culture. The relative abundance of aldehyde reductase (AR1) and AR2 mRNA was quantitated by filter hybridization of RNA from several human retinal pigment epithelial cell lines exposed to hyperglycemic and hyperosmolar conditions in vitro. AR2 but not AR1 mRNA was significantly increased some 11- to 18-fold by hyperosmolarity in several retinal pigment epithelial cell lines. A single cell line with a 15-fold higher basal level of AR2 mRNA than other cell lines tested demonstrated no significant increase in AR2 mRNA in response to hypertonic stress. This cell line demonstrated accelerated and exaggerated production of sorbitol and depletion of myo-inositol upon exposure to 20 mM glucose. Therefore, abnormal AR2 expression may enhance the sensitivity of cells to the biochemical consequences of hyperglycemia potentiating the development of diabetic complications. Images PMID:8349800

  13. Ocular findings in a form of retinitis pigmentosa with a rhodopsin gene defect.

    PubMed Central

    Berson, E L

    1990-01-01

    Ocular findings are presented in 17 unrelated patients with a form of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa and the same C to A transversion in codon 23 of the rhodopsin gene. These patients (mean age, 36.6 years) had, on average, significantly better visual acuity and larger ERG amplitudes than 131 unrelated patients (mean age, 32.1 years) with autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa without this mutation. These 17 patients from separate families as well as 11 relatives with the mutation from 4 of these families showed interfamilial and intrafamilial variability with respect to severity of their ocular disease. This clinical heterogeneity among patients with the same mutation, with older patients sometimes showing less loss of visual function and less intraretinal bone spicule pigment than younger patients, suggests that some factor other than the gene defect itself is involved in the expression of this condition. This form of retinitis pigmentosa can now be detected by testing leukocyte DNA from peripheral blood. Patients so identified should have an ocular examination to determine the extent of their disease in view of the clinical heterogeneity that exists among patients with this mutation. Some mechanisms by which this mutation in the rhodopsin gene could lead to photoreceptor cell death are discussed. Opportunities for future clinical and laboratory research in search of possible treatments are considered. Images FIGURE 2 FIGURE 5 A FIGURE 5 B FIGURE 5 C FIGURE 5 D PMID:2095030

  14. Experimental endostatin-GFP gene transfection into human retinal vascular endothelial cells using ultrasound-targeted cationic microbubble destruction

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yan; Xie, Zongyuan; Zhou, Yu; Zhou, Xiyuan; Li, Pan; Wang, Zhigang

    2015-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate whether ultrasound-targeted cationic microbubble destruction could effectively deliver endostatin-green fluorescent protein (ES-GFP) plasmids to human retinal vascular endothelial cells (HRECs). Methods Cationic microbubbles (CMBs) were prepared and then compared with neutral microbubbles (NMBs) and liposomes. First, the two types of microbubbles were characterized in terms of size and zeta potential. The cell viability of the HRECs was measured using the 3-(4,5-dimthylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5 diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The transcription and expression of endostatin, VEGF, Bcl-2, and Bcl-xl were measured via quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and western blotting, respectively. Results CMBs differed significantly from NMBs in terms of the zeta potential, but no differences in size were detected. Following ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction (UTMD)-mediated gene therapy, the transcription and expression of endostatin were highest in the CMB group (p<0.05), while the transcription and expression of VEGF, Bcl-2, and Bcl-xl were lowest compared with the other groups. Moreover, the inhibition of HREC growth was enhanced following treatment with CMBs compared with NMBs or liposomes in vitro (p<0.01). Conclusions This study demonstrated that ultrasound-mediated cationic microbubbles could enhance the transfection efficiency of ES-GFP, which had obvious impacts on the inhibition of the growth process of HRECs in vitro. These results suggest that the combination of UTMD and ES-GFP compounds might be a useful tool for gene therapy targeting retinal neovascularization. PMID:26321867

  15. Investor Outlook: Significance of the Positive LCA2 Gene Therapy Phase III Results.

    PubMed

    Schimmer, Joshua; Breazzano, Steven

    2015-12-01

    Spark Therapeutics recently reported positive phase III results for SPK-RPE65 targeting the treatment of visual impairment caused by RPE65 gene mutations (often referred to as Leber congenital amaurosis type 2, or LCA2, but may include other retinal disorders), marking an important inflection point for the field of gene therapy. The results highlight the ability to successfully design and execute a randomized trial of a gene therapy and also reinforce the potentially predictive nature of early preclinical and clinical data. The results are expected to pave the way for the first approved gene therapy product in the United States and should sustain investor interest and confidence in gene therapy for many approaches, including retina targeting and beyond.

  16. Gene therapy for sensorineural hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Chien, Wade W; Monzack, Elyssa L; McDougald, Devin S; Cunningham, Lisa L

    2015-01-01

    Gene therapy is a promising treatment modality that is being explored for several inherited disorders. Multiple human gene therapy clinical trials are currently ongoing, but few are directed at hearing loss. Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent sensory disabilities in the world, and genetics play an important role in the pathophysiology of hearing loss. Gene therapy offers the possibility of restoring hearing by overcoming the functional deficits created by the underlying genetic mutations. In addition, gene therapy could potentially be used to induce hair cell regeneration by delivering genes that are critical to hair cell differentiation into the cochlea. In this review, we examine the promises and challenges of applying gene therapy to the cochlea. We also summarize recent studies that have applied gene therapy to animal models of hearing loss.

  17. Irx7, a Smarca4-regulated gene for retinal differentiation, regulates other genes controlled by Smarca4 in zebrafish retinas.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yuqing; Bonilla, Sylvia; Chong, Leelyn; Leung, Yuk Fai

    2013-01-01

    The iroquois 7 (irx7) in zebrafish encodes a homeodomain transcription factor (TF) in the retinal differentiation network regulated by smarca4, a component of chromatin remodeling complex. The function of Irx7 on retinal development has recently been revealed by antisense morpholino knockdown experiments. In particular, the normal expression of irx7 in the inner nuclear layer (INL) is essential for the differentiation of cells in the INL and the outer nuclear layer (ONL), as well as the dendritic projection of GCs into the inner plexiform layer (IPL). Irx7 also exerts its effect on retinal differentiation through activating the expression of TFs that specify various retinal cell types. However, the relationship between irx7 and the other Smarca4-regulated genes for retinal differentiation was not clear. This study reports an investigation of the regulatory role of irx7 on 13 genes including aanat2, barhl2, bhlhe22, cdh11, ckmt1, gnat1, irx4a, ndrg1a, nme2l, pbx1a, rcv1, robo2 and tfap2a. These genes were originally used in a study that characterized the cellular expression pattern of Smarca4-regulated genes and had a diverse expression pattern in the retina. Their expression in the normal wild-type (WT), Irx7-knockdown and the injection control embryos was characterized by in situ hybridization at 52h post-fertilization (hpf). This is the stage when irx7's expression level is the highest in the developing retinas. The results indicate that the expression of 11 of the 13 genes was reduced and one was overexpressed in the Irx7-knockdown retinas. Consistent with a previous report, one of these 13 genes was not expressed in the retina. Among the 12 Irx7-regulated genes, 11 had an expression change in the Irx7-knockdown retinas similar to that in the smarca4 retinas, indicating that Smarca4 regulates the expression of these 11 genes at least in part through irx7. Interestingly, bhlhe22 was only over-expressed in the Irx7-knockdown but not the smarca4 retinas. These

  18. Gene therapy for bone healing

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Christopher H.

    2015-01-01

    Clinical problems in bone healing include large segmental defects, nonunion and delayed union of fractures, and spinal fusions. Gene-transfer technologies have the potential to aid healing by permitting the local delivery and sustained expression of osteogenic gene products within osseous lesions. Key questions for such an approach include the choice of transgene, vector and gene-transfer strategy. Most experimental data have been obtained using cDNAs encoding osteogenic growth factors such as bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2), BMP-4 and BMP-7, in conjunction with both nonviral and viral vectors using in vivo and ex vivo delivery strategies. Proof of principle has been convincingly demonstrated in small-animal models. Relatively few studies have used large animals, but the results so far are encouraging. Once a reliable method has been developed, it will be necessary to perform detailed pharmacological and toxicological studies, as well as satisfy other demands of the regulatory bodies, before human clinical trials can be initiated. Such studies are very expensive and often protracted. Thus, progress in developing a clinically useful gene therapy for bone healing is determined not only by scientific considerations, but also by financial constraints and the ambient regulatory environment. PMID:20569532

  19. Targeting Herpetic Keratitis by Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Elbadawy, Hossein Mostafa; Gailledrat, Marine; Desseaux, Carole; Ponzin, Diego; Ferrari, Stefano

    2012-01-01

    Ocular gene therapy is rapidly becoming a reality. By November 2012, approximately 28 clinical trials were approved to assess novel gene therapy agents. Viral infections such as herpetic keratitis caused by herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) can cause serious complications that may lead to blindness. Recurrence of the disease is likely and cornea transplantation, therefore, might not be the ideal therapeutic solution. This paper will focus on the current situation of ocular gene therapy research against herpetic keratitis, including the use of viral and nonviral vectors, routes of delivery of therapeutic genes, new techniques, and key research strategies. Whereas the correction of inherited diseases was the initial goal of the field of gene therapy, here we discuss transgene expression, gene replacement, silencing, or clipping. Gene therapy of herpetic keratitis previously reported in the literature is screened emphasizing candidate gene therapy targets. Commonly adopted strategies are discussed to assess the relative advantages of the protective therapy using antiviral drugs and the common gene therapy against long-term HSV-1 ocular infections signs, inflammation and neovascularization. Successful gene therapy can provide innovative physiological and pharmaceutical solutions against herpetic keratitis. PMID:23326647

  20. Identification of a rhodopsin gene mutation in a large family with autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xinping; Shi, Wei; Cheng, Lulu; Wang, Yanfang; Chen, Ding; Hu, Xuting; Xu, Jinling; Xu, Limin; Wu, Yaming; Qu, Jia; Gu, Feng

    2016-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a genetically highly heterogeneous retinal disease and one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. Next-generation sequencing technology has enormous potential for determining the genetic etiology of RP. We sought to identify the underlying genetic defect in a 35-year-old male from an autosomal-dominant RP family with 14 affected individuals. By capturing next-generation sequencing (CNGS) of 144 genes associated with retinal diseases, we identified eight novel DNA variants; however, none of them cosegregated for all the members of the family. Further analysis of the CNGS data led to identification of a recurrent missense mutation (c.403C > T, p.R135W) in the rhodopsin (RHO) gene, which cosegregated with all affected individuals in the family and was not observed in any of the unaffected family members. The p.R135W mutation has a reference single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) ID (rs104893775), and it appears to be responsible for the disease in this large family. This study highlights the importance of examining NGS data with reference SNP IDs. Thus, our study is important for data analysis of NGS-based clinical genetic diagnoses. PMID:26794436

  1. Cardiac gene therapy: are we there yet?

    PubMed

    Matkar, P N; Leong-Poi, H; Singh, K K

    2016-08-01

    The incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is increasing throughout the world and is associated with elevated morbidity and mortality. Gene therapy to treat cardiac dysfunction is gaining importance because of the limited therapeutic benefit offered by pharmacotherapies. The growing knowledge of the complex signaling pathways and the development of sophisticated vectors and delivery systems, are facilitating identification and targeting of specific molecular candidates involved in initiation and progression of CVDs. Several preclinical and clinical studies have shown the therapeutic efficiency of gene therapy in different disease models and patients. Hence, gene therapy might plausibly become an unconventional treatment modality for CVD patients. In this review, we summarize the gene delivery carriers, modes of delivery, recent preclinical/clinical studies and potential therapeutic targets. We also briefly discuss the existing limitations of gene therapy, technical challenges surrounding gene carriers and delivery systems, and some approaches to overcome these limitations for bringing CVD gene therapy one step closer to reality. PMID:27128687

  2. Dog Models for Blinding Inherited Retinal Dystrophies

    PubMed Central

    Komáromy, András M.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Spontaneous canine models exist for several inherited retinal dystrophies. This review will summarize the models and indicate where they have been used in translational gene therapy trials. The RPE65 gene therapy trials to treat childhood blindness are a good example of how studies in dogs have contributed to therapy development. Outcomes in human clinical trials are compared and contrasted with the result of the preclinical dog trials. PMID:25671556

  3. Dog models for blinding inherited retinal dystrophies.

    PubMed

    Petersen-Jones, Simon M; Komáromy, András M

    2015-03-01

    Spontaneous canine models exist for several inherited retinal dystrophies. This review will summarize the models and indicate where they have been used in translational gene therapy trials. The RPE65 gene therapy trials to treat childhood blindness are a good example of how studies in dogs have contributed to therapy development. Outcomes in human clinical trials are compared and contrasted with the result of the preclinical dog trials.

  4. Dog models for blinding inherited retinal dystrophies.

    PubMed

    Petersen-Jones, Simon M; Komáromy, András M

    2015-03-01

    Spontaneous canine models exist for several inherited retinal dystrophies. This review will summarize the models and indicate where they have been used in translational gene therapy trials. The RPE65 gene therapy trials to treat childhood blindness are a good example of how studies in dogs have contributed to therapy development. Outcomes in human clinical trials are compared and contrasted with the result of the preclinical dog trials. PMID:25671556

  5. Gene therapy for ocular diseases meditated by ultrasound and microbubbles (Review)

    PubMed Central

    WAN, CAIFENG; LI, FENGHUA; LI, HONGLI

    2015-01-01

    The eye is an ideal target organ for gene therapy as it is easily accessible and immune-privileged. With the increasing insight into the underlying molecular mechanisms of ocular diseases, gene therapy has been proposed as an effective approach. Successful gene therapy depends on efficient gene transfer to targeted cells to prove stable and prolonged gene expression with minimal toxicity. At present, the main hindrance regarding the clinical application of gene therapy is not the lack of an ideal gene, but rather the lack of a safe and efficient method to selectively deliver genes to target cells and tissues. Ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction (UTMD), with the advantages of high safety, repetitive applicability and tissue targeting, has become a potential strategy for gene- and drug delivery. When gene-loaded microbubbles are injected, UTMD is able to enhance the transport of the gene to the targeted cells. High-amplitude oscillations of microbubbles act as cavitation nuclei which can effectively focus ultrasound energy, produce oscillations and disruptions that increase the permeability of the cell membrane and create transient pores in the cell membrane. Thereby, the efficiency of gene therapy can be significantly improved. The UTMD-mediated gene delivery system has been widely used in pre-clinical studies to enhance gene expression in a site-specific manner in a variety of organs. With reasonable application, the effects of sonoporation can be spatially and temporally controlled to improve localized tissue deposition of gene complexes for ocular gene therapy applications. In addition, appropriately powered, focused ultrasound combined with microbubbles can induce a reversible disruption of the blood-retinal barrier with no significant side effects. The present review discusses the current status of gene therapy of ocular diseases as well as studies on gene therapy of ocular diseases meditated by UTMD. PMID:26151686

  6. NGS-based Molecular diagnosis of 105 eyeGENE(®) probands with Retinitis Pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Ge, Zhongqi; Bowles, Kristen; Goetz, Kerry; Scholl, Hendrik P N; Wang, Feng; Wang, Xinjing; Xu, Shan; Wang, Keqing; Wang, Hui; Chen, Rui

    2015-12-15

    The National Ophthalmic Disease Genotyping and Phenotyping Network (eyeGENE(®)) was established in an effort to facilitate basic and clinical research of human inherited eye disease. In order to provide high quality genetic testing to eyeGENE(®)'s enrolled patients which potentially aids clinical diagnosis and disease treatment, we carried out a pilot study and performed Next-generation sequencing (NGS) based molecular diagnosis for 105 Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) patients randomly selected from the network. A custom capture panel was designed, which incorporated 195 known retinal disease genes, including 61 known RP genes. As a result, disease-causing mutations were identified in 52 out of 105 probands (solving rate of 49.5%). A total of 82 mutations were identified, and 48 of them were novel. Interestingly, for three probands the molecular diagnosis was inconsistent with the initial clinical diagnosis, while for five probands the molecular information suggested a different inheritance model other than that assigned by the physician. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that NGS target sequencing is efficient and sufficiently precise for molecular diagnosis of a highly heterogeneous patient cohort from eyeGENE(®).

  7. Tyrosine triple mutated AAV2-BDNF gene therapy in a rat model of transient IOP elevation

    PubMed Central

    Igarashi, Tsutomu; Kobayashi, Maika; Kameya, Shuhei; Fujimoto, Chiaki; Nakamoto, Kenji; Takahashi, Hisatomo; Igarashi, Toru; Miyake, Noriko; Iijima, Osamu; Hirai, Yukihiko; Shimada, Takashi; Okada, Takashi; Takahashi, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Purpose We examined the neuroprotective effects of exogenous brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which provides protection to retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in rodents, in a model of transient intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation using a mutant (triple Y-F) self-complementary adeno-associated virus type 2 vector encoding BDNF (tm-scAAV2-BDNF). Methods The tm-scAAV2-BDNF or control vector encoding green fluorescent protein (GFP; tm-scAAV2-GFP) was intravitreally administered to rats, which were then divided into four groups: control, ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury only, I/R injury with tm-scAAV2-GFP, and tm-scAAV2-BDNF. I/R injury was then induced by transiently increasing IOP, after which the rats were euthanized to measure the inner retinal thickness and cell counts in the RGC layer. Results Intravitreous injection of tm-scAAV2-BDNF resulted in high levels of BDNF expression in the neural retina. Histological analysis showed that the inner retinal thickness and cell numbers in the RGC layer were preserved after transient IOP elevation in eyes treated with tm-scAAV2-BDNF but not in the other I/R groups. Significantly reduced glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunostaining after I/R injury in the rats that received tm-scAAV2-BDNF indicated reduced retinal stress, and electroretinogram (ERG) analysis confirmed preservation of retinal function in the tm-scAAV2-BDNF group. Conclusions These results demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of neuroprotective gene therapy using tm-scAAV2-BDNF to protect the inner retina from transiently high intraocular pressure. An in vivo gene therapeutic approach to the clinical management of retinal diseases in conditions such as glaucoma, retinal artery occlusion, hypertensive retinopathy, and diabetic retinopathy thus appears feasible. PMID:27440998

  8. Global Gene Expression Changes in Rat Retinal Ganglion Cells in Experimental Glaucoma

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Dan Yi; Ray, Arjun; Rodgers, Kathryn; Ergorul, Ceren; Hyman, Bradley T.; Huang, Wei

    2010-01-01

    Purpose. Intraocular pressure (IOP) is an important risk factor in glaucoma. Gene expression changes were studied in glaucomatous rat retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) to elucidate altered transcriptional pathways. Methods. RGCs were back-labeled with Fluorogold. Unilateral IOP elevation was produced by injection of hypertonic saline into the episcleral veins. Laser capture microdissection (LCM) was used to capture an equal number of RGCs from normal and glaucomatous retinal sections. RNA was extracted and amplified, labeled, and hybridized to rat genome microarrays, and data analysis was performed. After selected microarray data were confirmed by RT-qPCR and immunohistochemistry, biological pathway analyses were performed. Results. Significant changes were found in the expression of 905 genes, with 330 genes increasing and 575 genes decreasing in glaucomatous RGCs. Multiple cellular pathways were involved. Ingenuity pathway analysis demonstrated significant changes in cardiac β-adrenergic signaling, interferon signaling, glutamate receptor signaling, cAMP-mediated signaling, chemokine signaling, 14-3-3-mediated signaling, and G-protein-coupled receptor signaling. Gene set enrichment analysis showed that the genes involved in apoptotic pathways were enriched in glaucomatous RGCs. The prosurvival gene Stat3 was upregulated in response to elevated IOP, and immunohistochemistry confirmed that Stat3 and phosphorylated-Stat3 levels were increased in RGCs in experimental glaucoma. In addition, the expression of several prosurvival genes normally expressed in RGCs was decreased. Conclusions. There are extensive changes in gene expression in glaucomatous RGCs involving multiple molecular pathways, including prosurvival and prodeath genes. The alteration in the balance between prosurvival and prodeath may contribute to RGC death in glaucoma. PMID:20335623

  9. Gene expression changes in the retina following subretinal injection of human neural progenitor cells into a rodent model for retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Melissa K.; Lu, Bin; Saghizadeh, Mehrnoosh

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Retinal degenerative diseases (RDDs) affect millions of people and are the leading cause of vision loss. Although treatment options for RDDs are limited, stem and progenitor cell–based therapies have great potential to halt or slow the progression of vision loss. Our previous studies have shown that a single subretinal injection of human forebrain derived neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) into the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) retinal degenerate rat offers long-term preservation of photoreceptors and visual function. Furthermore, neural progenitor cells are currently in clinical trials for treating age-related macular degeneration; however, the molecular mechanisms of stem cell–based therapies are largely unknown. This is the first study to analyze gene expression changes in the retina of RCS rats following subretinal injection of hNPCs using high-throughput sequencing. Methods RNA-seq data of retinas from RCS rats injected with hNPCs (RCShNPCs) were compared to sham surgery in RCS (RCSsham) and wild-type Long Evans (LEsham) rats. Differential gene expression patterns were determined with in silico analysis and confirmed with qRT-PCR. Function, biologic, cellular component, and pathway analyses were performed on differentially expressed genes and investigated with immunofluorescent staining experiments. Results Analysis of the gene expression data sets identified 1,215 genes that were differentially expressed between RCSsham and LEsham samples. Additionally, 283 genes were differentially expressed between the RCShNPCs and RCSsham samples. Comparison of these two gene sets identified 68 genes with inverse expression (termed rescue genes), including Pdc, Rp1, and Cdc42ep5. Functional, biologic, and cellular component analyses indicate that the immune response is enhanced in RCSsham. Pathway analysis of the differential expression gene sets identified three affected pathways in RCShNPCs, which all play roles in phagocytosis signaling. Immunofluorescent

  10. Gene therapy for primary immunodeficiencies.

    PubMed

    Fischer, A; Hacein-Bey Abina, S; Touzot, F; Cavazzana, M

    2015-12-01

    Gene therapy has effectively entered Medicine via the field of primary immunodeficiencies (PID). Because hematopoietic stem cells are accessible and because it was understood that genetic correction of lymphocyte progenitor cells carrying a genetic defect impairing differentiation, could result in the production of long-lived T lymphocytes, it was reasoned that ex vivo gene transfer in hematopoietic cells could lead to disease phenotype correction. Retroviral vectors were designed to ex vivo transduce such cells. This has indeed been shown to lead to sustained correction of the T cell immunodeficiency associated with two forms of severe combined immunodeficiencies (SCID) for now more than ten years. Occurrence in some patients of genotoxicity related to retroviral vectors integration close to and transactivation of oncogenes has led to the development of retroviral vectors devoid of its enhancer element. Results of recent trials performed for several forms of PID indeed suggest that their use is both safe and efficacious. It is thus anticipated that their application to the treatment of many more life threatening PID will be developed over the coming years.

  11. Gene therapy oversight: lessons for nanobiotechnology.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Susan M; Gupta, Rishi; Kohlhepp, Peter

    2009-01-01

    Oversight of human gene transfer research ("gene therapy") presents an important model with potential application to oversight of nanobiology research on human participants. Gene therapy oversight adds centralized federal review at the National Institutes of Health's Office of Biotechnology Activities and its Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee to standard oversight of human subjects research at the researcher's institution (by the Institutional Review Board and, for some research, the Institutional Biosafety Committee) and at the federal level by the Office for Human Research Protections. The Food and Drug Administration's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research oversees human gene transfer research in parallel, including approval of protocols and regulation of products. This article traces the evolution of this dual oversight system; describes how the system is already addressing nanobiotechnology in gene transfer: evaluates gene therapy oversight based on public opinion, the literature, and preliminary expert elicitation; and offers lessons of the gene therapy oversight experience for oversight of nanobiotechnology. PMID:20122108

  12. Gene therapy for ocular diseases meditated by ultrasound and microbubbles (Review).

    PubMed

    Wan, Caifeng; Li, Fenghua; Li, Hongli

    2015-10-01

    The eye is an ideal target organ for gene therapy as it is easily accessible and immune‑privileged. With the increasing insight into the underlying molecular mechanisms of ocular diseases, gene therapy has been proposed as an effective approach. Successful gene therapy depends on efficient gene transfer to targeted cells to prove stable and prolonged gene expression with minimal toxicity. At present, the main hindrance regarding the clinical application of gene therapy is not the lack of an ideal gene, but rather the lack of a safe and efficient method to selectively deliver genes to target cells and tissues. Ultrasound‑targeted microbubble destruction (UTMD), with the advantages of high safety, repetitive applicability and tissue targeting, has become a potential strategy for gene‑ and drug delivery. When gene‑loaded microbubbles are injected, UTMD is able to enhance the transport of the gene to the targeted cells. High‑amplitude oscillations of microbubbles act as cavitation nuclei which can effectively focus ultrasound energy, produce oscillations and disruptions that increase the permeability of the cell membrane and create transient pores in the cell membrane. Thereby, the efficiency of gene therapy can be significantly improved. The UTMD‑mediated gene delivery system has been widely used in pre‑clinical studies to enhance gene expression in a site‑specific manner in a variety of organs. With reasonable application, the effects of sonoporation can be spatially and temporally controlled to improve localized tissue deposition of gene complexes for ocular gene therapy applications. In addition, appropriately powered, focused ultrasound combined with microbubbles can induce a reversible disruption of the blood‑retinal barrier with no significant side effects. The present review discusses the current status of gene therapy of ocular diseases as well as studies on gene therapy of ocular diseases meditated by UTMD.

  13. Gene Therapy For Ischemic Heart Disease

    PubMed Central

    Lavu, Madhav; Gundewar, Susheel; Lefer, David J.

    2010-01-01

    Current pharmacologic therapy for ischemic heart disease suffers multiple limitations such as compliance issues and side effects of medications. Revascularization procedures often end with need for repeat procedures. Patients remain symptomatic despite maximal medical therapy. Gene therapy offers an attractive alternative to current pharmacologic therapies and may be beneficial in refractory disease. Gene therapy with isoforms of growth factors such as VEGF, FGF and HGF induces angiogenesis, decreases apoptosis and leads to protection in the ischemic heart. Stem cell therapy augmented with gene therapy used for myogenesis has proven to be beneficial in numerous animal models of myocardial ischemia. Gene therapy coding for antioxidants, eNOS, HSP, mitogen-activated protein kinase and numerous other anti apoptotic proteins have demonstrated significant cardioprotection in animal models. Clinical trials have demonstrated safety in humans apart from symptomatic and objective improvements in cardiac function. Current research efforts are aimed at refining various gene transfection techniques and regulation of gene expression in vivo in the heart and circulation to improve clinical outcomes in patients that suffer from ischemic heart disease. In this review article we will attempt to summarize the current state of both preclinical and clinical studies of gene therapy to combat myocardial ischemic disease. PMID:20600100

  14. Therapeutic effect of dexamethasone implant in retinal vein occlusions resistant to anti-VEGF therapy

    PubMed Central

    Wallsh, Josh; Sharareh, Behnam; Gallemore, Ron

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To test the efficacy of the intravitreal dexamethasone (DEX) implant in patients with retinal vein occlusions (RVOs) who have failed multiple anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) treatments. Methods A randomized exploratory study of ten patients with branch RVO or central RVO who received at least two previous anti-VEGF treatments and had persistent or unresponsive cystoid macular edema. Treatment with the DEX implant was either every 4 months or pro re nata (PRN) depending on their group assignment for 1 year. Multifocal electroretinography and microperimetry were the primary end points, with high-resolution optical coherence tomography and best-corrected visual acuity as the secondary end points. Results All patients in both the every 4 month and PRN cohorts who completed the study received the three maximal injections of DEX; therefore, the data from both cohorts were combined and reported as a case series. On average, the multifocal electroretinography amplitude increased significantly from 5.11±0.66 to 24.19±5.30 nV/deg2 at 12 months (P<0.005), mean macular sensitivity increased from 7.67±2.10 to 8.01±1.98 dB at 4 months (P=0.32), best-corrected visual acuity increased significantly from 51.0±5.1 to 55.4±5.1 early treatment of diabetic retinopathy study letters at 2 months (P<0.05), and central retinal thickness decreased from 427.6±39.5 to 367.1±37.8 μm at 4 months (P<0.05). Intraocular pressure increased significantly in one patient, with that patient requiring an additional glaucoma medication for management. Additionally, cataract progression increased significantly (P<0.05) in this patient population and partially limited analysis of other end points. Conclusion DEX should be considered as a treatment option in patients with RVOs who have failed anti-VEGF therapy, as the results of this study demonstrated an improvement in retinal morphology and macular function. Cataract progression did occur following multiple consecutive

  15. Optical coherence tomography parameters predictive of visual outcome after anti-VEGF therapy for retinal vein occlusion

    PubMed Central

    Fujihara-Mino, Akiko; Mitamura, Yoshinori; Inomoto, Naoki; Sano, Hiroki; Akaiwa, Kei; Semba, Kentaro

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To determine the optical coherence tomography (OCT) parameters that are predictive of visual outcome after anti-VEGF therapy for a retinal vein occlusion (RVO). Methods Fifty-seven eyes with macular edema (ME) secondary to a central or branch RVO treated with bevacizumab or ranibizumab were studied. Spectral-domain OCT and microperimetry were performed before, 1, 3, and 6 months after the treatment and at the final visit. Central retinal thickness (CRT), macular volume (MV), integrity of the external limiting membrane (ELM), ellipsoid zone (EZ), and foveal bulge (FB), and photoreceptor outer segment (PROS) length were determined. Results The mean follow-up period was 17.8±11.5 months. In 46 of the 57 eyes, a resolution of the ME was achieved. The pretreatment CRT and MV, presence of intact ELM, EZ, and FB, and PROS length at the time of ME resolution were significantly correlated with the best-corrected visual acuity and retinal sensitivity at the final visit (P<0.050). Multiple regression analyses showed that the pretreatment MV had the highest correlation with the posttreatment best-corrected visual acuity and retinal sensitivity (P<0.050). Conclusion The CRT, MV, ELM, EZ, FB, and PROS length are predictive factors for the visual outcome after anti-VEGF therapy for RVO. PMID:27486302

  16. Retinoids for Treatment of Retinal Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2010-01-01

    Knowledge about retinal photoreceptor signal transduction and the visual cycle required for normal eyesight has expanded exponentially over the past decade. Substantial progress in human genetics has allowed identification of candidate genes and complex networks underlying inherited retinal diseases. Natural mutations in animal models that mimic human diseases have been characterized and advanced genetic manipulation now permits generation of small mammalian models of human retinal diseases. Pharmacological repair of defective visual processes in animal models not only validates their involvement in vision but also provides great promise for developing improved therapies for the millions that are progressing towards blindness or are almost completely robbed of eyesight. PMID:20435355

  17. Evaluation of the United States Public Health Service guidelines for discontinuation of anti-CMV therapy after immune recovery in patients with CMV retinitis

    PubMed Central

    Holbrook, Janet T.; Colvin, Ryan; Van Natta, Mark L.; Thorne, Jennifer E.; Bardsley, Mark; Jabs, Douglas A.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose To evaluate US Public Health Service (USPHS) guidelines for discontinuing anti-CMV therapy in patients with AIDS who have immune recovery and quiescent retinitis after initiating highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART). Design Cohort study of patients with CMV retinitis (Longitudinal Study of Ocular Complications of AIDS). Methods Participants had CMV retinitis and CD4+ T-cell counts of 50 cells/uL or fewer enrolled from 1998 to 2009 who demonstrated sustained immune recovery (two consecutive CD4+ T-cell counts of 100 cells/uL or more at least 6 months apart) and inactive retinitis. Participants were classified into 2 groups according to anti-CMV treatment after immune recover: (1) continued anti-CMV therapy and (2) discontinued therapy. We evaluated survival, visual acuity, and CMV retinitis activity; we employed propensity scores to adjust for confounding factors for these analyses. Results Of 152 participants reviewed, 71 demonstrated immune recovery; 37 of whom discontinued therapy and 34 who continued therapy. At immune recovery, participants continuing therapy tended to be older (44 vs 40 years, P=0.09), have bilateral retinitis (53% vs 32%, P=0.10), and have lower CD4+ T-cell counts (148 vs 207 cells/μL, P<0.001). There were no statistical differences in any of the clinical outcomes (death, retinitis progress, visual acuity or incidence of bilateral retinitis). Both groups lost visual acuity during follow-up, on average 1.2 letters per year (P<0.01). Conclusion Discontinuation of anti-CMV therapy after immune recovery did not increase the risk of poor outcomes. These results support the current guidelines for discontinuation of anti-CMV therapy after achievement of sustained immune recovery. PMID:21742304

  18. Gene therapy for high-grade glioma

    PubMed Central

    Natsume, Atsushi

    2008-01-01

    The treatment of high-grade gliomas remains difficult despite recent advances in surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. True advances may emerge from the increasing understanding in molecular biology and discovery of novel mechanisms for the delivery of tumoricidal agents. In an attempt to overcome this formidable neoplasm, molecular approaches using gene therapy have been investigated clinically since 1992. The clinical trials have mainly been classified into three approaches: suicide gene therapy, immune gene therapy and oncolytic viral therapy. In this article, we review these approaches, which have been studied in previous and ongoing clinical trials. PMID:19262115

  19. Dosage Thresholds for AAV2 and AAV8 Photoreceptor Gene Therapy in Monkey

    PubMed Central

    Vandenberghe, Luk H.; Bell, Peter; Maguire, Albert M.; Cearley, Cassia N.; Xiao, Ru; Calcedo, Roberto; Wang, Lili; Castle, Michael J.; Maguire, Alexandra C.; Grant, Rebecca; Wolfe, John H.; Wilson, James M.; Bennett, Jean

    2016-01-01

    Gene therapy is emerging as a therapeutic modality for treating disorders of the retina. Photoreceptor cells are the primary cell type affected in many inherited diseases of retinal degeneration. Successfully treating these diseases with gene therapy requires the identification of efficient and safe targeting vectors that can transduce photoreceptor cells. One serotype of adeno-associated virus, AAV2, has been used successfully in clinical trials to treat a form of congenital blindness that requires transduction of the supporting cells of the retina in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Here, we determined the dose required to achieve targeting of AAV2 and AAV8 vectors to photoreceptors in nonhuman primates. Transgene expression in animals injected subretinally with various doses of AAV2 or AAV8 vectors carrying a green fluorescent protein transgene was correlated with surgical, clinical, and immunological observations. Both AAV2 and AAV8 demonstrated efficient transduction of RPE, but AAV8 was markedly better at targeting photoreceptor cells. These preclinical results provide guidance for optimal vector and dose selection in future human gene therapy trials to treat retinal diseases caused by loss of photoreceptors. PMID:21697530

  20. Thrombolytic therapy for central retinal vein occlusion: results of a pilot study.

    PubMed Central

    Elman, M J

    1996-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the feasibility of conducting a randomized, controlled trial of thrombolytic therapy for central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) using tissue plasminogen activator (TPA); to establish relative efficacy and safety of various dosing regimens. DESIGN AND PATIENTS: Ninety-six patients with CRVO were treated with TPA between May 1986 and December 1992. Prior to patient enrollment, a standardized, detailed protocol was developed for evaluation and treatment of all patients. This included standard protocols for determining eligibility, reporting complications, performing photography and electroretinography, and measuring visual acuity. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Best corrected visual acuity at 6 months, systemic and ophthalmic treatment complications. RESULTS: At 6 months' follow-up, 42% (n = 89) of eyes gained three or more lines of vision from pretreatment levels (average gain, 5.1 lines), 37% remained stable, and 21% lost three or more lines. Of eyes with 20/100 or worse pretreatment vision (n = 32), 59% gained three or more lines vision (average gain, 6.4 lines), 31% remained stable, and 9% lost three or more lines. One patient suffered a fatal stroke. Three patients developed intraocular bleeding during TPA administration. CONCLUSION: Thromobolytic therapy with TPA appears to be a promising, albeit risky, new treatment; conclusive evaluation of safety and efficacy awaits a multicenter, randomized, clinical trial; feasibility of such a trial has been established by this study. Images FIGURE 4 FIGURE 5 FIGURE 6 PMID:8981710

  1. Gene therapy prospects--intranasal delivery of therapeutic genes.

    PubMed

    Podolska, Karolina; Stachurska, Anna; Hajdukiewicz, Karolina; Małecki, Maciej

    2012-01-01

    Gene therapy is recognized to be a novel method for the treatment of various disorders. Gene therapy strategies involve gene manipulation on broad biological processes responsible for the spreading of diseases. Cancer, monogenic diseases, vascular and infectious diseases are the main targets of gene therapy. In order to obtain valuable experimental and clinical results, sufficient gene transfer methods are required. Therapeutic genes can be administered into target tissues via gene carriers commonly defined as vectors. The retroviral, adenoviral and adeno-associated virus based vectors are most frequently used in the clinic. So far, gene preparations may be administered directly into target organs or by intravenous, intramuscular, intratumor or intranasal injections. It is common knowledge that the number of gene therapy clinical trials has rapidly increased. However, some limitations such as transfection efficiency and stable and long-term gene expression are still not resolved. Consequently, great effort is focused on the evaluation of new strategies of gene delivery. There are many expectations associated with intranasal delivery of gene preparations for the treatment of diseases. Intranasal delivery of therapeutic genes is regarded as one of the most promising forms of pulmonary gene therapy research. Gene therapy based on inhalation of gene preparations offers an alternative way for the treatment of patients suffering from such lung diseases as cystic fibrosis, alpha-1-antitrypsin defect, or cancer. Experimental and first clinical trials based on plasmid vectors or recombinant viruses have revealed that gene preparations can effectively deliver therapeutic or marker genes to the cells of the respiratory tract. The noninvasive intranasal delivery of gene preparations or conventional drugs seems to be very encouraging, although basic scientific research still has to continue.

  2. Expression of Sonic hedgehog and retinal opsin genes in experimentally-induced myopic chick eyes.

    PubMed

    Escaño, M F; Fujii, S; Sekiya, Y; Yamamoto, M; Negi, A

    2000-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate changes in the expression of different genes in chick retinal tissues after induction of experimental myopia and to evaluate the roles of these genes in the regulation of postnatal eye growth and myopia. Form-deprivation using occlusive goggles and hyperopic defocus by negative spectacle lenses were used to induce myopia in hatched chicks. Expression levels of Sonic hedgehog, its receptor complex, and other retinal cell genes were evaluated by semi-quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Levels of Sonic hedgehog protein were further evaluated by Western blot analysis. The induction of myopia caused significant increase in expression of Sonic hedgehog mRNA and protein and increased expression of blue and red opsin mRNA. In contrast, the expression of mRNA for Sonic hedgehog receptor complex (Patched-Smoothened), rhodopsin, vimentin, green opsin, violet opsin, and HPC-1 were unaffected by the induction of myopia. The increase in expression of Sonic hedgehog in chick retinas in experimentally-induced myopia suggests involvement in the retina control of postnatal eye growth. Furthermore, Sonic hedgehog may influence the expression of blue and red opsins under myopic conditions.

  3. Disease Gene Candidates Revealed by Expression Profiling of Retinal Ganglion Cell Development

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jack T.; Kunzevitzky, Noelia J.; Dugas, Jason C.; Cameron, Meghan; Barres, Ben A.; Goldberg, Jeffrey L.

    2010-01-01

    To what extent do postmitotic neurons regulate gene expression during development or after injury? We took advantage of our ability to highly purify retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) to profile their pattern of gene expression at 13 ages from embryonic day 17 through postnatal day 21. We found that a large proportion of RGC genes are regulated dramatically throughout their postmitotic development, although the genes regulated through development in vivo generally are not regulated similarly by RGCs allowed to age in vitro. Interestingly, we found that genes regulated by developing RGCs are not generally correlated with genes regulated in RGCs stimulated to regenerate their axons. We unexpectedly found three genes associated with glaucoma, optineurin, cochlin, and CYP1B1 (cytochrome P450, family 1, subfamily B, polypeptide 1), previously thought to be primarily expressed in the trabecular meshwork, which are highly expressed by RGCs and regulated through their development. We also identified several other RGC genes that are encoded by loci linked to glaucoma. The expression of glaucoma-linked genes by RGCs suggests that, at least in some cases, RGCs may be directly involved in glaucoma pathogenesis rather than indirectly involved in response to increased intraocular pressure. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that CYP1B1 overexpression potentiates RGC survival. PMID:17687037

  4. Differential proteomics and functional research following gene therapy in a mouse model of Leber congenital amaurosis.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Qinxiang; Ren, Yueping; Tzekov, Radouil; Zhang, Yuanping; Chen, Bo; Hou, Jiangping; Zhao, Chunhui; Zhu, Jiali; Zhang, Ying; Dai, Xufeng; Ma, Shan; Li, Jia; Pang, Jijing; Qu, Jia; Li, Wensheng

    2012-01-01

    Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) is one of the most severe forms of inherited retinal degeneration and can be caused by mutations in at least 15 different genes. To clarify the proteomic differences in LCA eyes, a cohort of retinal degeneration 12 (rd12) mice, an LCA2 model caused by a mutation in the RPE65 gene, were injected subretinally with an AAV vector (scAAV5-smCBA-hRPE65) in one eye, while the contralateral eye served as a control. Proteomics were compared between untreated rd12 and normal control retinas on P14 and P21, and among treated and untreated rd12 retinas and control retinas on P42. Gene therapy in rd12 mice restored retinal function in treated eyes, which was demonstrated by electroretinography (ERG). Proteomic analysis successfully identified 39 proteins expressed differently among the 3 groups. The expression of 3 proteins involved in regulation of apoptosis and neuroptotection (alpha A crystallin, heat shock protein 70 and peroxiredoxin 6) were investigated further. Immunofluorescence, Western blot and real-time PCR confirmed the quantitative changes in their expression. Furthermore, cell culture studies suggested that peroxiredoxin 6 could act in an antioxidant role in rd12 mice. Our findings support the feasibility of gene therapy in LCA2 patients and support a role for alpha A crystallin, heat shock protein 70 and peroxiredoxin 6 in the pathogenetic mechanisms involved in LCA2 disease process. PMID:22953002

  5. Cationic Polyene Phospholipids as DNA Carriers for Ocular Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Machado, Susana; Calado, Sofia; Bitoque, Diogo; Oliveira, Ana Vanessa; Øpstad, Christer L.; Zeeshan, Muhammad; Sliwka, Hans-Richard; Partali, Vassilia; Pungente, Michael D.; Silva, Gabriela A.

    2014-01-01

    Recent success in the treatment of congenital blindness demonstrates the potential of ocular gene therapy as a therapeutic approach. The eye is a good target due to its small size, minimal diffusion of therapeutic agent to the systemic circulation, and low immune and inflammatory responses. Currently, most approaches are based on viral vectors, but efforts continue towards the synthesis and evaluation of new nonviral carriers to improve nucleic acid delivery. Our objective is to evaluate the efficiency of novel cationic retinoic and carotenoic glycol phospholipids, designated C20-18, C20-20, and C30-20, to deliver DNA to human retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) cells. Liposomes were produced by solvent evaporation of ethanolic mixtures of the polyene compounds and coformulated with 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DOPE) or cholesterol (Chol). Addition of DNA to the liposomes formed lipoplexes, which were characterized for binding, size, biocompatibility, and transgene efficiency. Lipoplex formulations of suitable size and biocompatibility were assayed for DNA delivery, both qualitatively and quantitatively, using RPE cells and a GFP-encoding plasmid. The retinoic lipoplex formulation with DOPE revealed a transfection efficiency comparable to the known lipid references 3β-[N-(N′,N′-dimethylaminoethane)-carbamoyl]-cholesterol (DC-Chol) and 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-ethylphosphocholine (EPC) and GeneJuice. The results demonstrate that cationic polyene phospholipids have potential as DNA carriers for ocular gene therapy. PMID:25147812

  6. Achromatopsia as a potential candidate for gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Pang, Ji-Jing; Alexander, John; Lei, Bo; Deng, Wentao; Zhang, Keqing; Li, Qiuhong; Chang, Bo; Hauswirth, William W

    2010-01-01

    Achromatopsia is an autosomal recessive retinal disease involving loss of cone function that afflicts approximately 1 in 30,000 individuals. Patients with achromatopsia usually have visual acuities lower than 20/200 because of the central vision loss, photophobia, complete color blindness and reduced cone-mediated electroretinographic (ERG) amplitudes. Mutations in three genes have been found to be the primary causes of achromatopsia, including CNGB3 (beta subunit of the cone cyclic nucleotide-gated cation channel), CNGA3 (alpha subunit of the cone cyclic nucleotide-gated cation channel), and GNAT2 (cone specific alpha subunit of transducin). Naturally occurring mouse models with mutations in Cnga3 (cpfl5 mice) and Gnat2 (cpfl3 mice) were discovered at The Jackson Laboratory. A natural occurring canine model with CNGB3 mutations has also been found. These animal models have many of the central phenotypic features of the corresponding human diseases. Using adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene therapy, we and others show that cone function can be restored in all three models. These data suggest that human achromatopsia may be a good candidate for corrective gene therapy. PMID:20238068

  7. Combination Systemic and Intravitreal Antiviral Therapy in The Management of Acute Retinal Necrosis Syndrome (An American Ophthalmological Society Thesis)

    PubMed Central

    Flaxel, Christina J.; Yeh, Steven; Lauer, Andreas K.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: To compare the outcomes of combination systemic and intravitreal antiviral therapy vs systemic antiviral therapy alone for treating acute retinal necrosis syndrome (ARN). We hypothesize that combination therapy might result in superior visual acuity (VA) and retinal detachment (RD) outcomes vs traditional systemic antiviral therapy alone. Methods: A retrospective, interventional, comparative single-center study of patients with ARN. We reviewed demographic data, herpesvirus diagnoses, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results, VA, RD, and the use of systemic and intravitreal antiviral therapy. Outcome measures included VA improvement by 2 or more lines, severe visual loss, VA ≤20/200, and RD. Results: We studied 29 eyes of 24 patients, treated from 1987 through 2009. Mean age was 42.6 years and mean follow-up was 44.0 months. Twelve patients (14 eyes) were treated with combined systemic and intravitreal antiviral therapy and 12 patients (15 eyes) with systemic therapy alone. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis revealed that patients receiving combination intravitreal and systemic antiviral therapy were more likely to have VA improved by 2 lines or greater (P=.006). Patients receiving combination therapy also showed a decreased incidence of progression to severe visual loss (0.13/patient-years [PY]) compared to patients receiving systemic therapy alone (0.54/PY, P=.02) and had decreased incidence of RD (0.29/PY vs 0.74/PY, P=.03). Conclusions: Combination oral and intravitreal antiviral therapy may improve visual and functional outcomes in patients with ARN. Clinicians should consider prompt administration of combination systemic and intravitreal antiviral therapy as first-line treatment for patients with clinical features of ARN. PMID:24385671

  8. Gene Expression Changes under Cyclic Mechanical Stretching in Rat Retinal Glial (Müller) Cells

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xin; Fan, Jiawen; Zhang, Meng; Sun, Zhongcui; Xu, Gezhi

    2013-01-01

    Objective The retina is subjected to tractional forces in various conditions. As the predominant glial element in the retina, Müller cells are active players in all forms of retinal injury and disease. In this study, we aim to identify patterns of gene expression changes induced by cyclic mechanical stretching in Müller cells. Methods Rat Müller cells were seeded onto flexible bottom culture plates and subjected to a cyclic stretching regimen of 15% equibiaxial stretching for 1 and 24 h. RNA was extracted and amplified, labeled, and hybridized to rat genome microarrays. The expression profiles were analyzed using GeneSpring software, and gene ontology analysis and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) were used to select, annotate, and visualize genes by function and pathway. The selected genes of interest were further validated by Quantitative Real-time PCR (qPCR). Results Microarray data analysis showed that at 1 and 24 h, the expression of 532 and 991 genes in the Müller cells significantly (t-test, p<0.05) differed between the mechanically stretched and unstretched groups. Of these genes, 56 genes at 1 h and 62 genes at 24 h showed more than a twofold change in expression. Several genes related to response to stimulus (e.g., Egr2, IL6), cell proliferation (e.g., Areg, Atf3), tissue remodeling (e.g., PVR, Loxl2), and vasculogenesis (e.g., Epha2, Nrn1) were selected and validated by qPCR. KEGG pathway analysis showed significant changes in MAPK signaling at both time points. Conclusions Cyclic mechanical strain induces extensive changes in the gene expression in Müller cells through multiple molecular pathways. These results indicate the complex mechanoresponsive nature of Müller cells, and they provide novel insights into possible molecular mechanisms that would account for many retinal diseases in which the retina is often subjected to mechanical forces, such as pathological myopia and proliferative vitreoretinopathy. PMID:23723984

  9. The Jeremiah Metzger Lecture: gene therapy for inherited disorders: from Christmas disease to Leber's amaurosis.

    PubMed

    High, Katherine A

    2009-01-01

    This paper will focus on recent developments in the field of gene therapy for inherited disorders. From a historical perspective, this Metzger lecture is a follow-on to one presented by Dr. William Kelley in 1987, entitled "Current Status of Human Gene Therapy" (Transactions Am Clin. Climatol. Assoc. 99:152-169) (1). In 1987, gene transfer studies in human subjects were yet to be undertaken; the first clinical studies, infusion of genetically modified autologous T cells into two young girls with ADA-SCID, would not take place until 1990 (2). Today's lecture will summarize progress since that time in one area, that of in vivo gene transfer for genetic disease. I will describe progress in two areas, gene therapy for the bleeding disorder hemophilia B, and for a subset of retinal degenerative disorders termed Leber's congenital amaurosis, due to mutations in the gene encoding retinal pigment epithelium-specific 65 kilodalton protein (RPE65). This lecture will demonstrate the interconnected nature of progress in these two areas, as careful delineation of the obstacles in hemophilia led to the realization that success could be achieved in Leber's.

  10. Mutation Screening of Multiple Genes in Spanish Patients with Autosomal Recessive Retinitis Pigmentosa by Targeted Resequencing

    PubMed Central

    González-del Pozo, María; Borrego, Salud; Barragán, Isabel; Pieras, Juan I.; Santoyo, Javier; Matamala, Nerea; Naranjo, Belén; Dopazo, Joaquín; Antiñolo, Guillermo

    2011-01-01

    Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a heterogeneous group of inherited retinal dystrophies characterised ultimately by the loss of photoreceptor cells. RP is the leading cause of visual loss in individuals younger than 60 years, with a prevalence of about 1 in 4000. The molecular genetic diagnosis of autosomal recessive RP (arRP) is challenging due to the large genetic and clinical heterogeneity. Traditional methods for sequencing arRP genes are often laborious and not easily available and a screening technique that enables the rapid detection of the genetic cause would be very helpful in the clinical practice. The goal of this study was to develop and apply microarray-based resequencing technology capable of detecting both known and novel mutations on a single high-throughput platform. Hence, the coding regions and exon/intron boundaries of 16 arRP genes were resequenced using microarrays in 102 Spanish patients with clinical diagnosis of arRP. All the detected variations were confirmed by direct sequencing and potential pathogenicity was assessed by functional predictions and frequency in controls. For validation purposes 4 positive controls for variants consisting of previously identified changes were hybridized on the array. As a result of the screening, we detected 44 variants, of which 15 are very likely pathogenic detected in 14 arRP families (14%). Finally, the design of this array can easily be transformed in an equivalent diagnostic system based on targeted enrichment followed by next generation sequencing. PMID:22164218

  11. A case report of Epstein–Barr virus-associated retinal vasculitis: successful treatment using only acyclovir therapy

    PubMed Central

    Keorochana, Narumon

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to describe a presumed case of Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-associated retinal vasculitis in a 42-year-old female with sudden unilateral vision loss and successful treatment with acyclovir therapy. Diagnostic vitreous biopsy of the right eye was performed to test for EBV and other known infectious causes of retinitis and evaluate vitreous cells and serological testing. Vitreous polymerase chain reaction viral DNA testing result was positive for EBV but negative for herpes simplex virus, varicella-zoster virus, and cytomegalovirus. Serologic testing was negative for toxoplasma gondii, syphilis, tuberculosis, and HIV. Histopathologic analysis of vitreous cells revealed atypical lymphocytes. Fluorescein angiography showed disk leakage, occluded retinal artery, peripheral vascular leakage, and ischemic area of the right eye. Intravenous acyclovir, 10 mg/kg/d, was prescribed for 14 days followed by oral acyclovir for 3 months. All lesions have become quiet. EBV may be a cause of retinal disease, and intravenous acyclovir is a successful treatment choice. PMID:27524923

  12. A case report of Epstein-Barr virus-associated retinal vasculitis: successful treatment using only acyclovir therapy.

    PubMed

    Keorochana, Narumon

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to describe a presumed case of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated retinal vasculitis in a 42-year-old female with sudden unilateral vision loss and successful treatment with acyclovir therapy. Diagnostic vitreous biopsy of the right eye was performed to test for EBV and other known infectious causes of retinitis and evaluate vitreous cells and serological testing. Vitreous polymerase chain reaction viral DNA testing result was positive for EBV but negative for herpes simplex virus, varicella-zoster virus, and cytomegalovirus. Serologic testing was negative for toxoplasma gondii, syphilis, tuberculosis, and HIV. Histopathologic analysis of vitreous cells revealed atypical lymphocytes. Fluorescein angiography showed disk leakage, occluded retinal artery, peripheral vascular leakage, and ischemic area of the right eye. Intravenous acyclovir, 10 mg/kg/d, was prescribed for 14 days followed by oral acyclovir for 3 months. All lesions have become quiet. EBV may be a cause of retinal disease, and intravenous acyclovir is a successful treatment choice. PMID:27524923

  13. Retinitis Pigmentosa

    MedlinePlus

    ... Action You are here Home › Retinal Diseases Listen Retinitis Pigmentosa What is retinitis pigmentosa? What are the symptoms? ... available? Are there any related diseases? What is retinitis pigmentosa? Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) refers to a group of ...

  14. Gene Therapy Techniques for Peripheral Arterial Disease

    SciTech Connect

    Manninen, Hannu I.; Maekinen, Kimmo

    2002-03-15

    Somatic gene therapy is the introduction of new genetic material into selective somatic cells with resulting therapeutic benefits. Vascular wall and, subsequently, cardiovascular diseases have become an interesting target for gene therapy studies.Arteries are an attractive target for gene therapy since vascular interventions, both open surgical and endovascular, are well suited for minimally invasive, easily monitored gene delivery. Promising therapeutic effects have been obtained in animal models in preventing post-angioplasty restenosis and vein graft thickening, as well as increasing blood flow and collateral development in ischemic limbs.First clinical trials suggest a beneficial effect of vascular endothelial growth factor in achieving therapeutic angiogenesis in chronic limb ischemia and the efficacy of decoy oligonucleotides to prevent infrainguinal vein graft stenosis. However, further studies are mandatory to clarify the safety issues, to develop better gene delivery vectors and delivery catheters, to improve transgene expression, as well as to find the most effective and safe treatment genes.

  15. State-of-the-art human gene therapy: part II. Gene therapy strategies and clinical applications.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dan; Gao, Guangping

    2014-09-01

    In Part I of this Review (Wang and Gao, 2014), we introduced recent advances in gene delivery technologies and explained how they have powered some of the current human gene therapy applications. In Part II, we expand the discussion on gene therapy applications, focusing on some of the most exciting clinical uses. To help readers to grasp the essence and to better organize the diverse applications, we categorize them under four gene therapy strategies: (1) gene replacement therapy for monogenic diseases, (2) gene addition for complex disorders and infectious diseases, (3) gene expression alteration targeting RNA, and (4) gene editing to introduce targeted changes in host genome. Human gene therapy started with the simple idea that replacing a faulty gene with a functional copy can cure a disease. It has been a long and bumpy road to finally translate this seemingly straightforward concept into reality. As many disease mechanisms unraveled, gene therapists have employed a gene addition strategy backed by a deep knowledge of what goes wrong in diseases and how to harness host cellular machinery to battle against diseases. Breakthroughs in other biotechnologies, such as RNA interference and genome editing by chimeric nucleases, have the potential to be integrated into gene therapy. Although clinical trials utilizing these new technologies are currently sparse, these innovations are expected to greatly broaden the scope of gene therapy in the near future.

  16. Intravitreal Autologous Bone Marrow CD34+ Cell Therapy for Ischemic and Degenerative Retinal Disorders: Preliminary Phase 1 Clinical Trial Findings

    PubMed Central

    Park, Susanna S.; Bauer, Gerhard; Abedi, Mehrdad; Pontow, Suzanne; Panorgias, Athanasios; Jonnal, Ravi; Zawadzki, Robert J.; Werner, John S.; Nolta, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. Because human bone marrow (BM) CD34+ stem cells home into damaged tissue and may play an important role in tissue repair, this pilot clinical trial explored the safety and feasibility of intravitreal autologous CD34+ BM cells as potential therapy for ischemic or degenerative retinal conditions. Methods. This prospective study enrolled six subjects (six eyes) with irreversible vision loss from retinal vascular occlusion, hereditary or nonexudative age-related macular degeneration, or retinitis pigmentosa. CD34+ cells were isolated under Good Manufacturing Practice conditions from the mononuclear cellular fraction of the BM aspirate using a CliniMACs magnetic cell sorter. After intravitreal CD34+ cell injection, serial ophthalmic examinations, microperimetry/perimetry, fluorescein angiography, electroretinography (ERG), optical coherence tomography (OCT), and adaptive optics OCT were performed during the 6-month follow-up. Results. A mean of 3.4 million (range, 1–7 million) CD34+ cells were isolated and injected per eye. The therapy was well tolerated with no intraocular inflammation or hyperproliferation. Best-corrected visual acuity and full-field ERG showed no worsening after 6 months. Clinical examination also showed no worsening during follow-up except among age-related macular degeneration subjects in whom mild progression of geographic atrophy was noted in both the study eye and contralateral eye at 6-month follow-up, concurrent with some possible decline on multifocal ERG and microperimetry. Cellular in vivo imaging using adaptive optics OCT showed changes suggestive of new cellular incorporation into the macula of the hereditary macular degeneration study eye. Conclusions. Intravitreal autologous BM CD34+ cell therapy appears feasible and well tolerated in eyes with ischemic or degenerative retinal conditions and merits further exploration. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01736059.) PMID:25491299

  17. A Multiplex High-Throughput Gene Expression Assay to Simultaneously Detect Disease and Functional Markers in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Retinal Pigment Epithelium

    PubMed Central

    Ferrer, Marc; Corneo, Barbara; Davis, Janine; Wan, Qin; Miyagishima, Kiyoharu Joshua; King, Rebecca; Maminishkis, Arvydas; Marugan, Juan; Sharma, Ruchi; Shure, Michael; Temple, Sally; Miller, Sheldon

    2014-01-01

    There is continuing interest in the development of lineage-specific cells from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells for use in cell therapies and drug discovery. Although in most cases differentiated cells show features of the desired lineage, they retain fetal gene expression and do not fully mature into “adult-like” cells. Such cells may not serve as an effective therapy because, once implanted, immature cells pose the risk of uncontrolled growth. Therefore, there is a need to optimize lineage-specific stem cell differentiation protocols to produce cells that no longer express fetal genes and have attained “adult-like” phenotypes. Toward that goal, it is critical to develop assays that simultaneously measure cell function and disease markers in high-throughput format. Here, we use a multiplex high-throughput gene expression assay that simultaneously detects endogenous expression of multiple developmental, functional, and disease markers in iPS cell-derived retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). We optimized protocols to differentiate iPS cell-derived RPE that was then grown in 96- and 384-well plates. As a proof of principle, we demonstrate differential expression of eight genes in iPS cells, iPS cell-derived RPE at two different differentiation stages, and primary human RPE using this multiplex assay. The data obtained from the multiplex gene expression assay are significantly correlated with standard quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction-based measurements, confirming the ability of this high-throughput assay to measure relevant gene expression changes. This assay provides the basis to screen for compounds that improve RPE function and maturation and target disease pathways, thus providing the basis for effective treatments of several retinal degenerative diseases. PMID:24873859

  18. Gene and cell therapy for children--new medicines, new challenges?

    PubMed

    Buckland, Karen F; Bobby Gaspar, H

    2014-06-01

    The range of possible gene and cell therapy applications is expanding at an extremely rapid rate and advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) are currently the hottest topic in novel medicines, particularly for inherited diseases. Paediatric patients stand to gain enormously from these novel therapies as it now seems plausible to develop a gene or cell therapy for a vast number of inherited diseases. There are a wide variety of potential gene and cell therapies in various stages of development. Patients who received first gene therapy treatments for primary immune deficiencies (PIDs) are reaching 10 and 15 years post-treatment, with robust and sustained immune recovery. Cell therapy clinical trials are underway for a variety of tissues including corneal, retinal and muscle repair and islet cell transplantation. Various cell therapy approaches are also being trialled to enhance the safety of bone marrow transplants, which should improve survival rates in childhood cancers and PIDs. Progress in genetic engineering of lymphocyte populations to target and kill cancerous cells is also described. If successful these ATMPs may enhance or replace the existing chemo-ablative therapy for several paediatric cancers. Emerging applications of gene therapy now include skin and neurological disorders such as epidermolysis bullosa, epilepsy and leukodystrophy. Gene therapy trials for haemophilia, muscular dystrophy and a range of metabolic disorders are underway. There is a vast array of potential advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), and these are likely to be more cost effective than existing medicines. However, the first clinical trials have not been without setbacks and some of the key adverse events are discussed. Furthermore, the arrival of this novel class of therapies brings many new challenges for the healthcare industry. We present a summary of the key non-clinical factors required for successful delivery of these potential treatments. Technological advances

  19. Convergence of Human Genetics and Animal Studies: Gene Therapy for X-Linked Retinoschisis.

    PubMed

    Bush, Ronald A; Wei, Lisa L; Sieving, Paul A

    2015-08-01

    Retinoschisis is an X-linked recessive genetic disease that leads to vision loss in males. X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) typically affects young males; however, progressive vision loss continues throughout life. Although discovered in 1898 by Haas in two brothers, the underlying biology leading to blindness has become apparent only in the last 15 years with the advancement of human genetic analyses, generation of XLRS animal models, and the development of ocular monitoring methods such as the electroretinogram and optical coherence tomography. It is now recognized that retinoschisis results from cyst formations within the retinal layers that interrupt normal visual neurosignaling and compromise structural integrity. Mutations in the human retinoschisin gene have been correlated with disease severity of the human XLRS phenotype. Introduction of a normal human retinoschisin cDNA into retinoschisin knockout mice restores retinal structure and improves neural function, providing proof-of-concept that gene replacement therapy is a plausible treatment for XLRS.

  20. Convergence of gene and cell therapy.

    PubMed

    Bersenev, Alexey; Levine, Bruce L

    2012-11-01

    Gene therapy and cell therapy have followed similar roller coaster paths of rising public expectations and disappointment over the past two decades. There is now reason to believe that momentum in the field has reached the point where the successes will be more frequent. The use of gene-modified cells has opened new avenues for engineering desired cell properties, for the use of cells as vehicles for gene delivery, and for tracking cells and controlling cell persistence after transplantation. Some notable recent clinical developments in cellular engineering by gene transfer offer lessons on how the field has emerged, and hint at additional future clinical applications. PMID:23210811

  1. European attitudes to gene therapy and pharmacogenetics.

    PubMed

    Hudson, John; Orviska, Marta

    2011-10-01

    Views on pharmacogenetics and gene therapy systematically differ across European countries. But despite a complex regulatory regime there is a balance of support, albeit laced with considerable uncertainty. PMID:21745587

  2. Gene Therapy for Diseases and Genetic Disorders

    MedlinePlus

    ... notable advancements are the following: Gene Therapy for Genetic Disorders Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (ADA-SCID) ADA- ... in preclinical animal models of this disease. Other genetic disorders After many years of laboratory and preclinical ...

  3. Gene therapy for CNS diseases - Krabbe disease.

    PubMed

    Rafi, Mohammad A

    2016-01-01

    This is a brief report of the 19th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy that took place from May 4th through May 7th, 2016 in Washington, DC, USA. While the meeting provided many symposiums, lectures, and scientific sessions this report mainly focuses on one of the sessions on the "Gene Therapy for central nervous system (CNS) Diseases" and specifically on the "Gene Therapy for the globoid cell leukodystrophy or Krabbe disease. Two presentations focused on this subject utilizing two animal models of this disease: mice and dog models. Different serotypes of adeno-associate viral vectors (AAV) alone or in combination with bone marrow transplantations were used in these research projects. The Meeting of the ASGCT reflected continuous growth in the fields of gene and cell therapy and brighter forecast for efficient treatment options for variety of human diseases. PMID:27525222

  4. Liability considerations presented by human gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Palmer, J G

    1991-01-01

    Through the use of a hypothetical scenario, this article examines the legal liability associated with gene therapy. Basic negligence principles are applied to the factual context of a human gene therapy experiment gone awry, including its prior governmental review and its potential effect on future generations. The federal requirements, while not preempting state law damages claims, do provide a mechanism for achieving some protection from liability. The effect on future generations raises questions about the limits of liability.

  5. Human Studies of Angiogenic Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Rajesh; Tongers, Jörn; Losordo, Douglas W.

    2009-01-01

    Despite significant advances in medical, interventional, and surgical therapy for coronary and peripheral arterial disease, the burden of these illnesses remains high. To address this unmet need, the science of therapeutic angiogenesis has been evolving for almost two decades. Early pre-clinical studies and phase I clinical trials achieved promising results with growth factors administered as recombinant proteins or as single-agent gene therapies, and data accumulated through 10 years of clinical trials indicate that gene therapy has an acceptable safety profile. However, more rigorous phase II and phase III clinical trials have failed to unequivocally demonstrate that angiogenic agents are beneficial under the conditions and in the patients studied to date. Investigators have worked to understand the biology of the vascular system and to incorporate their findings into new treatments for patients with ischemic disease. Recent gene- and cell-therapy trials have demonstrated the bioactivity of several new agents and treatment strategies. Collectively, these observations have renewed interest in the mechanisms of angiogenesis and deepened our understanding of the complexity of vascular regeneration. Gene therapy that incorporates multiple growth factors, approaches that combine cell and gene therapy, and the administration of "master switch" agents that activate numerous downstream pathways are among the credible and plausible steps forward. In this review, we will examine the clinical development of angiogenic therapy, summarize several of the lessons learned during the conduct of these trials, and suggest how this prior experience may guide the conduct of future preclinical investigations and clinical trials. PMID:19815827

  6. Gene therapy for human genetic disease?

    PubMed

    Friedmann, T; Roblin, R

    1972-03-01

    In our view, gene therapy may ameliorate some human genetic diseases in the future. For this reason, we believe that research directed at the development of techniques for gene therapy should continue. For the foreseeable future, however, we oppose any further attempts at gene therapy in human patients because (i) our understanding of such basic processes as gene regulation and genetic recombination in human cells is inadequate; (ii) our understanding of the details of the relation between the molecular defect and the disease state is rudimentary for essentially all genetic diseases; and (iii) we have no information on the short-range and long-term side effects of gene therapy. We therefore propose that a sustained effort be made to formulate a complete set of ethicoscientific criteria to guide the development and clinical application of gene therapy techniques. Such an endeavor could go a long way toward ensuring that gene therapy is used in humans only in those instances where it will prove beneficial, and toward preventing its misuse through premature application. Two recent papers have provided new demonstrations of directed genetic modification of mammalian cells. Munyon et al. (44) restored the ability to synthesize the enzyme thymidine kinase to thymidine kinase-deficient mouse cells by infection with ultraviolet-irradiated herpes simplex virus. In their experiments the DNA from herpes simplex virus, which contains a gene coding for thymidine kinase, may have formed a hereditable association with the mouse cells. Merril et al. (45) reported that treatment of fibroblasts from patients with galactosemia with exogenous DNA caused increased activity of a missing enzyme, alpha-D-galactose-l-phosphate uridyltransferase. They also provided some evidence that the change persisted after subculturing the treated cells. If this latter report can be confirmed, the feasibility of directed genetic modification of human cells would be clearly demonstrated, considerably

  7. Cardiovascular gene therapy for myocardial infarction

    PubMed Central

    Scimia, Maria C; Gumpert, Anna M; Koch, Walter J

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Cardiovascular gene therapy is the third most popular application for gene therapy, representing 8.4% of all gene therapy trials as reported in 2012 estimates. Gene therapy in cardiovascular disease is aiming to treat heart failure from ischemic and non-ischemic causes, peripheral artery disease, venous ulcer, pulmonary hypertension, atherosclerosis and monogenic diseases, such as Fabry disease. Areas covered In this review, we will focus on elucidating current molecular targets for the treatment of ventricular dysfunction following myocardial infarction (MI). In particular, we will focus on the treatment of i) the clinical consequences of it, such as heart failure and residual myocardial ischemia and ii) etiological causes of MI (coronary vessels atherosclerosis, bypass venous graft disease, in-stent restenosis). Expert opinion We summarise the scheme of the review and the molecular targets either already at the gene therapy clinical trial phase or in the pipeline. These targets will be discussed below. Following this, we will focus on what we believe are the 4 prerequisites of success of any gene target therapy: safety, expression, specificity and efficacy (SESE). PMID:24328708

  8. Gene therapy for primary immunodeficiencies: Part 1.

    PubMed

    Cavazzana-Calvo, Marina; Fischer, Alain; Hacein-Bey-Abina, Salima; Aiuti, Alessandro

    2012-10-01

    Over 60 patients affected by SCID due to IL2RG deficiency (SCID-X1) or adenosine deaminase (ADA)-SCID have received hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy in the past 15 years using gammaretroviral vectors, resulting in immune reconstitution and clinical benefit in the majority of them. However, the occurrence of insertional oncogenesis in the SCID-X1 trials has led to the development of new clinical trials based on integrating vectors with improved safety design as well as investigation on new technologies for highly efficient gene targeting and site-specific gene editing. Here we will present the experience and perspectives of gene therapy for SCID-X1 and ADA-SCID and discuss the pros and cons of gene therapy in comparison to allogeneic transplantation.

  9. Diffuse choroidal hemangioma associated with exudative retinal detachment in a Sturge-Weber syndrome case: photodynamic therapy and intravitreous bevacizumab.

    PubMed

    Anaya-Pava, Edwin J; Saenz-Bocanegra, Carlos H; Flores-Trejo, Alejandro; Castro-Santana, Norma A

    2015-03-01

    We report the case of a young female patient with a diffuse choroidal hemangioma (DCH) and glaucoma as part of Sturge-Weber syndrome (SWS) and symptomatic retinal detachment that was treated successfully with photodynamic therapy (PDT) and intravitreal bevacizumab (IVB). The patient was treated with a single session of PDT, a 689-nm laser was used to deliver 50J/cm(2) with a maximum spot size of 6400μm, for 166s. IVB was administered 3 days later. The exudative retinal detachment (ERD), macular edema and visual acuity improved one week after treatment. The patient was followed for 18 months with no recurrence of ERD, and her visual acuity was preserved. PDT followed by IVB may be an effective treatment option for visual deterioration due to ERD in patients with DCHs, as are found in SWS. PMID:25560419

  10. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Branch Retinal Artery Occlusion in a 15-Year-Old Boy with Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Mutation

    PubMed Central

    Kadayifcilar, Sibel; Eldem, Bora

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. To report the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy in a case of branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO) in a 15-year-old boy. Methods. We report a 15-year-old boy with sudden loss of vision due to BRAO. Examination included laboratory evaluation for systemic risk factors. Follow-up exams included visual acuity, fundus examination, fundus fluorescein angiography, and visual field testing. HBO therapy was employed for treatment. Results. Medical history was positive for isolated glucocorticoid deficiency. Laboratory evaluation disclosed hyperhomocysteinemia and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) mutation. The visual acuity 0.05 at presentation improved to 0.8 after 20 days of HBO therapy. There was no change on visual fields. Conclusion. In this pediatric case, HBO therapy was useful in the treatment of BRAO. PMID:25722905

  11. Progress in gene therapy for neurological disorders

    PubMed Central

    Simonato, Michele; Bennett, Jean; Boulis, Nicholas M.; Castro, Maria G.; Fink, David J.; Goins, William F.; Gray, Steven J.; Lowenstein, Pedro R.; Vandenberghe, Luk H.; Wilson, Thomas J.; Wolfe, John H.; Glorioso, Joseph C.

    2013-01-01

    Diseases of the nervous system have devastating effects and are widely distributed among the population, being especially prevalent in the elderly. These diseases are often caused by inherited genetic mutations that result in abnormal nervous system development, neurodegeneration, or impaired neuronal function. Other causes of neurological diseases include genetic and epigenetic changes induced by environmental insults, injury, disease-related events or inflammatory processes. Standard medical and surgical practice has not proved effective in curing or treating these diseases, and appropriate pharmaceuticals do not exist or are insufficient to slow disease progression. Gene therapy is emerging as a powerful approach with potential to treat and even cure some of the most common diseases of the nervous system. Gene therapy for neurological diseases has been made possible through progress in understanding the underlying disease mechanisms, particularly those involving sensory neurons, and also by improvement of gene vector design, therapeutic gene selection, and methods of delivery. Progress in the field has renewed our optimism for gene therapy as a treatment modality that can be used by neurologists, ophthalmologists and neurosurgeons. In this Review, we describe the promising gene therapy strategies that have the potential to treat patients with neurological diseases and discuss prospects for future development of gene therapy. PMID:23609618

  12. Gene therapy for choroideremia using an adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector.

    PubMed

    Barnard, Alun R; Groppe, Markus; MacLaren, Robert E

    2014-10-30

    Choroideremia is an outer retinal degeneration with a characteristic clinical appearance that was first described in the nineteenth century. The disorder begins with reduction of night vision and gradually progresses to blindness by middle age. The appearance of the fundus in sufferers is recognizable by the characteristic pale color caused by the loss of the outer retina, retinal-pigmented epithelium, and choroidal vessels, leading to exposure of the underlying sclera. Choroideremia shows X-linked recessive inheritance and the choroideremia gene (CHM) was one of the first to be identified by positional cloning in 1990. Subsequent identification and characterization of the CHM gene, which encodes Rab escort protein 1 (REP1), has led to better comprehension of the disease and enabled advances in genetic diagnosis. Despite several decades of work to understand the exact pathogenesis, no established treatments currently exist to stop or even slow the progression of retinal degeneration in choroideremia. Encouragingly, several specific molecular and clinical features make choroideremia an ideal candidate for treatment with gene therapy. This work describes the considerations and challenges in the development of a new clinical trial using adeno-associated virus (AAV) encoding the CHM gene.

  13. Gene therapy for choroideremia using an adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector.

    PubMed

    Barnard, Alun R; Groppe, Markus; MacLaren, Robert E

    2015-03-01

    Choroideremia is an outer retinal degeneration with a characteristic clinical appearance that was first described in the nineteenth century. The disorder begins with reduction of night vision and gradually progresses to blindness by middle age. The appearance of the fundus in sufferers is recognizable by the characteristic pale color caused by the loss of the outer retina, retinal-pigmented epithelium, and choroidal vessels, leading to exposure of the underlying sclera. Choroideremia shows X-linked recessive inheritance and the choroideremia gene (CHM) was one of the first to be identified by positional cloning in 1990. Subsequent identification and characterization of the CHM gene, which encodes Rab escort protein 1 (REP1), has led to better comprehension of the disease and enabled advances in genetic diagnosis. Despite several decades of work to understand the exact pathogenesis, no established treatments currently exist to stop or even slow the progression of retinal degeneration in choroideremia. Encouragingly, several specific molecular and clinical features make choroideremia an ideal candidate for treatment with gene therapy. This work describes the considerations and challenges in the development of a new clinical trial using adeno-associated virus (AAV) encoding the CHM gene. PMID:25359548

  14. Human Cone Visual Pigment Deletions Spare Sufficient Photoreceptors to Warrant Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Cideciyan, Artur V.; Hufnagel, Robert B.; Carroll, Joseph; Sumaroka, Alexander; Luo, Xunda; Schwartz, Sharon B.; Dubra, Alfredo; Land, Megan; Michaelides, Michel; Gardner, Jessica C.; Hardcastle, Alison J.; Moore, Anthony T.; Sisk, Robert A.; Ahmed, Zubair M.; Kohl, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Human X-linked blue-cone monochromacy (BCM), a disabling congenital visual disorder of cone photoreceptors, is a candidate disease for gene augmentation therapy. BCM is caused by either mutations in the red (OPN1LW) and green (OPN1MW) cone photoreceptor opsin gene array or large deletions encompassing portions of the gene array and upstream regulatory sequences that would predict a lack of red or green opsin expression. The fate of opsin-deficient cone cells is unknown. We know that rod opsin null mutant mice show rapid postnatal death of rod photoreceptors. Using in vivo histology with high-resolution retinal imaging, we studied a cohort of 20 BCM patients (age range 5–58) with large deletions in the red/green opsin gene array. Already in the first years of life, retinal structure was not normal: there was partial loss of photoreceptors across the central retina. Remaining cone cells had detectable outer segments that were abnormally shortened. Adaptive optics imaging confirmed the existence of inner segments at a spatial density greater than that expected for the residual blue cones. The evidence indicates that human cones in patients with deletions in the red/green opsin gene array can survive in reduced numbers with limited outer segment material, suggesting potential value of gene therapy for BCM. PMID:24067079

  15. HIV gene therapy research advances.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Jeffrey M

    2013-02-28

    In this issue of Blood, Tebas et al report antiviral effects in a clinical trial of multiple infusions of lentiviral vector–modified autologous CD4T lymphocytes in 17 HIV-infected patients aviremic on antiretroviral therapy (ART).

  16. Gene and cell therapy for heart failure.

    PubMed

    de Muinck, Ebo D

    2009-08-01

    Cardiac gene and cell therapy have both entered clinical trials aimed at ameliorating ventricular dysfunction in patients with chronic congestive heart failure. The transduction of myocardial cells with viral constructs encoding a specific cardiomyocyte Ca(2+) pump in the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR), SRCa(2+)-ATPase has been shown to correct deficient Ca(2+) handling in cardiomyocytes and improvements in contractility in preclinical studies, thus leading to the first clinical trial of gene therapy for heart failure. In cell therapy, it is not clear whether beneficial effects are cell-type specific and how improvements in contractility are brought about. Despite these uncertainties, a number of clinical trials are under way, supported by safety and efficacy data from trials of cell therapy in the setting of myocardial infarction. Safety concerns for gene therapy center on inflammatory and immune responses triggered by viral constructs, and for cell therapy with myoblast cells, the major concern is increased incidence of ventricular arrhythmia after cell transplantation. Principles and mechanisms of action of gene and cell therapy for heart failure are discussed, together with the potential influence of reactive oxygen species on the efficacy of these treatments and the status of myocardial-delivery techniques for viral constructs and cells.

  17. Adenoviral vector-mediated gene transfer for human gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Breyer, B; Jiang, W; Cheng, H; Zhou, L; Paul, R; Feng, T; He, T C

    2001-07-01

    Human gene therapy promises to change the practice of medicine by treating the causes of disease rather than the symptoms. Since the first clinical trial made its debut ten years ago, there are over 400 approved protocols in the United States alone, most of which have failed to show convincing data of clinical efficacy. This setback is largely due to the lack of efficient and adequate gene transfer vehicles. With the recent progress in elucidating the molecular mechanisms of human diseases and the imminent arrival of the post genomic era, there are increasing numbers of therapeutic genes or targets that are available for gene therapy. Therefore, the urgency and need for efficacious gene therapies are greater than ever. Clearly, the current fundamental obstacle is to develop delivery vectors that exhibit high efficacy and specificity of gene transfer. Recombinant adenoviruses have provided a versatile system for gene expression studies and therapeutic applications. Of late, there has been a remarkable increase in adenoviral vector-based clinical trials. Recent endeavors in the development of recombinant adenoviral vectors have focused on modification of virus tropism, accommodation of larger genes, increase in stability and control of transgene expression, and down-modulation of host immune responses. These modifications and continued improvements in adenoviral vectors will provide a great opportunity for human gene therapy to live up to its enormous potential in the second decade.

  18. Gene replacement therapy for hereditary emphysema

    SciTech Connect

    Skolnick, A.

    1989-11-10

    Investigators suggest that human trials of gene therapy to correct a genetic disorder that usually leads to emphysema early in life may be only a few years away. Speaking at the American Lung Association's Second Annual Science Writers' Forum, R. G. Crystal, chief of the Pulmonary Branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offered an explanation of how hereditary emphysema may be more amenable to genetic therapy than other such diseases. In persons who lack a functioning gene for alpha{sup 1}-antitrypsin, a proteolytic enzyme, neutrophil elastase, attacks the walls of the lungs' alveoli, eventually leading to progressive pulmonary function loss. Two animal models of gene insertion are described.

  19. Gene therapy to treat cardiac arrhythmias.

    PubMed

    Bongianino, Rossana; Priori, Silvia G

    2015-09-01

    Gene therapy to treat electrical dysfunction of the heart is an appealing strategy because of the limited therapeutic options available to manage the most-severe cardiac arrhythmias, such as ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, and asystole. However, cardiac genetic manipulation is challenging, given the complex mechanisms underlying arrhythmias. Nevertheless, the growing understanding of the molecular basis of these diseases, and the development of sophisticated vectors and delivery strategies, are providing researchers with adequate means to target specific genes and pathways involved in disorders of heart rhythm. Data from preclinical studies have demonstrated that gene therapy can be successfully used to modify the arrhythmogenic substrate and prevent life-threatening arrhythmias. Therefore, gene therapy might plausibly become a treatment option for patients with difficult-to-manage acquired arrhythmias and for those with inherited arrhythmias. In this Review, we summarize the preclinical studies into gene therapy for acquired and inherited arrhythmias of the atria or ventricles. We also provide an overview of the technical advances in the design of constructs and viral vectors to increase the efficiency and safety of gene therapy and to improve selective delivery to target organs.

  20. Ranibizumab in monotherapy and combined with photodynamic therapy for retinal angiomatous proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Arias, Luis; Gómez-Ulla, Francisco; Ruiz-Moreno, José M

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To compare the effects of intravitreal ranibizumab in monotherapy (group A) and combined with photodynamic therapy (PDT) with verteporfin (group B) in retinal angiomatous proliferation (RAP) treatment. Methods This was a multicentric, prospective, randomized clinical study conducted with parallel groups. The study eye in both groups received ranibizumab on days 1, 30, and 60 (loading dose); group B received PDT additionally on day 1. Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) visual acuity (VA) testing and optical coherence tomography were performed monthly, and fluorescein angiography and indocyanine green angiography were performed quarterly. Retreatment criteria were leakage in fluorescein angiography or indocyanine green angiography, mean foveal thickness increase ≥100 µm, or VA decrease ≥5 letters. Results Twenty patients were recruited (ten patients in each group). Six eyes had previous treatment (three eyes in group A and three eyes in group B), so only 14 eyes were naïve. At 12-month follow-up, mean VA improved +1.5 letters in group A and +5.6 letters in group B (analysis of variance test; P>0.05). Two patients (20%) in both groups gained ≥15 letters (chi-square test; P>0.05). Mean changes in greatest linear dimension and in foveal thickness were not statistically significant between groups of treatment (analysis of variance test; P>0.05). Mean retreatments per patient were 1.8 (group A) and 0.9 (group B) (Mann–Whitney U-test; P>0.05). One patient died due to underlying disease not related to study medication. Conclusion Intravitreal ranibizumab administered in monotherapy or combined with PDT was efficacious in terms of VA stabilization in patients with RAP. PMID:27274190

  1. Targeted polymeric nanoparticles for cancer gene therapy

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jayoung; Wilson, David R.; Zamboni, Camila G.; Green, Jordan J.

    2015-01-01

    In this article, advances in designing polymeric nanoparticles for targeted cancer gene therapy are reviewed. Characterization and evaluation of biomaterials, targeting ligands, and transcriptional elements are each discussed. Advances in biomaterials have driven improvements to nanoparticle stability and tissue targeting, conjugation of ligands to the surface of polymeric nanoparticles enable binding to specific cancer cells, and the design of transcriptional elements has enabled selective DNA expression specific to the cancer cells. Together, these features have improved the performance of polymeric nanoparticles as targeted non-viral gene delivery vectors to treat cancer. As polymeric nanoparticles can be designed to be biodegradable, non-toxic, and to have reduced immunogenicity and tumorigenicity compared to viral platforms, they have significant potential for clinical use. Results of polymeric gene therapy in clinical trials and future directions for the engineering of nanoparticle systems for targeted cancer gene therapy are also presented. PMID:26061296

  2. Targeted polymeric nanoparticles for cancer gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jayoung; Wilson, David R; Zamboni, Camila G; Green, Jordan J

    2015-01-01

    In this article, advances in designing polymeric nanoparticles for targeted cancer gene therapy are reviewed. Characterization and evaluation of biomaterials, targeting ligands, and transcriptional elements are each discussed. Advances in biomaterials have driven improvements to nanoparticle stability and tissue targeting, conjugation of ligands to the surface of polymeric nanoparticles enable binding to specific cancer cells, and the design of transcriptional elements has enabled selective DNA expression specific to the cancer cells. Together, these features have improved the performance of polymeric nanoparticles as targeted non-viral gene delivery vectors to treat cancer. As polymeric nanoparticles can be designed to be biodegradable, non-toxic, and to have reduced immunogenicity and tumorigenicity compared to viral platforms, they have significant potential for clinical use. Results of polymeric gene therapy in clinical trials and future directions for the engineering of nanoparticle systems for targeted cancer gene therapy are also presented.

  3. Zebrafish model for the genetic basis of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Raghupathy, Rakesh Kotapati; McCulloch, Daphne L; Akhtar, Saeed; Al-mubrad, Turki M; Shu, Xinhua

    2013-03-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) affects 1/4000 individuals in most populations, and X-linked RP (XLRP) is one of the most severe forms of human retinal degeneration. Mutations in both the retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator (RPGR) gene and retinitis pigmentosa 2 (RP2) gene account for almost all cases of XLRP. The functional roles of both RPGR and RP2 in the pathogenesis of XLRP are unclear. Due to the surprisingly high degree of functional conservation between human genes and their zebrafish orthologues, the zebrafish has become an important model for human retinal disorders. In this brief review, we summarize the functional characterization of XLRP-causing genes, RPGR and RP2, in zebrafish, and highlight recent studies that provide insight into the cellular functions of both genes. This will not only shed light on disease mechanisms in XLRP but will also provide a solid platform to test RP-causing mutants before proposing XLRP gene therapy trials.

  4. Progressive retinal atrophy in Schapendoes dogs: mutation of the newly identified CCDC66 gene.

    PubMed

    Dekomien, Gabriele; Vollrath, Conni; Petrasch-Parwez, Elisabeth; Boevé, Michael H; Akkad, Denis A; Gerding, Wanda M; Epplen, Jörg T

    2010-05-01

    Canine generalized progressive retinal atrophy (gPRA) is characterized by continuous degeneration of photoreceptor cells leading to night blindness and progressive vision loss. Until now, mutations in 11 genes have been described that account for gPRA in dogs, mostly following an autosomal recessive inheritance mode. Here, we describe a gPRA locus comprising the newly identified gene coiled-coil domain containing 66 (CCDC66) on canine chromosome 20, as identified via linkage analysis in the Schapendoes breed. Mutation screening of the CCDC66 gene revealed a 1-bp insertion in exon 6 leading to a stop codon as the underlying cause of disease. The insertion is present in all affected dogs in the homozygous state as well as in all obligatory mutation carriers in the heterozygous state. The CCDC66 gene is evolutionarily conserved in different vertebrate species and exhibits a complex pattern of differential RNA splicing resulting in various isoforms in the retina. Immunohistochemically, CCDC66 protein is detected mainly in the inner segments of photoreceptors in mouse, dog, and man. The affected Schapendoes retina lacks CCDC66 protein. Thus this natural canine model for gPRA yields superior potential to understand functional implications of this newly identified protein including its physiology, and it opens new perspectives for analyzing different aspects of the general pathophysiology of gPRA. PMID:19777273

  5. Employment of Salmonella in Cancer Gene Therapy.

    PubMed

    Lee, Che-Hsin

    2016-01-01

    One of the primary limitations of cancer gene therapy is lack of selectivity of the therapeutic gene to tumor cells. Current efforts are focused on discovering and developing tumor-targeting vectors that selectively target only cancer cells but spare normal cells to improve the therapeutic index. The use of preferentially tumor-targeting bacteria as vectors is one of the innovative approaches for the treatment of cancer. This is based on the observation that some obligate or facultative-anaerobic bacteria are capable of multiplying selectively in tumors and inhibiting their growth. In this study, we exploited attenuated Salmonella as a tumoricidal agent and a vector to deliver genes for tumor-targeted gene therapy. Attenuated Salmonella, carrying a eukaryotic expression plasmid encoding an anti-angiogenic gene, was used to evaluate its' ability for tumor targeting and gene delivery in murine tumor models. We also investigated the use of a polymer to modify or shield Salmonella from the pre-existing immune response in the host in order to improve gene delivery to the tumor. These results suggest that tumor-targeted gene therapy using Salmonella carrying a therapeutic gene, which exerts tumoricidal and anti-angiogenic activities, represents a promising strategy for the treatment of tumors.

  6. Gene Therapy and its Implications in Dentistry

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Jibi M; Basappa, N

    2011-01-01

    Background The concept of transferring genes to tissues for clinical applications has been discussed for nearly half a century. The exponential increase in our ability to manipulate the genetic material of a cell via recombinant DNA technology has brought this goal closer to realization. The original perception that gene therapy should be considered only for a few major organs as a means of treating life-threatening disorders that are refractory to conventional treatment has changed. There are many non-life-threatening conditions that adversely affect a patient’s quality of life, for which there are no effective treatments. The lack of suitable treatment has permitted morbidity to become a rational basis for extending the scope of gene therapy. In the past few years, remarkable progress has been made in the field of gene therapy. While considerable problems remain, thus impeding the routine clinical use of gene transfer, gene therapy will have a pervasive and significant impact on areas that are based on biological science. Aim The purpose of this review is to examine the progress made in addressing gene transfer strategies for correcting various diseases and problems that are relevant to dental practice.

  7. Current status of haemophilia gene therapy.

    PubMed

    High, K H; Nathwani, A; Spencer, T; Lillicrap, D

    2014-05-01

    After many reports of successful gene therapy studies in small and large animal models of haemophilia, we have, at last, seen the first signs of success in human patients. These very encouraging results have been achieved with the use of adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors in patients with severe haemophilia B. Following on from these initial promising studies, there are now three ongoing trials of AAV-mediated gene transfer in haemophilia B all aiming to express the factor IX gene from the liver. Nevertheless, as discussed in the first section of this article, there are still a number of significant hurdles to overcome if haemophilia B gene therapy is to become more widely available. The second section of this article deals with the challenges relating to factor VIII gene transfer. While the recent results in haemophilia B are extremely encouraging, there is, as yet, no similar data for factor VIII gene therapy. It is widely accepted that this therapeutic target will be significantly more problematic for a variety of reasons including accommodating the larger factor VIII cDNA, achieving adequate levels of transgene expression and preventing the far more frequent complication of antifactor VIII immunity. In the final section of the article, the alternative approach of lentiviral vector-mediated gene transfer is discussed. While AAV-mediated approaches to transgene delivery have led the way in clinical haemophilia gene therapy, there are still a number of potential advantages of using an alternative delivery vehicle including the fact that ex vivo host cell transduction will avoid the likelihood of immune responses to the vector. Overall, these are exciting times for haemophilia gene therapy with the likelihood of further clinical successes in the near future.

  8. A gene (SRPX) encoding a sushi-repeat-containing protein is deleted in patients with X-linked retinitis pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Meindl, A; Carvalho, M R; Herrmann, K; Lorenz, B; Achatz, H; Lorenz, B; Apfelstedt-Sylla, E; Wittwer, B; Ross, M; Meitinger, T

    1995-12-01

    X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) is characterized by retinal degeneration with night blindness and progressive reduction of the visual fields. By linkage and deletion analysis a gene locus (RP3) has been mapped to the short arm of the X chromosome between the genes CYBB and OTC. Analysis of transcript in this region has revealed a gene which is abundantly expressed in human retina and encodes a putative membrane protein with significant homologies to short consensus repeat (SCR/sushi) domains known from selections and complement proteins. The gene termed SRPX (sushi-repeat-containing protein, x chromosome) is deleted in an RP patient who also suffers from chronic granulomatous disease and McLeod syndrome. A 75 kb deletion removing exon 1 of the gene was also found in two brothers of a second XLRP family. However, no further functionally significant mutations were detected by SSCP screening of all 10 exons in 34 unrelated XLRP patients nor by full length RT-PCR sequencing in two RP3 families. The role of this highly conserved retinal gene in the pathogenesis of RP therefore remains to be determined.

  9. Ethical issues of perinatal human gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, J C; Richter, G

    1996-01-01

    This paper examines some key ethical issues raised by trials of human gene therapy in the perinatal period--i.e., in infants, young children, and the human fetus. It describes five resources in ethics for researchers' considerations prior to such trials: (1) the history of ethical debate about gene therapy, (2) a literature on the relevance of major ethical principles for clinical research, (3) a body of widely accepted norms and practices, (4) knowledge of paradigm cases, and (5) researchers' own professional integrity. The paper also examines ethical concerns that must be met prior to any trial: benefits to and safety of subjects, informed assent of children and informed parental permission, informed consent of pregnant women in fetal gene therapy, protection of privacy, and concerns about fairness in the selection of subjects. The paper criticizes the position that cases of fetal gene therapy should be restricted only to those where the pregnant woman has explicitly refused abortion. Additional topics include concerns about genetic enhancement and germ-line gene therapy.

  10. Gene therapy legislation in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Bleijs, D A; Haenen, I T W C; Bergmans, J E N

    2007-10-01

    Several regulatory organisations are involved in the assessment of clinical gene therapy trials involving genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in The Netherlands. Medical, ethical and scientific aspects are, for instance, evaluated by the Central Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (CCMO). The Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM) is the competent authority for the environmental risk assessment according to the deliberate release Directive 2001/18/EC. A Gene Therapy Office has been established in order to streamline the different national review processes and to enable the official procedures to be completed as quickly as possible. Although the Gene Therapy Office improved the application process at the national level, there is a difference of opinion between the EU member states with respect to the EU Directive according to which gene therapy trials are assessed, that urges for harmonisation. This review summarises the gene therapy legislation in The Netherlands and in particular The Netherlands rationale to follow Directive 2001/18/EC for the environmental risk assessment.

  11. Evaluation of the arrestin gene in patients with retinitis pigmentosa or an allied disease

    SciTech Connect

    DeStefano, D.J.; Berson, E.L.; Dryja, T.P.

    1994-09-01

    Arrestin, also called 48K protein or S-antigen, plays a role in deactivating rhodopsin, the photosensitive, seven-helix, G-protein receptor found in rod photoreceptors. In Drosophila, null mutations in arrestin genes cause a light-dependent photoreceptor degeneration. It is possible that a comparable photoreceptor degeneration in humans is caused by defects in the rod arrestin gene. In order to evaluate this possibility, we are characterizing the human arrestin locus on chromosome 2q. We screened a genomic library (5 million plaques) using an arrestin cDNA clone. Sixty-eight hybridizing clones were identified; portions of 7 clones were sequenced to determine the intron sequence flanking the exons. We are using SSCP analysis and direct genomic sequencing to screen the entire coding region, splice donor and acceptor sites, and the promoter region of the arrestin gene in 188 patients with autosomal dominant and 104 patients with autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa. We have already obtained flanking intron sequences necessary for SSCP analysis for 13 of 16 exons. So far, we have identified 4 silent base changes at codons 67 (TGC-to-TGT), 107 (CTG-to-CTC), 163 (GCC-to-GCT), and 288 (CTG-to-TGT), all with allele frequencies at 1% or less. Several other variant bands detected by SSCP analysis are currently being sequenced.

  12. Therapeutic genes for anti-HIV/AIDS gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Bovolenta, Chiara; Porcellini, Simona; Alberici, Luca

    2013-01-01

    The multiple therapeutic approaches developed so far to cope HIV-1 infection, such as anti-retroviral drugs, germicides and several attempts of therapeutic vaccination have provided significant amelioration in terms of life-quality and survival rate of AIDS patients. Nevertheless, no approach has demonstrated efficacy in eradicating this lethal, if untreated, infection. The curative power of gene therapy has been proven for the treatment of monogenic immunodeficiensies, where permanent gene modification of host cells is sufficient to correct the defect for life-time. No doubt, a similar concept is not applicable for gene therapy of infectious immunodeficiensies as AIDS, where there is not a single gene to be corrected; rather engineered cells must gain immunotherapeutic or antiviral features to grant either short- or long-term efficacy mostly by acquisition of antiviral genes or payloads. Anti-HIV/AIDS gene therapy is one of the most promising strategy, although challenging, to eradicate HIV-1 infection. In fact, genetic modification of hematopoietic stem cells with one or multiple therapeutic genes is expected to originate blood cell progenies resistant to viral infection and thereby able to prevail on infected unprotected cells. Ultimately, protected cells will re-establish a functional immune system able to control HIV-1 replication. More than hundred gene therapy clinical trials against AIDS employing different viral vectors and transgenes have been approved or are currently ongoing worldwide. This review will overview anti-HIV-1 infection gene therapy field evaluating strength and weakness of the transgenes and payloads used in the past and of those potentially exploitable in the future.

  13. Improvement and decline in vision with gene therapy in childhood blindness.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Samuel G; Cideciyan, Artur V; Roman, Alejandro J; Sumaroka, Alexander; Schwartz, Sharon B; Heon, Elise; Hauswirth, William W

    2015-05-14

    Retinal gene therapy for Leber's congenital amaurosis, an autosomal recessive childhood blindness, has been widely considered to be safe and efficacious. Three years after therapy, improvement in vision was maintained, but the rate of loss of photoreceptors in the treated retina was the same as that in the untreated retina. Here we describe long-term follow-up data from three treated patients. Topographic maps of visual sensitivity in treated regions, nearly 6 years after therapy for two of the patients and 4.5 years after therapy for the third patient, indicate progressive diminution of the areas of improved vision. (Funded by the National Eye Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00481546.).

  14. Germ-line mutations in the neurofibromatosis 2 gene: Correlations with disease severity and retinal abnormalities

    SciTech Connect

    Parry, D.M.; Kaiser-Kupfer, M.; Eldridge, R.

    1996-09-01

    Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) features bilateral vestibular schwannomas, other benign neural tumors, and cataracts. Patients in some families develop many tumors at an early age and have rapid clinical progression, whereas in other families, patients may not have symptoms until much later and vestibular schwannomas may be the only tumors. The NF2 gene has been cloned from chromosome 22q; most identified germ-line mutations result in a truncated protein and severe NF2. To look for additional mutations and clinical correlations, we used SSCP analysis to screen DNA from 32 unrelated patients. We identified 20 different mutations in 21 patients (66%): 10 nonsense mutations, 2 frameshifts, 7 splice-site mutations, and 1 large in-frame deletion. Clinical information on 47 patients from the 21 families included ages at onset and at diagnosis, numbers of meningiomas, spinal and skin tumors, and presence of cataracts and retinal abnormalities. We compared clinical findings in patients with nonsense or frameshift mutations to those with splice-site mutations. When each patient was considered as an independent random event, the two groups differed (P {le} .05) for nearly every variable. Patients with nonsense or frameshift mutations were younger at onset and at diagnosis and had a higher frequency and mean number of tumors, supporting the correlation between nonsense and frameshift mutations and severe NF2. When each family was considered as an independent random event, statistically significant differences between the two groups were observed only for mean ages at onset and at diagnosis. A larger data set is needed to resolve these discrepancies. We observed retinal hamartomas and/or epiretinal membranes in nine patients from five families with four different nonsense mutations. This finding, which may represent a new genotype-phenotype correlation, merits further study. 58 refs., 2 tabs.

  15. Engineering targeted viral vectors for gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Waehler, Reinhard; Russell, Stephen J; Curiel, David T

    2007-08-01

    To achieve therapeutic success, transfer vehicles for gene therapy must be capable of transducing target cells while avoiding impact on non-target cells. Despite the high transduction efficiency of viral vectors, their tropism frequently does not match the therapeutic need. In the past, this lack of appropriate targeting allowed only partial exploitation of the great potential of gene therapy. Substantial progress in modifying viral vectors using diverse techniques now allows targeting to many cell types in vitro. Although important challenges remain for in vivo applications, the first clinical trials with targeted vectors have already begun to take place.

  16. [Gene therapy in the Czech Republic].

    PubMed

    Vonka, V

    2003-01-01

    Gene therapy represents one of the most promising applications of molecular biology and genetic engineering in medicine. At present its introduction meets series of problems which are of technical, methodological and ethical nature. Although the research in the field of gene therapy in the Czech Republic is on a good level, there is little hope that its achievements will be tested in clinical trials in the near future. In the Czech Republic a law enabling the use of preparations based on the newest biotechnologies in human medicine is missing. Similarly, a production unit capable of preparing the new gene-based drugs according to the Good Manufactory Praxis is not available and the State Institute for Control of Drugs has not any working group fully qualified for their control. The paper proposes actions aimed at solving the present unfavourable situation. The fact that the interest of clinicians in gene therapy is rapidly growing, and that there are signs of increasing interest of public in its achievements, gives good prospects for the introduction of gene therapy into medical praxis in this country in the not very distant future.

  17. Radiopharmaceutical and Gene Therapy Program

    SciTech Connect

    Buchsbaum, Donald J.

    2006-02-09

    The objective of our research program was to determine whether novel receptors can be induced in solid cancers as a target for therapy with radiolabeled unmodified peptides that bind to the receptors. The hypothesis was that induction of a high number of receptors on the surface of these cancer cells would result in an increased uptake of the radiolabeled monomeric peptides as compared to published results with radiolabeled antibodies or peptides to naturally expressed antigens or receptors, and therefore a better therapeutic outcome. The following is a summary of published results.

  18. Retinal determination genes coordinate neuroepithelial specification and neurogenesis modes in the Drosophila optic lobe

    PubMed Central

    Apitz, Holger

    2016-01-01

    Differences in neuroepithelial patterning and neurogenesis modes contribute to area-specific diversifications of neural circuits. In the Drosophila visual system, two neuroepithelia, the outer (OPC) and inner (IPC) proliferation centers, generate neuron subtypes for four ganglia in several ways. Whereas neuroepithelial cells in the medial OPC directly convert into neuroblasts, in an IPC subdomain they generate migratory progenitors by epithelial-mesenchymal transition that mature into neuroblasts in a second proliferative zone. The molecular mechanisms that regulate the identity of these neuroepithelia, including their neurogenesis modes, remain poorly understood. Analysis of Polycomblike revealed that loss of Polycomb group-mediated repression of the Hox gene Abdominal-B (Abd-B) caused the transformation of OPC to IPC neuroepithelial identity. This suggests that the neuroepithelial default state is IPC-like, whereas OPC identity is derived. Ectopic Abd-B blocks expression of the highly conserved retinal determination gene network members Eyes absent (Eya), Sine oculis (So) and Homothorax (Hth). These factors are essential for OPC specification and neurogenesis control. Finally, eya and so are also sufficient to confer OPC-like identity, and, in parallel with hth, the OPC-specific neurogenesis mode on the IPC. PMID:27381228

  19. Mutations in the PDE6B gene in autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa

    SciTech Connect

    Danciger, M.; Blaney, J.; Gao, Y.Q.; Zhao, D.Y.

    1995-11-01

    We have studied 24 small families with presumed autosomal recessive inheritance of retinitis pigmentosa by a combination of haplotype analysis and exon screening. Initial analysis of the families was made with a dinucleotide repeat polymorphism adjacent to the gene for rod cGMP-phosphodiesterase (PDE6B). This was followed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and single-strand conformation polymorphism electrophoresis (SSCPE) of the 22 exons and a portion of the 5{prime} untranslated region of the PDE6B gene in the probands of each family in which the PDE6B locus could not be ruled out from segregating with disease. Two probands were found with compound heterozygous mutations: Gly576Asp and His620(1-bp del) mutations were present in one proband, and a Lys706X null mutation and an AG to AT splice acceptor site mutation in intron 2 were present in the other. Only the affecteds of each of the two families carried both corresponding mutations. 29 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  20. T Cell Receptor Gene Therapy for Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Schmitt, Thomas M.; Ragnarsson, Gunnar B.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract T cell-based adoptive immunotherapy has been shown to be a promising treatment for various types of cancer. However, adoptive T cell therapy currently requires the custom isolation and characterization of tumor-specific T cells from each patient—a process that can be not only difficult and time-consuming but also often fails to yield high-avidity T cells, which together have limited the broad application of this approach as a clinical treatment. Employing T cell receptor (TCR) gene therapy as a component of adoptive T cell therapy strategies can overcome many of these obstacles, allowing autologous T cells with a defined specificity to be generated in a much shorter time period. Initial studies using this approach have been hampered by a number of technical difficulties resulting in low TCR expression and acquisition of potentially problematic specificities due to mispairing of introduced TCR chains with endogenous TCR chains. The last several years have seen substantial progress in our understanding of the multiple facets of TCR gene therapy that will have to be properly orchestrated for this strategy to succeed. Here we outline the challenges of TCR gene therapy and the advances that have been made toward realizing the promise of this approach. PMID:19702439

  1. Acute Retinal Necrosis Associated with Epstein-Barr Virus in a Patient Undergoing Immunosuppressive Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Oe, Chiaki; Hiraoka, Miki; Tanaka, Sachie; Ohguro, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Acute retinal necrosis (ARN) is a rapidly progressive and severe retinitis resulting in a poor visual outcome. Infections caused by herpes viruses such as herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2 or the varicella zoster virus (VZV) are known to be implicated in the development of ARN. In the present study, an 80-year-old female with ARN was examined. She had been affected with rheumatoid arthritis and had taken methotrexate for over 10 years. Her right eye showed clinical features of ARN, and her left eye showed mild retinitis. The genomic DNA in the aqueous humor and vitreous fluid from her right eye were analyzed by a comprehensive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to screen infectious pathogens including viruses. The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was detected from both specimens, but neither HSV or VZV nor cytomegalovirus was detected. She underwent intraocular surgery following systemic corticosteroid and acyclovir applications. However, although the retinitis of her right eye was extinguished, the final visual outcome was blindness due to optic nerve atrophy. There are few reports indicating that EBV is associated with ARN development. The present findings suggest that EBV alone can be the causative agent of ARN. PMID:27194989

  2. Acute Retinal Necrosis Associated with Epstein-Barr Virus in a Patient Undergoing Immunosuppressive Therapy.

    PubMed

    Oe, Chiaki; Hiraoka, Miki; Tanaka, Sachie; Ohguro, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Acute retinal necrosis (ARN) is a rapidly progressive and severe retinitis resulting in a poor visual outcome. Infections caused by herpes viruses such as herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2 or the varicella zoster virus (VZV) are known to be implicated in the development of ARN. In the present study, an 80-year-old female with ARN was examined. She had been affected with rheumatoid arthritis and had taken methotrexate for over 10 years. Her right eye showed clinical features of ARN, and her left eye showed mild retinitis. The genomic DNA in the aqueous humor and vitreous fluid from her right eye were analyzed by a comprehensive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to screen infectious pathogens including viruses. The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was detected from both specimens, but neither HSV or VZV nor cytomegalovirus was detected. She underwent intraocular surgery following systemic corticosteroid and acyclovir applications. However, although the retinitis of her right eye was extinguished, the final visual outcome was blindness due to optic nerve atrophy. There are few reports indicating that EBV is associated with ARN development. The present findings suggest that EBV alone can be the causative agent of ARN.

  3. Controversy over the etiology and therapy of retinal detachment: the struggles of Jules Gonin.

    PubMed

    Gloor, Balder P; Marmor, Michael F

    2013-01-01

    Retinal tears were recognized as soon as ophthalmoscopy became available. They were initially considered to be secondary events, from choroidal exudation and pressure behind the detached retina. This led von Graefe and others to recommend cuts in the retina to drain subretinal fluid into the vitreous cavity. De Wecker (1875, 1879) and Leber (1882) first proposed that intrinsic tears within the retina are the cause of retinal detachment, but they faced extreme and long lasting opposition for this view. Surgical results at this time were uniformly disastrous, and therapeutic nihilism still prevailed when Dufour and Gonin became convinced around 1904-1906 that the retinal tear was indeed the origin of the detachment. It took ten years, however, before Gonin figured out how to close tears by exact placement of heat coagulation ("thermopuncture") and provide therapeutic evidence for his beliefs. When he first presented his results in 1921, colleagues jeered at him, especially Deutschmann and Sourdille who, like the other ophthalmic surgeons, denied the role of the tear (and still made "therapeutic" incisions through the detached retina). Recognition of Gonin's approach finally came at the International Congresses in Amsterdam 1928 and in Madrid in 1933. Sourdille modified his approach when his son Gabriel convinced him to change after 1930, but Deutschmann stuck to his horrific procedure until his death in 1935. Then a new generation of retinal surgeons took over, with subsequent discussion focused on finding the best methods to close the tears. PMID:23257154

  4. Theranostic Imaging of Cancer Gene Therapy.

    PubMed

    Sekar, Thillai V; Paulmurugan, Ramasamy

    2016-01-01

    Gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy (GDEPT) is a promising therapeutic approach for treating cancers of various phenotypes. This strategy is independent of various other chemotherapeutic drugs used for treating cancers where the drugs are mainly designed to target endogenous cellular mechanisms, which are different in various cancer subtypes. In GDEPT an external enzyme, which is different from the cellular proteins, is expressed to convert the injected prodrug in to a toxic metabolite, that normally kill cancer cells express this protein. Theranostic imaging is an approach used to directly monitor the expression of these gene therapy enzymes while evaluating therapeutic effect. We recently developed a dual-GDEPT system where we combined mutant human herpes simplex thymidine kinase (HSV1sr39TK) and E. coli nitroreductase (NTR) enzyme, to improve therapeutic efficiency of cancer gene therapy by simultaneously injecting two prodrugs at a lower dose. In this approach we use two different prodrugs such as ganciclovir (GCV) and CB1954 to target two different cellular mechanisms to kill cancer cells. The developed dual GDEPT system was highly efficacious than that of either of the system used independently. In this chapter, we describe the complete protocol involved for in vitro and in vivo imaging of therapeutic cancer gene therapy evaluation. PMID:27424910

  5. Gene Therapy for "Bubble Boy" Disease.

    PubMed

    Hoggatt, Jonathan

    2016-07-14

    Adenosine deaminase (ADA) deficiency results in the accumulation of toxic metabolites that destroy the immune system, causing severe combined immunodeficiency (ADA-SCID), often referred to as the "bubble boy" disease. Strimvelis is a European Medicines Agency approved gene therapy for ADA-SCID patients without a suitable bone marrow donor.

  6. Quantum rods as nanocarriers of gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Aalinkeel, Ravikumar; Nair, Bindukumar; Reynolds, Jessica L; Sykes, Donald E; Law, Wing-Cheung; Mahajan, Supriya D; Prasad, Paras N; Schwartz, Stanley A

    2012-05-01

    Both antisense oligonucleotides (ASODN) and small interfering RNA (siRNA) have enormous potential to selectively silence specific cancer-related genes and could therefore be developed to be important therapeutic anti-cancer drugs. The use of nanotechnology may allow for significant advancement of the therapeutic potential of ASODN and siRNA, due to improved pharmacokinetics, bio-distribution and tissue specific targeted therapy. In this mini-review, we have discussed the advantages of using a nanocarrier such as a multimodal quantum rod (QR) complexed with siRNA for gene delivery. Comparisons are made between ASODN and siRNA therapeutic efficacies in the context of cancer and the enormous application potential of nanotechnology in oncotherapy is discussed. We have shown that a QR-interleukin-8 (IL-8) siRNA nanoplex can effectively silence IL-8 gene expression in the PC-3 prostate cancer cells with no significant toxicity. Thus, nanocarriers such as QRs can help translate the potent effects of ASODN/siRNA into a clinically viable anti-cancer therapy. Drug delivery for cancer therapy, with the aid of nanotechnology is one of the major translational aspects of nanomedicine, and efficient delivery of chemotherapy drugs and gene therapy drugs or their co-delivery continue to be a major focus of nanomedicine research.

  7. Gene therapy in dentistry: present and future.

    PubMed

    Baum, Bruce J

    2014-12-01

    Gene therapy is one of several novel biological treatments under active study for a wide variety of clinical applications, including many relevant to dentistry. This review will provide some background on this therapeutic approach, assess the current state of its applications generally, and in the oral cavity, and suggest the implications for its use in the next 25 years.

  8. Gene Therapy and Targeted Toxins for Glioma

    PubMed Central

    Castro, Maria G.; Candolfi, Marianela; Kroeger, Kurt; King, Gwendalyn D.; Curtin, James F.; Yagiz, Kader; Mineharu, Yohei; Assi, Hikmat; Wibowo, Mia; Muhammad, AKM Ghulam; Foulad, David; Puntel, Mariana; Lowenstein, Pedro R.

    2011-01-01

    The most common primary brain tumor in adults is glioblastoma. These tumors are highly invasive and aggressive with a mean survival time of nine to twelve months from diagnosis to death. Current treatment modalities are unable to significantly prolong survival in patients diagnosed with glioblastoma. As such, glioma is an attractive target for developing novel therapeutic approaches utilizing gene therapy. This review will examine the available preclinical models for glioma including xenographs, syngeneic and genetic models. Several promising therapeutic targets are currently being pursued in pre-clinical investigations. These targets will be reviewed by mechanism of action, i.e., conditional cytotoxic, targeted toxins, oncolytic viruses, tumor suppressors/oncogenes, and immune stimulatory approaches. Preclinical gene therapy paradigms aim to determine which strategies will provide rapid tumor regression and long-term protection from recurrence. While a wide range of potential targets are being investigated preclinically, only the most efficacious are further transitioned into clinical trial paradigms. Clinical trials reported to date are summarized including results from conditionally cytotoxic, targeted toxins, oncolytic viruses and oncogene targeting approaches. Clinical trial results have not been as robust as preclinical models predicted; this could be due to the limitations of the GBM models employed. Once this is addressed, and we develop effective gene therapies in models that better replicate the clinical scenario, gene therapy will provide a powerful approach to treat and manage brain tumors. PMID:21453286

  9. Therapeutic strategy for handling inherited retinal degenerations in a gene-independent manner using rod-derived cone viability factors.

    PubMed

    Léveillard, Thierry; Fridlich, Ram; Clérin, Emmanuelle; Aït-Ali, Najate; Millet-Puel, Géraldine; Jaillard, Céline; Yang, Ying; Zack, Donald; van-Dorsselaer, Alain; Sahel, José-Alain

    2014-03-01

    The most common hereditary retinal degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa (RP), leads to blindness by degeneration of cone photoreceptors. Meanwhile, genetic studies have shown that a significant proportion of RP genes is expressed only by rods, which raises the question of the mechanism leading to the degeneration of cones. Following the concept of sustainability factor cones, rods secrete survival factors that are necessary to maintain the cones, named Rod-derived Cone Viability Factors (RdCVFs). In patients suffering from RP, loss of rods results in the loss of RdCVFs expression and followed by cone degeneration. We have identified the bifunctional genes nucleoredoxin-like 1 and 2 that encode for, by differential splicing, a thioredoxin enzyme and a cone survival factor, respectively RdCVF and RdCVF2. The administration of these survival factors would maintain cones and central vision in most patients suffering from RP.

  10. Prospecting gene therapy of implant infections.

    PubMed

    Costerton, William J; Montanaro, Lucio; Balaban, Naomi; Arciola, Carla Renata

    2009-09-01

    Infection still represents one of the most serious and ravaging complications associated with prosthetic devices. Staphylococci and enterococci, the bacteria most frequently responsible for orthopedic postsurgical and implant-related infections, express clinically relevant antibiotic resistance. The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the slow progress in identifying new classes of antimicrobial agents have encouraged research into novel therapeutic strategies. The adoption of antisense or "antigene" molecules able to silence or knock-out bacterial genes responsible for their virulence is one possible innovative approach. Peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) are potential drug candidates for gene therapy in infections, by silencing a basic gene of bacterial growth or by tackling the antibiotic resistance or virulence factors of a pathogen. An efficacious contrast to bacterial genes should be set up in the first stages of infection in order to prevent colonization of periprosthesis tissues. Genes encoding bacterial factors for adhesion and colonization (biofilm and/or adhesins) would be the best candidates for gene therapy. But after initial enthusiasm for direct antisense knock-out or silencing of essential or virulence bacterial genes, difficulties have emerged; consequently, new approaches are now being attempted. One of these, interference with the regulating system of virulence factors, such as agr, appears particularly promising.

  11. Gene Therapy and Wound Healing

    PubMed Central

    Eming, Sabine A.; Krieg, Thomas; Davidson, Jeffrey M

    2007-01-01

    Wound repair involves the sequential interaction of various cell types, extracellular matrix molecules, and soluble mediators. During the past 10 years, much new information on signals controlling wound cell behavior has emerged. This knowledge has led to a number of novel_therapeutic strategies. In particular, the local delivery of pluripotent growth factor molecules to the injured tissue has been intensively investigated over the past decade. Limited success of clinical trails indicates that a crucial aspect of the growth factor wound-healing strategy is the effective delivery of these polypeptides to the wound site. A molecular approach in which genetically modified cells synthesize and deliver the desired growth factor in regulated fashion has been used to overcome the limitations associated with the (topical) application of recombinant growth factor proteins. We have summarized the molecular and cellular basis of repair mechanisms and their failure, and we give an overview of techniques and studies applied to gene transfer in tissue repair. PMID:17276205

  12. Contributions of Gene Marking to Cell and Gene Therapies

    PubMed Central

    Barese, Cecilia N.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The first human genetic modification studies used replication-incompetent integrating vector vectors to introduce marker genes into T lymphocytes and subsequently into hematopoietic stem cells. Such studies have provided numerous insights into the biology of hematopoiesis and immune reconstitution and contributed to clinical development of gene and cell therapies. Tracking of hematopoietic reconstitution and analysis of the origin of residual malignant disease after hematopoietic transplantation has been possible via gene marking. Introduction of selectable marker genes has enabled preselection of specific T-cell populations for tumor and viral immunotherapy and reduced the threat of graft-versus-host disease, improving the survival of patients after allogeneic marrow transplantation. Marking studies in humans, murine xenografts, and large animals have helped optimize conditions for gene transfer into CD34+ hematopoietic progenitors, contributing to the achievement of gene transfer efficiencies sufficient for clinical benefit in several serious genetic diseases such as X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency and adrenoleukodystropy. When adverse events linked to insertional mutagenesis arose in clinical gene therapy trials for inherited immunodeficiencies, additional animal studies using gene-marking vectors have greatly increased our understanding of genotoxicity. The knowledge gained from these studies is being translated into new vector designs and clinical protocols, which we hope will continue to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and safety of these promising therapeutic approaches. PMID:21261461

  13. Contributions of gene marking to cell and gene therapies.

    PubMed

    Barese, Cecilia N; Dunbar, Cynthia E

    2011-06-01

    The first human genetic modification studies used replication-incompetent integrating vector vectors to introduce marker genes into T lymphocytes and subsequently into hematopoietic stem cells. Such studies have provided numerous insights into the biology of hematopoiesis and immune reconstitution and contributed to clinical development of gene and cell therapies. Tracking of hematopoietic reconstitution and analysis of the origin of residual malignant disease after hematopoietic transplantation has been possible via gene marking. Introduction of selectable marker genes has enabled preselection of specific T-cell populations for tumor and viral immunotherapy and reduced the threat of graft-versus-host disease, improving the survival of patients after allogeneic marrow transplantation. Marking studies in humans, murine xenografts, and large animals have helped optimize conditions for gene transfer into CD34(+) hematopoietic progenitors, contributing to the achievement of gene transfer efficiencies sufficient for clinical benefit in several serious genetic diseases such as X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency and adrenoleukodystrophy. When adverse events linked to insertional mutagenesis arose in clinical gene therapy trials for inherited immunodeficiencies, additional animal studies using gene-marking vectors have greatly increased our understanding of genotoxicity. The knowledge gained from these studies is being translated into new vector designs and clinical protocols, which we hope will continue to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and safety of these promising therapeutic approaches.

  14. Gene therapy for hemoglobinopathies: progress and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Alisa; Rivella, Stefano; Breda, Laura

    2013-01-01

    Hemoglobinopathies are genetic inherited conditions that originate from the lack or malfunction of the hemoglobin (Hb) protein. Sickle cell disease (SCD) and thalassemia are the most common forms of these conditions. The severe anemia combined with complications that arise in the most affected patients raises the necessity for a cure to restore hemoglobin function. The current routine therapies for these conditions, namely transfusion and iron chelation, have significantly improved the quality of life in patients over the years, but still fail to address the underlying cause of the diseases. A curative option, allogeneic bone marrow transplantation is available, but limited by the availability of suitable donors and graft-vs-host disease. Gene therapy offers an alternative approach to cure patients with hemoglobinopathies and aims at the direct recovery of the hemoglobin function via globin gene transfer. In the last 2 decades, gene transfer tools based on lentiviral vector development have been significantly improved and proven curative in several animal models for SCD and thalassemia. As a result, clinical trials are in progress and 1 patient has been successfully treated with this approach. However, there are still frontiers to explore that might improve this approach: the stoichiometry between the transgenic hemoglobin and endogenous hemoglobin with respect to the different globin genetic mutations; donor cell sourcing, such as the use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs); and the use of safer gene insertion methods to prevent oncogenesis. With this review we will provide insights about (1) the different lentiviral gene therapy approaches in mouse models and human cells; (2) current and planned clinical trials; (3) hurdles to overcome for clinical trials, such as myeloablation toxicity, insertional oncogenesis, and high vector expression; and (4) future perspectives for gene therapy, including safe harbors and iPSCs technology. PMID:23337292

  15. Targeting gene therapy to cancer: a review.

    PubMed

    Dachs, G U; Dougherty, G J; Stratford, I J; Chaplin, D J

    1997-01-01

    In recent years the idea of using gene therapy as a modality in the treatment of diseases other than genetically inherited, monogenic disorders has taken root. This is particularly obvious in the field of oncology where currently more than 100 clinical trials have been approved worldwide. This report will summarize some of the exciting progress that has recently been made with respect to both targeting the delivery of potentially therapeutic genes to tumor sites and regulating their expression within the tumor microenvironment. In order to specifically target malignant cells while at the same time sparing normal tissue, cancer gene therapy will need to combine highly selective gene delivery with highly specific gene expression, specific gene product activity, and, possibly, specific drug activation. Although the efficient delivery of DNA to tumor sites remains a formidable task, progress has been made in recent years using both viral (retrovirus, adenovirus, adeno-associated virus) and nonviral (liposomes, gene gun, injection) methods. In this report emphasis will be placed on targeted rather than high-efficiency delivery, although those would need to be combined in the future for effective therapy. To date delivery has been targeted to tumor-specific and tissue-specific antigens, such as epithelial growth factor receptor, c-kit receptor, and folate receptor, and these will be described in some detail. To increase specificity and safety of gene therapy further, the expression of the therapeutic gene needs to be tightly controlled within the target tissue. Targeted gene expression has been analyzed using tissue-specific promoters (breast-, prostate-, and melanoma-specific promoters) and disease-specific promoters (carcinoembryonic antigen, HER-2/neu, Myc-Max response elements, DF3/MUC). Alternatively, expression could be regulated externally with the use of radiation-induced promoters or tetracycline-responsive elements. Another novel possibility that will be

  16. [Application of gene therapy to oncologic ophthalmology].

    PubMed

    Philiponnet, A; Grange, J-D; Baggetto, L G

    2014-02-01

    Since the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953 by Watson and Crick, our understanding of the genetic causes and the regulations involved in tumor development have hugely increased. The important amount of research developed since then has led to the development of gene therapy, which specifically targets and treats cancer cells by interacting with, and correcting their genetic material. This study is a review of the most accomplished research using gene therapy aimed at treating malignant ophthalmologic diseases, and focuses more specifically on uveal melanoma and retinoblastoma. Such approaches are remarkable regarding the efficiency and the cellular targeting specificity. However, gene therapy-based treatments are so recent that many long-term interrogations subsist. The majority of the reviewed studies are conducted in vitro or in murine models, thereby requiring several years before the resulting therapies become part of the daily ophthalmologists' arsenal. However, the recent spectacular developments based on advanced scientific knowledge justify an up-to-date review that would benefit the ophthalmologist community.

  17. Modifier genes as therapeutics: the nuclear hormone receptor Rev Erb alpha (Nr1d1) rescues Nr2e3 associated retinal disease.

    PubMed

    Cruz, Nelly M; Yuan, Yang; Leehy, Barrett D; Baid, Rinku; Kompella, Uday; DeAngelis, Margaret M; Escher, Pascal; Haider, Neena B

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear hormone receptors play a major role in many important biological processes. Most nuclear hormone receptors are ubiquitously expressed and regulate processes such as metabolism, circadian function, and development. They function in these processes to maintain homeostasis through modulation of transcriptional gene networks. In this study we evaluate the effectiveness of a nuclear hormone receptor gene to modulate retinal degeneration and restore the integrity of the retina. Currently, there are no effective treatment options for retinal degenerative diseases leading to progressive and irreversible blindness. In this study we demonstrate that the nuclear hormone receptor gene Nr1d1 (Rev-Erbα) rescues Nr2e3-associated retinal degeneration in the rd7 mouse, which lacks a functional Nr2e3 gene. Mutations in human NR2E3 are associated with several retinal degenerations including enhanced S cone syndrome and retinitis pigmentosa. The rd7 mouse, lacking Nr2e3, exhibits an increase in S cones and slow, progressive retinal degeneration. A traditional genetic mapping approach previously identified candidate modifier loci. Here, we demonstrate that in vivo delivery of the candidate modifier gene, Nr1d1 rescues Nr2e3 associated retinal degeneration. We observed clinical, histological, functional, and molecular restoration of the rd7 retina. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the mechanism of rescue at the molecular and functional level is through the re-regulation of key genes within the Nr2e3-directed transcriptional network. Together, these findings reveal the potency of nuclear receptors as modulators of disease and specifically of NR1D1 as a novel therapeutic for retinal degenerations.

  18. Gene Tests May Improve Therapy for Endometrial Cancer

    MedlinePlus

    ... External link, please review our exit disclaimer . Subscribe Gene Tests May Improve Therapy for Endometrial Cancer By analyzing genes in hundreds of endometrial tumors, scientists identified details ...

  19. Deployment of a retinal determination gene network drives directed cell migration in the sea urchin embryo

    PubMed Central

    Martik, Megan L; McClay, David R

    2015-01-01

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) provide a systems-level orchestration of an organism's genome encoded anatomy. As biological networks are revealed, they continue to answer many questions including knowledge of how GRNs control morphogenetic movements and how GRNs evolve. The migration of the small micromeres to the coelomic pouches in the sea urchin embryo provides an exceptional model for understanding the genomic regulatory control of morphogenesis. An assay using the robust homing potential of these cells reveals a ‘coherent feed-forward’ transcriptional subcircuit composed of Pax6, Six3, Six1/2, Eya, and Dach1 that is responsible for the directed homing mechanism of these multipotent progenitors. The linkages of that circuit are strikingly similar to a circuit involved in retinal specification in Drosophila suggesting that systems-level tasks can be highly conserved even though the tasks drive unrelated processes in different animals. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.08827.001 PMID:26402456

  20. Intra-retinal variation of opsin gene expression in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Rennison, Diana J; Owens, Gregory L; Allison, W Ted; Taylor, John S

    2011-10-01

    Although behavioural experiments demonstrate that colouration influences mate choice in many species, a complete understanding of this form of signalling requires information about colour vision in the species under investigation. The guppy (Poecilia reticulata) has become a model species for the study of colour-based sexual selection. To investigate the role of opsin gene duplication and divergence in the evolution of colour-based mate choice, we used in situ hybridization to determine where the guppy's nine cone opsins are expressed in the retina. Long wavelength-sensitive (LWS) opsins were more abundant in the dorsal retina than in the ventral retina. One of the middle wavelength-sensitive opsins (RH2-1) exhibited the opposite pattern, while the other middle wavelength-sensitive opsin (RH2-2) and the short wavelength-sensitive opsins (SWS1, SWS2A and SWS2B) were expressed throughout the retina. We also found variation in LWS opsin expression among individuals. These observations suggest that regions of the guppy retina are specialized with respect to wavelength discrimination and/or sensitivity. Intra-retinal variability in opsin expression, which has been observed in several fish species, might be an adaptation to variation in the strength and spectral composition of light entering the eye from above and below. The discovery that opsin expression varies in the guppy retina may motivate new behavioural experiments designed to study its role in mate choice.

  1. Newer gene editing technologies toward HIV gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Manjunath, N; Yi, Guohua; Dang, Ying; Shankar, Premlata

    2013-11-01

    Despite the great success of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in ameliorating the course of HIV infection, alternative therapeutic approaches are being pursued because of practical problems associated with life-long therapy. The eradication of HIV in the so-called "Berlin patient" who received a bone marrow transplant from a CCR5-negative donor has rekindled interest in genome engineering strategies to achieve the same effect. Precise gene editing within the cells is now a realistic possibility with recent advances in understanding the DNA repair mechanisms, DNA interaction with transcription factors and bacterial defense mechanisms. Within the past few years, four novel technologies have emerged that can be engineered for recognition of specific DNA target sequences to enable site-specific gene editing: Homing Endonuclease, ZFN, TALEN, and CRISPR/Cas9 system. The most recent CRISPR/Cas9 system uses a short stretch of complementary RNA bound to Cas9 nuclease to recognize and cleave target DNA, as opposed to the previous technologies that use DNA binding motifs of either zinc finger proteins or transcription activator-like effector molecules fused to an endonuclease to mediate sequence-specific DNA cleavage. Unlike RNA interference, which requires the continued presence of effector moieties to maintain gene silencing, the newer technologies allow permanent disruption of the targeted gene after a single treatment. Here, we review the applications, limitations and future prospects of novel gene-editing strategies for use as HIV therapy.

  2. Noninvasive Tracking of Gene Transcript and Neuroprotection after Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Jiaqian; Chen, Y. Iris; Liu, Christina H.; Chen, Po-Chih; Prentice, Howard; Wu, Jang-Yen; Liu, Philip K.

    2015-01-01

    Gene therapy holds exceptional potential for translational medicine by improving the products of defective genes in diseases and/or providing necessary biologics from endogenous sources during recovery processes. However, validating methods for the delivery, distribution and expression of the exogenous genes from such therapy can generally not be applicable to monitor effects over the long term because they are invasive. We report here that human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (hG-CSF) cDNA encoded in scAAV-type 2 adeno-associated virus, as delivered through eye drops at multiple time points after cerebral ischemia using bilateral carotid occlusion for 60 min (BCAO-60) led to significant reduction in mortality rates, cerebral atrophy, and neurological deficits in C57black6 mice. Most importantly, we validated hG-CSF cDNA expression using translatable magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in living brains. This noninvasive approach for monitoring exogenous gene expression in the brains has potential for great impact in the area of experimental gene therapy in animal models of heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s dementia, Parkinson’s disorder and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and the translation of such techniques to emergency medicine. PMID:26207935

  3. Newer Gene Editing Technologies toward HIV Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Manjunath, N.; Yi, Guohua; Dang, Ying; Shankar, Premlata

    2013-01-01

    Despite the great success of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in ameliorating the course of HIV infection, alternative therapeutic approaches are being pursued because of practical problems associated with life-long therapy. The eradication of HIV in the so-called “Berlin patient” who received a bone marrow transplant from a CCR5-negative donor has rekindled interest in genome engineering strategies to achieve the same effect. Precise gene editing within the cells is now a realistic possibility with recent advances in understanding the DNA repair mechanisms, DNA interaction with transcription factors and bacterial defense mechanisms. Within the past few years, four novel technologies have emerged that can be engineered for recognition of specific DNA target sequences to enable site-specific gene editing: Homing Endonuclease, ZFN, TALEN, and CRISPR/Cas9 system. The most recent CRISPR/Cas9 system uses a short stretch of complementary RNA bound to Cas9 nuclease to recognize and cleave target DNA, as opposed to the previous technologies that use DNA binding motifs of either zinc finger proteins or transcription activator-like effector molecules fused to an endonuclease to mediate sequence-specific DNA cleavage. Unlike RNA interference, which requires the continued presence of effector moieties to maintain gene silencing, the newer technologies allow permanent disruption of the targeted gene after a single treatment. Here, we review the applications, limitations and future prospects of novel gene-editing strategies for use as HIV therapy. PMID:24284874

  4. A novel platform for minimally invasive delivery of cellular therapy as a thin layer across the subretina for treatment of retinal degeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rotenstreich, Ygal; Tzameret, Adi; Kalish, Sapir E.; Belkin, Michael; Meir, Amilia; Treves, Avraham J.; Nagler, Arnon; Sher, Ifat

    2015-03-01

    Incurable retinal degenerations affect millions worldwide. Stem cell transplantation rescued visual functions in animal models of retinal degeneration. In those studies cells were transplanted in subretinal "blebs", limited number of cells could be injected and photoreceptor rescue was restricted to areas in proximity to the injection sites. We developed a minimally-invasive surgical platform for drug and cell delivery in a thin layer across the subretina and extravascular spaces of the choroid. The novel system is comprised of a syringe with a blunt-tipped needle and an adjustable separator. Human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBM-MSCs) were transplanted in eyes of RCS rats and NZW rabbits through a longitudinal triangular scleral incision. No immunosuppressants were used. Retinal function was determined by electroretinogram analysis and retinal structure was determined by histological analysis and OCT. Transplanted cells were identified as a thin layer across the subretina and extravascular spaces of the choroid. In RCS rats, cell transplantation delayed photoreceptor degeneration across the entire retina and significantly enhanced retinal functions. No retinal detachment or choroidal hemorrhages were observed in rabbits following transplantation. This novel platform opens a new avenue for drug and cell delivery, placing the transplanted cells in close proximity to the damaged RPE and retina as a thin layer, across the subretina and thereby slowing down cell death and photoreceptor degeneration, without retinal detachment or choroidal hemorrhage. This new transplantation system may increase the therapeutic effect of other cell-based therapies and therapeutic agents. This study is expected to directly lead to phase I/II clinical trials for autologous hBM-MSCs transplantation in retinal degeneration patients.

  5. The search for mutations in the gene for the beta subunit of the cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDEB) in patients with autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa

    SciTech Connect

    Riess, O.; Weber, B.; Hayden, M.R. ); Noerremoelle, A. ); Musarella, M.A. )

    1992-10-01

    The finding of a mutation in the beta subunit of the cyclic GMP (cGMP) phosphodiesterase gene causing retinal degeneration in mice (the Pdeb gene) prompted a search for disease-causing mutations in the human phosphodiesterase gene (PDEB gene) in patients with retinitis pigmentosa. All 22 exons including 196 bp of the 5[prime] region of the PDEB gene have been assessed for mutations by using single-strand conformational polymorphism analysis in 14 patients from 13 unrelated families with autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (ARRP). No disease-causing mutations were found in this group of affected individuals of seven different ancestries. However, a frequent intronic and two exonic polymorphisms (Leu[sup 489][yields]Gln and Gly[sup 842][yields]Gly) were identified. Segregation analysis using these polymorphic sites excludes linkage of ARRP to the PDEB gene in a family with two affected children. 43 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  6. Gene and stem cell therapy for diabetes.

    PubMed

    Calne, Roy Y; Ghoneim, Mohamed A; Lee, K O; Uin, Gan Shu

    2013-01-01

    Gene and stem cell therapy has been on the scientific agenda in many laboratories for more than 20 years. The literature is enormous, but practical applications have been few. Recently advances in stem cell biology and gene therapy are clarifying some of the issues. I have made a few observations concerning our own studies on bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells cultured to produce a small percentage of insulin-producing cells and human insulin gene engineered into Lenti and AA viruses. The aim of clinical application would still seem to be several years away, if all goes well. The first step will be to produce enough insulin-secreting cells to be of potential value to patients. The next crucial question will be how to persuade the cells to respond to blood glucose levels swiftly and appropriately. With both stem cell and gene therapy, another important factor will be to ensure that any positive results will continue long enough to be preferable to insulin injections. PMID:25095498

  7. [New possibilities will open up in human gene therapy].

    PubMed

    Portin, Petter

    2016-01-01

    Gene therapy is divided into somatic and germ line therapy. The latter involves reproductive cells or their stem cells, and its results are heritable. The effects of somatic gene therapy are generally restricted to a single tissue of the patient in question. Until now, all gene therapies in the world have belonged to the regime of somatic therapy, germ line therapy having been a theoretical possibility only. Very recently, however, a method has been developed which is applicable to germ line therapy as well. In addition to technical challenges, severe ethical problems are associated with germ line therapy, demanding opinion statement.

  8. Engineering HSV-1 vectors for gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Goins, William F; Huang, Shaohua; Cohen, Justus B; Glorioso, Joseph C

    2014-01-01

    Virus vectors have been employed as gene transfer vehicles for various preclinical and clinical gene therapy applications, and with the approval of Glybera (alipogene tiparvovec) as the first gene therapy product as a standard medical treatment (Yla-Herttuala, Mol Ther 20: 1831-1832, 2013), gene therapy has reached the status of being a part of standard patient care. Replication-competent herpes simplex virus (HSV) vectors that replicate specifically in actively dividing tumor cells have been used in Phase I-III human trials in patients with glioblastoma multiforme, a fatal form of brain cancer, and in malignant melanoma. In fact, T-VEC (talimogene laherparepvec, formerly known as OncoVex GM-CSF) displayed efficacy in a recent Phase III trial when compared to standard GM-CSF treatment alone (Andtbacka et al. J Clin Oncol 31: sLBA9008, 2013) and may soon become the second FDA-approved gene therapy product used in standard patient care. In addition to the replication-competent oncolytic HSV vectors like T-VEC, replication-defective HSV vectors have been employed in Phase I-II human trials and have been explored as delivery vehicles for disorders such as pain, neuropathy, and other neurodegenerative conditions. Research during the last decade on the development of HSV vectors has resulted in the engineering of recombinant vectors that are totally replication defective, nontoxic, and capable of long-term transgene expression in neurons. This chapter describes methods for the construction of recombinant genomic HSV vectors based on the HSV-1 replication-defective vector backbones, steps in their purification, and their small-scale production for use in cell culture experiments as well as preclinical animal studies.

  9. Choice of Cell Source in Cell-Based Therapies for Retinal Damage due to Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Review.

    PubMed

    John, Sudhakar; Natarajan, Sundaram; Parikumar, Periyasamy; Shanmugam P, Mahesh; Senthilkumar, Rajappa; Green, David William; Abraham, Samuel J K

    2013-01-01

    Background. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex disorder that affects primarily the macula involving the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) but also to a certain extent the photoreceptor layer and the retinal neurons. Cell transplantation is a promising option for AMD and clinical trials are underway using different cell types. Methods. We hypothesize that instead of focusing on a particular cell source for concurrent regeneration of all the retinal layers and also to prevent exhaustive research on an array of cell sources for regeneration of each layer, the choice should depend on, precisely, which layer is damaged. Results. Thus, for a damage limited to the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) layer, the choice we suggest would be RPE cells. When the damage extends to rods and cones, the choice would be bone marrow stem cells and when retinal neurons are involved, relatively immature stem cell populations with an inherent capacity to yield neuronal lineage such as hematopoietic stem cells, embryonic stem cells, or induced pluripotent stem cells can be tried. Conclusion. This short review will prove to be a valuable guideline for those working on cell therapy for AMD to plan their future directions of research and therapy for this condition.

  10. Halting progressive neurodegeneration in advanced retinitis pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Koch, Susanne F.; Tsai, Yi-Ting; Duong, Jimmy K.; Wu, Wen-Hsuan; Hsu, Chun-Wei; Wu, Wei-Pu; Bonet-Ponce, Luis; Lin, Chyuan-Sheng; Tsang, Stephen H.

    2015-01-01

    Hereditary retinal degenerative diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP), are characterized by the progressive loss of rod photoreceptors followed by loss of cones. While retinal gene therapy clinical trials demonstrated temporary improvement in visual function, this approach has yet to achieve sustained functional and anatomical rescue after disease onset in patients. The lack of sustained benefit could be due to insufficient transduction efficiency of viral vectors (“too little”) and/or because the disease is too advanced (“too late”) at the time therapy is initiated. Here, we tested the latter hypothesis and developed a mouse RP model that permits restoration of the mutant gene in all diseased photoreceptor cells, thereby ensuring sufficient transduction efficiency. We then treated mice at early, mid, or late disease stages. At all 3 time points, degeneration was halted and function was rescued for at least 1 year. Not only do our results demonstrate that gene therapy effectively preserves function after the onset of degeneration, our study also demonstrates that there is a broad therapeutic time window. Moreover, these results suggest that RP patients are treatable, despite most being diagnosed after substantial photoreceptor loss, and that gene therapy research must focus on improving transduction efficiency to maximize clinical impact. PMID:26301813

  11. A Comparative Study of Retinal Function in Rabbits after Panretinal Selective Retina Therapy versus Conventional Panretinal Photocoagulation

    PubMed Central

    Park, Young Gun; Kang, Seungbum; Brinkmann, Ralf; Roh, Young-Jung

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. This study evaluates functional changes in electroretinographic findings after selective retina therapy (SRT) compared to panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) in rabbits. Methods. The right eyes of 12 Chinchilla rabbits received 200 laser treatment spots. The right eyes of six rabbits received SRT (SRT group), whereas the other six animals were treated using PRP on the right eye (PRP group). The eyes were investigated using full-field ERG 1 hour and 3 weeks after treatment. Histologic exam to assess the tissue response of lasers was performed on 3 weeks. Results. No significant changes in the mean ROD or CR b-wave amplitudes of the SRT lesions were evident, compared to baseline, 1 h after laser treatment (p = 0.372 and 0.278, resp.). In addition, the OPs and 30 Hz flickers of the SRT lesions were not significantly altered (p = 0.17 and 0.243, resp.). At 3 weeks, similar results were found. Comparing the two groups, the ROD b-wave amplitude was reduced in the PRP and SRT groups to 60.04 ± 4.2% and 92.32 ± 6.43% of baseline (p < 0.001). Histologically, there was no visible photoreceptor alterations on week 3. Conclusions. SRT in rabbit eyes induced less functional loss than PRP in both rod-mediated retinal function and cone-mediated retinal function. In addition, SRT irradiated eyes had no functional loss compared to its control. PMID:26525905

  12. A Comparative Study of Retinal Function in Rabbits after Panretinal Selective Retina Therapy versus Conventional Panretinal Photocoagulation.

    PubMed

    Park, Young Gun; Kang, Seungbum; Brinkmann, Ralf; Roh, Young-Jung

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. This study evaluates functional changes in electroretinographic findings after selective retina therapy (SRT) compared to panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) in rabbits. Methods. The right eyes of 12 Chinchilla rabbits received 200 laser treatment spots. The right eyes of six rabbits received SRT (SRT group), whereas the other six animals were treated using PRP on the right eye (PRP group). The eyes were investigated using full-field ERG 1 hour and 3 weeks after treatment. Histologic exam to assess the tissue response of lasers was performed on 3 weeks. Results. No significant changes in the mean ROD or CR b-wave amplitudes of the SRT lesions were evident, compared to baseline, 1 h after laser treatment (p = 0.372 and 0.278, resp.). In addition, the OPs and 30 Hz flickers of the SRT lesions were not significantly altered (p = 0.17 and 0.243, resp.). At 3 weeks, similar results were found. Comparing the two groups, the ROD b-wave amplitude was reduced in the PRP and SRT groups to 60.04 ± 4.2% and 92.32 ± 6.43% of baseline (p < 0.001). Histologically, there was no visible photoreceptor alterations on week 3. Conclusions. SRT in rabbit eyes induced less functional loss than PRP in both rod-mediated retinal function and cone-mediated retinal function. In addition, SRT irradiated eyes had no functional loss compared to its control. PMID:26525905

  13. A non-stop S-antigen gene mutation is associated with late onset hereditary retinal degeneration in dogs

    PubMed Central

    Jordan, Julie Ann; Aguirre, Gustavo D.; Acland, Gregory M.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose To identify the causative mutation of canine progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) segregating as an adult onset autosomal recessive disorder in the Basenji breed of dog. Methods Basenji dogs were ascertained for the PRA phenotype by clinical ophthalmoscopic examination. Blood samples from six affected cases and three nonaffected controls were collected, and DNA extraction was used for a genome-wide association study using the canine HD Illumina single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array and PLINK. Positional candidate genes identified within the peak association signal region were evaluated. Results The highest -Log10(P) value of 4.65 was obtained for 12 single nucleotide polymorphisms on three chromosomes. Homozygosity and linkage disequilibrium analyses favored one chromosome, CFA25, and screening of the S-antigen (SAG) gene identified a non-stop mutation (c.1216T>C), which would result in the addition of 25 amino acids (p.*405Rext*25). Conclusions Identification of this non-stop SAG mutation in dogs affected with retinal degeneration establishes this canine disease as orthologous to Oguchi disease and SAG-associated retinitis pigmentosa in humans, and offers opportunities for genetic therapeutic intervention. PMID:24019744

  14. Targeting tumor suppressor genes for cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yunhua; Hu, Xiaoxiao; Han, Cecil; Wang, Liana; Zhang, Xinna; He, Xiaoming; Lu, Xiongbin

    2015-12-01

    Cancer drugs are broadly classified into two categories: cytotoxic chemotherapies and targeted therapies that specifically modulate the activity of one or more proteins involved in cancer. Major advances have been achieved in targeted cancer therapies in the past few decades, which is ascribed to the increasing understanding of molecular mechanisms for cancer initiation and progression. Consequently, monoclonal antibodies and small molecules have been developed to interfere with a specific molecular oncogenic target. Targeting gain-of-function mutations, in general, has been productive. However, it has been a major challenge to use standard pharmacologic approaches to target loss-of-function mutations of tumor suppressor genes. Novel approaches, including synthetic lethality and collateral vulnerability screens, are now being developed to target gene defects in p53, PTEN, and BRCA1/2. Here, we review and summarize the recent findings in cancer genomics, drug development, and molecular cancer biology, which show promise in targeting tumor suppressors in cancer therapeutics.

  15. Gene therapy for peripheral nervous system diseases.

    PubMed

    Federici, Thais; Boulis, Nicholas

    2007-08-01

    Peripheral nerve diseases, also known as peripheral neuropathies, affect 15-20 million of Americans and diabetic neuropathy is the most common condition. Currently, the treatment of peripheral neuropathies is more focused on managing pain rather than providing permissive conditions for regeneration. Despite advances in microsurgical techniques, including nerve grafting and reanastomosis, axonal regeneration after peripheral nerve injury remains suboptimal. Also, no satisfactory treatments are available at this time for peripheral neurodegeneration occurring in motor neuron diseases (MND), including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Peripheral nerves have the inherent capacity of regeneration. Gene therapy strategies focused on neuroprotection may help optimizing axonal regrowth. A better understanding of the cellular and molecular events involved in axonal degeneration and regeneration have helped researchers to identify targets for intervention. This review summarizes the current state on the clinical experience as well as gene therapy strategies for peripheral neuropathies, including MND, peripheral nerve injury, neuropathic pain, and diabetic neuropathy.

  16. Targeted Gene Therapy of Cancer: Second Amendment toward Holistic Therapy.

    PubMed

    Barar, Jaleh; Omidi, Yadollah

    2013-01-01

    It seems solid tumors are developing smart organs with specialized cells creating specified bio-territory, the so called "tumor microenvironment (TME)", in which there is reciprocal crosstalk among cancer cells, immune system cells and stromal cells. TME as an intricate milieu also consists of cancer stem cells (CSCs) that can resist against chemotherapies. In solid tumors, metabolism and vascularization appears to be aberrant and tumor interstitial fluid (TIF) functions as physiologic barrier. Thus, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and gene therapy often fail to provide cogent clinical outcomes. It looms that it is the time to accept the fact that initiation of cancer could be generation of another form of life that involves a cluster of thousands of genes, while we have failed to observe all aspects of it. Hence, the current treatment modalities need to be re-visited to cover all key aspects of disease using combination therapy based on the condition of patients. Perhaps personalized cluster of genes need to be simultaneously targeted.

  17. Gene therapy approaches for spinal cord injury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bright, Corinne

    As the biomedical engineering field expands, combination technologies are demonstrating enormous potential for treating human disease. In particular, intersections between the rapidly developing fields of gene therapy and tissue engineering hold promise to achieve tissue regeneration. Nonviral gene therapy uses plasmid DNA to deliver therapeutic proteins in vivo for extended periods of time. Tissue engineering employs biomedical materials, such as polymers, to support the regrowth of injured tissue. In this thesis, a combination strategy to deliver genes and drugs in a polymeric scaffold was applied to a spinal cord injury model. In order to develop a platform technology to treat spinal cord injury, several nonviral gene delivery systems and polymeric scaffolds were evaluated in vitro and in vivo. Nonviral vector trafficking was evaluated in primary neuronal culture to develop an understanding of the barriers to gene transfer in neurons and their supporting glia. Although the most efficient gene carrier in vitro differed from the optimal gene carrier in vivo, confocal and electron microscopy of these nonviral vectors provided insights into the interaction of these vectors with the nucleus. A novel pathway for delivering nanoparticles into the nuclei of neurons and Schwann cells via vesicle trafficking was observed in this study. Reporter gene expression levels were evaluated after direct and remote delivery to the spinal cord, and the optimal nonviral vector, dose, and delivery strategy were applied to deliver the gene encoding the basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) to the spinal cord. An injectable and biocompatible gel, composed of the amphiphillic polymer poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(epsilon-caprolactone)-poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG-PCL-PEG) was evaluated as a drug and gene delivery system in vitro, and combined with the optimized nonviral gene delivery system to treat spinal cord injury. Plasmid DNA encoding the bFGF gene and the therapeutic NEP1--40 peptide

  18. Progressive outer retinal necrosis-like retinitis in immunocompetent hosts.

    PubMed

    Chawla, Rohan; Tripathy, Koushik; Gogia, Varun; Venkatesh, Pradeep

    2016-01-01

    We describe two young immunocompetent women presenting with bilateral retinitis with outer retinal necrosis involving posterior pole with centrifugal spread and multifocal lesions simulating progressive outer retinal necrosis (PORN) like retinitis. Serology was negative for HIV and CD4 counts were normal; however, both women were on oral steroids at presentation for suspected autoimmune chorioretinitis. The retinitis in both eyes responded well to oral valaciclovir therapy. However, the eye with the more fulminant involvement developed retinal detachment with a loss of vision. Retinal atrophy was seen in the less involved eye with preservation of vision. Through these cases, we aim to describe a unique evolution of PORN-like retinitis in immunocompetent women, which was probably aggravated by a short-term immunosuppression secondary to oral steroids. PMID:27511757

  19. Progressive outer retinal necrosis-like retinitis in immunocompetent hosts.

    PubMed

    Chawla, Rohan; Tripathy, Koushik; Gogia, Varun; Venkatesh, Pradeep

    2016-08-10

    We describe two young immunocompetent women presenting with bilateral retinitis with outer retinal necrosis involving posterior pole with centrifugal spread and multifocal lesions simulating progressive outer retinal necrosis (PORN) like retinitis. Serology was negative for HIV and CD4 counts were normal; however, both women were on oral steroids at presentation for suspected autoimmune chorioretinitis. The retinitis in both eyes responded well to oral valaciclovir therapy. However, the eye with the more fulminant involvement developed retinal detachment with a loss of vision. Retinal atrophy was seen in the less involved eye with preservation of vision. Through these cases, we aim to describe a unique evolution of PORN-like retinitis in immunocompetent women, which was probably aggravated by a short-term immunosuppression secondary to oral steroids.

  20. Temporal retinal transcriptome and systems biology analysis identifies key pathways and hub genes in Staphylococcus aureus endophthalmitis

    PubMed Central

    Rajamani, Deepa; Singh, Pawan Kumar; Rottmann, Bruce G.; Singh, Natasha; Bhasin, Manoj K.; Kumar, Ashok

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial endophthalmitis remains a devastating inflammatory condition associated with permanent vision loss. Hence, assessing the host response in this disease may provide new targets for intervention. Using a mouse model of Staphylococcus aureus (SA) endophthalmitis and performing retinal transcriptome analysis, we discovered progressive changes in the expression of 1,234 genes. Gene ontology (GO) and pathway analyses revealed the major pathways impacted in endophthalmitis includes: metabolism, inflammatory/immune, antimicrobial, cell trafficking, and lipid biosynthesis. Among the immune/inflammation pathways, JAK/Stat and IL-17A signaling were the most significantly affected. Interactive network-based analyses identified 13 focus hub genes (IL-6, IL-1β, CXCL2, STAT3, NUPR1, Jun, CSF1, CYR61, CEBPB, IGF-1, EGFR1, SPP1, and TGM2) within these important pathways. The expression of hub genes confirmed by qRT-PCR, ELISA (IL-6, IL-1β, and CXCL2), and Western blot or immunostaining (CEBP, STAT3, NUPR1, and IGF1) showed strong correlation with transcriptome data. Since TLR2 plays an important role in SA endophthalmitis, counter regulation analysis of TLR2 ligand pretreated retina or the use of retinas from TLR2 knockout mice showed the down-regulation of inflammatory regulatory genes. Collectively, our study provides, for the first time, a comprehensive analysis of the transcriptomic response and identifies key pathways regulating retinal innate responses in staphylococcal endophthalmitis. PMID:26865111

  1. AAV-mediated RLBP1 gene therapy improves the rate of dark adaptation in Rlbp1 knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Choi, Vivian W; Bigelow, Chad E; McGee, Terri L; Gujar, Akshata N; Li, Hui; Hanks, Shawn M; Vrouvlianis, Joanna; Maker, Michael; Leehy, Barrett; Zhang, Yiqin; Aranda, Jorge; Bounoutas, George; Demirs, John T; Yang, Junzheng; Ornberg, Richard; Wang, Yu; Martin, Wendy; Stout, Kelly R; Argentieri, Gregory; Grosenstein, Paul; Diaz, Danielle; Turner, Oliver; Jaffee, Bruce D; Police, Seshidhar R; Dryja, Thaddeus P

    2015-01-01

    Recessive mutations in RLBP1 cause a form of retinitis pigmentosa in which the retina, before its degeneration leads to blindness, abnormally slowly recovers sensitivity after exposure to light. To develop a potential gene therapy for this condition, we tested multiple recombinant adeno-associated vectors (rAAVs) composed of different promoters, capsid serotypes, and genome conformations. We generated rAAVs in which sequences from the promoters of the human RLBP1, RPE65, or BEST1 genes drove the expression of a reporter gene (green fluorescent protein). A promoter derived from the RLBP1 gene mediated expression in the retinal pigment epithelium and Müller cells (the intended target cell types) at qualitatively higher levels than in other retinal cell types in wild-type mice and monkeys. With this promoter upstream of the coding sequence of the human RLBP1 gene, we compared the potencies of vectors with an AAV2 versus an AAV8 capsid in transducing mouse retinas, and we compared vectors with a self-complementary versus a single-stranded genome. The optimal vector (scAAV8-pRLBP1-hRLBP1) had serotype 8 capsid and a self-complementary genome. Subretinal injection of scAAV8-pRLBP1-hRLBP1 in Rlbp1 nullizygous mice improved the rate of dark adaptation based on scotopic (rod-plus-cone) and photopic (cone) electroretinograms (ERGs). The effect was still present after 1 year.

  2. AAV-mediated RLBP1 gene therapy improves the rate of dark adaptation in Rlbp1 knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Choi, Vivian W; Bigelow, Chad E; McGee, Terri L; Gujar, Akshata N; Li, Hui; Hanks, Shawn M; Vrouvlianis, Joanna; Maker, Michael; Leehy, Barrett; Zhang, Yiqin; Aranda, Jorge; Bounoutas, George; Demirs, John T; Yang, Junzheng; Ornberg, Richard; Wang, Yu; Martin, Wendy; Stout, Kelly R; Argentieri, Gregory; Grosenstein, Paul; Diaz, Danielle; Turner, Oliver; Jaffee, Bruce D; Police, Seshidhar R; Dryja, Thaddeus P

    2015-01-01

    Recessive mutations in RLBP1 cause a form of retinitis pigmentosa in which the retina, before its degeneration leads to blindness, abnormally slowly recovers sensitivity after exposure to light. To develop a potential gene therapy for this condition, we tested multiple recombinant adeno-associated vectors (rAAVs) composed of different promoters, capsid serotypes, and genome conformations. We generated rAAVs in which sequences from the promoters of the human RLBP1, RPE65, or BEST1 genes drove the expression of a reporter gene (green fluorescent protein). A promoter derived from the RLBP1 gene mediated expression in the retinal pigment epithelium and Müller cells (the intended target cell types) at qualitatively higher levels than in other retinal cell types in wild-type mice and monkeys. With this promoter upstream of the coding sequence of the human RLBP1 gene, we compared the potencies of vectors with an AAV2 versus an AAV8 capsid in transducing mouse retinas, and we compared vectors with a self-complementary versus a single-stranded genome. The optimal vector (scAAV8-pRLBP1-hRLBP1) had serotype 8 capsid and a self-complementary genome. Subretinal injection of scAAV8-pRLBP1-hRLBP1 in Rlbp1 nullizygous mice improved the rate of dark adaptation based on scotopic (rod-plus-cone) and photopic (cone) electroretinograms (ERGs). The effect was still present after 1 year. PMID:26199951

  3. AAV-mediated RLBP1 gene therapy improves the rate of dark adaptation in Rlbp1 knockout mice

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Vivian W; Bigelow, Chad E; McGee, Terri L; Gujar, Akshata N; Li, Hui; Hanks, Shawn M; Vrouvlianis, Joanna; Maker, Michael; Leehy, Barrett; Zhang, Yiqin; Aranda, Jorge; Bounoutas, George; Demirs, John T; Yang, Junzheng; Ornberg, Richard; Wang, Yu; Martin, Wendy; Stout, Kelly R; Argentieri, Gregory; Grosenstein, Paul; Diaz, Danielle; Turner, Oliver; Jaffee, Bruce D; Police, Seshidhar R; Dryja, Thaddeus P

    2015-01-01

    Recessive mutations in RLBP1 cause a form of retinitis pigmentosa in which the retina, before its degeneration leads to blindness, abnormally slowly recovers sensitivity after exposure to light. To develop a potential gene therapy for this condition, we tested multiple recombinant adeno-associated vectors (rAAVs) composed of different promoters, capsid serotypes, and genome conformations. We generated rAAVs in which sequences from the promoters of the human RLBP1, RPE65, or BEST1 genes drove the expression of a reporter gene (green fluorescent protein). A promoter derived from the RLBP1 gene mediated expression in the retinal pigment epithelium and Müller cells (the intended target cell types) at qualitatively higher levels than in other retinal cell types in wild-type mice and monkeys. With this promoter upstream of the coding sequence of the human RLBP1 gene, we compared the potencies of vectors with an AAV2 versus an AAV8 capsid in transducing mouse retinas, and we compared vectors with a self-complementary versus a single-stranded genome. The optimal vector (scAAV8-pRLBP1-hRLBP1) had serotype 8 capsid and a self-complementary genome. Subretinal injection of scAAV8-pRLBP1-hRLBP1 in Rlbp1 nullizygous mice improved the rate of dark adaptation based on scotopic (rod-plus-cone) and photopic (cone) electroretinograms (ERGs). The effect was still present after 1 year. PMID:26199951

  4. Challenges and future expectations of reversed gene therapy.

    PubMed

    He, Nongyue; Zeng, Xin; Wang, Weida; Deng, Kunlong; Pan, Yunzhi; Xiao, Li; Zhang, Jia; Li, Kai

    2011-10-01

    Gene therapy is a genetic intervention used for the prevention or treatment of diseases by targeting selected genes with specific nucleotides. The most common form of gene therapy involves the establishment of a function by transfer of functional genes or correction of mutated genes. In other situations, suppression or abolishment of a function is required in order to balance a complicated regulatory system or to deplete cellular molecules crucial for pathogen infection. The latter in fact employs an opposite strategy compared to those used in classical gene therapy, and can be defined as reversed gene therapy. This paper takes CCR5-based stem cell gene therapy as an example to discuss the challenges and future expectations of reversed gene therapy.

  5. Frontiers in Suicide Gene Therapy of Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Malecki, Marek

    2012-01-01

    The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) predict that 1,638,910 men and women will be diagnosed with cancer in the USA in 2012. Nearly 577,190 patients will die of cancer of all sites this year. Patients undergoing current systemic therapies will suffer multiple side effects from nausea to infertility. Potential parents, when diagnosed with cancer, will have to deposit oocytes or sperm prior to starting systemic radiation or chemo-therapy for the future genetic testing and in vitro fertilization, while trying to avoid risks of iatrogenic mutations in their germ cells. Otherwise, children of parents treated with systemic therapies, will be at high risk of developing genetic disorders. According to these predictions, this year will carry another, very poor therapeutic record again. The ultimate goal of cancer therapy is the complete elimination of all cancer cells, while leaving all healthy cells unharmed. One of the most promising therapeutic strategies in this regard is cancer suicide gene therapy (CSGT), which is rapidly progressing into new frontiers. The therapeutic success, in CSGT, is primarily contingent upon precision in delivery of the therapeutic transgenes to the cancer cells only. This is addressed by discovering and targeting unique or / and over-expressed biomarkers displayed on the cancer cells and cancer stem cells. Specificity of cancer therapeutic effects is further enhanced by designing the DNA constructs, which put the therapeutic genes under the control of the cancer cell specific promoters. The delivery of the suicidal genes to the cancer cells involves viral, as well as synthetic vectors, which are guided by cancer specific antibodies and ligands. The delivery options also include engineered stem cells with tropisms towards cancers. Main mechanisms inducing cancer cells’ deaths include: transgenic expression of thymidine kinases, cytosine deaminases, intracellular antibodies, telomeraseses, caspases, DNases

  6. Spectral sensitivity measurements reveal partial success in restoring missing rod function with gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Ripamonti, Caterina; Henning, G Bruce; Robbie, Scott J; Sundaram, Venki; van den Born, L Ingeborgh; Casteels, Ingele; de Ravel, Thomy J L; Moore, Anthony T; Smith, Alexander J; Bainbridge, James W; Ali, Robin R; Stockman, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Restored rod visual function after gene therapy can be established unequivocally by demonstrating that, after dark adaptation, spectral sensitivity has the shape characteristic of rods and that this shape collapses to a cone-like shape before rods have recovered after an intense bleach. We used these tests to assess retinal function in eight young adults and children with early-onset severe retinal dystrophy from Phase II of a clinical gene-therapy trial for RPE65 deficiency that involved the subretinal delivery of a recombinant adeno-associated viral vector carrying RPE65. We found substantial improvements in rod sensitivity in two participants: dark-adapted spectral sensitivity was rod-like after treatment and was cone-like before rods had recovered after a bleach. After 40 min of dark adaptation, one participant showed up to 1,000-fold sensitivity improvements 4 months after treatment and the second up to 100-fold improvements 6 months after treatment. The dark-adapted spectral sensitivities of the other six participants remained cone-like and showed little improvement in sensitivity. PMID:26605849

  7. Gene Therapy Approaches for Bone Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Franceschi, Renny T.; Yang, Shuying; Rutherford, R. Bruce; Krebsbach, Paul H.; Zhao, Ming; Wang, Dian

    2013-01-01

    Gene therapy represents a promising approach for delivering regenerative molecules to specific tissues including bone. Several laboratories have shown that virus-based BMP expression vectors can stimulate osteoblast differentiation and bone formation in vivo. Both in vivo and ex vivo transduction of cells can induce bone formation at ectopic and orthotopic sites. Adenovirus and direct DNA delivery of genes encoding regenerative molecules can heal critical-sized defects of cranial and long bones. Although osteogenic activity can be demonstrated for individual BMP vectors, substantial synergies may be achieved using combinatorial gene therapy to express complimentary osteogenic signals including specific combinations of BMPs or BMPs and transcription factors. Further control of the bone regeneration process may also be achieved through the use of inducible promoters that can be used to control the timing and magnitude of expression for a particular gene. Using these types of approaches, it should be possible to mimic natural processes of bone development and fracture repair and, in so doing, be able to precisely control both the amount and type of bone regenerated. PMID:14745239

  8. Creating a cardiac pacemaker by gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Anghel, Traian M; Pogwizd, Steven M

    2007-02-01

    While electronic cardiac pacing in its various modalities represents standard of care for treatment of symptomatic bradyarrhythmias and heart failure, it has limitations ranging from absent or rudimentary autonomic modulation to severe complications. This has prompted experimental studies to design and validate a biological pacemaker that could supplement or replace electronic pacemakers. Advances in cardiac gene therapy have resulted in a number of strategies focused on beta-adrenergic receptors as well as specific ion currents that contribute to pacemaker function. This article reviews basic pacemaker physiology, as well as studies in which gene transfer approaches to develop a biological pacemaker have been designed and validated in vivo. Additional requirements and refinements necessary for successful biopacemaker function by gene transfer are discussed. PMID:17139515

  9. Curing genetic disease with gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Williams, David A

    2014-01-01

    Development of viral vectors that allow high efficiency gene transfer into mammalian cells in the early 1980s foresaw the treatment of severe monogenic diseases in humans. The application of gene transfer using viral vectors has been successful in diseases of the blood and immune systems, albeit with several curative studies also showing serious adverse events (SAEs). In children with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID-X1), chronic granulomatous disease, and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, these SAEs were caused by inappropriate activation of oncogenes. Subsequent studies have defined the vector sequences responsible for these transforming events. Members of the Transatlantic Gene Therapy Consortium [TAGTC] have collaboratively developed new vectors that have proven safer in preclinical studies and used these vectors in new clinical trials in SCID-X1. These trials have shown evidence of early efficacy and preliminary integration analysis data from the SCID-X1 trial suggest an improved safety profile.

  10. Gene therapy and medical genetics on Internet.

    PubMed

    Seemann, O; Seemann, M D; Preuss, U; Kuss, J P; Soyka, M

    1998-09-17

    In this report we consider the development of the Internet, from its origins as a military invention in the times of the cold war to its present day role, together with the World Wide Web, as a means of global communication which plays a key role in medical research and particularly in medical genetics. A few of the major genetics related research projects and gene research centers are introduced and their aims are briefly discussed. Detailed information about chromosome and gene mapping, together with sequence and structure databases, can be easily and rapidly accessed through the Internet. A variety of web-sites are briefly described and then listed at the end of the report, which will serve as a useful starting point from which the interested reader can access an almost endless source of genetics related information on the Internet. Finally, some of the ethical, legal and social implications of the links between gene therapy and the Intemet are considered.

  11. Preselective gene therapy for Fabry disease

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Gangjian; Takenaka, Toshihiro; Telsch, Kimberly; Kelley, Leslie; Howard, Tazuko; Levade, Thierry; Deans, Robert; Howard, Bruce H.; Malech, Harry L.; Brady, Roscoe O.; Medin, Jeffrey A.

    2001-01-01

    Fabry disease is a lipid storage disorder resulting from mutations in the gene encoding the enzyme α-galactosidase A (α-gal A; EC 3.2.1.22). We previously have demonstrated long-term α-gal A enzyme correction and lipid reduction mediated by therapeutic ex vivo transduction and transplantation of hematopoietic cells in a mouse model of Fabry disease. We now report marked improvement in the efficiency of this gene-therapy approach. For this study we used a novel bicistronic retroviral vector that engineers expression of both the therapeutic α-gal A gene and the human IL-2Rα chain (huCD25) gene as a selectable marker. Coexpression of huCD25 allowed selective immunoenrichment (preselection) of a variety of transduced human and murine cells, resulting in enhanced intracellular and secreted α-gal A enzyme activities. Of particular significance for clinical applicability, mobilized CD34+ peripheral blood hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells from Fabry patients have low-background huCD25 expression and could be enriched effectively after ex vivo transduction, resulting in increased α-gal A activity. We evaluated effects of preselection in the mouse model of Fabry disease. Preselection of transduced Fabry mouse bone marrow cells elevated the level of multilineage gene-corrected hematopoietic cells in the circulation of transplanted animals and improved in vivo enzymatic activity levels in plasma and organs for more than 6 months after both primary and secondary transplantation. These studies demonstrate the potential of using a huCD25-based preselection strategy to enhance the clinical utility of ex vivo hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell gene therapy of Fabry disease and other disorders. PMID:11248095

  12. [Optogenetics and prosthetic treatment of retinal degeneration].

    PubMed

    Kirpichnikov, M P; Ostrovskiy, M A

    2015-01-01

    This is a review of the current state of optogenetics-based research in the field of ophthalmology and physiology of vision. Optogenetics employs an interdisciplinary approach that amalgamates gene engineering, optics, and physiology. It involves exogenous expression of a light-activated protein in a very particular retinal cell enabling regulation (stimulation vs. inhibition) of its physiological activity. The experience with gene therapy came in very useful for optogenetics. However, unlike gene therapy, which is aimed at repairing damaged genes or replacing them with healthy ones, optogenetics is focused on protein genes delivery for further molecular control of the cell. In retina, the loss of photoreceptors is not necessarily followed by neuronal loss (at least ganglion cells remain intact), which determines the practicability of prosthetic treatment. Clinical trials can now be considered, owing to the first successful conversion of ganglion cells of mouse degenerative retinas into artificial photoreceptive cells with ON and OFF receptive fields, which is crucial for spatial vision. The following issues are reviewed here in detail: 1. Choice of cell targets within the degenerative retina. 2. Strategy of utilizing the existing light-sensitive agents and development of new optogenetic tools. 3. Gene delivery and expression in retinal cells. 4. Methods of evaluating the treatment success. 5. Selection criteria for optogenetic prosthetics. The conclusion discusses currently unsolved problems and prospects for optogenetic approaches to retinal prosthetics.

  13. Successful Gene Therapy in the RPGRIP1-deficient Dog: a Large Model of Cone–Rod Dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Lhériteau, Elsa; Petit, Lolita; Weber, Michel; Le Meur, Guylène; Deschamps, Jack-Yves; Libeau, Lyse; Mendes-Madeira, Alexandra; Guihal, Caroline; François, Achille; Guyon, Richard; Provost, Nathalie; Lemoine, Françoise; Papal, Samantha; El-Amraoui, Aziz; Colle, Marie-Anne; Moullier, Philippe; Rolling, Fabienne

    2014-01-01

    For the development of new therapies, proof-of-concept studies in large animal models that share clinical features with their human counterparts represent a pivotal step. For inherited retinal dystrophies primarily involving photoreceptor cells, the efficacy of gene therapy has been demonstrated in canine models of stationary cone dystrophies and progressive rod–cone dystrophies but not in large models of progressive cone–rod dystrophies, another important cause of blindness. To address the last issue, we evaluated gene therapy in the retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator interacting protein 1 (RPGRIP1)-deficient dog, a model exhibiting a severe cone–rod dystrophy similar to that seen in humans. Subretinal injection of AAV5 (n = 5) or AAV8 (n = 2) encoding the canine Rpgrip1 improved photoreceptor survival in transduced areas of treated retinas. Cone function was significantly and stably rescued in all treated eyes (18–72% of those recorded in normal eyes) up to 24 months postinjection. Rod function was also preserved (22–29% of baseline function) in four of the five treated dogs up to 24 months postinjection. No detectable rod function remained in untreated contralateral eyes. More importantly, treatment preserved bright- and dim-light vision. Efficacy of gene therapy in this large animal model of cone–rod dystrophy provides great promise for human treatment. PMID:24091916

  14. Successful gene therapy in the RPGRIP1-deficient dog: a large model of cone-rod dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Lhériteau, Elsa; Petit, Lolita; Weber, Michel; Le Meur, Guylène; Deschamps, Jack-Yves; Libeau, Lyse; Mendes-Madeira, Alexandra; Guihal, Caroline; François, Achille; Guyon, Richard; Provost, Nathalie; Lemoine, Françoise; Papal, Samantha; El-Amraoui, Aziz; Colle, Marie-Anne; Moullier, Philippe; Rolling, Fabienne

    2014-02-01

    For the development of new therapies, proof-of-concept studies in large animal models that share clinical features with their human counterparts represent a pivotal step. For inherited retinal dystrophies primarily involving photoreceptor cells, the efficacy of gene therapy has been demonstrated in canine models of stationary cone dystrophies and progressive rod-cone dystrophies but not in large models of progressive cone-rod dystrophies, another important cause of blindness. To address the last issue, we evaluated gene therapy in the retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator interacting protein 1 (RPGRIP1)-deficient dog, a model exhibiting a severe cone-rod dystrophy similar to that seen in humans. Subretinal injection of AAV5 (n = 5) or AAV8 (n = 2) encoding the canine Rpgrip1 improved photoreceptor survival in transduced areas of treated retinas. Cone function was significantly and stably rescued in all treated eyes (18-72% of those recorded in normal eyes) up to 24 months postinjection. Rod function was also preserved (22-29% of baseline function) in four of the five treated dogs up to 24 months postinjection. No detectable rod function remained in untreated contralateral eyes. More importantly, treatment preserved bright- and dim-light vision. Efficacy of gene therapy in this large animal model of cone-rod dystrophy provides great promise for human treatment.

  15. Saporin as a novel suicide gene in anticancer gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Zarovni, N; Vago, R; Soldà, T; Monaco, L; Fabbrini, M S

    2007-02-01

    We used a non-viral gene delivery approach to explore the potential of the plant saporin (SAP) gene as an alternative to the currently employed suicide genes in cancer therapy. Plasmids expressing cytosolic SAP were generated by placing the region encoding the mature plant ribosome-inactivating protein under the control of cytomegalovirus (CMV) or simian virus 40 (SV40) promoters. Their ability to inhibit protein synthesis was first tested in cultured tumor cells co-transfected with a luciferase reporter gene. In particular, SAP expression driven by CMV promoter (pCI-SAP) demonstrated that only 10 ng of plasmid per 1.6 x 10(4) B16 cells drastically reduced luciferase activity to 18% of that in control cells. Direct intratumoral injection of pCI-SAP complexed with either lipofectamine or N-(2,3-dioleoyloxy-1-propyl) trimethylammonium methyl sulfate (DOTAP) in B16 melanoma-bearing mice resulted in a noteworthy attenuation of tumor growth. This antitumor effect was increased in mice that received repeated intratumoral injections. A SAP catalytic inactive mutant (SAP-KQ) failed to exert any antitumor effect demonstrating that this was specifically owing to the SAP N-glycosidase activity. Our overall data strongly suggest that the gene encoding SAP, owing to its rapid and effective action and its independence from the proliferative state of target cells might become a suitable candidate suicide gene for oncologic applications. PMID:17008932

  16. Contemporary approaches for nonviral gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Jones, Charles H; Hill, Andrew; Chen, Mingfu; Pfeifer, Blaine A

    2015-06-01

    Gene therapy is the manipulation of gene expression patterns in specific cells to treat genetic and pathological diseases. This manipulation is accomplished by the controlled introduction of exogenous nucleic acids into target cells. Given the size and negative charge of these biomacromolecules, the delivery process is driven by the carrier vector, of which the usage of viral vectors dominates. Taking into account the limitations of viral vectors, nonviral alternatives have gained significant attention due to their flexible design, low cytotoxicity and immunogenicity, and their gene delivery efficacy. That stated, the field of nonviral vectors has been dominated by research dedicated to overcoming barriers in gene transfer. Unfortunately, these traditional nonviral vectors have failed to completely overcome the barriers required for clinical translation and thus, have failed to match the delivery outcomes of viral vector. This has consequently encouraged the development of new, more radical approaches that have the potential for higher clinical translation. In this review, we discuss recent advances in vector technology and nucleic acid chemistry that have challenged the current understanding of nonviral systems. The diversity of these approaches highlights the numerous alternative avenues for overcoming innate and technical barriers associated with gene delivery.

  17. The Muscular Dystrophies: From Genes to Therapies

    PubMed Central

    Porter, Neil C; Bloch, Robert J

    2015-01-01

    The genetic basis of many muscular disorders, including many of the more common muscular dystrophies, is now known. Clinically, the recent genetic advances have improved diagnostic capabilities, but they have not yet provided clues about treatment or management. Thanks to better management strategies and therapeutic interventions, however, many patients with a muscular dystrophy are more active and are living longer. Physical therapists, therefore, are more likely to see a patient with a muscular dystrophy, so understanding these muscle disorders and their management is essential. Physical therapy offers the most promise in caring for the majority of patients with these conditions, because it is unlikely that advances in gene therapy will significantly alter their clinical treatment in the near future. This perspective covers some of the basic molecular biological advances together with the clinical manifestations of the muscular dystrophies and the latest approaches to their management. PMID:16305275

  18. [Genetic basis of head and neck cancers and gene therapy].

    PubMed

    Özel, Halil Erdem; Özkırış, Mahmut; Gencer, Zeliha Kapusuz; Saydam, Levent

    2013-01-01

    Surgery and combinations of traditional treatments are not successful enough particularly for advanced stage head and neck cancer. The major disadvantages of chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the lack of specificity for the target tissue and toxicity to the patient. As a result, gene therapy may offer a more specific approach. The aim of gene therapy is to present therapeutic genes into cancer cells which selectively eliminate malignant cells with no systemic toxicity to the patient. This article reviews the genetic basis of head and neck cancers and important concepts in cancer gene therapy: (i) inhibition of oncogenes; (ii) tumor suppressor gene replacement; (iii) regulation of immune response against malignant cells; (iv) genetic prodrug activation; and (v) antiangiogenic gene therapy. Currently, gene therapy is not sufficient to replace the traditional treatments of head and neck cancers, however there is no doubt that it will have an important role in the near future.

  19. Clinical infection control in gene therapy: a multidisciplinary conference.

    PubMed

    Evans, M E; Jordan, C T; Chang, S M; Conrad, C; Gerberding, J L; Kaufman, H L; Mayhall, C G; Nolta, J A; Pilaro, A M; Sullivan, S; Weber, D J; Wivel, N A

    2000-10-01

    Gene therapy is being studied for the treatment of a variety of acquired and inherited disorders. Retroviruses, adenoviruses, poxviruses, adeno-associated viruses, herpesviruses, and others are being engineered to transfer genes into humans. Treatment protocols using recombinant viruses are being introduced into clinical settings. Infection control professionals will be involved in reviewing the safety of these agents in their clinics and hospitals. To date, only a limited number of articles have been written on infection control in gene therapy, and no widely available recommendations exist from federal or private organizations to guide infection control professionals. The goals of the conference were to provide a forum where gene therapy experts could share their perspectives and experience with infection control in gene therapy and to provide an opportunity for newcomers to the field to learn about issues specific to infection control in gene therapy. Recommendations for infection control in gene therapy were proposed.

  20. Novel endogenous glycan therapy for retinal diseases: safety, in vitro stability, ocular pharmacokinetic modeling, and biodistribution.

    PubMed

    Swaminathan, Shankar; Li, Huiling; Palamoor, Mallika; de Obarrio, Walter T Luchsinger; Madhura, Dorababu; Meibohm, Bernd; Jablonski, Monica M

    2014-03-01

    Asialo, tri-antennary oligosaccharide (NA3 glycan) is an endogenous compound, which supports proper folding of outer segment membranes, promotes normal ultrastructure, and maintains protein expression patterns of photoreceptors and Müller cells in the absence of retinal pigment epithelium support. It is a potential new therapeutic for atrophic age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other retinal degenerative disorders. Herein, we evaluate the safety, in vitro stability, ocular pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of NA3. NA3 was injected into the vitreous of New Zealand white rabbits at two concentrations viz. 1 nM (minimum effective concentration (MEC)) and 100 nM (100XMEC) at three time points. Safety was evaluated using routine clinical and laboratory tests. Ocular pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of [(3)H]NA3 were estimated using scintillation counting in various parts of the eye, multiple peripheral organs, and plasma. Pharmacokinetic parameters were estimated by non-compartmental modeling. A 2-aminobenzamide labeling and hydrophilic interaction liquid interaction chromatography were used to assess plasma and vitreous stability. NA3 was well tolerated by the eye. The concentration of NA3 in eye tissues was in the order: vitreous > retina > sclera/choroid > aqueous humor > cornea > lens. Area under the curve (0 to infinity) (AUC∞) was the highest in the vitreous thereby providing a positive concentration gradient for NA3 to reach the retina. Half-lives in critical eye tissues ranged between 40 and 60 h. NA3 concentrations were negligible in peripheral organs. Radioactivity from [(3)H]NA3 was excreted via urine and feces. NA3 was stable at 37°C in vitreous over a minimum of 6 days, while it degraded rapidly in plasma. Collectively, these results document that NA3 shows a good safety profile and favorable ocular pharmacokinetics.

  1. Identification of an Alternative Splicing Product of the Otx2 Gene Expressed in the Neural Retina and Retinal Pigmented Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Kole, Christo; Berdugo, Naomi; Da Silva, Corinne; Aït-Ali, Najate; Millet-Puel, Géraldine; Pagan, Delphine; Blond, Frédéric; Poidevin, Laetitia; Ripp, Raymond; Fontaine, Valérie; Wincker, Patrick; Zack, Donald J.; Sahel, José-Alain; Poch, Olivier; Léveillard, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    To investigate the complexity of alternative splicing in the retina, we sequenced and analyzed a total of 115,706 clones from normalized cDNA libraries from mouse neural retina (66,217) and rat retinal pigmented epithelium (49,489). Based upon clustering the cDNAs and mapping them with their respective genomes, the estimated numbers of genes were 9,134 for the mouse neural retina and 12,050 for the rat retinal pigmented epithelium libraries. This unique collection of retinal of messenger RNAs is maintained and accessible through a web-base server to the whole community of retinal biologists for further functional characterization. The analysis revealed 3,248 and 3,202 alternative splice events for mouse neural retina and rat retinal pigmented epithelium, respectively. We focused on transcription factors involved in vision. Among the six candidates suitable for functional analysis, we selected Otx2S, a novel variant of the Otx2 gene with a deletion within the homeodomain sequence. Otx2S is expressed in both the neural retina and retinal pigmented epithelium, and encodes a protein that is targeted to the nucleus. OTX2S exerts transdominant activity on the tyrosinase promoter when tested in the physiological environment of primary RPE cells. By overexpressing OTX2S in primary RPE cells using an adeno associated viral vector, we identified 10 genes whose expression is positively regulated by OTX2S. We find that OTX2S is able to bind to the chromatin at the promoter of the retinal dehydrogenase 10 (RDH10) gene. PMID:26985665

  2. Gene therapy: Into the home stretch

    SciTech Connect

    Culliton, B.J.

    1990-08-31

    Tumors cannot live without blood. Shut off the blood vessels that feed a tumor and the tumor will turn black and shrivel away. That simple idea lies behind the first attempt to cure a disease by gene therapy, expected to take place at the National Cancer Institute in the next few weeks. When it does, it will test a technique that worked like a charm in mice. When a potent natural killer called tumor necrosis factor, or TNF, is injected into the bloodstream of mice, it begins to shrink tumors within hours, sometimes even minutes. But so far, attempts to recreate that miracle in people with cancer have not fared as well. TNF has been given intravenously to more than 35 patients in experiments that were a failure. Researchers hope to deliver TNF in much larger doses directly to a tumor by packaging the gene for TNF inside special lymphocytes that have a natural affinity for cancer.

  3. Corneal Gene Therapy: Basic Science and Translational Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Mohan, Rajiv R.; Rodier, Jason T.; Sharma, Ajay

    2013-01-01

    Corneal blindness is the third leading cause of blindness worldwide. Gene therapy is an emerging technology for corneal blindness due to the accessibility and immune-privileged nature of the cornea, ease of vector administration and visual monitoring, and ability to perform frequent noninvasive corneal assessment. Vision restoration by gene therapy is contingent upon vector and mode of therapeutic gene introduction into targeted cells/tissues. Numerous efficacious vectors, delivery techniques, and approaches have evolved in last decade for developing gene-based interventions for corneal diseases. Maximizing the potential benefits of gene therapy requires efficient and sustained therapeutic gene expression in target cells, low toxicity, and a high safety profile. This review describes the basic science associated with many gene therapy vectors and the present progress of gene therapy carried out for various ocular surface disorders and diseases. PMID:23838017

  4. Identifying differentially expressed genes in the mammalian retina and the retinal pigment epithelium by suppression subtractive hybridization.

    PubMed

    Schulz, H L; Rahman, F A; Fadl El Moula, F M; Stojic, J; Gehrig, A; Weber, B H F

    2004-01-01

    Retina and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells are of neuroectodermal origin with highly specialized functions in light perception. Identification and characterization of genes differentially expressed in these cells will greatly aid our understanding of their functional roles in retinal biology. As a source enriched for gene transcripts from the retina/RPE, we generated a human retina and a bovine RPE cDNA library applying the PCR-based technique of suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH). Sequencing of 1,080 retina and 2,350 RPE SSH clones resulted in the identification of 321 and 343 non-redundant human transcripts, respectively. Of these, only 27 genes were in common between the two cDNA libraries. One transcript expressed exclusively in retina and RPE is the novel gene C4orf11 which is comprised of four exons on chromosome 4q21.2. We report the full-length cloning of two isoforms of C4orf11, 919 bp and 857 bp in length, both of which contain four identical open reading frames (ORFs). While ORFs 1 to 3 show no homologies to known proteins or protein domains, ORF4 reveals 50% sequence identity to RPE-spondin, a hypothetical protein on 8q13.3 with unknown function. We demonstrate that both the retina and the RPE SSH cDNA libraries are excellent resources for identifying known and novel genes exclusively or abundantly expressed in the retina/RPE complex. In combination with other approaches such as microarray analysis or serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE), the availability of highly sensitive and specific SSH cDNA libraries will facilitate the comprehensive description of the retina/RPE transcriptome.

  5. Cellular responses following retinal injuries and therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Cuenca, Nicolás; Fernández-Sánchez, Laura; Campello, Laura; Maneu, Victoria; De la Villa, Pedro; Lax, Pedro; Pinilla, Isabel

    2014-11-01

    Retinal neurodegenerative diseases like age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and retinitis pigmentosa each have a different etiology and pathogenesis. However, at the cellular and molecular level, the response to retinal injury is similar in all of them, and results in morphological and functional impairment of retinal cells. This retinal degeneration may be triggered by gene defects, increased intraocular pressure, high levels of blood glucose, other types of stress or aging, but they all frequently induce a set of cell signals that lead to well-established and similar morphological and functional changes, including controlled cell death and retinal remodeling. Interestingly, an inflammatory response, oxidative stress and activation of apoptotic pathways are common features in all these diseases. Furthermore, it is important to note the relevant role of glial cells, including astrocytes, Müller cells and microglia, because their response to injury is decisive for maintaining the health of the retina or its degeneration. Several therapeutic approaches have been developed to preserve retinal function or restore eyesight in pathological conditions. In this context, neuroprotective compounds, gene therapy, cell transplantation or artificial devices should be applied at the appropriate stage of retinal degeneration to obtain successful results. This review provides an overview of the common and distinctive features of retinal neurodegenerative diseases, including the molecular, anatomical and functional changes caused by the cellular response to damage, in order to establish appropriate treatments for these pathologies.

  6. Microglial phagocytosis of living photoreceptors contributes to inherited retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lian; Zabel, Matthew K; Wang, Xu; Ma, Wenxin; Shah, Parth; Fariss, Robert N; Qian, Haohua; Parkhurst, Christopher N; Gan, Wen-Biao; Wong, Wai T

    2015-07-02

    Retinitis pigmentosa, caused predominantly by mutations in photoreceptor genes, currently lacks comprehensive treatment. We discover that retinal microglia contribute non-cell autonomously to rod photoreceptor degeneration by primary phagocytosis of living rods. Using rd10 mice, we found that the initiation of rod degeneration is accompanied by early infiltration of microglia, upregulation of phagocytic molecules in microglia, and presentation of "eat-me" signals on mutated rods. On live-cell imaging, infiltrating microglia interact dynamically with photoreceptors via motile processes and engage in rapid phagocytic engulfment of non-apoptotic rods. Microglial contribution to rod demise is evidenced by morphological and functional amelioration of photoreceptor degeneration following genetic ablation of retinal microglia. Molecular inhibition of microglial phagocytosis using the vitronectin receptor antagonist cRGD also improved morphological and functional parameters of degeneration. Our findings highlight primary microglial phagocytosis as a contributing mechanism underlying cell death in retinitis pigmentosa and implicate microglia as a potential cellular target for therapy.

  7. Differential targeting of feline photoreceptors by recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors: implications for preclinical gene therapy trials.

    PubMed

    Minella, A L; Mowat, F M; Willett, K L; Sledge, D; Bartoe, J T; Bennett, J; Petersen-Jones, S M

    2014-10-01

    The cat is emerging as a promising large animal model for preclinical testing of retinal dystrophy therapies, for example, by gene therapy. However, there is a paucity of studies investigating viral vector gene transfer to the feline retina. We therefore sought to study the tropism of recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors for the feline outer retina. We delivered four rAAV serotypes: rAAV2/2, rAAV2/5, rAAV2/8 and rAAV2/9, each expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of a cytomegalovirus promoter, to the subretinal space in cats and, for comparison, mice. Cats were monitored for gene expression by in vivo imaging and cellular tropism was determined using immunohistochemistry. In cats, rAAV2/2, rAAV2/8 and rAAV2/9 vectors induced faster and stronger GFP expression than rAAV2/5 and all vectors transduced the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and photoreceptors. Unlike in mice, cone photoreceptors in the cat retina were more efficiently transduced than rod photoreceptors. In mice, rAAV2/2 only transduced the RPE whereas the other vectors also transduced rods and cones. These results highlight species differences in cellular tropism of rAAV vectors in the outer retina. We conclude that rAAV serotypes are suitable for use for retinal gene therapy in feline models, particularly when cone photoreceptors are the target cell.

  8. Gene replacement therapy for genetic hepatocellular jaundice.

    PubMed

    van Dijk, Remco; Beuers, Ulrich; Bosma, Piter J

    2015-06-01

    Jaundice results from the systemic accumulation of bilirubin, the final product of the catabolism of haem. Inherited liver disorders of bilirubin metabolism and transport can result in reduced hepatic uptake, conjugation or biliary secretion of bilirubin. In patients with Rotor syndrome, bilirubin (re)uptake is impaired due to the deficiency of two basolateral/sinusoidal hepatocellular membrane proteins, organic anion-transporting polypeptide 1B1 (OATP1B1) and OATP1B3. Dubin-Johnson syndrome is caused by a defect in the ATP-dependent canalicular transporter, multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (MRP2), which mediates the export of conjugated bilirubin into bile. Both disorders are benign and not progressive and are characterised by elevated serum levels of mainly conjugated bilirubin. Uridine diphospho-glucuronosyl transferase 1A1 (UGT1A1) is responsible for the glucuronidation of bilirubin; deficiency of this enzyme results in unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia. Gilbert syndrome is the mild and benign form of inherited unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia and is mostly caused by reduced promoter activity of the UGT1A1 gene. Crigler-Najjar syndrome is the severe inherited form of unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia due to mutations in the UGT1A1 gene, which can cause kernicterus early in life and can be even lethal when left untreated. Due to major disadvantages of the current standard treatments for Crigler-Najjar syndrome, phototherapy and liver transplantation, new effective therapeutic strategies are under development. Here, we review the clinical features, pathophysiology and genetic background of these inherited disorders of bilirubin metabolism and transport. We also discuss the upcoming treatment option of viral gene therapy for genetic disorders such as Crigler-Najjar syndrome and the possible immunological consequences of this therapy.

  9. Gene replacement therapy for genetic hepatocellular jaundice.

    PubMed

    van Dijk, Remco; Beuers, Ulrich; Bosma, Piter J

    2015-06-01

    Jaundice results from the systemic accumulation of bilirubin, the final product of the catabolism of haem. Inherited liver disorders of bilirubin metabolism and transport can result in reduced hepatic uptake, conjugation or biliary secretion of bilirubin. In patients with Rotor syndrome, bilirubin (re)uptake is impaired due to the deficiency of two basolateral/sinusoidal hepatocellular membrane proteins, organic anion-transporting polypeptide 1B1 (OATP1B1) and OATP1B3. Dubin-Johnson syndrome is caused by a defect in the ATP-dependent canalicular transporter, multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (MRP2), which mediates the export of conjugated bilirubin into bile. Both disorders are benign and not progressive and are characterised by elevated serum levels of mainly conjugated bilirubin. Uridine diphospho-glucuronosyl transferase 1A1 (UGT1A1) is responsible for the glucuronidation of bilirubin; deficiency of this enzyme results in unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia. Gilbert syndrome is the mild and benign form of inherited unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia and is mostly caused by reduced promoter activity of the UGT1A1 gene. Crigler-Najjar syndrome is the severe inherited form of unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia due to mutations in the UGT1A1 gene, which can cause kernicterus early in life and can be even lethal when left untreated. Due to major disadvantages of the current standard treatments for Crigler-Najjar syndrome, phototherapy and liver transplantation, new effective therapeutic strategies are under development. Here, we review the clinical features, pathophysiology and genetic background of these inherited disorders of bilirubin metabolism and transport. We also discuss the upcoming treatment option of viral gene therapy for genetic disorders such as Crigler-Najjar syndrome and the possible immunological consequences of this therapy. PMID:25315738

  10. Autosomal recessive posterior column ataxia with retinitis pigmentosa caused by novel mutations in the FLVCR1 gene.

    PubMed

    Shaibani, Aziz; Wong, Lee-Jun; Wei Zhang, Victor; Lewis, Richard Alan; Shinawi, Marwan

    2015-01-01

    Posterior column ataxia with retinitis pigmentosa (PCARP) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by severe sensory ataxia, muscle weakness and atrophy, and progressive pigmentary retinopathy. Recently, mutations in the FLVCR1 gene were described in four families with this condition. We investigated the molecular basis and studied the phenotype of PCARP in a new family. The proband is a 33-year-old woman presented with sensory polyneuropathy and retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The constellation of clinical findings with normal metabolic and genetic evaluation, including mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis and normal levels of phytanic acid and vitamin E, prompted us to seek other causes of our patient's condition. Sequencing of FLVCR1 in the proband and targeted mutation testing in her two affected siblings revealed two novel variants, c.1547G > A (p.R516Q) and c.1593+5_+8delGTAA predicted, respectively, to be highly conserved throughout evolution and affecting the normal splicing, therefore, deleterious. This study supports the pathogenic role of FLVCR1 in PCARP and expands the molecular and clinical spectra of PCARP. We show for the first time that nontransmembrane domain (TMD) mutations in the FLVCR1 can cause PCARP, suggesting different mechanisms for pathogenicity. Our clinical data reveal that impaired sensation can be part of the phenotypic spectrum of PCARP. This study along with previously reported cases suggests that targeted sequencing of the FLVCR1 gene should be considered in patients with severe sensory ataxia, RP, and peripheral sensory neuropathy.

  11. Progresses towards safe and efficient gene therapy vectors.

    PubMed

    Chira, Sergiu; Jackson, Carlo S; Oprea, Iulian; Ozturk, Ferhat; Pepper, Michael S; Diaconu, Iulia; Braicu, Cornelia; Raduly, Lajos-Zsolt; Calin, George A; Berindan-Neagoe, Ioana

    2015-10-13

    The emergence of genetic engineering at the beginning of the 1970's opened the era of biomedical technologies, which aims to improve human health using genetic manipulation techniques in a clinical context. Gene therapy represents an innovating and appealing strategy for treatment of human diseases, which utilizes vehicles or vectors for delivering therapeutic genes into the patients' body. However, a few past unsuccessful events that negatively marked the beginning of gene therapy resulted in the need for further studies regarding the design and biology of gene therapy vectors, so that this innovating treatment approach can successfully move from bench to bedside. In this paper, we review the major gene delivery vectors and recent improvements made in their design meant to overcome the issues that commonly arise with the use of gene therapy vectors. At the end of the manuscript, we summarized the main advantages and disadvantages of common gene therapy vectors and we discuss possible future directions for potential therapeutic vectors.

  12. Safety and effects of the vector for the Leber hereditary optic neuropathy gene therapy clinical trial.

    PubMed

    Koilkonda, Rajeshwari D; Yu, Hong; Chou, Tsung-Han; Feuer, William J; Ruggeri, Marco; Porciatti, Vittorio; Tse, David; Hauswirth, William W; Chiodo, Vince; Boye, Sanford L; Lewin, Alfred S; Neuringer, Martha; Renner, Lauren; Guy, John

    2014-04-01

    IMPORTANCE We developed a novel strategy for treatment of Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) caused by a mutation in the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase subunit IV (ND4) mitochondrial gene. OBJECTIVE To demonstrate the safety and effects of the gene therapy vector to be used in a proposed gene therapy clinical trial. DESIGN AND SETTING In a series of laboratory experiments, we modified the mitochondrial ND4 subunit of complex I in the nuclear genetic code for import into mitochondria. The protein was targeted into the organelle by agency of a targeting sequence (allotopic expression). The gene was packaged into adeno-associated viral vectors and then vitreally injected into rodent, nonhuman primate, and ex vivo human eyes that underwent testing for expression and integration by immunohistochemical analysis and blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. During serial follow-up, the animal eyes underwent fundus photography, optical coherence tomography, and multifocal or pattern electroretinography. We tested for rescue of visual loss in rodent eyes also injected with a mutant G11778A ND4 homologue responsible for most cases of LHON. EXPOSURE Ocular infection with recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors containing a wild-type allotopic human ND4 gene. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Expression of human ND4 and rescue of optic neuropathy induced by mutant human ND4. RESULTS We found human ND4 expressed in almost all mouse retinal ganglion cells by 1 week after injection and ND4 integrated into the mouse complex I. In rodent eyes also injected with a mutant allotopic ND4, wild-type allotopic ND4 prevented defective adenosine triphosphate synthesis, suppressed visual loss, reduced apoptosis of retinal ganglion cells, and prevented demise of axons in the optic nerve. Injection of ND4 in the ex vivo human eye resulted in expression in most retinal ganglion cells. Primates undergoing vitreal injection with the ND4 test article and followed up for 3

  13. The retinal renin-angiotensin system: implications for therapy in diabetic retinopathy.

    PubMed

    Sjølie, A K; Chaturvedi, N

    2002-08-01

    Retinopathy is the most common complication of diabetes, and a leading cause of blindness in people of working age. Optimal blood pressure and metabolic control can reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy, but are difficult to achieve in clinical practice. In the EUCLID Study, the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor lisinopril reduced the risk of progression of retinopathy by approximately 50%, and also significantly reduced the risk of progression to proliferative retinopathy. These findings are consistent with extensive evidence that the renin-angiotensin system is expressed in the eye, and that adverse effects of angiotensin II on retinal angiogenesis and function can be inhibited by ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II-receptor blockers. However, in the EUCLID Study retinopathy was not a primary end-point and the study was not sufficiently powered for the eye-related outcomes. Hence, the Diabetic Retinopathy Candesartan Trials (DIRECT) programme has been established to determine whether AT(1)-receptor blockade with candesartan can prevent the incidence and progression of diabetic retinopathy. This programme comprises three studies, involving a total of 4500 patients recruited from about 300 centres worldwide. The patients are normotensive or treated hypertensive individuals, and so the DIRECT programme should assess the potential of an AT(1)-receptor blocker to protect against the pathological changes in the eye following diabetes.

  14. The retinal renin-angiotensin system: implications for therapy in diabetic retinopathy.

    PubMed

    Sjølie, A K; Chaturvedi, N

    2002-08-01

    Retinopathy is the most common complication of diabetes, and a leading cause of blindness in people of working age. Optimal blood pressure and metabolic control can reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy, but are difficult to achieve in clinical practice. In the EUCLID Study, the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor lisinopril reduced the risk of progression of retinopathy by approximately 50%, and also significantly reduced the risk of progression to proliferative retinopathy. These findings are consistent with extensive evidence that the renin-angiotensin system is expressed in the eye, and that adverse effects of angiotensin II on retinal angiogenesis and function can be inhibited by ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II-receptor blockers. However, in the EUCLID Study retinopathy was not a primary end-point and the study was not sufficiently powered for the eye-related outcomes. Hence, the Diabetic Retinopathy Candesartan Trials (DIRECT) programme has been established to determine whether AT(1)-receptor blockade with candesartan can prevent the incidence and progression of diabetic retinopathy. This programme comprises three studies, involving a total of 4500 patients recruited from about 300 centres worldwide. The patients are normotensive or treated hypertensive individuals, and so the DIRECT programme should assess the potential of an AT(1)-receptor blocker to protect against the pathological changes in the eye following diabetes. PMID:12140727

  15. Human fetal gene therapy: moral and ethical questions.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, J C; Richter, G

    1996-08-20

    This two-part paper discusses moral and ethical questions raised by future trials of human fetal gene therapy. The first part examines broad moral issues to explore whether fetal gene therapy is a morally praiseworthy goal. Ought it be done at all? These issues include (i) how the concept of fetal gene therapy originally arose as a goal envisioned at the beginning of prenatal diagnosis, (ii) preimplantation genetic diagnosis as a better preconceptual alternative for parents at higher genetic risk, (iii) alternatives to genetic abortions, (iv) the social and economic priority of fetal gene therapy, and (v) whether fetal gene therapy is a "slippery slope" that will end in germ-line gene therapy. This part concludes that far more reasons exist to commend fetal gene therapy than to reject it, given its limits and modest social and economic priority. The second part responds to specific ethical questions that must be raised about any protocol for human gene therapy. These questions and issues are adapted to the prenatal situation: (i) how the previable fetus becomes a "patient," (ii) concern for clinical benefit and minimizing risks to the fetus and pregnant woman, (iii) concern for the voluntary and informed participation of the pregnant woman, the father, and for protection of their privacy, (iv) concern for fair selection of subjects, (v) considerations of harm to germ line cells, and (vi) the role of public oversight of fetal gene therapy. The article concludes by recommending a continuation of the consolidated Recombinant Advisory Committee (RAC) for the near future.

  16. Lentiviral Vectors and Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Castellani, Stefano; Conese, Massimo

    2010-01-01

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a chronic autosomic recessive syndrome, caused by mutations in the CF Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) gene, a chloride channel expressed on the apical side of the airway epithelial cells. The lack of CFTR activity brings a dysregulated exchange of ions and water through the airway epithelium, one of the main aspects of CF lung disease pathophysiology. Lentiviral (LV) vectors, of the Retroviridae family, show interesting properties for CF gene therapy, since they integrate into the host genome and allow long-lasting gene expression. Proof-of-principle that LV vectors can transduce the airway epithelium and correct the basic electrophysiological defect in CF mice has been given. Initial data also demonstrate that LV vectors can be repeatedly administered to the lung and do not give rise to a gross inflammatory process, although they can elicit a T cell-mediated response to the transgene. Future studies will clarify the efficacy and safety profile of LV vectors in new complex animal models with CF, such as ferrets and pigs. PMID:21994643

  17. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and Outer Retinal Disease

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jin; Cai, Bingcui; Glencer, Patrick; Li, Zhiqing; Zhang, Xiaomin; Li, Xiaorong

    2016-01-01

    The retina, which is composed of multiple layers of differing cell types, has been considered the first choice for gene therapy, disease modeling, and stem cell-derived retinal cell transplant therapy. Because of its special characteristics, the retina, located in the posterior part of the eye, can be well observed directly after gene therapy or transplantation. The blood-retinal barrier is part of a specialized ocular microenvironment that is immune privileged. This protects transplanted cells and tissue. Having two eyes makes perfect natural control possible after a single eye receives gene or stem cell therapy. For this reason, research about exploring retinal diseases' underlying molecular mechanisms and potential therapeutic approach using stem cell technique has been developing rapidly. This review is to present an up-to-date summary of the iPSC's sources, variations, differentiation methods, and the wide-ranging application of iPSCs-RPCS or iPSCs-RPE on retinal disease modeling, diagnostics, and therapeutics. PMID:26880948

  18. Improved animal models for testing gene therapy for atherosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Du, Liang; Zhang, Jingwan; De Meyer, Guido R Y; Flynn, Rowan; Dichek, David A

    2014-04-01

    Gene therapy delivered to the blood vessel wall could augment current therapies for atherosclerosis, including systemic drug therapy and stenting. However, identification of clinically useful vectors and effective therapeutic transgenes remains at the preclinical stage. Identification of effective vectors and transgenes would be accelerated by availability of animal models that allow practical and expeditious testing of vessel-wall-directed gene therapy. Such models would include humanlike lesions that develop rapidly in vessels that are amenable to efficient gene delivery. Moreover, because human atherosclerosis develops in normal vessels, gene therapy that prevents atherosclerosis is most logically tested in relatively normal arteries. Similarly, gene therapy that causes atherosclerosis regression requires gene delivery to an existing lesion. Here we report development of three new rabbit models for testing vessel-wall-directed gene therapy that either prevents or reverses atherosclerosis. Carotid artery intimal lesions in these new models develop within 2-7 months after initiation of a high-fat diet and are 20-80 times larger than lesions in a model we described previously. Individual models allow generation of lesions that are relatively rich in either macrophages or smooth muscle cells, permitting testing of gene therapy strategies targeted at either cell type. Two of the models include gene delivery to essentially normal arteries and will be useful for identifying strategies that prevent lesion development. The third model generates lesions rapidly in vector-naïve animals and can be used for testing gene therapy that promotes lesion regression. These models are optimized for testing helper-dependent adenovirus (HDAd)-mediated gene therapy; however, they could be easily adapted for testing of other vectors or of different types of molecular therapies, delivered directly to the blood vessel wall. Our data also supports the promise of HDAd to deliver long

  19. Genetically engineering adenoviral vectors for gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Coughlan, Lynda

    2014-01-01

    Adenoviral (Ad) vectors are commonly used for various gene therapy applications. Significant advances in the genetic engineering of Ad vectors in recent years has highlighted their potential for the treatment of metastatic disease. There are several methods to genetically modify the Ad genome to incorporate retargeting peptides which will redirect the natural tropism of the viruses, including homologous recombination in bacteria or yeast. However, homologous recombination in yeast is highly efficient and can be achieved without the need for extensive cloning strategies. In addition, the method does not rely on the presence of unique restriction sites within the Ad genome and the reagents required for this method are widely available and inexpensive. Large plasmids containing the entire adenoviral genome (~36 kbp) can be modified within Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast and genomes easily rescued in Escherichia coli hosts for analysis or amplification. A method for two-step homologous recombination in yeast is described in this chapter.

  20. Transcriptional regulation of PRPF31 gene expression by MSR1 repeat elements causes incomplete penetrance in retinitis pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Anna M.; Shah, Amna Z.; Venturini, Giulia; Krishna, Abhay; Chakravarti, Aravinda; Rivolta, Carlo; Bhattacharya, Shomi S.

    2016-01-01

    PRPF31-associated retinitis pigmentosa presents a fascinating enigma: some mutation carriers are blind, while others are asymptomatic. We identify the major molecular cause of this incomplete penetrance through three cardinal features: (1) there is population variation in the number (3 or 4) of a minisatellite repeat element (MSR1) adjacent to the PRPF31 core promoter; (2) in vitro, 3-copies of the MSR1 element can repress gene transcription by 50 to 115-fold; (3) the higher-expressing 4-copy allele is not observed among symptomatic PRPF31 mutation carriers and correlates with the rate of asymptomatic carriers in different populations. Thus, a linked transcriptional modifier decreases PRPF31 gene expression that leads to haploinsufficiency. This result, taken with other identified risk alleles, allows precise genetic counseling for the first time. We also demonstrate that across the human genome, the presence of MSR1 repeats in the promoters or first introns of genes is associated with greater population variability in gene expression indicating that copy number variation of MSR1s is a generic controller of gene expression and promises to provide new insights into our understanding of gene expression regulation. PMID:26781568

  1. Optimizing retroviral gene expression for effective therapies.

    PubMed

    Antoniou, Michael N; Skipper, Kristian Alsbjerg; Anakok, Omer

    2013-04-01

    With their ability to integrate their genetic material into the target cell genome, retroviral vectors (RV) of both the gamma-retroviral (γ-RV) and lentiviral vector (LV) classes currently remain the most efficient and thus the system of choice for achieving transgene retention and therefore potentially long-term expression and therapeutic benefit. However, γ-RV and LV integration comes at a cost in that transcription units will be present within a native chromatin environment and thus be subject to epigenetic effects (DNA methylation, histone modifications) that can negatively impact on their function. Indeed, highly variable expression and silencing of γ-RV and LV transgenes especially resulting from promoter DNA methylation is well documented and was the cause of the failure of gene therapy in a clinical trial for X-linked chronic granulomatous disease. This review will critically explore the use of different classes of genetic control elements that can in principle reduce vector insertion site position effects and epigenetic-mediated silencing. These transcriptional regulatory elements broadly divide themselves into either those with a chromatin boundary or border function (scaffold/matrix attachment regions, insulators) or those with a dominant chromatin remodeling and transcriptional activating capability (locus control regions,, ubiquitous chromatin opening elements). All these types of elements have their strengths and weaknesses within the constraints of a γ-RV and LV backbone, showing varying degrees of efficacy in improving reproducibility and stability of transgene function. Combinations of boundary and chromatin remodeling; transcriptional activating elements, which do not impede vector production; transduction efficiency; and stability are most likely to meet the requirements within a gene therapy context especially when targeting a stem cell population.

  2. Virotherapy: cancer gene therapy at last?

    PubMed Central

    Bilsland, Alan E.; Spiliopoulou, Pavlina; Evans, T. R. Jeffry

    2016-01-01

    For decades, effective cancer gene therapy has been a tantalising prospect; for a therapeutic modality potentially able to elicit highly effective and selective responses, definitive efficacy outcomes have often seemed out of reach. However, steady progress in vector development and accumulated experience from previous clinical studies has finally led the field to its first licensed therapy. Following a pivotal phase III trial, Imlygic (talimogene laherparepvec/T-Vec) received US approval as a treatment for cutaneous and subcutaneous melanoma in October 2015, followed several weeks later by its European authorisation. These represent the first approvals for an oncolytic virotherapy. Imlygic is an advanced-generation herpesvirus-based vector optimised for oncolytic and immunomodulatory activities. Many other oncolytic agents currently remain in development, providing hope that current success will be followed by other diverse vectors that may ultimately come to constitute a new class of clinical anti-cancer agents. In this review, we discuss some of the key oncolytic viral agents developed in the adenovirus and herpesvirus classes, and the prospects for further enhancing their efficacy by combining them with novel immunotherapeutic approaches. PMID:27635234

  3. Virotherapy: cancer gene therapy at last?

    PubMed Central

    Bilsland, Alan E.; Spiliopoulou, Pavlina; Evans, T. R. Jeffry

    2016-01-01

    For decades, effective cancer gene therapy has been a tantalising prospect; for a therapeutic modality potentially able to elicit highly effective and selective responses, definitive efficacy outcomes have often seemed out of reach. However, steady progress in vector development and accumulated experience from previous clinical studies has finally led the field to its first licensed therapy. Following a pivotal phase III trial, Imlygic (talimogene laherparepvec/T-Vec) received US approval as a treatment for cutaneous and subcutaneous melanoma in October 2015, followed several weeks later by its European authorisation. These represent the first approvals for an oncolytic virotherapy. Imlygic is an advanced-generation herpesvirus-based vector optimised for oncolytic and immunomodulatory activities. Many other oncolytic agents currently remain in development, providing hope that current success will be followed by other diverse vectors that may ultimately come to constitute a new class of clinical anti-cancer agents. In this review, we discuss some of the key oncolytic viral agents developed in the adenovirus and herpesvirus classes, and the prospects for further enhancing their efficacy by combining them with novel immunotherapeutic approaches.

  4. Retinal remodeling in human retinitis pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Jones, B W; Pfeiffer, R L; Ferrell, W D; Watt, C B; Marmor, M; Marc, R E

    2016-09-01

    Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) in the human is a progressive, currently irreversible neural degenerative disease usually caused by gene defects that disrupt the function or architecture of the photoreceptors. While RP can initially be a disease of photoreceptors, there is increasing evidence that the inner retina becomes progressively disorganized as the outer retina degenerates. These alterations have been extensively described in animal models, but remodeling in humans has not been as well characterized. This study, using computational molecular phenotyping (CMP) seeks to advance our understanding of the retinal remodeling process in humans. We describe cone mediated preservation of overall topology, retinal reprogramming in the earliest stages of the disease in retinal bipolar cells, and alterations in both small molecule and protein signatures of neurons and glia. Furthermore, while Müller glia appear to be some of the last cells left in the degenerate retina, they are also one of the first cell classes in the neural retina to respond to stress which may reveal mechanisms related to remodeling and cell death in other retinal cell classes. Also fundamentally important is the finding that retinal network topologies are altered. Our results suggest interventions that presume substantial preservation of the neural retina will likely fail in late stages of the disease. Even early intervention offers no guarantee that the interventions will be immune to progressive remodeling. Fundamental work in the biology and mechanisms of disease progression are needed to support vision rescue strategies. PMID:27020758

  5. Identification of a Novel Gene on 10q22.1 Causing Autosomal Dominant Retinitis Pigmentosa (adRP)

    PubMed Central

    Sullivan, Lori S.; Bowne, Sara J.; Koboldt, Daniel C.; Blanton, Susan H.; Wheaton, Dianna K.; Avery, Cheryl E.; Cadena, Elizabeth D.; Koenekoop, Robert K.; Fulton, Robert S.; Wilson, Richard K.; Weinstock, George M.; Lewis, Richard A.; Birch, David G.

    2016-01-01

    Whole-genome linkage mapping identified a region on chromosome 10q21.3–q22.1 with a maximum LOD score of 3.0 at 0 % recombination in a six-generation family with autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP). All known adRP genes and X-linked RP genes were excluded in the family by a combination of methods. Whole-exome next-generation sequencing revealed a missense mutation in hexokinase 1, HK1 c.2539G > A, p.Glu847Lys, tracking with disease in all affected family members. One severely-affected male is homozygous for this region by linkage analysis and has two copies of the mutation. No other potential mutations were detected in the linkage region nor were any candidates identified elsewhere in the genome. Subsequent testing detected the same mutation in four additional, unrelated adRP families, for a total of five mutations in 404 probands tested (1.2 %). Of the five families, three are from the Acadian population in Louisiana, one is French Canadian and one is Sicilian. Haplotype analysis of the affected chromosome in each family and the homozygous individual revealed a rare, shared haplotype of 450 kb, suggesting an ancient founder mutation. HK1 is a widely-expressed gene, with multiple, abundant retinal transcripts, coding for hexokinase 1. Hexokinase catalyzes phosphorylation of glucose to glusose-6-phospate, the first step in glycolysis. The Glu847Lys mutation is in a highly-conserved site, outside of the active site or known functional sites. PMID:26427411

  6. Mutual antagonism of the paired-type homeobox genes, vsx2 and dmbx1, regulates retinal progenitor cell cycle exit upstream of ccnd1 expression.

    PubMed

    Wong, Loksum; Power, Namita; Miles, Amanda; Tropepe, Vincent

    2015-06-15

    Understanding the mechanisms that regulate the transition between the proliferative and a post-mitotic state of retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) is key to advancing our knowledge of retinal growth and maturation. In the present study we determined that during zebrafish embryonic retinal neurogenesis, two paired-type homeobox genes - vsx2 and dmbx1 - function in a mutually antagonistic manner. We demonstrate that vsx2 gene expression requires active Fgf signaling and that this in turn suppresses dmbx1 expression and maintains cells in an undifferentiated, proliferative RPC state. This vsx2-dependent RPC state can be prolonged cell-autonomously by knockdown of dmbx1, or it can be suppressed prematurely by the over-expression of dmbx1, which we show can inhibit vsx2 expression and lead to precocious neuronal differentiation. dmbx1 loss of function also results in altered expression of canonical cell cycle genes, and in particular up-regulation of ccnd1, which correlates with our previous finding of a prolonged RPC cell cycle. By knocking down ccnd1 and dmbx1 simultaneously, we show that RPCs can overcome this phenotype to exit the cell cycle on time and differentiate normally into retinal neurons. Collectively, our data provide novel insight into the mechanism that enables RPCs to exit the cell cycle through a previously unrecognized antagonistic interaction of two paired-type homeobox genes that are central regulators of an Fgf-vsx2-dmbx1-ccnd1 signaling axis.

  7. Gene therapy: a possible future standard for HIV care.

    PubMed

    Abou-El-Enein, Mohamed; Bauer, Gerhard; Reinke, Petra

    2015-07-01

    Despite undeniable accomplishments in developing cell and gene therapeutic strategies to combat HIV infection, key social, economic, and policy-related challenges still need to be overcome for any future commercialization efforts of these novel therapies to be successful. Here, we address these challenges and structure a framework for eradicating HIV/AIDS using gene therapy.

  8. Prospects for Gene Therapy in the Fragile X Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rattazzi, Mario C.; LaFauci, Giuseppe; Brown, W. Ted

    2004-01-01

    Gene therapy is unarguably the definitive way to treat, and possibly cure, genetic diseases. A straightforward concept in theory, in practice it has proven difficult to realize, even when directed to easily accessed somatic cell systems. Gene therapy for diseases in which the central nervous system (CNS) is the target organ presents even greater…

  9. Cardiac gene therapy: Recent advances and future directions.

    PubMed

    Mason, Daniel; Chen, Yu-Zhe; Krishnan, Harini Venkata; Sant, Shilpa

    2015-10-10

    Gene therapy has the potential to serve as an adaptable platform technology for treating various diseases. Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of mortality in the developed world and genetic modification is steadily becoming a more plausible method to repair and regenerate heart tissue. Recently, new gene targets to treat cardiovascular disease have been identified and developed into therapies that have shown promise in animal models. Some of these therapies have advanced to clinical testing. Despite these recent successes, several barriers must be overcome for gene therapy to become a widely used treatment of cardiovascular diseases. In this review, we evaluate specific genetic targets that can be exploited to treat cardiovascular diseases, list the important delivery barriers for the gene carriers, assess the most promising methods of delivering the genetic information, and discuss the current status of clinical trials involving gene therapies targeted to the heart.

  10. The role of pharmacogenetics and advances in gene therapy in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Aniruddha; Ingham, Sally A; Harkins, Keegan A; Do, Diana V; Nguyen, Quan Dong

    2016-02-01

    Diabetic retinopathy (DR) and its complications such as diabetic macular edema continue to remain a major cause for legal blindness in the developed world. While the introduction of anti-tVEGF agents has significantly improved visual outcomes of patients with DR, unpredictable response, largely due to genetic polymorphisms, appears to be a challenge with this therapy. With advances in identification of various genetic biomarkers, novel therapeutic strategies consisting of gene transfer are being developed and tested for patients with DR. Application of pharmacogenetic principles appears to be a promising futuristic strategy to attenuate diabetes-mediated retinal vasculopathy. In this comprehensive review, data from recent studies in the field of pharmacogenomics for the treatment of DR have been provided. PMID:26807609

  11. [Familial forms of central nervous system cavernomas: from recognition to gene therapy].

    PubMed

    Labauge, P

    2007-06-01

    Ten percent of all cavernomas are familial forms. 300 independent families have been identified in France since 1995. Clinical manifestations are more frequent in familial (50%) than in sporadic forms (5%). The symptoms are the same in both forms: epilepsy, hemorrhages, neurological focal deficits and headache, but hemorrhages are more frequent and the age of revelation is younger, before 30 years. It is also frequent to observe extraneural location, cutaneous and retinal. On MRI, four types of lesional aspects were described and lesions are multiple in all cases with numerous "de novo" cavernomas. The prognostic does not depend on the number of lesions, but on their topography, especially in the brain stem. Familial forms may be considered not only as a neurological but as a systemic disease for which global management with a genetic counseling should be considered. Gene therapy is not today available, but perhaps in the future. PMID:17498752

  12. The role of pharmacogenetics and advances in gene therapy in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Aniruddha; Ingham, Sally A; Harkins, Keegan A; Do, Diana V; Nguyen, Quan Dong

    2016-02-01

    Diabetic retinopathy (DR) and its complications such as diabetic macular edema continue to remain a major cause for legal blindness in the developed world. While the introduction of anti-tVEGF agents has significantly improved visual outcomes of patients with DR, unpredictable response, largely due to genetic polymorphisms, appears to be a challenge with this therapy. With advances in identification of various genetic biomarkers, novel therapeutic strategies consisting of gene transfer are being developed and tested for patients with DR. Application of pharmacogenetic principles appears to be a promising futuristic strategy to attenuate diabetes-mediated retinal vasculopathy. In this comprehensive review, data from recent studies in the field of pharmacogenomics for the treatment of DR have been provided.

  13. Advances in Gene Therapy for Diseases of the Eye

    PubMed Central

    Petit, Lolita; Khanna, Hemant; Punzo, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Over the last few years, huge progress has been made with regard to the understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases of the eye. Such knowledge has led to the development of gene therapy approaches to treat these devastating disorders. Challenges regarding the efficacy and efficiency of therapeutic gene delivery have driven the development of novel therapeutic approaches, which continue to evolve the field of ocular gene therapy. In this review article, we will discuss the evolution of preclinical and clinical strategies that have improved gene therapy in the eye, showing that treatment of vision loss has a bright future. PMID:27178388

  14. Advances in Gene Therapy for Diseases of the Eye.

    PubMed

    Petit, Lolita; Khanna, Hemant; Punzo, Claudio

    2016-08-01

    Over the last few years, huge progress has been made with regard to the understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases of the eye. Such knowledge has led to the development of gene therapy approaches to treat these devastating disorders. Challenges regarding the efficacy and efficiency of therapeutic gene delivery have driven the development of novel therapeutic approaches, which continue to evolve the field of ocular gene therapy. In this review article, we will discuss the evolution of preclinical and clinical strategies that have improved gene therapy in the eye, showing that treatment of vision loss has a bright future.

  15. Gene therapy for cardiovascular disease mediated by ultrasound and microbubbles

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Gene therapy provides an efficient approach for treatment of cardiovascular disease. To realize the therapeutic effect, both efficient delivery to the target cells and sustained expression of transgenes are required. Ultrasound targeted microbubble destruction (UTMD) technique has become a potential strategy for target-specific gene and drug delivery. When gene-loaded microbubble is injected, the ultrasound-mediated microbubble destruction may spew the transported gene to the targeted cells or organ. Meanwhile, high amplitude oscillations of microbubbles increase the permeability of capillary and cell membrane, facilitating uptake of the released gene into tissue and cell. Therefore, efficiency of gene therapy can be significantly improved. To date, UTMD has been successfully investigated in many diseases, and it has achieved outstanding progress in the last two decades. Herein, we discuss the current status of gene therapy of cardiovascular diseases, and reviewed the progress of the delivery of genes to cardiovascular system by UTMD. PMID:23594865

  16. Human gene therapy: a brief overview of the genetic revolution.

    PubMed

    Misra, Sanjukta

    2013-02-01

    Advances in biotechnology have brought gene therapy to the forefront of medical research. The prelude to successful gene therapy i.e. the efficient transfer and expression of a variety of human gene into target cells has already been accomplished in several systems. Safe methods have been devised to do this, using several viral and no-viral vectors. Two main approaches emerged: in vivo modification and ex vivo modification. Retrovirus, adenovirus, adeno-associated virus are suitable for gene therapeutic approaches which are based on permanent expression of the therapeutic gene. Non-viral vectors are far less efficient than viral vectors, but they have advantages due to their low immunogenicity and their large capacity for therapeutic DNA. To improve the function of non-viral vectors, the addition of viral functions such as receptor mediated uptake and nuclear translocation of DNA may finally lead to the development of an artificial virus. Gene transfer protocols have been approved for human use in inherited diseases, cancers and acquired disorders. In 1990, the first successful clinical trial of gene therapy was initiated for adenosine deaminase deficiency. Since then, the number of clinical protocols initiated worldwide has increased exponentially. Although preliminary results of these trials are somewhat disappointing, but human gene therapy dreams of treating diseases by replacing or supplementing the product of defective or introducing novel therapeutic genes. So definitely human gene therapy is an effective addition to the arsenal of approaches to many human therapies in the 21st century.

  17. Evaluation of Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy patients prior to a gene therapy clinical trial

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Shuo; Yang, Hong; Ma, Si-qi; Wang, Shuai-shuai; He, Heng; Zhao, Min-jian; Li, Bin

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Gene therapy may be a promising approach for the treatment of Leber hereditary optic neuropathy. The aim of this study was to evaluate patients with this condition who were recruited into an upcoming gene therapy clinical trial and to assess any changes in the detection parameters to provide support for the clinical trial. Sixteen patients with Leber hereditary optic neuropathy were evaluated using visual function tests 12 months before the initiation of gene therapy. Then, the results of visual acuity (VA), visual field (VF), RNFL (retinal nerve fiber layer) thickness, and Pattern-reversal Visual evoked potential (PR-VEP) were compared and analyzed. A total of 32 eyes of 16 patients were evaluated. Based on the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), 24 eyes were relatively stable compared with the baseline evaluation, and 8 eyes had significant changes, including 5 eyes that showed improvement and 3 eyes that showed impairment. In all eyes, the changes in the best-corrected visual acuity were significantly correlated with the changes in the visual field index (VFI), mean defect (MD), and P100 of the visual evoked potential. In the eyes with relatively stable BCVA and those with an obvious improvement in the BCVA, only the visual mean defect showed a significant change; the other indicators were not significantly different. Aside from the patients showing a tendency of spontaneous improvement, the others were in accordance with the requirement. The effects of Leber hereditary optical neuropathy (LHON) gene therapy should be evaluated primarily based on visual acuity. Additionally, visual field, neural fiber thickness, and electrophysiology should be considered in the evaluation. PMID:27749593

  18. Role of the Retinal Vascular Endothelial Cell in Ocular Disease

    PubMed Central

    Bharadwaj, Arpita S.; Appukuttan, Binoy; Wilmarth, Phillip A.; Pan, Yuzhen; Stempel, Andrew J.; Chipps, Timothy J.; Benedetti, Eric E.; Zamora, David O.; Choi, Dongseok; David, Larry L.; Smith, Justine R.

    2012-01-01

    Retinal endothelial cells line the arborizing microvasculature that supplies and drains the neural retina. The anatomical and physiological characteristics of these endothelial cells are consistent with nutritional requirements and protection of a tissue critical to vision. On the one hand, the endothelium must ensure the supply of oxygen and other nutrients to the metabolically active retina, and allow access to circulating cells that maintain the vasculature or survey the retina for the presence of potential pathogens. On the other hand, the endothelium contributes to the blood-retinal barrier that protects the retina by excluding circulating molecular toxins, microorganisms, and pro-inflammatory leukocytes. Features required to fulfill these functions may also predispose to disease processes, such as retinal vascular leakage and neovascularization, and trafficking of microbes and inflammatory cells. Thus, the retinal endothelial cell is a key participant in retinal ischemic vasculopathies that include diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity, and retinal inflammation or infection, as occurs in posterior uveitis. Using gene expression and proteomic profiling, it has been possible to explore the molecular phenotype of the human retinal endothelial cell and contribute to understanding of the pathogenesis of these diseases. In addition to providing support for the involvement of well-characterized endothelial molecules, profiling has the power to identify new players in retinal pathologies. Findings may have implications for the design of new biological therapies. Additional progress in this field is anticipated as other technologies, including epigenetic profiling methods, whole transcriptome shotgun sequencing, and metabolomics, are used to study the human retinal endothelial cell. PMID:22982179

  19. Genetic and phenotypic variations of inherited retinal diseases in dogs: the power of within- and across-breed studies

    PubMed Central

    Acland, Gregory M.

    2014-01-01

    Considerable clinical and molecular variations have been known in retinal blinding diseases in man and also in dogs. Different forms of retinal diseases occur in specific breed(s) caused by mutations segregating within each isolated breeding population. While molecular studies to find genes and mutations underlying retinal diseases in dogs have benefited largely from the phenotypic and genetic uniformity within a breed, within- and across-breed variations have often played a key role in elucidating the molecular basis. The increasing knowledge of phenotypic, allelic, and genetic heterogeneities in canine retinal degeneration has shown that the overall picture is rather more complicated than initially thought. Over the past 20 years, various approaches have been developed and tested to search for genes and mutations underlying genetic traits in dogs, depending on the availability of genetic tools and sample resources. Candidate gene, linkage analysis, and genome-wide association studies have so far identified 24 mutations in 18 genes underlying retinal diseases in at least 58 dog breeds. Many of these genes have been associated with retinal diseases in humans, thus providing opportunities to study the role in pathogenesis and in normal vision. Application in therapeutic interventions such as gene therapy has proven successful initially in a naturally occurring dog model followed by trials in human patients. Other genes whose human homologs have not been associated with retinal diseases are potential candidates to explain equivalent human diseases and contribute to the understanding of their function in vision. PMID:22065099

  20. Site-specific gene therapy for cardiovascular disease

    PubMed Central

    Fishbein, Ilia; Chorny, Michael; Levy, Robert J

    2010-01-01

    Gene therapy holds considerable promise for the treatment of cardiovascular disease and may provide novel therapeutic solutions for both genetic disorders and acquired pathophysiologies such as arteriosclerosis, heart failure and arrhythmias. Recombinant DNA technology and the sequencing of the human genome have made a plethora of candidate therapeutic genes available for cardiovascular diseases. However, progress in the field of gene therapy for cardiovascular disease has been modest; one of the key reasons for this limited progress is the lack of gene delivery systems for localizing gene therapy to specific sites to optimize transgene expression and efficacy. This review summarizes progress made toward the site-specific delivery of cardiovascular gene therapy and highlights selected promising novel approaches. PMID:20205054

  1. Gene therapy using self-complementary Y733F capsid mutant AAV2/8 restores vision in a model of early onset Leber congenital amaurosis.

    PubMed

    Ku, Cristy A; Chiodo, Vince A; Boye, Sanford L; Goldberg, Andrew F X; Li, Tiansen; Hauswirth, William W; Ramamurthy, Visvanathan

    2011-12-01

    Defects in the photoreceptor-specific gene aryl hydrocarbon receptor interacting protein-like 1 (Aipl1) are associated with Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a childhood blinding disease with early-onset retinal degeneration and vision loss. Furthermore, Aipl1 defects are characterized at the most severe end of the LCA spectrum. The rapid photoreceptor degeneration and vision loss observed in the LCA patient population are mimicked in a mouse model lacking AIPL1. Using this model, we evaluated if gene replacement therapy using recent advancements in adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV) provides advantages in preventing rapid retinal degeneration. Specifically, we demonstrated that the novel self-complementary Y733F capsid mutant AAV2/8 (sc-Y733F-AAV) provided greater preservation of photoreceptors and functional vision in Aipl1 null mice compared with single-stranded AAV2/8. The benefits of sc-Y733F-AAV were evident following viral administration during the active phase of retinal degeneration, where only sc-Y733F-AAV treatment achieved functional vision rescue. This result was likely due to higher and earlier onset of Aipl1 expression. Based on our studies, we conclude that the sc-Y733F-AAV2/8 viral vector, to date, achieves the best rescue for rapid retinal degeneration in Aipl1 null mice. Our results provide important considerations for viral vectors to be used in future gene therapy clinical trials targeting a wider severity spectrum of inherited retinal dystrophies.

  2. Retinitis pigmentosa and retinal oedema.

    PubMed Central

    Spalton, D J; Bird, A C; Cleary, P E

    1978-01-01

    Twenty-five patients with retinitis pigmentosa and retinal leakage were investigated. Oedema was present in dominant and X-linked inherited disease and is likely to be present in recessive disease as well. We suggest that this might be a general response seen in many types of tapeto-retinal degeneration to actively degenerating photoreceptors or pigment epithelium. Images PMID:638111

  3. Whole Exome Sequencing Reveals Mutations in Known Retinal Disease Genes in 33 out of 68 Israeli Families with Inherited Retinopathies

    PubMed Central

    Beryozkin, Avigail; Shevah, Elia; Kimchi, Adva; Mizrahi-Meissonnier, Liliana; Khateb, Samer; Ratnapriya, Rinki; Lazar, Csilla H.; Blumenfeld, Anat; Ben-Yosef, Tamar; Hemo, Yitzhak; Pe’er, Jacob; Averbuch, Eduard; Sagi, Michal; Boleda, Alexis; Gieser, Linn; Zlotogorski, Abraham; Falik-Zaccai, Tzipora; Alimi-Kasem, Ola; Jacobson, Samuel G.; Chowers, Itay; Swaroop, Anand; Banin, Eyal; Sharon, Dror

    2015-01-01

    Whole exome sequencing (WES) is a powerful technique for identifying sequence changes in the human genome. The goal of this study was to delineate the genetic defects in patients with inherited retinal diseases (IRDs) using WES. WES was performed on 90 patient DNA samples from 68 families and 226 known genes for IRDs were analyzed. Sanger sequencing was used to validate potential pathogenic variants that were also subjected to segregation analysis in families. Thirty-three causative mutations (19 novel and 14 known) in 25 genes were identified in 33 of the 68 families. The vast majority of mutations (30 out of 33) have not been reported in the Israeli and the Palestinian populations. Nine out of the 33 mutations were detected in additional families from the same ethnic population, suggesting a founder effect. In two families, identified phenotypes were different from the previously reported clinical findings associated with the causative gene. This is the largest genetic analysis of IRDs in the Israeli and Palestinian populations to date. We also demonstrate that WES is a powerful tool for rapid analysis of known disease genes in large patient cohorts. PMID:26306921

  4. Isolated and Syndromic Retinal Dystrophy Caused by Biallelic Mutations in RCBTB1, a Gene Implicated in Ubiquitination.

    PubMed

    Coppieters, Frauke; Ascari, Giulia; Dannhausen, Katharina; Nikopoulos, Konstantinos; Peelman, Frank; Karlstetter, Marcus; Xu, Mingchu; Brachet, Cécile; Meunier, Isabelle; Tsilimbaris, Miltiadis K; Tsika, Chrysanthi; Blazaki, Styliani V; Vergult, Sarah; Farinelli, Pietro; Van Laethem, Thalia; Bauwens, Miriam; De Bruyne, Marieke; Chen, Rui; Langmann, Thomas; Sui, Ruifang; Meire, Françoise; Rivolta, Carlo; Hamel, Christian P; Leroy, Bart P; De Baere, Elfride

    2016-08-01

    Inherited retinal dystrophies (iRDs) are a group of genetically and clinically heterogeneous conditions resulting from mutations in over 250 genes. Here, homozygosity mapping and whole-exome sequencing (WES) in a consanguineous family revealed a homozygous missense mutation, c.973C>T (p.His325Tyr), in RCBTB1. In affected individuals, it was found to segregate with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), goiter, primary ovarian insufficiency, and mild intellectual disability. Subsequent analysis of WES data in different cohorts uncovered four additional homozygous missense mutations in five unrelated families in whom iRD segregates with or without syndromic features. Ocular phenotypes ranged from typical RP starting in the second decade to chorioretinal dystrophy with a later age of onset. The five missense mutations affect highly conserved residues either in the sixth repeat of the RCC1 domain or in the BTB1 domain. A founder haplotype was identified for mutation c.919G>A (p.Val307Met), occurring in two families of Mediterranean origin. We showed ubiquitous mRNA expression of RCBTB1 and demonstrated predominant RCBTB1 localization in human inner retina. RCBTB1 was very recently shown to be involved in ubiquitination, more specifically as a CUL3 substrate adaptor. Therefore, the effect on different components of the CUL3 and NFE2L2 (NRF2) pathway was assessed in affected individuals' lymphocytes, revealing decreased mRNA expression of NFE2L2 and several NFE2L2 target genes. In conclusion, our study puts forward mutations in RCBTB1 as a cause of autosomal-recessive non-syndromic and syndromic iRD. Finally, our data support a role for impaired ubiquitination in the pathogenetic mechanism of RCBTB1 mutations. PMID:27486781

  5. Atoh7 promotes the differentiation of Müller cells-derived retinal stem cells into retinal ganglion cells in a rat model of glaucoma.

    PubMed

    Song, Wei-tao; Zhang, Xue-yong; Xia, Xiao-bo

    2015-05-01

    Glaucoma is one of the leading eye diseases resulting in blindness due to the death of retinal ganglion cells. This study aimed to develop novel protocol to promote the differentiation of retinal Müller cells into ganglion cells in vivo in a rat model of glaucoma. The stem cells dedifferentiated from rat retinal Müller cells were randomized to receive transfection with empty lentivirus PGC-FU-GFP or lentivirus PGC-FU-Atoh7-GFP, or no transfection. The stem cells were induced further to differentiate. Ocular hypertension was induced using laser photocoagulation. The eyes were injected with Atoh7 expression vector lentivirus PGC-FU-Atoh7-GFP. Eyeball frozen sections, immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR, Western bolt, and apoptosis assay were performed. We found that the proportion of ganglion cells differentiated from Atoh7-tranfected stem cells was significantly higher than that of the other two groups. The mean intraocular pressure of glaucomatous eyes was elevated significantly compared with those of contralateral eyes. Some retinal Müller cells in the inner nuclear layer entered the mitotic cell cycle in rat chronic ocular hypertension glaucoma model. Atoh7 contributes to the differentiation of retinal Müller cells into retinal ganglion cells in rat model of glaucoma. In conclusion, Atoh7 promotes the differentiation of Müller cells-derived retinal stem cells into retinal ganglion cells in a rat model of glaucoma, thus opening up a new avenue for gene therapy and optic nerve regeneration in glaucoma.

  6. Inner retinal change in a novel rd1-FTL mouse model of retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Greferath, Ursula; Anderson, Emily E; Jobling, Andrew I; Vessey, Kirstan A; Martinez, Gemma; de Iongh, Robb U; Kalloniatis, Michael; Fletcher, Erica L

    2015-01-01

    While photoreceptor loss is the most devastating result of inherited retinal degenerations such as retinitis pigmentosa, inner retinal neurons also undergo significant alteration. Detailing these changes has become important as many vision restorative therapies target the remaining neurons. In this study, the rd1-Fos-Tau-LacZ (rd1-FTL) mouse model was used to explore inner retinal change at a late stage of retinal degeneration, after the loss of photoreceptor nuclei. The rd1-FTL model carries a mutation in the phosphodiesterase gene, Pde6b, and an axonally targeted transgenic beta galactosidase reporter system under the control of the c-fos promoter. Retinae of transgenic rd1-FTL mice and control FTL animals aged 2-12 months were processed for indirect fluorescence immunocytochemistry. At 2 months of age, a time when the majority of photoreceptor nuclei are lost, there was negligible c-fos reporter (FTL) expression, however, from 4 months, reporter expression was observed to increase within subpopulations of amacrine and ganglion cells within the central retina. These areas of inner retinal FTL expression coincided with regions that contained aberrant Müller cells. Specifically, these cells exhibited reduced glutamine synthetase and Kir4.1 immunolabelling, whilst showing evidence of proliferative gliosis (increased cyclinD1 and glial fibrillary acidic protein expression). These changes were limited to distinct regions where cone photoreceptor terminals were absent. Overall, these results highlight that distinct areas of the rd1-FTL central retina undergo significant glial alterations after cone photoreceptor loss. These areas coincide with up-regulation of the c-fos reporter in the inner retina, which may represent a change in neuronal function/plasticity. The rd1-FTL mouse is a useful model system to probe changes that occur in the inner retina at later stages of retinal degeneration. PMID:26283925

  7. Early changes in gene expression induced by blue light irradiation of A2E-laden retinal pigment epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    van der Burght, Barbro W.; Hansen, Morten; Olsen, Jørgen; Zhou, Jilin; Wu, Yalin; Nissen, Mogens H.; Sparrow, Janet R.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Accumulation of bisretinoids as lipofuscin in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells is implicated in the pathogenesis of some blinding diseases including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). To identify genes whose expression may change under conditions of bisretinoid accumulation, we investigated the differential gene expression in RPE cells that had accumulated the lipofuscin fluorophore A2E and were exposed to blue light (430 nm). Methods A2E-laden RPE cells were exposed to blue light (A2E/430 nm) at various time intervals. Cell death was quantified using Dead Red staining, and RNA levels for the entire genome was determined using DNA microarrays (Affymetrix GeneChip Human Genome 2.0 Plus). Array results for selected genes were confirmed by real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Results Principal component analysis revealed that the A2E-laden RPE cells irradiated with blue light were clearly distinguishable from the control samples. We found differential regulation of genes belonging to the following functional groups: transcription factors, stress response, apoptosis and immune response. Among the last mentioned were downregulation of four genes that coded for proteins that have an inhibitory effect on the complement cascade: (complement factor H, complement factor H-related 1, complement factor I and vitronectin) and of two belonging to the classical pathway (complement component 1, s subcomponent and complement component 1, r subcomponent). Conclusion This study demonstrates that blue light irradiation of A2E-laden RPE cells can alter the transcription of genes belonging to different functional pathways including stress response, apoptosis and the immune response. We suggest that these molecules may be associated to the pathogenesis of AMD and can potentially serve as future therapeutic targets. PMID:23742627

  8. Molecular pathogenesis of retinal and choroidal vascular diseases.

    PubMed

    Campochiaro, Peter A

    2015-11-01

    There are two major types of ocular neovascularization that affect the retina, retinal neovascularization (NV) and subretinal or choroidal NV. Retinal NV occurs in a group of diseases referred to as ischemic retinopathies in which damage to retinal vessels results in retinal ischemia. Most prevalent of these are diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusions. Subretinal and choroidal NV occur in diseases of the outer retina and Bruch's membrane, the most prevalent of which is age-related macular degeneration. Numerous studies in mouse models have helped to elucidate the molecular pathogenesis underlying retinal, subretinal, and choroidal NV. There is considerable overlap because the precipitating event in each is stabilization of hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) which leads to upregulation of several hypoxia-regulated gene products, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), angiopoietin 2, vascular endothelial-protein tyrosine phosphatase (VE-PTP), and several others. Stimulation of VEGF signaling and suppression of Tie2 by angiopoietin 2 and VE-PTP are critical for sprouting of retinal, subretinal, and choroidal NV, with perturbation of Bruch's membrane also needed for the latter. Additional HIF-1-regulated gene products cause further stimulation of the NV. It is difficult to model macular edema in animals and therefore proof-of-concept clinical trials were done and demonstrated that VEGF plays a central role and that suppression of Tie2 is also important. Neutralization of VEGF is currently the first line therapy for all of the above disease processes, but new treatments directed at some of the other molecular targets, particularly stabilization of Tie2, are likely to provide additional benefit for subretinal/choroidal NV and macular edema. In addition, the chronicity of these diseases as well as the implication of VEGF as a cause of retinal nonperfusion and progression of background diabetic retinopathy make sustained delivery approaches for VEGF

  9. Targeting gene therapy vectors to CNS malignancies.

    PubMed

    Spear, M A; Herrlinger, U; Rainov, N; Pechan, P; Weissleder, R; Breakefield, X O

    1998-04-01

    Gene therapy offers significant advantages to the field of oncology with the addition of specifically and uniquely engineered mechanisms of halting malignant proliferation through cytotoxicity or reproductive arrest. To confer a true benefit to the therapeutic ratio (the relative toxicity to tumor compared to normal tissue) a vector or the transgene it carries must selectively affect or access tumor cells. Beyond the selective toxicities of many transgene products, which frequently parallel that of contemporary chemotherapeutic agents, lies the potential utility of targeting the vector. This review presents an overview of current and potential methods for designing vectors targeted to CNS malignancies through selective delivery, cell entry, transport or transcriptional regulation. The topic of delivery encompasses physical and pharmaceutic means of increasing the relative exposure of tumors to vector. Cell entry based methodologies are founded on increasing relative uptake of vector through the chemical or recombinant addition of ligand and antibody domains which selectively bind receptors expressed on target cells. Targeted transport involves the potential for using cells to selectively carry vectors or transgenes into tumors. Finally, promoter and enhancer systems are discussed which have potential for selectivity activating transcription to produce targeted transgene expression or vector propagation. PMID:9584951

  10. Application of SFHR to gene therapy of monogenic disorders.

    PubMed

    Goncz, K K; Prokopishyn, N L; Chow, B L; Davis, B R; Gruenert, D C

    2002-06-01

    Gene therapy treatment of disease will be greatly facilitated by the identification of genetic mutations through the Human Genome Project. The specific treatment will ultimately depend on the type of mutation as different genetic lesions will require different gene therapies. For example, large rearrangements and translocations may call for complementation with vectors containing the cDNA for the wild-type (wt) gene. On the other hand, smaller lesions, such as the reversion, addition or deletion of only a few base pairs, on single genes, or monogenic disorders, lend themselves to gene targeting. The potential for one gene targeting technique, small fragment homologous replacement (SFHR) to the gene therapy treatment of sickle cell disease (SCD) is presented. Successful conversion of the wt-beta-globin locus to a SCD genotype of human lymphocytes (K562) and progenitor/stem hematopoietic cells (CD34(+) and lin-CD38-) was achieved by electroporation or microinjection small DNA fragments (SDF).

  11. Treatment of recurrent retinal angiomatous proliferation with intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide followed by photodynamic therapy with verteporfin: A retrospective case series

    PubMed Central

    Cardascia, Nicola; Furino, Claudio; Ferrara, Andrea; Boscia, Francesco; Alessio, Giovanni

    2009-01-01

    Objective: The aim of this study was to report the effect on tolerability of combined treatment with intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide (IVT) and photodynamic therapy (PDT) with verteporfin in patients with stage II retinal angiomatous proliferation (RAP) who had been treated previously with PDT and presented with recurrent RAP (R-RAP). Methods: This was a retrospective case series of patients with R-RAP after PDT (1–5 treatments) treated once with IVT followed 1 month later by PDT. A visual acuity test, fluorescein and indocyanine green angiography, and optical coherence tomography were performed at baseline and at 1, 3, and 6 months. Results: Five patients (4 men, 1 woman; mean [SD] age, 76.8 [3.9] years) with 6 eyes diagnosed with stage II R-RAP who had previously been treated with PDT and who received an IVT injection and PDT within 1 month were included in the study. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) remained stable after IVT in 5 eyes (83%) and deteriorated in 1 eye (17%). After PDT, BCVA remained stable in 2 eyes (33%) and deteriorated in 4 eyes (67%). IVT treatment combined with PDT also reduced fluorescein leakage. Median lesion size increased 24% before PDT and 61% at 6 months after PDT. One eye had intraocular hypertension at 3 months, and 1 eye developed a pigment epithelial tear after PDT. Conclusion: The results were limited by the number of eyes and relatively short follow-up, but in this study, PDT after IVT did not appear to be as effective or well tolerated in 5 patients who had already been treated with PDT and presented with R-RAP. PMID:24683234

  12. 75 FR 65640 - Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-26

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee... and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee. General Function of the Committee: To provide advice and... Tumor Vaccines and Biotechnology Branch, Office of Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies, Center...

  13. Mitochondrial signal transduction in accelerated wound and retinal healing by near-infrared light therapy.

    PubMed

    Eells, Janis T; Wong-Riley, Margaret T T; VerHoeve, James; Henry, Michele; Buchman, Ellen V; Kane, Mary P; Gould, Lisa J; Das, Rina; Jett, Marti; Hodgson, Brian D; Margolis, David; Whelan, Harry T

    2004-09-01

    Photobiomodulation by light in the red to near infrared range (630-1000 nm) using low energy lasers or light-emitting diode (LED) arrays has been shown to accelerate wound healing, improve recovery from ischemic injury in the heart and attenuate degeneration in the injured optic nerve. Recent evidence indicates that the therapeutic effects of red to near infrared light result, in part, from intracellular signaling mechanisms triggered by the interaction of NIR light with the mitochondrial photoacceptor molecule cytochrome c oxidase. We have demonstrated that NIR-LED photo-irradiation increases the production of cytochrome oxidase in cultured primary neurons and reverses the reduction of cytochrome oxidase activity produced by metabolic inhibitors. We have also shown that NIR-LED treatment prevents the development of oral mucositis in pediatric bone marrow transplant patients. Photobiomodulation improves wound healing in genetically diabetic mice by upregulating genes important in the promotion of wound healing. More recent studies have provided evidence for the therapeutic benefit of NIR-LED treatment in the survival and functional recovery of the retina and optic nerve in vivo after acute injury by the mitochondrial toxin, formic acid generated in the course of methanol intoxication. Gene discovery studies conducted using microarray technology documented a significant upregulation of gene expression in pathways involved in mitochondrial energy production and antioxidant cellular protection. These findings provide a link between the actions of red to near infrared light on mitochondrial oxidative metabolism in vitro and cell injury in vivo. Based on these findings and the strong evidence that mitochondrial dysfunction is involved in the pathogenesis of numerous diseases processes, we propose that NIR-LED photobiomodulation represents an innovative and non-invasive therapeutic approach for the treatment of tissue injury and disease processes in which mitochondrial

  14. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Gene Therapy in the Canine Model

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked lethal muscle disease caused by dystrophin deficiency. Gene therapy has significantly improved the outcome of dystrophin-deficient mice. Yet, clinical translation has not resulted in the expected benefits in human patients. This translational gap is largely because of the insufficient modeling of DMD in mice. Specifically, mice lacking dystrophin show minimum dystrophic symptoms, and they do not respond to the gene therapy vector in the same way as human patients do. Further, the size of a mouse is hundredfolds smaller than a boy, making it impossible to scale-up gene therapy in a mouse model. None of these limitations exist in the canine DMD (cDMD) model. For this reason, cDMD dogs have been considered a highly valuable platform to test experimental DMD gene therapy. Over the last three decades, a variety of gene therapy approaches have been evaluated in cDMD dogs using a number of nonviral and viral vectors. These studies have provided critical insight for the development of an effective gene therapy protocol in human patients. This review discusses the history, current status, and future directions of the DMD gene therapy in the canine model. PMID:25710459

  15. The roles of traditional Chinese medicine in gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Ling, Chang-quan; Wang, Li-na; Wang, Yuan; Zhang, Yuan-hui; Yin, Zi-fei; Wang, Meng; Ling, Chen

    2014-03-01

    The field of gene therapy has been increasingly studied in the last four decades, and its clinical application has become a reality in the last 15 years. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), an important component of complementary and alternative medicine, has evolved over thousands of years with its own unique system of theories, diagnostics and therapies. TCM is well-known for its various roles in preventing and treating infectious and chronic diseases, and its usage in other modern clinical practice. However, whether TCM can be applied alongside gene therapy is a topic that has not been systematically examined. Here we provide an overview of TCM theories in relation to gene therapy. We believe that TCM theories are congruent with some principles of gene therapy. TCM-derived drugs may also act as gene therapy vehicles, therapeutic genes, synergistic therapeutic treatments, and as co-administrated drugs to reduce side effects. We also discuss in this review some possible approaches to combine TCM and gene therapy.

  16. Genotoxicity of retroviral hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy

    PubMed Central

    Trobridge, Grant D

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Retroviral vectors have been developed for hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) gene therapy and have successfully cured X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID-X1), adenosine deaminase deficiency (ADA-SCID), adrenoleukodystrophy, and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. However, in HSC gene therapy clinical trials, genotoxicity mediated by integrated vector proviruses has led to clonal expansion, and in some cases frank leukemia. Numerous studies have been performed to understand the molecular basis of vector-mediated genotoxicity with the aim of developing safer vectors and safer gene therapy protocols. These genotoxicity studies are critical to advancing HSC gene therapy. Areas covered This review provides an introduction to the mechanisms of retroviral vector genotoxicity. It also covers advances over the last 20 years in designing safer gene therapy vectors, and in integration site analysis in clinical trials and large animal models. Mechanisms of retroviral-mediated genotoxicity, and the risk factors that contribute to clonal expansion and leukemia in HSC gene therapy are introduced. Expert opinion Continued research on virus–host interactions and next-generation vectors should further improve the safety of future HSC gene therapy vectors and protocols. PMID:21375467

  17. Bacteria as vectors for gene therapy of cancer.

    PubMed

    Baban, Chwanrow K; Cronin, Michelle; O'Hanlon, Deirdre; O'Sullivan, Gerald C; Tangney, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Anti-cancer therapy faces major challenges, particularly in terms of specificity of treatment. The ideal therapy would eradicate tumor cells selectively with minimum side effects on normal tissue. Gene or cell therapies have emerged as realistic prospects for the treatment of cancer, and involve the delivery of genetic information to a tumor to facilitate the production of therapeutic proteins. However, there is still much to be done before an efficient and safe gene medicine is achieved, primarily developing the means of targeting genes to tumors safely and efficiently. An emerging family of vectors involves bacteria of various genera. It has been shown that bacteria are naturally capable of homing to tumors when systemically administered resulting in high levels of replication locally. Furthermore, invasive species can deliver heterologous genes intra-cellularly for tumor cell expression. Here, we review the use of bacteria as vehicles for gene therapy of cancer, detailing the mechanisms of action and successes at preclinical and clinical levels.

  18. Monitoring Murine Skeletal Muscle Function for Muscle Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Hakim, Chady H.; Li, Dejia; Duan, Dongsheng

    2011-01-01

    The primary function of skeletal muscle is to generate force. Muscle force production is compromised in various forms of acquired and/or inherited muscle diseases. An important goal of muscle gene therapy is to recover muscle strength. Genetically engineered mice and spontaneous mouse mutants are readily available for preclinical muscle gene therapy studies. In this chapter, we outlined the methods commonly used for measuring murine skeletal muscle function. These include ex vivo and in situ analysis of the contractile profile of a single intact limb muscle (the extensor digitorium longus for ex vivo assay and the tibialis anterior muscle for in situ assay), grip force analysis, and downhill treadmill exercise. Force measurement in a single muscle is extremely useful for pilot testing of new gene therapy protocols by local gene transfer. Grip force and treadmill assessments offer body-wide evaluation following systemic muscle gene therapy. PMID:21194022

  19. [Ethical guidelines on genetic testing and gene therapy].

    PubMed

    Fukushima, Yoshimitsu

    2005-03-01

    According to the recent and rapid advances in molecular genetics research, genetic testing and gene therapy have a potential of giving unexpected influence to the human beings. To prevent and to solve various ethical, legal and social implementations (ELSI) of genetic testing and gene therapy, several guidelines have been established. In Japan, all researchers and all clinicians have to know and keep the following three guidelines on genetic testing and a guideline on gene therapy: 1) "Guidelines for Researches on Human Genome and Gene (2001)" by the three Ministries (Education, Health and Economy), 2) "Guidelines for Genetic Testing (2001)" by the Genetic--medicine--related 10 societies, 3) "Ethical Principles on Entrusted Genetic Testing (2001)" by the Japan Registered Clinical Laboratories Association, and 4) "Guidelines for Clinical Research on Gene Therapy (2002)" by the two Ministries (Health and Education).

  20. Gene Therapy, Early Promises, Subsequent Problems, and Recent Breakthroughs

    PubMed Central

    Razi Soofiyani, Saeideh; Baradaran, Behzad; Lotfipour, Farzaneh; Kazemi, Tohid; Mohammadnejad, Leila

    2013-01-01

    Gene therapy is one of the most attractive fields in medicine. The concept of gene delivery to tissues for clinical applications has been discussed around half a century, but scientist’s ability to manipulate genetic material via recombinant DNA technology made this purpose to reality. Various approaches, such as viral and non-viral vectors and physical methods, have been developed to make gene delivery safer and more efficient. While gene therapy initially conceived as a way to treat life-threatening disorders (inborn errors, cancers) refractory to conventional treatment, to date gene therapy is considered for many non–life-threatening conditions including those adversely influence on a patient’s quality of life. Gene therapy has made significant progress, including tangible success, although much slower than was initially predicted. Although, gene therapies still at a fairly primitive stage, it is firmly science based. There is justifiable hope that with enhanced pathobiological understanding and biotechnological improvements, gene therapy will be a standard part of clinical practice within 20 years. PMID:24312844

  1. Comparison of Mouse and Human Retinal Pigment Epithelium Gene Expression Profiles: Potential Implications for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Bennis, Anna; Gorgels, Theo G. M. F.; ten Brink, Jacoline B.; van der Spek, Peter J.; Bossers, Koen; Heine, Vivi M.; Bergen, Arthur A.

    2015-01-01

    Background The human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of age related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. There is currently no effective treatment available. Preclinical studies in AMD mouse models are essential to develop new therapeutics. This requires further in-depth knowledge of the similarities and differences between mouse and human RPE. Methods We performed a microarray study to identify and functionally annotate RPE specific gene expression in mouse and human RPE. We used a meticulous method to determine C57BL/6J mouse RPE signature genes, correcting for possible RNA contamination from its adjacent layers: the choroid and the photoreceptors. We compared the signature genes, gene expression profiles and functional annotations of the mouse and human RPE. Results We defined sets of mouse (64), human (171) and mouse–human interspecies (22) RPE signature genes. Not unexpectedly, our gene expression analysis and comparative functional annotation suggested that, in general, the mouse and human RPE are very similar. For example, we found similarities for general features, like “organ development” and “disorders related to neurological tissue”. However, detailed analysis of the molecular pathways and networks associated with RPE functions, suggested also multiple species-specific differences, some of which may be relevant for the development of AMD. For example, CFHR1, most likely the main complement regulator in AMD pathogenesis was highly expressed in human RPE, but almost absent in mouse RPE. Furthermore, functions assigned to mouse and human RPE expression profiles indicate (patho-) biological differences related to AMD, such as oxidative stress, Bruch’s membrane, immune-regulation and outer blood retina barrier. Conclusion These differences may be important for the development of new therapeutic strategies and translational studies in age-related macular

  2. Germ-line gene therapy and the medical imperative.

    PubMed

    Munson, Ronald; Davis, Lawrence H

    1992-06-01

    Somatic cell gene therapy has yielded promising results. If germ cell gene therapy can be developed, the promise is even greater: hundreds of genetic diseases might be virtually eliminated. But some claim the procedure is morally unacceptable. We thoroughly and sympathetically examine several possible reasons for this claim but find them inadequate. There is no moral reason, then, not to develop and employ germ-line gene therapy. Taking the offensive, we argue next that medicine has a prima facie moral obligation to do so.

  3. Identification of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Engraftment Genes in Gene Therapy Studies.

    PubMed

    Powers, John M; Trobridge, Grant D

    2013-09-01

    Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) therapy using replication-incompetent retroviral vectors is a promising approach to provide life-long correction for genetic defects. HSC gene therapy clinical studies have resulted in functional cures for several diseases, but in some studies clonal expansion or leukemia has occurred. This is due to the dyregulation of endogenous host gene expression from vector provirus insertional mutagenesis. Insertional mutagenesis screens using replicating retroviruses have been used extensively to identify genes that influence oncogenesis. However, retroviral mutagenesis screens can also be used to determine the role of genes in biological processes such as stem cell engraftment. The aim of this review is to describe the potential for vector insertion site data from gene therapy studies to provide novel insights into mechanisms of HSC engraftment. In HSC gene therapy studies dysregulation of host genes by replication-incompetent vector proviruses may lead to enrichment of repopulating clones with vector integrants near genes that influence engraftment. Thus, data from HSC gene therapy studies can be used to identify novel candidate engraftment genes. As HSC gene therapy use continues to expand, the vector insertion site data collected will be of great interest to help identify novel engraftment genes and may ultimately lead to new therapies to improve engraftment.

  4. Treatment of retinitis pigmentosa due to MERTK mutations by ocular subretinal injection of adeno-associated virus gene vector: results of a phase I trial.

    PubMed

    Ghazi, Nicola G; Abboud, Emad B; Nowilaty, Sawsan R; Alkuraya, Hisham; Alhommadi, Abdulrahman; Cai, Huimin; Hou, Rui; Deng, Wen-Tao; Boye, Sanford L; Almaghamsi, Abdulrahman; Al Saikhan, Fahad; Al-Dhibi, Hassan; Birch, David; Chung, Christopher; Colak, Dilek; LaVail, Matthew M; Vollrath, Douglas; Erger, Kirsten; Wang, Wenqiu; Conlon, Thomas; Zhang, Kang; Hauswirth, William; Alkuraya, Fowzan S

    2016-03-01

    MERTK is an essential component of the signaling network that controls phagocytosis in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), the loss of which results in photoreceptor degeneration. Previous proof-of-concept studies have demonstrated the efficacy of gene therapy using human MERTK (hMERTK) packaged into adeno-associated virus (AAV2) in treating RCS rats and mice with MERTK deficiency. The purpose of this study was to assess the safety of gene transfer via subretinal administration of rAAV2-VMD2-hMERTK in subjects with MERTK-associated retinitis pigmentosa (RP). After a preclinical phase confirming the safety of the study vector in monkeys, six patients (aged 14 to 54, mean 33.3 years) with MERTK-related RP and baseline visual acuity (VA) ranging from 20/50 to <20/6400 were entered in a phase I open-label, dose-escalation trial. One eye of each patient (the worse-seeing eye in five subjects) received a submacular injection of the viral vector, first at a dose of 150 µl (5.96 × 10(10)vg; 2 patients) and then 450 µl (17.88 × 10(10)vg; 4 patients). Patients were followed daily for 10 days at 30, 60, 90, 180, 270, 365, 540, and 730 days post-injection. Collected data included (1) full ophthalmologic examination including best-corrected VA, intraocular pressure, color fundus photographs, macular spectral domain optical coherence tomography and full-field stimulus threshold test (FST) in both the study and fellow eyes; (2) systemic safety data including CBC, liver and kidney function tests, coagulation profiles, urine analysis, AAV antibody titers, peripheral blood PCR and ASR measurement; and (3) listing of ophthalmological or systemic adverse effects. All patients completed the 2-year follow-up. Subretinal injection of rAAV2-VMD2-hMERTK was associated with acceptable ocular and systemic safety profiles based on 2-year follow-up. None of the patients developed complications that could be attributed to the gene vector with certainty. Postoperatively, one patient developed

  5. Gene Therapy and Cell-Based Therapies for Therapeutic Angiogenesis in Peripheral Artery Disease

    PubMed Central

    Nakagami, Hironori; Koriyama, Hiroshi; Morishita, Ryuichi

    2013-01-01

    Gene therapy and cell-based therapy have emerged as novel therapies to promote therapeutic angiogenesis in critical limb ischemia (CLI) caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD). Although researchers initially focused on gene therapy using proangiogenic factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), and hepatocyte growth factors (HGF), cell therapy using bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMNCs), mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs), G-CSF-mobilized peripheral blood mononuclear cells (M-PBMNCs), and endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have also been extensively studied. Based on the elaborate studies and favorable results of basic research, some clinical phase I/II trials have been performed, and the results demonstrate the safety of these approaches and their potential for symptomatic improvement in CLI. However, the phase 3 clinical trials have thus far been limited to gene therapy using the HGF gene. Further studies using well-designed larger placebo-controlled and long-term randomized control trials (RCTs) will clarify the effectiveness of gene therapy and cell-based therapy for the treatment of CLI. Furthermore, the development of efficient gene transfer systems and effective methods for keeping transplanted cells healthy will make these novel therapies more effective and ease the symptoms of CLI. PMID:24294599

  6. Severe early onset retinitis pigmentosa in a Moroccan patient with Heimler syndrome due to novel homozygous mutation of PEX1 gene.

    PubMed

    Ratbi, Ilham; Jaouad, Imane Cherkaoui; Elorch, Hamza; Al-Sheqaih, Nada; Elalloussi, Mustapha; Lyahyai, Jaber; Berraho, Amina; Newman, William G; Sefiani, Abdelaziz

    2016-10-01

    Heimler syndrome (HS) is a rare recessive disorder characterized by sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), amelogenesis imperfecta, nail abnormalities, and occasional or late-onset retinal pigmentation. It is the mildest form known to date of peroxisome biogenesis disorder caused by hypomorphic mutations of PEX1 and PEX6 genes. We report on a second Moroccan family with Heimler syndrome with early onset, severe visual impairment and important phenotypic overlap with Usher syndrome. The patient carried a novel homozygous missense variant c.3140T > C (p.Leu1047Pro) of PEX1 gene. As standard biochemical screening of blood for evidence of a peroxisomal disorder did not provide a diagnosis in the individuals with HS, patients with SNHL and retinal pigmentation should have mutation analysis of PEX1 and PEX6 genes. PMID:27633571

  7. Severe early onset retinitis pigmentosa in a Moroccan patient with Heimler syndrome due to novel homozygous mutation of PEX1 gene.

    PubMed

    Ratbi, Ilham; Jaouad, Imane Cherkaoui; Elorch, Hamza; Al-Sheqaih, Nada; Elalloussi, Mustapha; Lyahyai, Jaber; Berraho, Amina; Newman, William G; Sefiani, Abdelaziz

    2016-10-01

    Heimler syndrome (HS) is a rare recessive disorder characterized by sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), amelogenesis imperfecta, nail abnormalities, and occasional or late-onset retinal pigmentation. It is the mildest form known to date of peroxisome biogenesis disorder caused by hypomorphic mutations of PEX1 and PEX6 genes. We report on a second Moroccan family with Heimler syndrome with early onset, severe visual impairment and important phenotypic overlap with Usher syndrome. The patient carried a novel homozygous missense variant c.3140T > C (p.Leu1047Pro) of PEX1 gene. As standard biochemical screening of blood for evidence of a peroxisomal disorder did not provide a diagnosis in the individuals with HS, patients with SNHL and retinal pigmentation should have mutation analysis of PEX1 and PEX6 genes.

  8. One-year outcome of bevacizumab therapy for chronic macular edema in central and branch retinal vein occlusions in real-world clinical practice in the UK

    PubMed Central

    Lip, Peck Lin; Malick, Huzaifa; Damer, Kenan; Elsherbiny, Samer; Darrad, Kanupriya M; Mushtaq, Bushra; Mitra, Arijit; Stavrou, Panagiota; Yang, Yit

    2015-01-01

    Background The purpose of this study was to investigate the 12-month outcome of macular edema secondary to both chronic and new central and branch retinal vein occlusions treated with intravitreal bevacizumab in the real-life clinical setting in the UK. Methods Retrospective case notes analysis of consecutive patients with retinal vein occlusions treated with bevacizumab in 2010 to 2012. Outcome measures were visual acuity (measured with Snellen, converted into logMAR [logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution] for statistical calculation) and central retinal thickness at baseline, 4 weeks post-loading phase, and at 1 year. Results There were 56 and 100 patients with central and branch retinal vein occlusions, respectively, of whom 62% had chronic edema and received prior therapies and another 32% required additional laser treatments post-baseline bevacizumab. Baseline median visual acuity was 0.78 (interquartile range [IQR] 0.48–1.22) in the central group and 0.6 (IQR 0.3–0.78) in the branch group. In both groups, visual improvement was statistically significant from baseline compared to post-loading (P<0.001 and P=0.03, respectively), but was not significant by month 12 (P=0.058 and P=0.166, respectively); 30% improved by at least three lines and 44% improved by at least one line by month 12. Baseline median central retinal thickness was 449 μm (IQR 388–553) in the central group and 441 μm (IQR 357–501) in the branch group. However, the mean reduction in thickness was statistically significant at post-loading (P<0.001) and at the 12-month time point (P<0.001) for both groups. The average number of injections in 1 year was 4.2 in the central group and 3.3 in the branch group. Conclusion Our large real-world cohort results indicate that bevacizumab introduced to patients with either new or chronic edema due to retinal vein occlusion can result in resolution of edema and stabilization of vision in the first year. PMID:26445525

  9. Development of Lead Hammerhead Ribozyme Candidates against Human Rod Opsin mRNA for Retinal Degeneration Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Abdelmaksoud, Heba E.; Yau, Edwin H.; Zuker, Michael; Sullivan, Jack M.

    2011-01-01

    To identify lead candidate allele-independent hammerhead ribozymes (hhRz) for the treatment of autosomal dominant mutations in the human rod opsin (RHO) gene, we tested a series of hhRzs for potential to significantly knockdown human RHO gene expression in a human cell expression system. Multiple computational criteria were used to select target mRNA regions likely to be single stranded and accessible to hhRz annealing and cleavage. Target regions are tested for accessibility in a human cell culture expression system where the hhRz RNA and target mRNA and protein are coexpressed. The hhRz RNA is embedded in an adenoviral VAI RNA chimeric RNA of established structure and properties which are critical to the experimental paradigm. The chimeric hhRz-VAI RNA is abundantly transcribed so that the hhRzs are expected to be in great excess over substrate mRNA. HhRz-VAI traffics predominantly to the cytoplasm to colocalize with the RHO mRNA target. Colocalization is essential for second-order annealing reactions. The VAI chimera protects the hhRz RNA from degradation and provides for a long half life. With cell lines chosen for high transfection efficiency and a molar excess of hhRz plasmid over target plasmid, the conditions of this experimental paradigm are specifically designed to evaluate for regions of accessibility of the target mRNA in cellulo. Western analysis was used to measure the impact of hhRz expression on RHO protein expression. Three lead candidate hhRz designs were identified that significantly knockdown target protein expression relative to control (p < 0.05). Successful lead candidates (hhRz CUC↓ 266, hhRz CUC↓ 1411, hhRz AUA↓ 1414) targeted regions of human RHO mRNA that were predicted to be accessible by a bioinformatics approach, whereas regions predicted to be inaccessible supported no knockdown. The maximum opsin protein level knockdown is approximately 30% over a 48 hr paradigm of testing. These results validate a rigorous computational

  10. Gene therapy in the world and in Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Rusconi, S

    1999-11-20

    Until the mid-seventies, biology used to be taught as an interesting, yet rather "useless" discipline in our high schools. The advent of molecular biology has drastically changed this image. Now, applied molecular genetics has been shown to have the potential to revolutionize many aspects of our life, including the paradigms of medicine. In a first phase, gene knowledge has allowed medical diagnosis with previously unimaginable precision. In a second wave, gene transfer in micro-organisms has produced a plethora of biopharmaceuticals. This decade has seen the third era of molecular medicine, in which direct gene transfer into humans is being developed. This article comments on the most recent developments and concepts in the field of human gene transfer (also called "gene therapy"). Some essential methods are briefly presented and a great deal of attention is devoted to the technical hurdles still to be overcome in achieving efficient and safe gene therapy protocols. The final paragraph attempts to clear up some myths and misunderstandings that are commonly propagated when people talk or think about gene therapy. The purpose of this article will be fulfilled if at the end the reader is convinced that gene therapy is not necessarily dedicated exclusively to hereditary disorders, that Switzerland undertaken an intensive and competitive experimental effort in this direction, that gene therapy has already proven its efficacy and has great potential, but that it will take a couple of decades before some applications are routinely used in the clinic.

  11. Evaluation of the effectiveness and safety of glucocorticoids intravitreal implant therapy in macular edema due to retinal vein occlusion.

    PubMed

    Michalska-Małecka, Katarzyna; Gaborek, Aneta; Nowak, Mariusz; Halat, Tomasz; Pawłowska, Mariola; Śpiewak, Dorota

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of intravitreal dexamethasone implant (Ozurdex) on macular morphology and functions in eyes with macular edema (ME) secondary to retinal vein occlusion. Efficacy outcomes of the treatment were best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and central retinal thickness (CRT). Safety outcomes were intraocular pressure and cornea endothelial cell density. The study was conducted by the prospective analysis on 36 patients (17 women and 19 men) aged 28-77 years (the average age was 58±15 years) treated with the injection of dexamethasone implant because of the persistent ME at the Department of Ophthalmology and Ophthalmology Outpatient Clinic of the University Centre of Ophthalmology and Oncology in Katowice. The studied group included 16 patients with central retinal vein occlusion (16 eyes), and 20 patients with branch retinal vein occlusion (20 eyes). We found a significant increase of BCVA after first, second, and third month of treatment. Six months after the treatment, BCVA decreased, although not significantly compared with the value obtained in the third month. Two months after the intravitreal implantation of dexamethasone delivery system, CRT was 338±163 μm and was significantly lower compared with pretreatment value. Between third and sixth month after the treatment, we found insignificant increase of CRT compared with thickness observed in second month. Two months after the treatment, we found an increase in intraocular pressure in 36% of cases and a further decrease during the final visit 6 months after the treatment. During the treatment, there were no significant differences in endothelial cell density in branch retinal vein occlusion and central retinal vein occlusion. We found the intravitreal dexamethasone implant to be safe, well tolerated, and likely to lead to fast morphological and functional improvement of the macula and visual rehabilitation in patients with ME due to retinal vein occlusion. PMID

  12. Evaluation of the effectiveness and safety of glucocorticoids intravitreal implant therapy in macular edema due to retinal vein occlusion

    PubMed Central

    Michalska-Małecka, Katarzyna; Gaborek, Aneta; Nowak, Mariusz; Halat, Tomasz; Pawłowska, Mariola; Śpiewak, Dorota

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of intravitreal dexamethasone implant (Ozurdex) on macular morphology and functions in eyes with macular edema (ME) secondary to retinal vein occlusion. Efficacy outcomes of the treatment were best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and central retinal thickness (CRT). Safety outcomes were intraocular pressure and cornea endothelial cell density. The study was conducted by the prospective analysis on 36 patients (17 women and 19 men) aged 28–77 years (the average age was 58±15 years) treated with the injection of dexamethasone implant because of the persistent ME at the Department of Ophthalmology and Ophthalmology Outpatient Clinic of the University Centre of Ophthalmology and Oncology in Katowice. The studied group included 16 patients with central retinal vein occlusion (16 eyes), and 20 patients with branch retinal vein occlusion (20 eyes). We found a significant increase of BCVA after first, second, and third month of treatment. Six months after the treatment, BCVA decreased, although not significantly compared with the value obtained in the third month. Two months after the intravitreal implantation of dexamethasone delivery system, CRT was 338±163 μm and was significantly lower compared with pretreatment value. Between third and sixth month after the treatment, we found insignificant increase of CRT compared with thickness observed in second month. Two months after the treatment, we found an increase in intraocular pressure in 36% of cases and a further decrease during the final visit 6 months after the treatment. During the treatment, there were no significant differences in endothelial cell density in branch retinal vein occlusion and central retinal vein occlusion. We found the intravitreal dexamethasone implant to be safe, well tolerated, and likely to lead to fast morphological and functional improvement of the macula and visual rehabilitation in patients with ME due to retinal vein occlusion. PMID

  13. Somatic gene therapy. Methods for the present and future.

    PubMed

    O'Malley, B W; Ledley, F D

    1993-10-01

    Somatic gene therapy involves the introduction of novel genetic material into somatic cells to express therapeutic gene products. This emerging technology holds great promise for the treatment of both inherited and acquired diseases. This review summarizes the principles of gene therapy and approaches that are being investigated in experimental animals and clinical trials. These include the construction of recombinant viruses capable of carrying genes into cells by the process of infection as well as the use of DNA molecules that are capable of being used like conventional medicines. Some methods for gene therapy lead to permanent insertion of genes into targeted cells, while others are designed to express a therapeutic product with a defined half-life and duration of action. The goal is to establish site-specific and regulated expression of therapeutic products. The demonstrated safety and public acceptance of initial clinical trials will lead to widespread investigation of applications in both medicine and surgery in the near future.

  14. The interplay of post-translational modification and gene therapy

    PubMed Central

    Osamor, Victor Chukwudi; Chinedu, Shalom N; Azuh, Dominic E; Iweala, Emeka Joshua; Ogunlana, Olubanke Olujoke

    2016-01-01

    Several proteins interact either to activate or repress the expression of other genes during transcription. Based on the impact of these activities, the proteins can be classified into readers, modifier writers, and modifier erasers depending on whether histone marks are read, added, or removed, respectively, from a specific amino acid. Transcription is controlled by dynamic epigenetic marks with serious health implications in certain complex diseases, whose understanding may be useful in gene therapy. This work highlights traditional and current advances in post-translational modifications with relevance to gene therapy delivery. We report that enhanced understanding of epigenetic machinery provides clues to functional implication of certain genes/gene products and may facilitate transition toward revision of our clinical treatment procedure with effective fortification of gene therapy delivery. PMID:27013864

  15. The interplay of post-translational modification and gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Osamor, Victor Chukwudi; Chinedu, Shalom N; Azuh, Dominic E; Iweala, Emeka Joshua; Ogunlana, Olubanke Olujoke

    2016-01-01

    Several proteins interact either to activate or repress the expression of other genes during transcription. Based on the impact of these activities, the proteins can be classified into readers, modifier writers, and modifier erasers depending on whether histone marks are read, added, or removed, respectively, from a specific amino acid. Transcription is controlled by dynamic epigenetic marks with serious health implications in certain complex diseases, whose understanding may be useful in gene therapy. This work highlights traditional and current advances in post-translational modifications with relevance to gene therapy delivery. We report that enhanced understanding of epigenetic machinery provides clues to functional implication of certain genes/gene products and may facilitate transition toward revision of our clinical treatment procedure with effective fortification of gene therapy delivery.

  16. Bone Marrow Gene Therapy for HIV/AIDS.

    PubMed

    Herrera-Carrillo, Elena; Berkhout, Ben

    2015-07-01

    Bone marrow gene therapy remains an attractive option for treating chronic immunological diseases, including acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This technology combines the differentiation and expansion capacity of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) with long-term expression of therapeutic transgenes using integrating vectors. In this review we summarize the potential of bone marrow gene therapy for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. A broad range of antiviral strategies are discussed, with a particular focus on RNA-based therapies. The idea is to develop a durable gene therapy that lasts the life span of the infected individual, thus contrasting with daily drug regimens to suppress the virus. Different approaches have been proposed to target either the virus or cellular genes encoding co-factors that support virus replication. Some of these therapies have been tested in clinical trials, providing proof of principle that gene therapy is a safe option for treating HIV/AIDS. In this review several topics are discussed, ranging from the selection of the antiviral molecule and the viral target to the optimal vector system for gene delivery and the setup of appropriate preclinical test systems. The molecular mechanisms used to formulate a cure for HIV infection are described, including the latest antiviral strategies and their therapeutic applications. Finally, a potent combination of anti-HIV genes based on our own research program is described.

  17. Bone Marrow Gene Therapy for HIV/AIDS.

    PubMed

    Herrera-Carrillo, Elena; Berkhout, Ben

    2015-07-01

    Bone marrow gene therapy remains an attractive option for treating chronic immunological diseases, including acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This technology combines the differentiation and expansion capacity of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) with long-term expression of therapeutic transgenes using integrating vectors. In this review we summarize the potential of bone marrow gene therapy for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. A broad range of antiviral strategies are discussed, with a particular focus on RNA-based therapies. The idea is to develop a durable gene therapy that lasts the life span of the infected individual, thus contrasting with daily drug regimens to suppress the virus. Different approaches have been proposed to target either the virus or cellular genes encoding co-factors that support virus replication. Some of these therapies have been tested in clinical trials, providing proof of principle that gene therapy is a safe option for treating HIV/AIDS. In this review several topics are discussed, ranging from the selection of the antiviral molecule and the viral target to the optimal vector system for gene delivery and the setup of appropriate preclinical test systems. The molecular mechanisms used to formulate a cure for HIV infection are described, including the latest antiviral strategies and their therapeutic applications. Finally, a potent combination of anti-HIV genes based on our own research program is described. PMID:26193303

  18. Gene Therapy from the perspective of Systems Biology

    PubMed Central

    Mac Gabhann, Feilim; Annex, Brian H.

    2010-01-01

    Gene therapy research has expanded from its original concept of replacing absent or defective DNA with functional DNA for transcription. Genetic material may be delivered via multiple vectors, including naked plasmid DNA, viruses and even cells with the goal of increasing gene expression; and the targeting of specific tissues or cell types is aimed at decreasing risks of systemic or side effects. As with the development of any drug, there is an amount of empiricism in the choice of gene target, route of administration, dosing and in particular the scaling-up from pre-clinical models to clinical trials. Systems Biology, whose arsenal includes high-throughput experimental and computational studies that account for the complexities of host-disease-therapy interactions, holds significant promise in aiding the development and optimization of gene therapies, including personalized therapies and the identification of biomarkers for success of these strategies. In this review we describe some of the obstacles and successes in gene therapy, using the specific example of growth factor gene delivery to promote angiogenesis and blood vessel remodeling in ischemic diseases; we also make references to anti-angiogenic gene therapy in cancer. The opportunities for Systems Biology and in silico modeling to improve on current outcomes are highlighted. PMID:20886389

  19. Stem Cell Gene Therapy for Fanconi Anemia: Report from the 1st International Fanconi Anemia Gene Therapy Working Group Meeting

    PubMed Central

    Tolar, Jakub; Adair, Jennifer E; Antoniou, Michael; Bartholomae, Cynthia C; Becker, Pamela S; Blazar, Bruce R; Bueren, Juan; Carroll, Thomas; Cavazzana-Calvo, Marina; Clapp, D Wade; Dalgleish, Robert; Galy, Anne; Gaspar, H Bobby; Hanenberg, Helmut; Von Kalle, Christof; Kiem, Hans-Peter; Lindeman, Dirk; Naldini, Luigi; Navarro, Susana; Renella, Raffaele; Rio, Paula; Sevilla, Julián; Schmidt, Manfred; Verhoeyen, Els; Wagner, John E; Williams, David A; Thrasher, Adrian J

    2011-01-01

    Survival rates after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for Fanconi anemia (FA) have increased dramatically since 2000. However, the use of autologous stem cell gene therapy, whereby the patient's own blood stem cells are modified to express the wild-type gene product, could potentially avoid the early and late complications of allogeneic HCT. Over the last decades, gene therapy has experienced a high degree of optimism interrupted by periods of diminished expectation. Optimism stems from recent examples of successful gene correction in several congenital immunodeficiencies, whereas diminished expectations come from the realization that gene therapy will not be free of side effects. The goal of the 1st International Fanconi Anemia Gene Therapy Working Group Meeting was to determine the optimal strategy for moving stem cell gene therapy into clinical trials for individuals with FA. To this end, key investigators examined vector design, transduction method, criteria for large-scale clinical-grade vector manufacture, hematopoietic cell preparation, and eligibility criteria for FA patients most likely to benefit. The report summarizes the roadmap for the development of gene therapy for FA. PMID:21540837

  20. Retinal abnormalities in β-thalassemia major.

    PubMed

    Bhoiwala, Devang L; Dunaief, Joshua L

    2016-01-01

    Patients with beta (β)-thalassemia (β-TM: β-thalassemia major, β-TI: β-thalassemia intermedia) have a variety of complications that may affect all organs, including the eye. Ocular abnormalities include retinal pigment epithelial degeneration, angioid streaks, venous tortuosity, night blindness, visual field defects, decreased visual acuity, color vision abnormalities, and acute visual loss. Patients with β-thalassemia major are transfusion dependent and require iron chelation therapy to survive. Retinal degeneration may result from either retinal iron accumulation from transfusion-induced iron overload or retinal toxicity induced by iron chelation therapy. Some who were never treated with iron chelation therapy exhibited retinopathy, and others receiving iron chelation therapy had chelator-induced retinopathy. We will focus on retinal abnormalities present in individuals with β-thalassemia major viewed in light of new findings on the mechanisms and manifestations of retinal iron toxicity. PMID:26325202

  1. Bacteriophage-Derived Vectors for Targeted Cancer Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Pranjol, Md Zahidul Islam; Hajitou, Amin

    2015-01-01

    Cancer gene therapy expanded and reached its pinnacle in research in the last decade. Both viral and non-viral vectors have entered clinical trials, and significant successes have been achieved. However, a systemic administration of a vector, illustrating safe, efficient, and targeted gene delivery to solid tumors has proven to be a major challenge. In this review, we summarize the current progress and challenges in the targeted gene therapy of cancer. Moreover, we highlight the recent developments of bacteriophage-derived vectors and their contributions in targeting cancer with therapeutic genes following systemic administration. PMID:25606974

  2. Genetic correction using engineered nucleases for gene therapy applications.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongmei Lisa; Nakano, Takao; Hotta, Akitsu

    2014-01-01

    Genetic mutations in humans are associated with congenital disorders and phenotypic traits. Gene therapy holds the promise to cure such genetic disorders, although it has suffered from several technical limitations for decades. Recent progress in gene editing technology using tailor-made nucleases, such as meganucleases (MNs), zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), TAL effector nucleases (TALENs) and, more recently, CRISPR/Cas9, has significantly broadened our ability to precisely modify target sites in the human genome. In this review, we summarize recent progress in gene correction approaches of the human genome, with a particular emphasis on the clinical applications of gene therapy.

  3. Clinical potential of gene therapy: towards meeting the demand.

    PubMed

    Macpherson, J L; Rasko, J E J

    2014-03-01

    Since the discovery that new genetic material could be transferred into human cells resulting in induced expression of genes and proteins, clinicians and scientists have been working to harness the technology for clinical outcomes. This article provides a summary of the current status of developments within the broad discipline of clinical gene therapy. In pursuing the treatment of diverse clinical conditions, a wide variety of therapeutics, each tailor-made, may be required. Gene therapy offers the possibility of accurately and specifically targeting particular genetic abnormalities through gene correction, addition or replacement. It represents a compelling idea that adds a new dimension to our portfolio of credible therapeutic choices.

  4. Regulatory Oversight of Gene Therapy and Cell Therapy Products in Korea.

    PubMed

    Choi, Minjoung; Han, Euiri; Lee, Sunmi; Kim, Taegyun; Shin, Won

    2015-01-01

    The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety regulates gene therapy and cell therapy products as biological products under the authority of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act. As with other medicinal products, gene therapy and cell therapy products are subject to approval for use in clinical trials and for a subsequent marketing authorization and to post-market surveillance. Research and development of gene therapy and cell therapy products have been progressing rapidly in Korea with extensive investment, offering great potential for the treatment of various serious diseases. To facilitate development of safe and effective products and provide more opportunities to patients suffering from severe diseases, several regulatory programs, such as the use of investigational products for emergency situations, fast-track approval, prereview of application packages, and intensive regulatory consultation, can be applied to these products. The regulatory approach for these innovative products is case by case and founded on science-based review that is flexible and balances the risks and benefits.

  5. Development of hybrid viral vectors for gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Huang, Shuohao; Kamihira, Masamichi

    2013-01-01

    Adenoviral, retroviral/lentiviral, adeno-associated viral, and herpesviral vectors are the major viral vectors used in gene therapy. Compared with non-viral methods, viruses are highly-evolved, natural delivery agents for genetic materials. Despite their remarkable transduction efficiency, both clinical trials and laboratory experiments have suggested that viral vectors have inherent shortcomings for gene therapy, including limited loading capacity, immunogenicity, genotoxicity, and failure to support long-term adequate transgenic expression. One of the key issues in viral gene therapy is the state of the delivered genetic material in transduced cells. To address genotoxicity and improve the therapeutic transgene expression profile, construction of hybrid vectors have recently been developed. By adding new abilities or replacing certain undesirable elements, novel hybrid viral vectors are expected to outperform their conventional counterparts with improved safety and enhanced therapeutic efficacy. This review provides a comprehensive summary of current achievements in hybrid viral vector development and their impact on the field of gene therapy.

  6. Gene therapy for CNS diseases – Krabbe disease

    PubMed Central

    Rafi, Mohammad A.

    2016-01-01

    Summary This is a brief report of the 19th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy that took place from May 4th through May 7th, 2016 in Washington, DC, USA. While the meeting provided many symposiums, lectures, and scientific sessions this report mainly focuses on one of the sessions on the "Gene Therapy for central nervous system (CNS) Diseases" and specifically on the "Gene Therapy for the globoid cell leukodystrophy or Krabbe disease. Two presentations focused on this subject utilizing two animal models of this disease: mice and dog models. Different serotypes of adeno-associate viral vectors (AAV) alone or in combination with bone marrow transplantations were used in these research projects. The Meeting of the ASGCT reflected continuous growth in the fields of gene and cell therapy and brighter forecast for efficient treatment options for variety of human diseases. PMID:27525222

  7. The innovative evolution of cancer gene and cellular therapies.

    PubMed

    Lam, P; Khan, G; Stripecke, R; Hui, K M; Kasahara, N; Peng, K-W; Guinn, B-A

    2013-03-01

    We provide an overview of the latest developments in cancer gene therapy--from the bench to early-stage clinical trials. We describe the most recent work of worldwide teams including experienced scientists and clinicians, reflecting the recent emergence of gene therapy from the 'Valley of Death'. The treatment efficacy of clinical gene therapy has now been shown in a number of diseases including cancer and we are observing a renewed interest by big pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies most obviously demonstrated by Amgen's acquisition of Biovex for up to USD$1 billion. There is an opportunity to be cautiously hopeful regarding the future of gene therapy in the clinic and we review here some of the most recent progress in the field.

  8. Investor Outlook: Gene Therapy Picking up Steam; At a Crossroads.

    PubMed

    Schimmer, Joshua; Breazzano, Steven

    2016-09-01

    The gene therapy field continues to pick up steam with recent successes in a number of different therapeutic indications that highlight the potential for the platform. As the field continues to make progress, a growing data set of long-term safety and efficacy data will continue to define gene therapy's role, determining ultimately how widely it may be used beyond rare, serious diseases with high unmet needs. New technologies often take unanticipated twists and turns as patient exposure accumulates, and gene therapy may be no exception. That said, with many diseases that have no other treatment options beyond gene therapy and that present considerable morbidity and mortality, the field appears poised to withstand some minor and even major bumps in the road should they emerge. PMID:27632771

  9. Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy in the UK and Elsewhere.

    PubMed

    Griesenbach, Uta; Pytel, Kamila M; Alton, Eric W F W

    2015-05-01

    The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene was identified in 1989. This opened the door for the development of cystic fibrosis (CF) gene therapy, which has been actively pursued for the last 20 years. Although 26 clinical trials involving approximately 450 patients have been carried out, the vast majority of these trials were short and included small numbers of patients; they were not designed to assess clinical benefit, but to establish safety and proof-of-concept for gene transfer using molecular end points such as the detection of recombinant mRNA or correction of the ion transport defect. The only currently published trial designed and powered to assess clinical efficacy (defined as improvement in lung function) administered AAV2-CFTR to the lungs of patients with CF. The U.K. Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy Consortium completed, in the autumn of 2014, the first nonviral gene therapy trial designed to answer whether repeated nonviral gene transfer (12 doses over 12 months) can lead to clinical benefit. The demonstration that the molecular defect in CFTR can be corrected with small-molecule drugs, and the success of gene therapy in other monogenic diseases, is boosting interest in CF gene therapy. Developments are discussed here.

  10. Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy in the UK and Elsewhere

    PubMed Central

    Pytel, Kamila M.; Alton, Eric W.F.W.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene was identified in 1989. This opened the door for the development of cystic fibrosis (CF) gene therapy, which has been actively pursued for the last 20 years. Although 26 clinical trials involving approximately 450 patients have been carried out, the vast majority of these trials were short and included small numbers of patients; they were not designed to assess clinical benefit, but to establish safety and proof-of-concept for gene transfer using molecular end points such as the detection of recombinant mRNA or correction of the ion transport defect. The only currently published trial designed and powered to assess clinical efficacy (defined as improvement in lung function) administered AAV2-CFTR to the lungs of patients with CF. The U.K. Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy Consortium completed, in the autumn of 2014, the first nonviral gene therapy trial designed to answer whether repeated nonviral gene transfer (12 doses over 12 months) can lead to clinical benefit. The demonstration that the molecular defect in CFTR can be corrected with small-molecule drugs, and the success of gene therapy in other monogenic diseases, is boosting interest in CF gene therapy. Developments are discussed here. PMID:25838137

  11. The use of genes for performance enhancement: doping or therapy?

    PubMed

    Oliveira, R S; Collares, T F; Smith, K R; Collares, T V; Seixas, F K

    2011-12-01

    Recent biotechnological advances have permitted the manipulation of genetic sequences to treat several diseases in a process called gene therapy. However, the advance of gene therapy has opened the door to the possibility of using genetic manipulation (GM) to enhance athletic performance. In such 'gene doping', exogenous genetic sequences are inserted into a specific tissue, altering cellular gene activity or leading to the expression of a protein product. The exogenous genes most likely to be utilized for gene doping include erythropoietin (EPO), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), insulin-like growth factor type 1 (IGF-1), myostatin antagonists, and endorphin. However, many other genes could also be used, such as those involved in glucose metabolic pathways. Because gene doping would be very difficult to detect, it is inherently very attractive for those involved in sports who are prepared to cheat. Moreover, the field of gene therapy is constantly and rapidly progressing, and this is likely to generate many new possibilities for gene doping. Thus, as part of the general fight against all forms of doping, it will be necessary to develop and continually improve means of detecting exogenous gene sequences (or their products) in athletes. Nevertheless, some bioethicists have argued for a liberal approach to gene doping. PMID:22030863

  12. The use of genes for performance enhancement: doping or therapy?

    PubMed

    Oliveira, R S; Collares, T F; Smith, K R; Collares, T V; Seixas, F K

    2011-12-01

    Recent biotechnological advances have permitted the manipulation of genetic sequences to treat several diseases in a process called gene therapy. However, the advance of gene therapy has opened the door to the possibility of using genetic manipulation (GM) to enhance athletic performance. In such 'gene doping', exogenous genetic sequences are inserted into a specific tissue, altering cellular gene activity or leading to the expression of a protein product. The exogenous genes most likely to be utilized for gene doping include erythropoietin (EPO), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), insulin-like growth factor type 1 (IGF-1), myostatin antagonists, and endorphin. However, many other genes could also be used, such as those involved in glucose metabolic pathways. Because gene doping would be very difficult to detect, it is inherently very attractive for those involved in sports who are prepared to cheat. Moreover, the field of gene therapy is constantly and rapidly progressing, and this is likely to generate many new possibilities for gene doping. Thus, as part of the general fight against all forms of doping, it will be necessary to develop and continually improve means of detecting exogenous gene sequences (or their products) in athletes. Nevertheless, some bioethicists have argued for a liberal approach to gene doping.

  13. Retinal detachment

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Introduction Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) is the most common form of retinal detachment, where a retinal "break" allows the ingress of fluid from the vitreous cavity to the subretinal space, resulting in retinal separation. It occurs in about 1 in 10,000 people a year. Methods and outcomes We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of interventions to prevent progression from retinal breaks or lattice degeneration to retinal detachment? What are the effects of different surgical interventions in people with rhegmatogenous retinal detachment? What are the effects of interventions to treat proliferative vitreoretinopathy occurring as a complication of retinal detachment or previous treatment for retinal detachment? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to June 2010 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Results We found 21 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions. Conclusions In this systematic review, we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: corticosteroids, cryotherapy, daunorubicin, fluorouracil plus low molecular weight heparin, laser photocoagulation, pneumatic retinopexy, scleral buckling, short-acting or long-acting gas tamponade, silicone oil tamponade, and vitrectomy. PMID:21406128

  14. Retinal transduction profiles by high-capacity viral vectors.

    PubMed

    Puppo, A; Cesi, G; Marrocco, E; Piccolo, P; Jacca, S; Shayakhmetov, D M; Parks, R J; Davidson, B L; Colloca, S; Brunetti-Pierri, N; Ng, P; Donofrio, G; Auricchio, A

    2014-10-01

    Retinal gene therapy with adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors is safe and effective in humans. However, the limited cargo capacity of AAV prevents their use for therapy of those inherited retinopathies (IRs) due to mutations in large (>5 kb) genes. Viral vectors derived from adenovirus (Ad), lentivirus (LV) and herpes virus (HV) can package large DNA sequences, but do not target efficiently retinal photoreceptors (PRs) where the majority of genes responsible for IRs are expressed. Here, we have evaluated the mouse retinal transduction profiles of vectors derived from 16 different Ad serotypes, 7 LV pseudotypes and from a bovine HV. Most of the vectors tested transduced efficiently the retinal pigment epithelium. We found that LV-GP64 tends to transduce more PRs than the canonical LV-VSVG, albeit this was restricted to a narrow region. We observed more extensive PR transduction with HdAd1, 2 and 5/F35++ than with LV, although none of them outperformed the canonical HdAd5 or matched the extension of PR transduction achieved with AAV2/8.

  15. Retinal transduction profiles by high-capacity viral vectors

    PubMed Central

    Puppo, Agostina; Cesi, Giulia; Marrocco, Elena; Piccolo, Pasquale; Jacca, Sarah; Shayakhmetov, Dmitry M.; Parks, Robin J.; Davidson, Beverly L.; Colloca, Stefano; Brunetti-Pierri, Nicola; Ng, Philip; Donofrio, Gaetano; Auricchio, Alberto

    2014-01-01

    Retinal gene therapy with adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors is safe and effective in humans. However, the limited cargo capacity of AAV prevents their use for therapy of those inherited retinopathies (IRs) due to mutations in large (>5kb) genes. Viral vectors derived from Adenovirus (Ad), Lentivirus (LV) and Herpesvirus (HV) can package large DNA sequences but do not target efficiently retinal photoreceptors (PRs) where the majority of genes responsible for IRs are expressed. Here, we have evaluated the mouse retinal transduction profiles of vectors derived from 16 different Ad serotypes, 7 LV pseudotypes, and from a bovine HV. Most of the vectors tested transduced efficiently the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). We found that LV-GP64 tends to transduce more PRs than the canonical LV-VSVG albeit this was restricted to a narrow region. We observed more extensive PR transduction with HdAd1, 2 and 5/F35++ than with LV, although none of them outperformed the canonical HdAd5 or matched the extension of PR transduction achieved with AAV2/8. PMID:24989814

  16. In Vivo Selection Yields AAV-B1 Capsid for Central Nervous System and Muscle Gene Therapy.

    PubMed

    Choudhury, Sourav R; Fitzpatrick, Zachary; Harris, Anne F; Maitland, Stacy A; Ferreira, Jennifer S; Zhang, Yuanfan; Ma, Shan; Sharma, Rohit B; Gray-Edwards, Heather L; Johnson, Jacob A; Johnson, Aime K; Alonso, Laura C; Punzo, Claudio; Wagner, Kathryn R; Maguire, Casey A; Kotin, Robert M; Martin, Douglas R; Sena-Esteves, Miguel

    2016-08-01

    Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors have shown promise as a platform for gene therapy of neurological disorders. Achieving global gene delivery to the central nervous system (CNS) is key for development of effective therapies for many of these diseases. Here we report the isolation of a novel CNS tropic AAV capsid, AAV-B1, after a single round of in vivo selection from an AAV capsid library. Systemic injection of AAV-B1 vector in adult mice and cat resulted in widespread gene transfer throughout the CNS with transduction of multiple neuronal subpopulations. In addition, AAV-B1 transduces muscle, β-cells, pulmonary alveoli, and retinal vasculature at high efficiency. This vector is more efficient than AAV9 for gene delivery to mouse brain, spinal cord, muscle, pancreas, and lung. Together with reduced sensitivity to neutralization by antibodies in pooled human sera, the broad transduction profile of AAV-B1 represents an important improvement over AAV9 for CNS gene therapy. PMID:27117222

  17. Personalized therapeutic strategies for patients with retinitis pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Andrew; Li, Yao

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) encompasses many different hereditary retinal degenerations that are caused by a vast array of different gene mutations and have highly variable disease presentations and severities. This heterogeneity poses a significant therapeutic challenge, although an answer may eventually be found through two recent innovations: induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas genome editing. Areas covered This review discusses the wide-ranging applications of iPSCs and CRISPR–including disease modelling, diagnostics and therapeutics – with an ultimate view towards understanding how these two technologies can come together to address disease heterogeneity and orphan genes in a novel personalized medicine platform. An extensive literature search was conducted in PubMed and Google Scholar, with a particular focus on high-impact research published within the last 1 – 2 years and centered broadly on the subjects of retinal gene therapy, iPSC-derived outer retina cells, stem cell transplantation and CRISPR/Cas gene editing. Expert opinion For the retinal pigment epithelium, autologous transplantation of gene-corrected grafts derived from iPSCs may well be technically feasible in the near future. Photoreceptor transplantation faces more significant unresolved technical challenges but remains an achievable, if more distant, goal given the rapid pace of advancements in the field. PMID:25613576

  18. Development of gene therapy for treatment of age-related macular degeneration.

    PubMed

    Askou, Anne Louise

    2014-07-01

    Intraocular neovascular diseases are the leading cause of blindness in the Western world in individuals over the age of 50. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of these diseases. Exudative AMD, the late-stage form, is characterized by abnormal neovessel development, sprouting from the choroid into the avascular subretinal space, where it can suddenly cause irreversible damage to the vulnerable photoreceptor (PR) cells essential for our high-resolution, central vision. The molecular basis of AMD is not well understood, but several growth factors have been implicated including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and the advent of anti-VEGF therapy has markedly changed the outcome of treatment. However, common to all current therapies for exudative AMD are the complications of repeated monthly intravitreal injections, which must be continued throughout one's lifetime to maintain visual benefits. Additionally, some patients do not benefit from established treatments. Strategies providing long-term suppression of inappropriate ocular angiogenesis are therefore needed, and gene therapy offers a potential powerful technique. This study aimed to develop a strategy based on RNA interference (RNAi) for the sustained attenuation of VEGF. We designed a panel of anti-VEGF short hairpin RNAs (shRNA), and based on the most potent shRNAs, microRNA (miRNA)-mimicked hairpins were developed. We demonstrated an additive VEGF silencing effect when we combined the miRNAs in a tricistronic miRNA cluster. To meet the requirements for development of medical treatments for AMD with long-term effects, the shRNA/miRNA is expressed from vectors based on adeno-associated virus (AAV) or lentivirus (LV). Both vector systems have been found superior in terms of transduction efficiency and persistence in gene expression in retinal cells. The capacity of AAV-encoded RNAi effector molecules to silence endogenous VEGF gene expression was evaluated in mouse models, including the model

  19. Bioethical conflicts of gene therapy: a brief critical review.

    PubMed

    Freire, José Ednésio da Cruz; Medeiros, Suelen Carneiro de; Lopes Neto, Antônio Viana; Monteiro Júnior, José Edvar; Sousa, Antônio Juscelino Sudário; Rocha, Antônio José; Menezes, Léa Maria Bezerra de

    2014-01-01

    Methods and techniques employed in gene therapy are reviewed in parallel with pertinent ethical conflicts. Clinical interventions based on gene therapy techniques preferentially use vectors for the transportation of therapeutic genes, however little is known about the potential risks and damages to the patient. Thus, attending carefully to the clinical complications arising as well as to security is essential. Despite the scientific and technological advances, there are still many uncertainties about the side effects of gene therapy. Moreover, there is a need, above all, to understand the principles of bioethics as both science and ethics, in accordance with its socioecological responsibility, in order to prioritize the health and welfare of man and nature, using properly natural resources and technology. Therefore, it is hard to determine objective results and to which extent the insertion of genes can affect the organism, as well as the ethical implication. PMID:25650850

  20. Gene therapy in dentistry: tool of genetic engineering. Revisited.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Khushboo; Singh, Saurabh; Garg, Kavita Nitish

    2015-03-01

    Advances in biotechnology have brought gene therapy to the forefront of medical research. The concept of transferring genes to tissues for clinical applications has been discussed nearly half a century, but the ability to manipulate genetic material via recombinant DNA technology has brought this goal to reality. The feasibility of gene transfer was first demonstrated using tumour viruses. This led to development of viral and nonviral methods for the genetic modification of somatic cells. Applications of gene therapy to dental and oral problems illustrate the potential impact of this technology on dentistry. Preclinical trial results regarding the same have been very promising. In this review we will discuss methods, vectors involved, clinical implication in dentistry and scientific issues associated with gene therapy.

  1. Adeno-associated virus vectors and neurological gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Ojala, David S; Amara, Dominic P; Schaffer, David V

    2015-02-01

    Gene therapy has strong potential for treating a variety of genetic disorders, as demonstrated in recent clinical trials. There is unfortunately no scarcity of disease targets, and the grand challenge in this field has instead been the development of safe and efficient gene delivery platforms. To date, approximately two thirds of the 1800 gene therapy clinical trials completed worldwide have used viral vectors. Among these, adeno-associated virus (AAV) has emerged as particularly promising because of its impressive safety profile and efficiency in transducing a wide range of cell types. Gene delivery to the CNS involves both considerable promise and unique challenges, and better AAV vectors are thus needed to translate CNS gene therapy approaches to the clinic. This review discusses strategies for vector design, potential routes of administration, immune responses, and clinical applications of AAV in the CNS.

  2. Noncoding oligonucleotides: the belle of the ball in gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Shum, Ka-To; Rossi, John J

    2015-01-01

    Gene therapy carries the promise of cures for many diseases based on manipulating the expression of a person's genes toward the therapeutic goal. The relevance of noncoding oligonucleotides to human disease is attracting widespread attention. Noncoding oligonucleotides are not only involved in gene regulation, but can also be modified into therapeutic tools. There are many strategies that leverage noncoding oligonucleotides for gene therapy, including small interfering RNAs, antisense oligonucleotides, aptamers, ribozymes, decoys, and bacteriophage phi 29 RNAs. In this chapter, we will provide a broad, comprehensive overview of gene therapies that use noncoding oligonucleotides for disease treatment. The mechanism and development of each therapeutic will be described, with a particular focus on its clinical development. Finally, we will discuss the challenges associated with developing nucleic acid therapeutics and the prospects for future success.

  3. Chemical modification of chitosan for efficient gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Hu-Lin; Cui, Peng-Fei; Xie, Rong-Lin; Cho, Chong-Su

    2014-01-01

    Gene therapy involves the introduction of foreign genetic material into cells in order to exert a therapeutic effect. Successful gene therapy relies on effective vector system. Viral vectors are highly efficient in transfecting cells, but the undesirable complications limit their therapeutic applications. As a natural biopolymer, chitosan has been considered to be a good gene carrier candidate due to its ideal character which combines biocompatibility, low toxicity with high cationic density together. However, the low cell specificity and low transfection efficiency of chitosan as a gene carrier need to be overcome before undertaking clinical trials. This chapter is principally on those endeavors such as chemical modifications using cell-specific ligands and stimuli-response groups as well as penetrating modifications that have been done to increase the performances of chitosan in gene therapy.

  4. Construction of a YAC contig in the region of three retinal degeneration genes in 11q13

    SciTech Connect

    Gerhard, J.; Wang, J.

    1994-09-01

    We have previously isolated a large number of bacteriophage clones specific for human chromosome 11. Seventy-two clones map to distal 11q13, a region haboring a number of human disease genes. Among them are genes for Best macular degeneration (BMD), Usher`s syndrome type 1B, autosomal dominant neovascular inflammatory vitreoretinopathy (ADNIV) and a form of Bardet-Biedl syndrome; all diseases involve retinal degenerations. From the genetic mapping it is clear the BMD and Bardet-Biedl syndrome are located in the proximal portion of the band, while Usher`s syndrome 1B and ADNIV are in the distal portion of 11q13. As the first step towards the cloning of the latter two disease genes, we set out to isolate this region of the chromosome as yeast artificial chromosomes (YACs). The 72 clones, as well as two transcribed genes, were assigned into 4 segregation groups with radiation-reduced somatic cell hybrids. We have shown previously that this high probe density can result in the development of large YAC contigs. We chose to use two complementing strategies to screen three different YAC libraries. The two strategies are: (1) the generation of Alu-primed products from the bacteriophage clones that are then used as probes against filters from individual YAC library pools; (2) the sequencing of the bacteriophage clones, STS development and screening YAC libraries by the method of Green and Olson (1990). The former has the advantage of speed, while the latter of specificity. We have identified a total of 140 YACs from 50 screens. Approximately 50% of the markers are already in small contigs. The largest contig has 10 markers and is {approximately}1 mbp. This approach results in fairly rapid development of YAC contigs without additional application of labor-intensive, locus-specific manipulation. We expect to complete the contig within a year.

  5. Progresses towards safe and efficient gene therapy vectors

    PubMed Central

    Chira, Sergiu; Jackson, Carlo S.; Oprea, Iulian; Ozturk, Ferhat; Pepper, Michael S.; Diaconu, Iulia; Braicu, Cornelia; Raduly, Lajos-Zsolt; Calin, George A.; Berindan-Neagoe, Ioana

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of genetic engineering at the beginning of the 1970′s opened the era of biomedical technologies, which aims to improve human health using genetic manipulation techniques in a clinical context. Gene therapy represents an innovating and appealing strategy for treatment of human diseases, which utilizes vehicles or vectors for delivering therapeutic genes into the patients' body. However, a few past unsuccessful events that negatively marked the beginning of gene therapy resulted in the need for further studies regarding the design and biology of gene therapy vectors, so that this innovating treatment approach can successfully move from bench to bedside. In this paper, we review the major gene delivery vectors and recent improvements made in their design meant to overcome the issues that commonly arise with the use of gene therapy vectors. At the end of the manuscript, we summarized the main advantages and disadvantages of common gene therapy vectors and we discuss possible future directions for potential therapeutic vectors. PMID:26362400

  6. Gene therapy for cancer: from the laboratory to the patient.

    PubMed

    Kouraklis, G

    2000-06-01

    Gene therapy is a new form of therapeutic intervention with applications in many areas of medical treatment. There are still many technical difficulties to be overcome, but recent advances in the molecular and cellular biology of gene transfer have made it likely that gene therapy will soon start to play an increasing role in clinical practice and particularly in the treatment of cancer. The first clinical gene transfer in an approved protocol took place exactly 10 years ago, and it was for the transfer of gene-marked immune cells into patients with advanced cancer. Now there are 218 active clinical protocols in the United States, and they have involved over 2000 patients worldwide. Among the conditions and diseases for which gene transfer is being tried as treatment, cancer comes first with 130 clinical trials. Fundamental research in the mechanisms of cancer and the development of molecular biology tools are crucial for the success of the treatments in the future. The identification of tumor rejection antigens from a variety of cancers and the immune response that is defective in cancer patients are important topics for future studies. The evaluation of gene therapy combinations involving use of tumor suppressor genes and constructs that inactivate oncogenes is also another important area for future research. The future improvement of present viruses as well as the use of new viral vectors will likely expand the applicability and efficacy of gene therapy. During the next decade technological developments, particularly in the areas of gene delivery and cell transplantation, will be critical for the successful clinical practice of gene therapy.

  7. Retinal prosthetics, optogenetics, and chemical photoswitches.

    PubMed

    Marc, Robert; Pfeiffer, Rebecca; Jones, Bryan

    2014-10-15

    Three technologies have emerged as therapies to restore light sensing to profoundly blind patients suffering from late-stage retinal degenerations: (1) retinal prosthetics, (2) optogenetics, and (3) chemical photoswitches. Prosthetics are the most mature and the only approach in clinical practice. Prosthetic implants require complex surgical intervention and provide only limited visual resolution but can potentially restore navigational ability to many blind patients. Optogenetics uses viral delivery of type 1 opsin genes from prokaryotes or eukaryote algae to restore light responses in survivor neurons. Targeting and expression remain major problems, but are potentially soluble. Importantly, optogenetics could provide the ultimate in high-resolution vision due to the long persistence of gene expression achieved in animal models. Nevertheless, optogenetics remains challenging to implement in human eyes with large volumes, complex disease progression, and physical barriers to viral penetration. Now, a new generation of photochromic ligands or chemical photoswitches (azobenzene-quaternary ammonium derivatives) can be injected into a degenerated mouse eye and, in minutes to hours, activate light responses in neurons. These photoswitches offer the potential for rapidly and reversibly screening the vision restoration expected in an individual patient. Chemical photoswitch variants that persist in the cell membrane could make them a simple therapy of choice, with resolution and sensitivity equivalent to optogenetics approaches. A major complexity in treating retinal degenerations is retinal remodeling: pathologic network rewiring, molecular reprogramming, and cell death that compromise signaling in the surviving retina. Remodeling forces a choice between upstream and downstream targeting, each engaging different benefits and defects. Prosthetics and optogenetics can be implemented in either mode, but the use of chemical photoswitches is currently limited to downstream

  8. Future aspects of immunotherapy and gene therapy in neuroblastoma.

    PubMed

    Aktas, S

    2009-09-01

    Immunotherapy against cancer aims at stimulating the immune system or building an immune response against targeted tumor-associated antigens (TAAs). It was proposed theoretically as a potential therapy for cancer over a century ago but it became popular in the past two decades. Gene therapy represents a promising approach for reversing the neoplastic phenotype or driving tumor cells to self-destruction. Although survival rates of neuroblastoma (NB) with biologically favorable disease are greater than 90%, outcomes of patients with high risk disease are less than 40%. Stage 4 metastatic NB cases over 18 months of age are often incurable with multimodality chemotherapy regimens. In this article, translation of immuno-gene therapy strategies into clinical trials for NB are reviewed. Future aspects of immuno-gene therapy are discussed.

  9. Gene Therapy in Cardiac Surgery: Clinical Trials, Challenges, and Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Michael G.; Fargnoli, Anthony S.; Kendle, Andrew P.; Hajjar, Roger J.; Bridges, Charles R.

    2016-01-01

    The concept of gene therapy was introduced in the 1970s after the development of recombinant DNA technology. Despite the initial great expectations, this field experienced early setbacks. Recent years have seen a revival of clinical programs of gene therapy in different fields of medicine. There are many promising targets for genetic therapy as an adjunct to cardiac surgery. The first positive long-term results were published for adenoviral administration of vascular endothelial growth factor with coronary artery bypass grafting. In this review we analyze the past, present, and future of gene therapy in cardiac surgery. The articles discussed were collected through PubMed and from author experience. The clinical trials referenced were found through the Wiley clinical trial database (http://www.wiley.com/legacy/wileychi/genmed/clinical/) as well as the National Institutes of Health clinical trial database (Clinicaltrials.gov). PMID:26801060

  10. Gene Therapy for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Lung Disease.

    PubMed

    Chiuchiolo, Maria J; Crystal, Ronald G

    2016-08-01

    Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency, characterized by low plasma levels of the serine protease inhibitor AAT, is associated with emphysema secondary to insufficient protection of the lung from neutrophil proteases. Although AAT augmentation therapy with purified AAT protein is efficacious, it requires weekly to monthly intravenous infusion of AAT purified from pooled human plasma, has the risk of viral contamination and allergic reactions, and is costly. As an alternative, gene therapy offers the advantage of single administration, eliminating the burden of protein infusion, and reduced risks and costs. The focus of this review is to describe the various strategies for AAT gene therapy for the pulmonary manifestations of AAT deficiency and the state of the art in bringing AAT gene therapy to the bedside. PMID:27564673

  11. Retinal cartography.

    PubMed

    Mosier, M A

    1982-10-01

    This paper analyses retinal cartography in terms of its reflection of anatomic data and its relation to several forms of geographic methods of map-making. It shows that the distances between anatomic landmarks of the eye are reasonably similar to the relative distances on the retinal drawing chart currently used. Two forms of geographic cartography--azimuth equidistant and orthographic--are described and compared with retinal cartography. The retinal drawing chart currently used most closely approximates an azimuth equidistant projection, which suffers from circumferential distortion, a fact that retinal surgeons must keep in mind. It is therefore recommended that the chart be modified to have equally spaced concentric circles and clearer identification of the ora serrata; the present accurate marking of anatomic landmarks, such as the equator and the posterior border of the ciliary body, should be preserved.

  12. AAV-mediated tyrosinase gene transfer restores melanogenesis and retinal function in a model of oculo-cutaneous albinism type I (OCA1).

    PubMed

    Gargiulo, Annagiusi; Bonetti, Ciro; Montefusco, Sandro; Neglia, Simona; Di Vicino, Umberto; Marrocco, Elena; Corte, Michele Della; Domenici, Luciano; Auricchio, Alberto; Surace, Enrico M

    2009-08-01

    Oculo-cutaneous albinism type 1 (OCA1) is characterized by congenital hypopigmentation and is due to mutations in the TYROSINASE gene (TYR). In this study, we have characterized the morpho-functional consequences of the lack of tyrosinase activity in the spontaneous null mouse model of OCA1 (Tyr(c-2j)). Here, we show that adult Tyr(c-2j) mice have several retinal functional anomalies associated with photoreceptor loss. To test whether these anomalies are reversible upon TYR complementation, we performed intraocular administration of an adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based vector, encoding the human TYR gene, in adult Tyr(c-2j) mice. This resulted in melanosome biogenesis and ex novo synthesis of melanin in both neuroectodermally derived retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and in neural crest-derived choroid and iris melanocytes. Ocular melanin accumulation prevented progressive photoreceptor degeneration and resulted in restoration of retinal function. Our results reveal novel properties of pigment cells and show that the developmental anomalies of albino mice are associated with defects occurring in postnatal life, adding novel insights on OCA1 disease pathogenesis. In addition, we provide proof-of-principle of an effective gene-based strategy relevant for future application in albino patients. PMID:19436266

  13. Retinitis pigmentosa and progressive sensorineural hearing loss caused by a C12258A mutation in the mitochondrial MTTS2 gene.

    PubMed Central

    Mansergh, F C; Millington-Ward, S; Kennan, A; Kiang, A S; Humphries, M; Farrar, G J; Humphries, P; Kenna, P F

    1999-01-01

    Family ZMK is a large Irish kindred that segregates progressive sensorineural hearing loss and retinitis pigmentosa. The symptoms in the family are almost identical to those observed in Usher syndrome type III. Unlike that in Usher syndrome type III, the inheritance pattern in this family is compatible with dominant, X-linked dominant, or maternal inheritance. Prior linkage studies had resulted in exclusion of most candidate loci and >90% of the genome. A tentative location for a causative nuclear gene had been established on 9q; however, it is notable that no markers were found at zero recombination with respect to the disease gene. The marked variability in symptoms, together with the observation of subclinical muscle abnormalities in a single muscle biopsy, stimulated sequencing of the entire mtDNA in affected and unaffected individuals. This revealed a number of previously reported polymorphisms and/or silent substitutions. However, a C-->A transversion at position 12258 in the gene encoding the second mitochondrial serine tRNA, MTTS2, was heteroplasmic and was found in family members only. This sequence change was not present in 270 normal individuals from the same ethnic background. The consensus C at this position is highly conserved and is present in species as divergent from Homo sapiens as vulture and platypus. The mutation probably disrupts the amino acid-acceptor stem of the tRNA molecule, affecting aminoacylation of the tRNA and thereby reducing the efficiency and accuracy of mitochondrial translation. In summary, the data presented provide substantial evidence that the C12258A mtDNA mutation is causative of the disease phenotype in family ZMK. PMID:10090882

  14. Gene therapy: too much splice can spoil the dish.

    PubMed

    Trono, Didier

    2012-05-01

    The use of integrating vectors for gene therapy - required for stable correction of gene expression - carries the risk of insertional mutagenesis, which can lead to activation of a tumorigenic program. In this issue of the JCI, Moiani et al. and Cesana et al. investigate how viral vectors can induce aberrant splicing, resulting in chimeric cellular-viral transcripts. The finding that this is a general phenomenon is concerning, but some of their results do suggest approaches for the development of safeguards in gene therapy vector design.

  15. Development of Viral Vectors for Use in Cardiovascular Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Paul D.; Ranjzad, Parisa; Kakar, Salik J.; Kingston, Paul A.

    2010-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease represents the most common cause of mortality in the developed world but, despite two decades of promising pre-clinical research and numerous clinical trials, cardiovascular gene transfer has so far failed to demonstrate convincing benefits in the clinical setting. In this review we discuss the various targets which may be suitable for cardiovascular gene therapy and the viral vectors which have to date shown the most potential for clinical use. We conclude with a summary of the current state of clinical cardiovascular gene therapy and the key trials which are ongoing. PMID:21994642

  16. The hair follicle as a target for gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Gupta, S; Domashenko, A; Cotsarelis, G

    2001-01-01

    The hair follicle possesses progenitor cells for continued hair follicle cycling and for epidermal keratinocytes, melanocytes and Langerhans cells. These different cell types can be targeted by topical gene delivery to mouse skin. Using a combination of liposomes and DNA, we demonstrated the feasibility of targeting hair follicle cells in human scalp xenografts as well. We defined liposome composition and stage of the hair cycle as important parameters influencing transfection of human hair follicles. Transfection occurred only during anagen onset. Considerations and obstacles for using gene therapy to treat alopecias and skin disease are discussed. A theoretical framework for future gene therapy treatments for cutaneous and systemic disorders is presented.

  17. Gene therapy for cancer: regulatory considerations for approval

    PubMed Central

    Husain, S R; Han, J; Au, P; Shannon, K; Puri, R K

    2015-01-01

    The rapidly changing field of gene therapy promises a number of innovative treatments for cancer patients. Advances in genetic modification of cancer and immune cells and the use of oncolytic viruses and bacteria have led to numerous clinical trials for cancer therapy, with several progressing to late-stage product development. At the time of this writing, no gene therapy product has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some of the key scientific and regulatory issues include understanding of gene transfer vector biology, safety of vectors in vitro and in animal models, optimum gene transfer, long-term persistence or integration in the host, shedding of a virus and ability to maintain transgene expression in vivo for a desired period of time. Because of the biological complexity of these products, the FDA encourages a flexible, data-driven approach for preclinical safety testing programs. The clinical trial design should be based on the unique features of gene therapy products, and should ensure the safety of enrolled subjects. This article focuses on regulatory considerations for gene therapy product development and also discusses guidance documents that have been published by the FDA. PMID:26584531

  18. Gene therapy for cancer: regulatory considerations for approval.

    PubMed

    Husain, S R; Han, J; Au, P; Shannon, K; Puri, R K

    2015-12-01

    The rapidly changing field of gene therapy promises a number of innovative treatments for cancer patients. Advances in genetic modification of cancer and immune cells and the use of oncolytic viruses and bacteria have led to numerous clinical trials for cancer therapy, with several progressing to late-stage product development. At the time of this writing, no gene therapy product has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some of the key scientific and regulatory issues include understanding of gene transfer vector biology, safety of vectors in vitro and in animal models, optimum gene transfer, long-term persistence or integration in the host, shedding of a virus and ability to maintain transgene expression in vivo for a desired period of time. Because of the biological complexity of these products, the FDA encourages a flexible, data-driven approach for preclinical safety testing programs. The clinical trial design should be based on the unique features of gene therapy products, and should ensure the safety of enrolled subjects. This article focuses on regulatory considerations for gene therapy product development and also discusses guidance documents that have been published by the FDA.

  19. Recent advances in gene therapy for lysosomal storage disorders

    PubMed Central

    Rastall, David PW; Amalfitano, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    Lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) are a group of genetic diseases that result in metabolic derangements of the lysosome. Most LSDs are due to the genetic absence of a single catabolic enzyme, causing accumulation of the enzyme’s substrate within the lysosome. Over time, tissue-specific substrate accumulations result in a spectrum of symptoms and disabilities that vary by LSD. LSDs are promising targets for gene therapy because delivery of a single gene into a small percentage of the appropriate target cells may be sufficient to impact the clinical course of the disease. Recently, there have been several significant advancements in the potential for gene therapy of these disorders, including the first human trials. Future clinical trials will build upon these initial attempts, with an improved understanding of immune system responses to gene therapy, the obstacle that the blood–brain barrier poses for neuropathic LSDs, as well other biological barriers that, when overcome, may facilitate gene therapy for LSDs. In this manuscript, we will highlight the recent innovations in gene therapy for LSDs and discuss the clinical limitations that remain to be overcome, with the goal of fostering an understanding and further development of this important field. PMID:26170711

  20. Gene therapy for hemophilia: past, present and future.

    PubMed

    George, Lindsey A; Fogarty, Patrick F

    2016-01-01

    After numerous preclinical studies demonstrated consistent success in large and small animal models, gene therapy has finally seen initial signs of clinically meaningful success. In a landmark study, Nathwani and colleagues reported sustained factor (F)IX expression in individuals with severe hemophilia B following adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated in vivo FIX gene transfer. As the next possible treatment-changing paradigm in hemophilia care, gene therapy may provide patients with sufficient hemostatic improvement to achieve the World Federation of Hemophilia's aspirational goal of "integration of opportunities in all aspects of life… equivalent to someone without a bleeding disorder." Although promising momentum supports the potential of gene therapy to replace protein-based therapeutics for hemophilia, several obstacles remain. The largest challenges appear to be overcoming the cellular immune responses to the AAV capsid; preexisting AAV neutralizing antibodies, which immediately exclude approximately 50% of the target population; and the ability to scale-up vector manufacturing for widespread applicability. Additional obstacles specific to hemophilia A (HA) include designing a vector cassette to accommodate a larger cDNA; avoiding development of inhibitory antibodies; and, perhaps the greatest difficulty to overcome, ensuring adequate expression efficiency. This review discusses the relevance of gene therapy to the hemophilia disease state, previous research progress, the current landscape of clinical trials, and considerations for promoting the future availability of gene therapy for hemophilia.

  1. Gene Therapies for Cancer: Strategies, Challenges and Successes

    PubMed Central

    DAS, SWADESH K.; MENEZES, MITCHELL E.; BHATIA, SHILPA; WANG, XIANG-YANG; EMDAD, LUNI; SARKAR, DEVANAND; FISHER, PAUL B.

    2015-01-01

    Gene therapy, which involves replacement of a defective gene with a functional, healthy copy of that gene, is a potentially beneficial cancer treatment approach particularly over chemotherapy, which often lacks selectivity and can cause non-specific toxicity. Despite significant progress pre-clinically with respect to both enhanced targeting and expression in a tumor-selective manner several hurdles still prevent success in the clinic, including non-specific expression, low-efficiency delivery and biosafety. Various innovative genetic approaches are under development to reconstruct vectors/transgenes to make them safer and more effective. Utilizing cutting-edge delivery technologies, gene expression can now be targeted in a tissue- and organ-specific manner. With these advances, gene therapy is poised to become amenable for routine cancer therapy with potential to elevate this methodology as a first line therapy for neoplastic diseases. This review discusses recent advances in gene therapy and their impact on a pre-clinical and clinical level. PMID:25196387

  2. Perspectives of gene therapy in stem cell tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Goessler, Ulrich Reinhart; Riedel, Katrin; Hormann, Karl; Riedel, Frank

    2006-01-01

    Tissue engineering is an interdisciplinary field that applies the principles of engineering and life sciences toward the development of biological substitutes that restore, maintain or improve tissue function. It is hoped that forming tissue de novo will overcome many problems in plastic surgery associated with such areas as wound healing and the immunogenicity of transplanted tissue that lead to dysfunctional repair. Gene therapy is the science of the transfer of genetic material into individuals for therapeutic purposes by altering cellular function or structure at the molecular level. Recently, tissue engineering has been used in conjunction with gene therapy as a hybrid approach. This combination of stem-cell-based tissue engineering with gene therapy has the potential to provide regenerative tissue cells within an environment of optimal regulatory protein expression and would have many benefits in various areas such as the transplantation of skin, cartilage or bone. The aim of this review is to outline tissue engineering and possible applications of gene therapy in the field of biomedical engineering as well as basic principles of gene therapy, vectors and gene delivery.

  3. Gene therapy for hemophilia: past, present and future.

    PubMed

    George, Lindsey A; Fogarty, Patrick F

    2016-01-01

    After numerous preclinical studies demonstrated consistent success in large and small animal models, gene therapy has finally seen initial signs of clinically meaningful success. In a landmark study, Nathwani and colleagues reported sustained factor (F)IX expression in individuals with severe hemophilia B following adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated in vivo FIX gene transfer. As the next possible treatment-changing paradigm in hemophilia care, gene therapy may provide patients with sufficient hemostatic improvement to achieve the World Federation of Hemophilia's aspirational goal of "integration of opportunities in all aspects of life… equivalent to someone without a bleeding disorder." Although promising momentum supports the potential of gene therapy to replace protein-based therapeutics for hemophilia, several obstacles remain. The largest challenges appear to be overcoming the cellular immune responses to the AAV capsid; preexisting AAV neutralizing antibodies, which immediately exclude approximately 50% of the target population; and the ability to scale-up vector manufacturing for widespread applicability. Additional obstacles specific to hemophilia A (HA) include designing a vector cassette to accommodate a larger cDNA; avoiding development of inhibitory antibodies; and, perhaps the greatest difficulty to overcome, ensuring adequate expression efficiency. This review discusses the relevance of gene therapy to the hemophilia disease state, previous research progress, the current landscape of clinical trials, and considerations for promoting the future availability of gene therapy for hemophilia. PMID:26805907

  4. Gene therapy for dyslipidemia: a review of gene replacement and gene inhibition strategies

    PubMed Central

    Kassim, Sadik H; Wilson, James M; Rader, Daniel J

    2012-01-01

    Despite numerous technological and pharmacological advances and more detailed knowledge of molecular etiologies, cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide claiming over 17 million lives a year. Abnormalities in the synthesis, processing and catabolism of lipoprotein particles can result in severe hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia or low HDL-C. Although a plethora of antidyslipidemic pharmacological agents are available, these drugs are relatively ineffective in many patients with Mendelian lipid disorders, indicating the need for new and more effective interventions. In vivo somatic gene therapy is one such intervention. This article summarizes current strategies being pursued for the development of clinical gene therapy for dyslipidemias that cannot effectively be treated with existing drugs. PMID:22505953

  5. Safety of gene therapy: new insights to a puzzling case.

    PubMed

    Rothe, Michael; Schambach, Axel; Biasco, Luca

    2014-01-01

    Over the last few years, the transfer of therapeutic genes via gammaretro- or lentiviral vector systems has proven its virtue as an alternative treatment for a series of genetic disorders. The number of approved phase I/II clinical trials, especially for rare diseases, is steadily increasing, but the overall hurdles to become a broadly acceptable therapy remain numerous. The efforts by clinicians and basic scientists have tremendously improved the knowledge available about feasibility and biosafety of gene therapy. Nonetheless, despite the generation of a plethora of clinical and preclinical safety data, we still lack sufficiently powerful assays to predictively assess the exact levels of toxicity that might be observed in any given clinical gene therapy. Insertional mutagenesis is one of the major concerns when using integrating vectors for permanent cell modification, and the occurrence of adverse events related to genotoxicity, in early gene therapy trials, has refrained the field of gene therapy from emerging further. In this review, we provided a comprehensive overview on the basic principles and potential co-factors concurring in the generation of adverse events reported in gene therapy clinical trials using integrating vectors. Additionally, we summarized the available systems to assess genotoxicity at the preclinical level and we shed light on the issues affecting the predictive value of these assays when translating their results into the clinical arena. In the last section of the review we briefly touched on the future trends and how they could increase the safety of gene therapy employing integrating vector technology to take it to the next level.

  6. Navigating the current landscape of clinical genetic testing for inherited retinal dystrophies.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kristy; Garg, Seema

    2015-04-01

    Inherited eye disorders are a significant cause of vision loss. Genetic testing can be particularly helpful for patients with inherited retinal dystrophies because of genetic heterogeneity and overlapping phenotypes. The need to identify a molecular diagnosis for retinal dystrophies is particularly important in the era of developing novel gene therapy-based treatments, such as the RPE65 gene-based clinical trials and others on the horizon, as well as recent advances in reproductive options. The introduction of massively parallel sequencing technologies has significantly advanced the identification of novel gene candidates and has expanded the landscape of genetic testing. In a relatively short time clinical medicine has progressed from limited testing options to a plethora of choices ranging from single-gene testing to whole-exome sequencing. This article outlines currently available genetic testing and factors to consider when selecting appropriate testing for patients with inherited retinal dystrophies.

  7. Gene Therapy for the Treatment of Neurological Disorders: Metabolic Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Gessler, Dominic J.; Gao, Guangping

    2016-01-01

    Metabolic disorders comprise a large group of heterogeneous diseases ranging from very prevalent diseases such as diabetes mellitus to rare genetic disorders like Canavan Disease. Whether either of these diseases is amendable by gene therapy depends to a large degree on the knowledge of their pathomechanism, availability of the therapeutic gene, vector selection, and availability of suitable animal models. In this book chapter, we review three metabolic disorders of the central nervous system (CNS; Canavan Disease, Niemann–Pick disease and Phenylketonuria) to give examples for primary and secondary metabolic disorders of the brain and the attempts that have been made to use adeno-associated virus (AAV) based gene therapy for treatment. Finally, we highlight commonalities and obstacles in the development of gene therapy for metabolic disorders of the CNS exemplified by those three diseases. PMID:26611604

  8. Recent trends in the gene therapy of β-thalassemia

    PubMed Central

    Finotti, Alessia; Breda, Laura; Lederer, Carsten W; Bianchi, Nicoletta; Zuccato, Cristina; Kleanthous, Marina; Rivella, Stefano; Gambari, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    The β-thalassemias are a group of hereditary hematological diseases caused by over 300 mutations of the adult β-globin gene. Together with sickle cell anemia, thalassemia syndromes are among the most impactful diseases in developing countries, in which the lack of genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis have contributed to the maintenance of a very high frequency of these genetic diseases in the population. Gene therapy for β-thalassemia has recently seen steadily accelerating progress and has reached a crossroads in its development. Presently, data from past and ongoing clinical trials guide the design of further clinical and preclinical studies based on gene augmentation, while fundamental insights into globin switching and new technology developments have inspired the investigation of novel gene-therapy approaches. Moreover, human erythropoietic stem cells from β-thalassemia patients have been the cellular targets of choice to date whereas future gene-therapy studies might increasingly draw on induced pluripotent stem cells. Herein, we summarize the most significant developments in β-thalassemia gene therapy over the last decade, with a strong emphasis on the most recent findings, for β-thalassemia model systems; for β-, γ-, and anti-sickling β-globin gene addition and combinatorial approaches including the latest results of clinical trials; and for novel approaches, such as transgene-mediated activation of γ-globin and genome editing using designer nucleases. PMID:25737641

  9. Gene therapy for mitochondrial diseases: Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy as the first candidate for a clinical trial.

    PubMed

    Cwerman-Thibault, Hélène; Augustin, Sébastien; Ellouze, Sami; Sahel, José-Alain; Corral-Debrinski, Marisol

    2014-03-01

    Mitochondrial disorders cannot be ignored anymore in most medical disciplines; indeed their minimum estimated prevalence is superior to 1 in 5000 births. Despite the progress made in the last 25 years on the identification of gene mutations causing mitochondrial pathologies, only slow progress was made towards their effective treatments. Ocular involvement is a frequent feature in mitochondrial diseases and corresponds to severe and irreversible visual handicap due to retinal neuron loss and optic atrophy. Interestingly, three clinical trials for Leber Congenital Amaurosis due to RPE65 mutations are ongoing since 2007. Overall, the feasibility and safety of ocular Adeno-Associated Virus delivery in adult and younger patients and consistent visual function improvements have been demonstrated. The success of gene-replacement therapy for RPE65 opens the way for the development of similar approaches for a broad range of eye disorders, including those with mitochondrial etiology such as Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON).

  10. Improving the management of Inherited Retinal Dystrophies by targeted sequencing of a population-specific gene panel

    PubMed Central

    Bravo-Gil, Nereida; Méndez-Vidal, Cristina; Romero-Pérez, Laura; González-del Pozo, María; Rodríguez-de la Rúa, Enrique; Dopazo, Joaquín; Borrego, Salud; Antiñolo, Guillermo

    2016-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has overcome important limitations to the molecular diagnosis of Inherited Retinal Dystrophies (IRD) such as the high clinical and genetic heterogeneity and the overlapping phenotypes. The purpose of this study was the identification of the genetic defect in 32 Spanish families with different forms of IRD. With that aim, we implemented a custom NGS panel comprising 64 IRD-associated genes in our population, and three disease-associated intronic regions. A total of 37 pathogenic mutations (14 novels) were found in 73% of IRD patients ranging from 50% for autosomal dominant cases, 75% for syndromic cases, 83% for autosomal recessive cases, and 100% for X-linked cases. Additionally, unexpected phenotype-genotype correlations were found in 6 probands, which led to the refinement of their clinical diagnoses. Furthermore, intra- and interfamilial phenotypic variability was observed in two cases. Moreover, two cases unsuccessfully analysed by exome sequencing were resolved by applying this panel. Our results demonstrate that this hypothesis-free approach based on frequently mutated, population-specific loci is highly cost-efficient for the routine diagnosis of this heterogeneous condition and allows the unbiased analysis of a miscellaneous cohort. The molecular information found here has aid clinical diagnosis and has improved genetic counselling and patient management. PMID:27032803

  11. Cerebro-retinal microangiopathy with calcifications and cysts due to recessive mutations in the CTC1 gene.

    PubMed

    Bisserbe, A; Tertian, G; Buffet, C; Turhan, A; Lambotte, O; Nasser, G; Alvin, P; Tardieu, M; Riant, F; Bergametti, F; Tournier-Lasserve, E; Denier, C

    2015-05-01

    Cerebro-retinal microangiopathy with calcifications and cysts (CRMCC) or Coats plus syndrome is a pleiotropic disorder affecting the eyes, brain, bone and gastrointestinal tract. Its primary pathogenesis involves small vessel obliterative microangiopathy. Recently, autosomal recessively inherited mutations in CTC1 have been reported in CRMCC patients. We herein report an adolescent referred to our hospital following new seizures in a context of an undefined multisystem disorder. Cerebral imaging disclosed asymmetrical leukopathy, intracranial calcifications and cysts. In addition, he presented other typical CRMCC features i.e. a history of intrauterine growth retardation, skeletal demineralization and osteopenia, bilateral exudative vitreo-retinopathy reminiscent of Coats disease, recurrent gastrointestinal hemorrhages secondary to watermelon stomach and variceal bleeding of the esophagus due to idiopathic portal hypertension and telangiectatic and angiodysplasic changes in the small intestine and colon, and anemia due to recurrent bleeding and bone marrow abnormalities. The patient was diagnosed with Coats plus syndrome. CTC1 gene screening confirmed the diagnosis with the identification of heterozygous deleterious mutations. CRMCC due to CTC1 mutations has a broad clinical expressivity. Our case report illustrates the main possible associated phenotypes and their complications, demonstrating the need for a careful etiological search in order to initiate appropriate therapeutic and preventive measures.

  12. Prospects of Stem Cells for Retinal Diseases.

    PubMed

    Ng, Tsz Kin; Lam, Dennis S C; Cheung, Herman S

    2013-01-01

    Retinal diseases, including glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration, are the leading causes of irreversible visual impairment and blindness in developed countries. Traditional and current treatment regimens are based on surgical or medical interventions to slow down the disease progression. However, the number of retinal cells would continue to diminish, and the diseases could not be completely cured. There is an emerging role of stem cells in retinal research. The stem cell therapy on retinal diseases is based on 2 theories: cell replacement therapy and neuroprotective effect. The former hypothesizes that new retinal cells could be regenerated from stem cells to substitute the damaged cells in the diseased retina, whereas the latter believes that the paracrine effects of stem cells modulate the microenvironments of the diseased retina so as to protect the retinal neurons. This article summarizes the choice of stem cells in retinal research. Moreover, the current progress of retinal research on stem cells and the clinical applications of stem cells on retinal diseases are reviewed. In addition, potential challenges and future prospects of retinal stem cell research are discussed.

  13. Advancing therapeutic strategies for inherited retinal degeneration: recommendations from the Monaciano Symposium.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Debra A; Ali, Robin R; Banin, Eyal; Branham, Kari E; Flannery, John G; Gamm, David M; Hauswirth, William W; Heckenlively, John R; Iannaccone, Alessandro; Jayasundera, K Thiran; Khan, Naheed W; Molday, Robert S; Pennesi, Mark E; Reh, Thomas A; Weleber, Richard G; Zacks, David N

    2015-02-09

    Although rare in the general population, retinal dystrophies occupy a central position in current efforts to develop innovative therapies for blinding diseases. This status derives, in part, from the unique biology, accessibility, and function of the retina, as well as from the synergy between molecular discoveries and transformative advances in functional assessment and retinal imaging. The combination of these factors has fueled remarkable progress in the field, while at the same time creating complex challenges for organizing collective efforts aimed at advancing translational research. The present position paper outlines recent progress in gene therapy and cell therapy for this group of disorders, and presents a set of recommendations for addressing the challenges remaining for the coming decade. It is hoped that the formulation of these recommendations will stimulate discussions among researchers, funding agencies, industry, and policy makers that will accelerate the development of safe and effective treatments for retinal dystrophies and related diseases.

  14. Advancing Therapeutic Strategies for Inherited Retinal Degeneration: Recommendations From the Monaciano Symposium

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Debra A.; Ali, Robin R.; Banin, Eyal; Branham, Kari E.; Flannery, John G.; Gamm, David M.; Hauswirth, William W.; Heckenlively, John R.; Iannaccone, Alessandro; Jayasundera, K. Thiran; Khan, Naheed W.; Molday, Robert S.; Pennesi, Mark E.; Reh, Thomas A.; Weleber, Richard G.; Zacks, David N.

    2015-01-01

    Although rare in the general population, retinal dystrophies occupy a central position in current efforts to develop innovative therapies for blinding diseases. This status derives, in part, from the unique biology, accessibility, and function of the retina, as well as from the synergy between molecular discoveries and transformative advances in functional assessment and retinal imaging. The combination of these factors has fueled remarkable progress in the field, while at the same time creating complex challenges for organizing collective efforts aimed at advancing translational research. The present position paper outlines recent progress in gene therapy and cell therapy for this group of disorders, and presents a set of recommendations for addressing the challenges remaining for the coming decade. It is hoped that the formulation of these recommendations will stimulate discussions among researchers, funding agencies, industry, and policy makers that will accelerate the development of safe and effective treatments for retinal dystrophies and related diseases. PMID:25667399

  15. Gene therapy for the treatment of cystic fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Burney, Tabinda J; Davies, Jane C

    2012-01-01

    Gene therapy is being developed as a novel treatment for cystic fibrosis (CF), a condition that has hitherto been widely-researched yet for which no treatment exists that halts the progression of lung disease. Gene therapy involves the transfer of correct copies of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) DNA to the epithelial cells in the airways. The cloning of the CFTR gene in 1989 led to proof-of-principle studies of CFTR gene transfer in vitro and in animal models. The earliest clinical trials in CF patients were conducted in 1993 and used viral and non-viral gene transfer agents in both the nasal and bronchial airway epithelium. To date, studies have focused largely on molecular or bioelectric (chloride secretion) outcome measures, many demonstrating evidence of CFTR expression, but few have attempted to achieve clinical efficacy. As CF is a lifelong disease, turnover of the airway epithelium necessitates repeat administration. To date, this has been difficult to achieve with viral gene transfer agents due to host recognition leading to loss of expression. The UK Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy Consortium (Imperial College London, University of Edinburgh and University of Oxford) is currently working on a large and ambitious program to establish the clinical benefits of CF gene therapy. Wave 1, which has reached the clinic, uses a non-viral vector. A single-dose safety trial is nearing completion and a multi-dose clinical trial is shortly due to start; this will be powered for clinically-relevant changes. Wave 2, more futuristically, will look at the potential of lentiviruses, which have long-lasting expression. This review will summarize the current status of translational research in CF gene therapy. PMID:23776378

  16. Insulin gene therapy for type 1 diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Handorf, Andrew M; Sollinger, Hans W; Alam, Tausif

    2015-04-01

    Type 1 diabetes mellitus is an autoimmune disease resulting from the destruction of pancreatic β cells. Current treatments for patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus include daily insulin injections or whole pancreas transplant, each of which are associated with profound drawbacks. Insulin gene therapy, which has shown great efficacy in correcting hyperglycemia in animal models, holds great promise as an alternative strategy to treat type 1 diabetes mellitus in humans. Insulin gene therapy refers to the targeted expression of insulin in non-β cells, with hepatocytes emerging as the primary therapeutic target. In this review, we present an overview of the current state of insulin gene therapy to treat type 1 diabetes mellitus, including the need for an alternative therapy, important features dictating the success of the therapy, and current obstacles preventing the translation of this treatment option to a clinical setting. In so doing, we hope to shed light on insulin gene therapy as a viable option to treat type 1 diabetes mellitus.

  17. Advances in gene therapy for muscular dystrophies

    PubMed Central

    Abdul-Razak, Hayder; Malerba, Alberto; Dickson, George

    2016-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a recessive lethal inherited muscular dystrophy caused by mutations in the gene encoding dystrophin, a protein required for muscle fibre integrity. So far, many approaches have been tested from the traditional gene addition to newer advanced approaches based on manipulation of the cellular machinery either at the gene transcription, mRNA processing or translation levels. Unfortunately, despite all these efforts, no efficient treatments for DMD are currently available. In this review, we highlight the most advanced therapeutic strategies under investigation as potential DMD treatments.

  18. Advances in gene therapy for muscular dystrophies

    PubMed Central

    Abdul-Razak, Hayder; Malerba, Alberto; Dickson, George

    2016-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a recessive lethal inherited muscular dystrophy caused by mutations in the gene encoding dystrophin, a protein required for muscle fibre integrity. So far, many approaches have been tested from the traditional gene addition to newer advanced approaches based on manipulation of the cellular machinery either at the gene transcription, mRNA processing or translation levels. Unfortunately, despite all these efforts, no efficient treatments for DMD are currently available. In this review, we highlight the most advanced therapeutic strategies under investigation as potential DMD treatments. PMID:27594988

  19. Advances in gene therapy for muscular dystrophies.

    PubMed

    Abdul-Razak, Hayder; Malerba, Alberto; Dickson, George

    2016-01-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a recessive lethal inherited muscular dystrophy caused by mutations in the gene encoding dystrophin, a protein required for muscle fibre integrity. So far, many approaches have been tested from the traditional gene addition to newer advanced approaches based on manipulation of the cellular machinery either at the gene transcription, mRNA processing or translation levels. Unfortunately, despite all these efforts, no efficient treatments for DMD are currently available. In this review, we highlight the most advanced therapeutic strategies under investigation as potential DMD treatments. PMID:27594988

  20. Identification and validation of reference genes for quantitative RT-PCR analysis of retinal pigment epithelium cells under hypoxia and/or hyperglycemia.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xin; Xie, Jia'nan; Liu, Zaoxia; Gong, Qiaoyun; Tian, Rui; Su, Guanfang

    2016-04-10

    Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell-based gene expression studies performed under hypoxia and/or hyperglycemia show huge potential for modeling cell responses in diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity and other retinal diseases. However, normalization of gene expression on RPE cells under those conditions has commonly been done using either GAPDH or β-actin as reference genes without any validation of their expression stability. Therefore, we aimed to establish a suitable set of reference genes for studies on RPE cells cultured under both normal culturing glucose and atmospheric oxygen tension (normoxia, 21%), under a low oxygen tension (hypoxia, 1%), under a high glucose growth medium (25 mmol/l) and under the combination of the two changed conditions above for distinct time points taking together from 24h to 7 days. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was applied on RNA obtained from a cell line, ARPE-19. Stability of 14 commonly used reference genes was assessed and ranked according to their stability values using the geNorm and NormFinder softwares with the aim to find the most stable expressed gene under all conditions. Our findings confirm that HPRT1, GUSB and PPIA are the most suitable reference genes for RPE cell gene expression experiments subjected to hypoxia and/or hyperglycemia. To emphasize the importance of selecting the most stably expressed reference genes for obtaining reliable results, mRNA expression levels of hypoxia induced factor-1α were analyzed vs the best reference genes, the worst ones and the most commonly used ones. These reference genes gave the most reliable normalization for comparative analyses of gene transcription under those conditions.

  1. X-Linked Retinitis Pigmentosa 2 Is a Novel Maternal-Effect Gene Required for Left-Right Asymmetry in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Desvignes, Thomas; Nguyen, Thaovi; Chesnel, Franck; Bouleau, Aurélien; Fauvel, Christian; Bobe, Julien

    2015-08-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa 2 (RP2) gene is responsible for up to 20% of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa, a severe heterogeneous genetic disorder resulting in progressive retinal degeneration in humans. In vertebrates, several bodies of evidence have clearly established the role of Rp2 protein in cilia genesis and/or function. Unexpectedly, some observations in zebrafish have suggested the oocyte-predominant expression of the rp2 gene, a typical feature of maternal-effect genes. In the present study, we investigate the maternal inheritance of rp2 gene products in zebrafish eggs in order to address whether rp2 could be a novel maternal-effect gene required for normal development. Although both rp2 mRNA and corresponding protein are expressed during oogenesis, rp2 mRNA is maternally inherited, in contrast to Rp2 protein. A knockdown of the protein transcribed from both rp2 maternal and zygotic mRNA results in delayed epiboly and severe developmental defects, including eye malformations, that were not observed when only the protein from zygotic origin was knocked down. Moreover, the knockdown of maternal and zygotic Rp2 revealed a high incidence of left-right asymmetry establishment defects compared to only zygotic knockdown. Here we show that rp2 is a novel maternal-effect gene exclusively expressed in oocytes within the zebrafish ovary and demonstrate that maternal rp2 mRNA is essential for successful embryonic development and thus contributes to egg developmental competence. Our observations also reveal that Rp2 protein translated from maternal mRNA is important to allow normal heart loop formation, thus providing evidence of a direct maternal contribution to left-right asymmetry establishment.

  2. Transcriptional targeting of tumor endothelial cells for gene therapy

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Zhihong; Nör, Jacques E.

    2009-01-01

    It is well known that angiogenesis plays a critical role in the pathobiology of tumors. Recent clinical trials have shown that inhibition of angiogenesis can be an effective therapeutic strategy for patients with cancer. However, one of the outstanding issues in anti-angiogenic treatment for cancer is the development of toxicities related to off-target effects of drugs. Transcriptional targeting of tumor endothelial cells involves the use of specific promoters for selective expression of therapeutic genes in the endothelial cells lining the blood vessels of tumors. Recently, several genes that are expressed specifically in tumor-associated endothelial cells have been identified and characterized. These discoveries have enhanced the prospectus of transcriptionaly targeting tumor endothelial cells for cancer gene therapy. In this manuscript, we review the promoters, vectors, and therapeutic genes that have been used for transcriptional targeting of tumor endothelial cells, and discuss the prospects of such approaches for cancer gene therapy. PMID:19393703

  3. Gene therapy: a promising approach to treating spinal muscular atrophy.

    PubMed

    Mulcahy, Pádraig J; Iremonger, Kayleigh; Karyka, Evangelia; Herranz-Martín, Saúl; Shum, Ka-To; Tam, Janice Kal Van; Azzouz, Mimoun

    2014-07-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a severe autosomal recessive disease caused by a genetic defect in the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, which encodes SMN, a protein widely expressed in all eukaryotic cells. Depletion of the SMN protein causes muscle weakness and progressive loss of movement in SMA patients. The field of gene therapy has made major advances over the past decade, and gene delivery to the central nervous system (CNS) by in vivo or ex vivo techniques is a rapidly emerging field in neuroscience. Despite Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis being among the most common neurodegenerative diseases in humans and attractive targets for treatment development, their multifactorial origin and complicated genetics make them less amenable to gene therapy. Monogenic disorders resulting from modifications in a single gene, such as SMA, prove more favorable and have been at the fore of this evolution of potential gene therapies, and results to date have been promising at least. With the estimated number of monogenic diseases standing in the thousands, elucidating a therapeutic target for one could have major implications for many more. Recent progress has brought about the commercialization of the first gene therapies for diseases, such as pancreatitis in the form of Glybera, with the potential for other monogenic disease therapies to follow suit. While much research has been carried out, there are many limiting factors that can halt or impede translation of therapies from the bench to the clinic. This review will look at both recent advances and encountered impediments in terms of SMA and endeavor to highlight the promising results that may be applicable to various associated diseases and also discuss the potential to overcome present limitations. PMID:24845847

  4. Retinal Prosthesis

    PubMed Central

    Weiland, James D.; Humayun, Mark S.

    2015-01-01

    Retinal prosthesis have been translated from the laboratory to the clinical over the past two decades. Currently, two devices have regulatory approval for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa. These devices provide partial sight restoration and patients use this improved vision in their everyday lives. Improved mobility and object detection are some of the more notable findings from the clinical trials. However, significant vision restoration will require both better technology and improved understanding of the interaction between electrical stimulation and the retina. This paper reviews the recent clinical trials, highlights technology breakthroughs that will contribute to next generation of retinal prostheses. PMID:24710817

  5. Microneedles As a Delivery System for Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wei; Li, Hui; Shi, De; Liu, Zhenguo; Yuan, Weien

    2016-01-01

    Gene delivery systems can be divided to two major types: vector-based (either viral vector or non-viral vector) and physical delivery technologies. Many physical carriers, such as electroporation, gene gun, ultrasound start to be proved to have the potential to enable gene therapy. A relatively new physical delivery technology for gene delivery consists of microneedles (MNs), which has been studied in many fields and for many molecule types and indications. Microneedles can penetrate the stratum corneum, which is the main barrier for drug delivery through the skin with ease of administration and without significant pain. Many different kinds of MNs, such as metal MNs, coated MNs, dissolving MNs have turned out to be promising in gene delivery. In this review, we discussed the potential as well as the challenges of utilizing MNs to deliver nucleic acids for gene therapy. We also proposed that a combination of MNs and other gene delivery approaches may lead to a better delivery system for gene therapy. PMID:27303298

  6. An early history of gene transfer and therapy.

    PubMed

    Wolff, J A; Lederberg, J

    1994-04-01

    The term "gene therapy" was coined to distinguish it from the Orwellian connotations of "human genetic engineering," which, in turn, was derived from the term "genetic engineering." Genetic engineering was first used at the Sixth International Congress of Genetics held in 1932 and was taken to mean "the application of genetic principles to animal and plant breeding." Once the basics of molecular genetics and gene transfer in bacteria were established in the 1960s, gene transfer into animals and humans using either viral vectors and/or genetically modified cultured cells became inevitable. Despite the early exposition of the concept of gene therapy, progress awaited the advent of recombinant DNA technology. The lack of trustworthy techniques did not stop many researchers from attempting to transfer genes into cells in culture, animals, and humans. Viral genomes were used for the development of the first relatively efficient methods for gene transfer into mammalian cells in culture. In the late 1970s, early transfection techniques were combined with selection systems for cultured cells and recombinant DNA technology. With the development of retroviral vectors in the early 1980s, the possibility of efficient gene transfer into mammalian cells for the purpose of gene therapy became widely accepted.

  7. Intracellular delivery of potential therapeutic genes: prospects in cancer gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Bakhtiar, Athirah; Sayyad, Mustak; Rosli, Rozita; Maruyama, Atsushi; Chowdhury, Ezharul H

    2014-01-01

    Conventional therapies for malignant cancer such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy are associated with poor survival rates owing to the development of cellular resistance to cancer drugs and the lack of targetability, resulting in unwanted adverse effects on healthy cells and necessitating the lowering of therapeutic dose with consequential lower efficacy of the treatment. Gene therapy employing different types of viral and non-viral carriers to transport gene(s) of interest and facilitating production of the desirable therapeutic protein(s) has tremendous prospects in cancer treatments due to the high-level of specificity in therapeutic action of the expressed protein(s) with diminished off-target effects, although cancer cell-specific delivery of transgene(s) still poses some challenges to be addressed. Depending on the potential therapeutic target genes, cancer gene therapy could be categorized into tumor suppressor gene replacement therapy, immune gene therapy and enzyme- or prodrug-based therapy. This review would shed light on the current progress of delivery of potentially therapeutic genes into various cancer cells in vitro and animal models utilizing a variety of viral and non-viral vectors.

  8. Regulation of the human tyrosinase gene in retinal pigment epithelium cells: the significance of transcription factor orthodenticle homeobox 2 and its polymorphic binding site

    PubMed Central

    Putula, Jaana; Mannermaa, Eliisa; Urtti, Arto; Honkakoski, Paavo

    2012-01-01

    Purpose Tyrosinase is the rate-limiting enzyme responsible for melanin biosynthesis in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) of the eye. Melanin has an important role in retinal development, function, and protection against light-induced oxidative stress, and melanin levels are associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Because the levels of and protection afforded by melanin seem to decline with increasing age, proper regulation of the human tyrosinase gene (TYR) in the RPE is an important but insufficiently understood process. Our purpose was to obtain detailed information on regulation of the TYR gene promoter in the human RPE and to specify the role of orthodenticle homeobox 2 (OTX2) and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF). Methods We used luciferase reporter constructs to study regulation of the human TYR gene promoter in cultured human RPE cells. We further studied the role of OTX2 and MITF, their binding sites, and endogenous expression by using mutagenesis, electrophoretic mobility shift assay, yeast two-hybrid assay, RNA interference, and gene expression analyses. Results In the RPE, OTX2 activated the human TYR gene promoter via direct trans-activation of novel OTX2 binding elements. In addition, we found that indirect activation by OTX2 via more proximal MITF binding sites, even in the absence of OTX2 sites, took place. These results are consistent with the physical interaction observed between OTX2 and MITF. Overexpression or knockdown of OTX2 in RPE cells resulted in corresponding changes in tyrosinase mRNA expression. Finally, we found that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP rs4547091) at the most proximal OTX2 binding site is associated with altered nuclear protein binding and a remarkable decrease in TYR promoter activity in RPE cells. This single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is more common in the European population in which AMD is also more prevalent. Conclusions In the RPE, OTX2 activates the human TYR gene

  9. Potential of Gene Therapy for the Treatment of Pituitary Tumors

    PubMed Central

    Goya, R G.; Sarkar, D.K.; Brown, O.A.; Hereñú, C.B.

    2010-01-01

    Pituitary adenomas constitute the most frequent neuroendocrine pathology, comprising up to 15% of primary intracranial tumors. Current therapies for pituitary tumors include surgery and radiotherapy, as well as pharmacological approaches for some types. Although all of these approaches have shown a significant degree of success, they are not devoid of unwanted side effects, and in most cases do not offer a permanent cure. Gene therapy—the transfer of genetic material for therapeutic purposes—has undergone an explosive development in the last few years. Within this context, the development of gene therapy approaches for the treatment of pituitary tumors emerges as a promising area of research. We begin by presenting a brief account of the genesis of prolactinomas, with particular emphasis on how estradiol induces prolactinomas in animals. In so doing, we discuss the role of each of the recently discovered growth inhibitory and growth stimulatory substances and their interactions in estrogen action. We also evaluate the cell-cell communication that may govern these growth factor interactions and subsequently promote the growth and survival of prolactinomas. Current research efforts to implement gene therapy in pituitary tumors include the treatment of experimental prolactinomas or somatomammotropic tumors with adenoviral vector-mediated transfer of the suicide gene for the herpes simplex type 1 (HSV1) thymidine kinase, which converts the prodrug ganciclovir into a toxic metabolite. In some cases, the suicide transgene has been placed under the control of pituitary cell-type specific promoters, like the human prolactin or human growth hormone promoters. Also, regulatable adenoviral vector systems are being assessed in gene therapy approaches for experimental pituitary tumors. In a different type of approach, an adenoviral vector, encoding the human retinoblastoma suppressor oncogene, has been successfully used to rescue the phenotype of spontaneous pituitary

  10. Malattia Leventinese/Doyne Honeycomb Retinal Dystrophy: Similarities to Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Potential Therapies.

    PubMed

    Hulleman, John D

    2016-01-01

    Fibulin-3 (F3) is a secreted, disulfide-rich glycoprotein which is expressed in a variety of tissues within the body, including the retina. An Arg345Trp (R345W) mutation in F3 was identified as the cause of a rare retinal dystrophy, Malattia Leventinese/Doyne Honeycomb Retinal Dystrophy (ML/DHRD). ML/DHRD shares many phenotypic similarities with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The most prominent feature of ML/DHRD is the development of radial or honeycomb patterns of drusen which can develop as early as adolescence. Two independent mouse models of ML/DHRD show evidence of complement activation as well as retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) atrophy, strengthening the phenotypic connection with AMD. Because of its similarities with AMD, ML/DHRD is receiving increasing interest as a potential surrogate disease to study the underpinnings of AMD. This mini-review summarizes the current knowledge of F3 and points toward potential therapeutic strategies which directly or indirectly target cellular dysfunction associated with R345W F3.

  11. The history of eugenics and the future of gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Howell, Joel D

    1991-01-01

    In this commentary, I shall provide an overview of some recent histories of eugenics and suggest some lessons that this history may have for today. This commentary is not an argument against gene therapy. Rather, it is a plea for historical understanding of what has been done,..."in the name of eugenics."... There is a temptation to parody misgivings about gene therapy. I suggest that there are justified reasons to think about the social consequences of gene therapy. I do not hold that we ought to stop the program now, but I do believe that scientists, physicians, and the public ought to be aware of the slippery slope on which we as a society -- and we are all members of society -- have embarked.

  12. Regulation of Cell and Gene Therapy Medicinal Products in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yi-Chu; Wang, Po-Yu; Tsai, Shih-Chih; Lin, Chien-Liang; Tai, Hsuen-Yung; Lo, Chi-Fang; Wu, Shiow-Ing; Chiang, Yu-Mei; Liu, Li-Ling

    2015-01-01

    Owing to the rapid and mature development of emerging biotechnology in the fields of cell culture, cell preservation, and recombinant DNA technology, more and more cell or gene medicinal therapy products have been approved for marketing, to treat serious diseases which have been challenging to treat with current medical practice or medicine. This chapter will briefly introduce the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) and elaborate regulation of cell and gene therapy medicinal products in Taiwan, including regulatory history evolution, current regulatory framework, application and review procedures, and relevant jurisdictional issues. Under the promise of quality, safety, and efficacy of medicinal products, it is expected the regulation and environment will be more flexible, streamlining the process of the marketing approval of new emerging cell or gene therapy medicinal products and providing diverse treatment options for physicians and patients.

  13. [Is a gene therapy for diabetic syndromes foreseeable?].

    PubMed

    Assan, R; Clauser, E; Larger, E

    1994-01-01

    The concepts and methods of gene therapy are summarized in order to assess a possible implication in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Gene therapy requires identification of the critical genetic defect and then the preparation and introduction of the therapeutic transgene, with an appropriate targeting and a strong regulated expression. The bases of the different human diabetic syndromes are reviewed in their present state of knowledge: they are mostly clarified in the case of MODY, extreme insulin resistance syndromes, and some mitochondrial diabetic syndromes; but still obscure in the case of Type 2 and Type 1 diabetic syndromes. Substantial contributions to the understanding of the pathophysiology of diabetes have been brought by transgenic animal models. Gene therapy of human diabetic syndromes may become available, in an undetermined future, particularly under the forms of insulin secreting transgenic "organoïds". Such treatments should be proportionate to the intrinsic severity of the candidate diseases and carefully screened for safety. PMID:8001711

  14. State-of-the-art 2003 on PKU gene therapy

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Zhaobing; Harding, Cary O.; Thöny, Beat

    2009-01-01

    Phenylketonuria (or PKU) is a well-known and widespread genetic disease for which many countries perform newborn screening, and life-long dietary restriction is still the ultimate and effective therapy. However, the diet is complicated, unpalatable, and expensive. The long-term effects of diet discontinuation in adults, except for the serious adverse effects of maternal hyperphenylalaninemia upon the developing fetus, have not been systematically studied, but congnitive decline and neurologic abnormalities have been anecdotally reported. Thus, alternative approaches for PKU therapy, including gene therapy, must be further explored. Here we summarize past present nonviral and viral gene transfer approaches, both in vitro studies and preclinical animal trials, to delivering the PAH gene into liver or other organs as potential alternatives to life-long phenylalanine-restricted dietary theraphy. PMID:14728985

  15. Large Animal Models of Neurological Disorders for Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Gagliardi, Christine; Bunnell, Bruce A.

    2009-01-01

    The development of therapeutic interventions for genetic disorders and diseases that affect the central nervous system (CNS) has proven challenging. There has been significant progress in the development of gene therapy strategies in murine models of human disease, but gene therapy outcomes in these models do not always translate to the human setting. Therefore, large animal models are crucial to the development of diagnostics, treatments, and eventual cures for debilitating neurological disorders. This review focuses on the description of large animal models of neurological diseases such as lysosomal storage diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and neuroAIDS. The review also describes the contributions of these models to progress in gene therapy research. PMID:19293458

  16. Stem cells’ guided gene therapy of cancer: New frontier in personalized and targeted therapy

    PubMed Central

    Mavroudi, Maria; Zarogoulidis, Paul; Porpodis, Konstantinos; Kioumis, Ioannis; Lampaki, Sofia; Yarmus, Lonny; Malecki, Raf; Zarogoulidis, Konstantinos; Malecki, Marek

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Diagnosis and therapy of cancer remain to be the greatest challenges for all physicians working in clinical oncology and molecular medicine. The statistics speak for themselves with the grim reports of 1,638,910 men and women diagnosed with cancer and nearly 577,190 patients passed away due to cancer in the USA in 2012. For practicing clinicians, who treat patients suffering from advanced cancers with contemporary systemic therapies, the main challenge is to attain therapeutic efficacy, while minimizing side effects. Unfortunately, all contemporary systemic therapies cause side effects. In treated patients, these side effects may range from nausea to damaged tissues. In cancer survivors, the iatrogenic outcomes of systemic therapies may include genomic mutations and their consequences. Therefore, there is an urgent need for personalized and targeted therapies. Recently, we reviewed the current status of suicide gene therapy for cancer. Herein, we discuss the novel strategy: genetically engineered stem cells’ guided gene therapy. Review of therapeutic strategies in preclinical and clinical trials Stem cells have the unique potential for self renewal and differentiation. This potential is the primary reason for introducing them into medicine to regenerate injured or degenerated organs, as well as to rejuvenate aging tissues. Recent advances in genetic engineering and stem cell research have created the foundations for genetic engineering of stem cells as the vectors for delivery of therapeutic transgenes. Specifically in oncology, the stem cells are genetically engineered to deliver the cell suicide inducing genes selectively to the cancer cells only. Expression of the transgenes kills the cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells unaffected. Herein, we present various strategies to bioengineer suicide inducing genes and stem cell vectors. Moreover, we review results of the main preclinical studies and clinical trials. However, the main risk for

  17. Repair of rhodopsin mRNA by spliceosome-mediated RNA trans-splicing: a new approach for autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Berger, Adeline; Lorain, Stéphanie; Joséphine, Charlène; Desrosiers, Melissa; Peccate, Cécile; Voit, Thomas; Garcia, Luis; Sahel, José-Alain; Bemelmans, Alexis-Pierre

    2015-05-01

    The promising clinical results obtained for ocular gene therapy in recent years have paved the way for gene supplementation to treat recessively inherited forms of retinal degeneration. The situation is more complex for dominant mutations, as the toxic mutant gene product must be removed. We used spliceosome-mediated RNA trans-splicing as a strategy for repairing the transcript of the rhodopsin gene, the gene most frequently mutated in autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. We tested 17 different molecules targeting the pre-mRNA intron 1, by transient transfection of HEK-293T cells, with subsequent trans-splicing quantification at the transcript level. We found that the targeting of some parts of the intron promoted trans-splicing more efficiently than the targeting of other areas, and that trans-splicing rate could be increased by modifying the replacement sequence. We then developed cell lines stably expressing the rhodopsin gene, for the assessment of phenotypic criteria relevant to the pathogenesis of retinitis pigmentosa. Using this model, we showed that trans-splicing restored the correct localization of the protein to the plasma membrane. Finally, we tested our best candidate by AAV gene transfer in a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa that expresses a mutant allele of the human rhodopsin gene, and demonstrated the feasibility of trans-splicing in vivo. This work paves the way for trans-splicing gene therapy to treat retinitis pigmentosa due to rhodopsin gene mutation and, more generally, for the treatment of genetic diseases with dominant transmission.

  18. Antisense Gene Silencing: Therapy for Neurodegenerative Disorders?

    PubMed Central

    Nielsen, Troels T.; Nielsen, Jørgen E.

    2013-01-01

    Since the first reports that double-stranded RNAs can efficiently silence gene expression in C. elegans, the technology of RNA interference (RNAi) has been intensively exploited as an experimental tool to study gene function. With the subsequent discovery that RNAi could also be applied to mammalian cells, the technology of RNAi expanded from being a valuable experimental tool to being an applicable method for gene-specific therapeutic regulation, and much effort has been put into further refinement of the technique. This review will focus on how RNAi has developed over the years and how the technique is exploited in a pre-clinical and clinical perspective in relation to neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:24705213

  19. Bilberries potentially alleviate stress-related retinal gene expression induced by a high-fat diet in mice

    PubMed Central

    Kalesnykas, Giedrius; Adriaens, Michiel; Evelo, Chris T.; Törrönen, Riitta; Kaarniranta, Kai

    2012-01-01

    displayed differential regulation of genes in ontology groups, mainly pathways for apoptosis, inflammation, and oxidative stress, especially systemic lupus erythematosus, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and glutathione metabolism. Mice fed a HFD had increased retinal gene expression of several crystallins, while the HFD+BB mice showed potential downregulation of these crystallins when compared to the HFD mice. Bilberries also reduced the expression of genes in the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway and increased those in the glutathione metabolism pathway. Conclusions HFD feeding induces differential expression of several stress-related genes in the mouse retina. Despite minor effects in the phenotype, a diet rich in bilberries mitigates the upregulation of crystallins otherwise induced by HFD. Thus, the early stages of obesity-associated and stress-related gene expression changes in the retina may be prevented with bilberries in the diet. PMID:22993483

  20. Retinal Disorders

    MedlinePlus

    ... be serious enough to cause blindness. Examples are Macular degeneration - a disease that destroys your sharp, central vision Diabetic eye disease Retinal detachment - a medical emergency, when the retina is ... children. Macular pucker - scar tissue on the macula Macular hole - ...

  1. Whole genome sequencing in patients with retinitis pigmentosa reveals pathogenic DNA structural changes and NEK2 as a new disease gene

    PubMed Central

    Nishiguchi, Koji M.; Tearle, Richard G.; Liu, Yangfan P.; Oh, Edwin C.; Miyake, Noriko; Benaglio, Paola; Harper, Shyana; Koskiniemi-Kuendig, Hanna; Venturini, Giulia; Sharon, Dror; Koenekoop, Robert K.; Nakamura, Makoto; Kondo, Mineo; Ueno, Shinji; Yasuma, Tetsuhiro R.; Beckmann, Jacques S.; Ikegawa, Shiro; Matsumoto, Naomichi; Terasaki, Hiroko; Berson, Eliot L.; Katsanis, Nicholas; Rivolta, Carlo

    2013-01-01

    We performed whole genome sequencing in 16 unrelated patients with autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (ARRP), a disease characterized by progressive retinal degeneration and caused by mutations in over 50 genes, in search of pathogenic DNA variants. Eight patients were from North America, whereas eight were Japanese, a population for which ARRP seems to have different genetic drivers. Using a specific workflow, we assessed both the coding and noncoding regions of the human genome, including the evaluation of highly polymorphic SNPs, structural and copy number variations, as well as 69 control genomes sequenced by the same procedures. We detected homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in 7 genes associated with ARRP (USH2A, RDH12, CNGB1, EYS, PDE6B, DFNB31, and CERKL) in eight patients, three Japanese and five Americans. Fourteen of the 16 mutant alleles identified were previously unknown. Among these, there was a 2.3-kb deletion in USH2A and an inverted duplication of ∼446 kb in EYS, which would have likely escaped conventional screening techniques or exome sequencing. Moreover, in another Japanese patient, we identified a homozygous frameshift (p.L206fs), absent in more than 2,500 chromosomes from ethnically matched controls, in the ciliary gene NEK2, encoding a serine/threonine-protein kinase. Inactivation of this gene in zebrafish induced retinal photoreceptor defects that were rescued by human NEK2 mRNA. In addition to identifying a previously undescribed ARRP gene, our study highlights the importance of rare structural DNA variations in Mendelian diseases and advocates the need for screening approaches that transcend the analysis of the coding sequences of the human genome. PMID:24043777

  2. Macrophage mediated PCI enhanced gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christie, Catherine E.; Zamora, Genesis; Kwon, Young J.; Berg, Kristian; Madsen, Steen J.; Hirschberg, Henry

    2015-03-01

    Photochemical internalization (PCI) is a photodynamic therapy-based approach for improving the delivery of macromolecules and genes into the cell cytosol. Prodrug activating gene therapy (suicide gene therapy) employing the transduction of the E. coli cytosine deaminase (CD) gene into tumor cells, is a promising method. Expression of this gene within the target cell produces an enzyme that converts the nontoxic prodrug, 5-FC, to the toxic metabolite, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). 5-FC may be particularly suitable for brain tumors, because it can readily cross the bloodbrain barrier (BBB). In addition the bystander effect, where activated drug is exported from the transfected cancer cells into the tumor microenvironment, plays an important role by inhibiting growth of adjacent tumor cells. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are frequently found in and around glioblastomas. Monocytes or macrophages (Ma) loaded with drugs, nanoparticles or photosensitizers could therefore be used to target tumors by local synthesis of chemo attractive factors. The basic concept is to combine PCI, to enhance the ex vivo transfection of a suicide gene into Ma, employing specially designed core/shell NP as gene carrier.

  3. Technology evaluation: VEGF165 gene therapy, Valentis Inc.

    PubMed

    Morse, M A

    2001-02-01

    Valentis Inc, formerly GeneMedicine, is developing a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF165) non-viral gene therapy using its proprietary PINC polymer for plasmid condensation. Two physician-initiated phase II angioplasty trials are ongoing, one for treating peripheral vascular disease and one for treating coronary artery disease [281714], [347153]. In February 2000, the trials were expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2000 [356225]; however, in October 2000, it was reported that the trial for peripheral vascular disease would be completed in the first quarter of 2001 [385232]. In March 2000, Valentis initiated a trial incorporating Valentis's DOTMA-based cationic lipid gene delivery system and the VEGF165 gene with Eurogene's local collar-reservoir delivery device. The trial is designed to demonstrate that the VEGF165 gene, delivered locally to the outside surface of a blood vessel, will transfect and express in the smooth muscle cells of the vessel wall [360683]. In March 1999, Valentis was awarded with a Phase II SBIR grant of $686,260. The aim of grant was to advance the development of non-viral gene therapies for ischemia. Specifically, Valentis intended to select an optimal promoter to be used with the VEGF expression plasmid. Valentis also intended to evaluate the gene therapy system in a rabbit ischemia model and complete the necessary preclinical studies for submission of an IND [318137]. PMID:11249737

  4. Whole-exome sequencing reveals a novel frameshift mutation in the FAM161A gene causing autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa in the Indian population.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yu; Saikia, Bibhuti B; Jiang, Zhilin; Zhu, Xiong; Liu, Yuqing; Huang, Lulin; Kim, Ramasamy; Yang, Yin; Qu, Chao; Hao, Fang; Gong, Bo; Tai, Zhengfu; Niu, Lihong; Yang, Zhenglin; Sundaresan, Periasamy; Zhu, Xianjun

    2015-10-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a heterogenous group of inherited retinal degenerations caused by mutations in at least 50 genes. To identify genetic mutations underlying autosomal recessive RP (arRP), we performed whole-exome sequencing study on two consanguineous marriage Indian families (RP-252 and RP-182) and 100 sporadic RP patients. Here we reported novel mutation in FAM161A in RP-252 and RP-182 with two patients affected with RP in each family. The FAM161A gene was identified as the causative gene for RP28, an autosomal recessive form of RP. By whole-exome sequencing we identified several homozygous genomic regions, one of which included the recently identified FAM161A gene mutated in RP28-linked arRP. Sequencing analysis revealed the presence of a novel homozygous frameshift mutation p.R592FsX2 in both patients of family RP-252 and family RP-182. In 100 sporadic Indian RP patients, this novel homozygous frameshift mutation p.R592FsX2 was identified in one sporadic patient ARRP-S-I-46 by whole-exome sequencing and validated by Sanger sequencing. Meanwhile, this homozygous frameshift mutation was absent in 1000 ethnicity-matched control samples screened by direct Sanger sequencing. In conclusion, we identified a novel homozygous frameshift mutations of RP28-linked RP gene FAM161A in Indian population.

  5. Stem Cell Based Gene Therapy in Prostate Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hong Jun; Song, Yun Seob

    2014-01-01

    Current prostate cancer treatment, especially hormone refractory cancer, may create profound iatrogenic outcomes because of the adverse effects of cytotoxic agents. Suicide gene therapy has been investigated for the substitute modality for current chemotherapy because it enables the treatment targeting the cancer cells. However the classic suicide gene therapy has several profound side effects, including immune-compromised due to viral vector. Recently, stem cells have been regarded as a new upgraded cellular vehicle or vector because of its homing effects. Suicide gene therapy using genetically engineered mesenchymal stem cells or neural stem cells has the advantage of being safe, because prodrug administration not only eliminates tumor cells but consequently kills the more resistant therapeutic stem cells as well. The attractiveness of prodrug cancer gene therapy by stem cells targeted to tumors lies in activating the prodrug directly within the tumor mass, thus avoiding systemic toxicity. Therapeutic achievements using stem cells in prostate cancer include the cytosine deaminase/5-fluorocytosine prodrug system, herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase/ganciclovir, carboxyl esterase/CPT11, and interferon-beta. The aim of this study is to review the stem cell therapy in prostate cancer including its proven mechanisms and also limitations. PMID:25121103

  6. Characterization and mapping of the human rhodopsin kinase gene and screening of the gene for mutations in patients with retinitis pigmentosa

    SciTech Connect

    Khani, S.C.; Lin, D.; Magovcevic, I.

    1994-09-01

    Rhodopsin kinase (RK) is a cytosolic enzyme in rod photoreceptors that initiates the deactivation of the phototransductions cascade by phosphorylating photoactivated rhodopsin. Although the cDNA sequence of bovine RK has been determined previously, no human cDNA or genomic sequence has thus far been available for genetic studies. In order to investigate the possible role of this candidate gene in retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and allied diseases, we have isolated and characterized human cDNA and genomic clones derived from the RK locus. The coding sequence of the human gene is 1692 nucleotides in length and is split into seven exons. The human and the bovine sequence show 84% identity at the nucleotide level and 92% identity at the amino acid level. Thus far, the intronic sequences flanking each exon except for one have been determined. We have also mapped the human RK gene to chromosome 13q34 using fluorescence in situ hybridization. To our knowledge, no RP gene has as yet been linked to this region. However, since the substrate for RK (rhodopsin) and other members of the phototransduction cascade have been implicated in the pathogenesis of RP, it is conceivable that defects in RK can also cause some forms of this disease. We are evaluating this possibility by screening DNA from 173 patients with autosomal recessive RP and 190 patients with autosomal dominant RP. So far, we have found 11 patients with variant bands. In one patient with autosomal dominant RP we discovered the missense change Ser536Leu. Cosegregation studies and further sequencing of the variant bands are currently underway.

  7. Ex vivo gene therapy for HIV-1 treatment

    PubMed Central

    Scherer, Lisa J.; Rossi, John J.

    2011-01-01

    Until recently, progress in ex vivo gene therapy (GT) for human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) treatment has been incremental. Long-term HIV-1 remission in a patient who received a heterologous stem cell transplant for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-related lymphoma from a CCR5−/– donor, even after discontinuation of conventional therapy, has energized the field. We review the status of current approaches as well as future directions in the areas of therapeutic targets, combinatorial strategies, vector design, introduction of therapeutics into stem cells and enrichment/expansion of gene-modified cells. Finally, we discuss recent advances towards clinical application of HIV-1 GT. PMID:21505069

  8. Non-viral gene therapy for bone tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Wegman, Fiona; Oner, F Cumhur; Dhert, Wouter J A; Alblas, Jacqueline

    2013-01-01

    The possibilities of using gene therapy for bone regeneration have been extensively investigated. Improvements in the design of new transfection agents, combining vectors and delivery/release systems to diminish cytotoxicity and increase transfection efficiencies have led to several successful in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo strategies. These include growth factor or short interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA) delivery, or even enzyme replacement therapies, and have led to increased osteogenic differentiation and bone formation in vivo. These results provide optimism to consider use in humans with some of these gene-delivery strategies in the near future.

  9. Single stem cell gene therapy for genetic skin disease.

    PubMed

    Larsimont, Jean-Christophe; Blanpain, Cédric

    2015-04-01

    Stem cell gene therapy followed by transplantation into damaged regions of the skin has been successfully used to treat genetic skin blistering disorder. Usually, many stem cells are virally transduced to obtain a sufficient number of genetically corrected cells required for successful transplantation, as genetic insertion in every stem cell cannot be precisely defined. In this issue of EMBO Molecular Medicine, Droz-Georget Lathion et al developed a new strategy for ex vivo single cell gene therapy that allows extensive genomic and functional characterization of the genetically repaired individual cells before they can be used in clinical settings.

  10. Gene therapy, fundamental rights, and the mandates of public health.

    PubMed

    Lynch, John

    2004-01-01

    Recent and near-future developments in the field of molecular biology will make possible the treatment of genetic disease on an unprecedented scale. The potential applications of these developments implicate important public policy considerations. Among the questions that may arise is the constitutionality of a state-mandated program of gene therapy for the purpose of eradicating certain genetic diseases. Though controversial, precedents of public health jurisprudence suggest that such a program could survive constitutional scrutiny. This article provides an overview of gene therapy in the context of fundamental rights and the mandates of public health. PMID:15255004

  11. Pathogenic mechanisms and the prospect of gene therapy for choroideremia

    PubMed Central

    Dimopoulos, Ioannis S; Chan, Stephanie; MacLaren, Robert E

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Choroideremia is a rare, X-linked disorder recognized by its specific ocular phenotype as a progressive degenerative retinopathy resulting in blindness. New therapeutic approaches, primarily based on genetic mechanisms, have emerged that aim to prevent the progressive vision loss. Areas covered This article will review the research that has progressed incrementally over the past two decades from mapping to gene discovery, uncovering the presumed mechanisms triggering the retinopathy to preclinical testing of potential therapies. Expert opinion While still in an evaluative phase, the introduction of gene replacement as a potential therapy has been greeted with great enthusiasm by patients, advocacy groups and the medical community. PMID:26251765

  12. HSV Recombinant Vectors for Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Manservigi, Roberto; Argnani, Rafaela; Marconi, Peggy

    2010-01-01

    The very deep knowledge acquired on the genetics and molecular biology of herpes simplex virus (HSV), has allowed the development of potential replication-competent and replication-defective vectors for several applications in human healthcare. These include delivery and expression of human genes to cells of the nervous systems, selective destruction of cancer cells, prophylaxis against infection with HSV or other infectious diseases, and targeted infection to specific tissues or organs. Replication-defective recombinant vectors are non-toxic gene transfer tools that preserve most of the neurotropic features of wild type HSV-1, particularly the ability to express genes after having established latent infections, and are thus proficient candidates for therapeutic gene transfer settings in neurons. A replication-defective HSV vector for the treatment of pain has recently entered in phase 1 clinical trial. Replication-competent (oncolytic) vectors are becoming a suitable and powerful tool to eradicate brain tumours due to their ability to replicate and spread only within the tumour mass, and have reached phase II/III clinical trials in some cases. The progress in understanding the host immune response induced by the vector is also improving the use of HSV as a vaccine vector against both HSV infection and other pathogens. This review briefly summarizes the obstacle encountered in the delivery of HSV vectors and examines the various strategies developed or proposed to overcome such challenges. PMID:20835362

  13. Conditional knockout of retinal determination genes in differentiating cells in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Jin, Meng; Eblimit, Aiden; Pulikkathara, Merlyn; Corr, Stuart; Chen, Rui; Mardon, Graeme

    2016-08-01

    Conditional gene knockout in postmitotic cells is a valuable technique which allows the study of gene function with spatiotemporal control. Surprisingly, in contrast to its long-term and extensive use in mouse studies, this technology is lacking in Drosophila. Here, we use a novel method for generating complete loss of eyes absent (eya) or sine oculis (so) function in postmitotic cells posterior to the morphogenetic furrow (MF). Specifically, genomic rescue constructs with flippase recognition target (FRT) sequences flanking essential exons are used to generate conditional null alleles. By removing gene function in differentiating cells, we show that eya and so are dispensable for larval photoreceptor differentiation, but are required for differentiation during pupal development. Both eya and so are necessary for photoreceptor survival and the apoptosis caused by loss of eya or so function is likely a secondary consequence of inappropriate differentiation. We also confirm their requirement for cone cell development and reveal a novel role in interommatidial bristle (IOB) formation. In addition, so is required for normal eye disc morphology. This is the first report of a knockout method to study eya and so function in postmitotic cells. This technology will open the door to a large array of new functional studies in virtually any tissue and at any stage of development or in adults. PMID:27257739

  14. Changes in gene expression associated with retinal degeneration in the rd3 mouse

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Christiana L.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose To identify and characterize changes in gene expression associated with photoreceptor degeneration in the rd3 mouse model of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) type 12. Methods Global genome expression profiling using microarray technology was performed on total RNA extracts from rd3 and wild-type control mouse retinas at postnatal day 21. Quantitative PCR analysis of selected transcripts was performed to validate the microarray results. Results Functional annotation of differentially regulated genes in the rd3 mouse defined key canonical pathways, including phototransduction, glycerophospholipid metabolism, tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 signaling, and endothelin signaling. Overall, 1,140 of approximately 55,800 transcripts were differentially represented. In particular, a large percentage of the upregulated transcripts encode proteins involved in the immune response; whereas the downregulated transcripts encode proteins involved in phototransduction and lipid metabolism. Conclusions This analysis has elucidated several candidate genes and pathways, thus providing insight into the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the photoreceptor degeneration in the rd3 mouse retina and indicating directions for future studies. PMID:23687432

  15. Bacteria as vectors for gene therapy of cancer

    PubMed Central

    Baban, Chwanrow K; Cronin, Michelle; O'Hanlon, Deirdre; O'Sullivan, Gerald C

    2010-01-01

    Anti-cancer therapy faces major challenges, particularly in terms of specificity of treatment. The ideal therapy would eradicate tumor cells selectively with minimum side effects on normal tissue. Gene or cell therapies have emerged as realistic prospects for the treatment of cancer, and involve the delivery of genetic information to a tumor to facilitate the production of therapeutic proteins. However, there is still much to be done before an efficient and safe gene medicine is achieved, primarily developing the means of targeting genes to tumors safely and efficiently. An emerging family of vectors involves bacteria of various genera. It has been shown that bacteria are naturally capable of homing to tumors when systemically administered resulting in high levels of replication locally. Furthermore, invasive species can deliver heterologous genes intra-cellularly for tumor cell expression. Here, we review the use of bacteria as vehicles for gene therapy of cancer, detailing the mechanisms of action and successes at preclinical and clinical levels. PMID:21468205

  16. State of the art: gene therapy of haemophilia.

    PubMed

    Spencer, H T; Riley, B E; Doering, C B

    2016-07-01

    Clinical gene therapy has been practiced for more than a quarter century and the first products are finally gaining regulatory/marketing approval. As of 2016, there have been 11 haemophilia gene therapy clinical trials of which six are currently open. Each of the ongoing phase 1/2 trials is testing a variation of a liver-directed adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector encoding either factor VIII (FVIII) or factor IX (FIX) . As summarized herein, the clinical results to date have been mixed with some perceived success and a clear recognition of the immune response to AAV as an obstacle to therapeutic success. We also attempt to highlight promising late-stage preclinical activities for AAV-FVIII where, due to inherent challenges with manufacture, delivery and transgene product biosynthesis, more technological development has been necessary to achieve results comparable to what has been observed previously for AAV-FIX. Finally, we describe the development of a stem cell-based lentiviral vector gene therapy product that has the potential to provide lifelong production of FVIII and provide a functional 'cure' for haemophilia A. Integral to this program has been the incorporation of a blood cell-specific gene expression element driving the production of a bioengineered FVIII designed for optimal efficiency. As clearly outlined herein, haemophilia remains at the forefront of the rapidly advancing clinical gene therapy field where there exists a shared expectation that transformational advances are on the horizon. PMID:27405679

  17. Gene and stem cell therapy in peripheral arterial occlusive disease.

    PubMed

    Kalka, C; Baumgartner, Iris

    2008-01-01

    Peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) is a manifestation of systemic atherosclerosis strongly associated with a high risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In a considerable proportion of patients with PAOD, revascularization either by endovascular means or by open surgery combined with best possible risk factor modification does not achieve limb salvage or relief of ischaemic rest pain. As a consequence, novel therapeutic strategies have been developed over the last two decades aiming to promote neovascularization and remodelling of collaterals. Gene and stem cell therapy are the main directions for clinical investigation concepts. For both, preclinical studies have shown promising results using a wide variety of genes encoding for growth factors and populations of adult stem cells, respectively. As a consequence, clinical trials have been performed applying gene and stem cell-based concepts. However, it has become apparent that a straightforward translation into humans is not possible. While several trials reported relief of symptoms and functional improvement, other trials did not confirm this early promise of efficacy. Ongoing clinical trials with an improved study design are needed to confirm the potential that gene and cell therapy may have and to prevent the gaps in our scientific knowledge that will jeopardize the establishment of angiogenic therapy as an additional medical treatment of PAOD. This review summarizes the experimental background and presents the current status of clinical applications and future perspectives of the therapeutic use of gene and cell therapy strategies for PAOD.

  18. Biosafety challenges for use of lentiviral vectors in gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Rothe, Michael; Modlich, Ute; Schambach, Axel

    2013-12-01

    Lentiviral vectors are promising tools for the genetic modification of cells in biomedical research and gene therapy. Their use in recent clinical trials for the treatment of adrenoleukodystrophy, β-thalassemia, Wiskott-Aldrich- Syndrome and metachromatic leukodystrophy underlined their efficacy for therapies especially in case of hereditary diseases. In comparison to gammaretroviral LTR-driven vectors, which were employed in the first clinical trials, lentiviral vectors present with some favorable features like the ability to transduce also non-dividing cells and a potentially safer insertion profile. However, genetic modification with viral vectors in general and stable integration of the therapeutic gene into the host cell genome bear concerns with respect to different levels of personal or environmental safety. Among them, insertional mutagenesis by enhancer mediated dysregulation of neighboring genes or aberrant splicing is still the biggest concern. However, also risks like immunogenicity of vector particles, the phenotoxicity of the transgene and potential vertical or horizontal transmission by replication competent retroviruses need to be taken into account. This review will give an overview on biosafety aspects that are relevant to the use of lentiviral vectors for genetic modification and gene therapy. Furthermore, assay systems aiming at evaluating biosafety in preclinical settings and recent promising clinical trials including efforts of monitoring of patients after gene therapy will be discussed.

  19. Gene therapy in Alzheimer's disease - potential for disease modification.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, Per; Iwata, Nobuhisa; Muramatsu, Shin-ichi; Tjernberg, Lars O; Winblad, Bengt; Saido, Takaomi C

    2010-04-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the major cause of dementia in the elderly, leading to memory loss and cognitive decline. The mechanism underlying onset of the disease has not been fully elucidated. However, characteristic pathological manifestations include extracellular accumulation and aggregation of the amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) into plaques and intracellular accumulation and aggregation of hyperphosphorylated tau, forming neurofibrillary tangles. Despite extensive research worldwide, no disease modifying treatment is yet available. In this review, we focus on gene therapy as a potential treatment for AD, and summarize recent work in the field, ranging from proof-of-concept studies in animal models to clinical trials. The multifactorial causes of AD offer a variety of possible targets for gene therapy, including two neurotrophic growth factors, nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor, Abeta-degrading enzymes, such as neprilysin, endothelin-converting enzyme and cathepsin B, and AD associated apolipoprotein E. This review also discusses advantages and drawbacks of various rapidly developing virus-mediated gene delivery techniques for gene therapy. Finally, approaches aiming at down-regulating amyloid precursor protein (APP) and beta-site APP cleaving enzyme 1 levels by means of siRNA-mediated knockdown are briefly summarized. Overall, the prospects appear hopeful that gene therapy has the potential to be a disease modifying treatment for AD.

  20. Megakaryocyte- and megakaryocyte precursor–related gene therapies

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) can be safely collected from the body, genetically modified, and re-infused into a patient with the goal to express the transgene product for an individual’s lifetime. Hematologic defects that can be corrected with an allogeneic bone marrow transplant can theoretically also be treated with gene replacement therapy. Because some genetic disorders affect distinct cell lineages, researchers are utilizing HSC gene transfer techniques using lineage-specific endogenous gene promoters to confine transgene expression to individual cell types (eg, ITGA2B for inherited platelet defects). HSCs appear to be an ideal target for platelet gene therapy because they can differentiate into megakaryocytes which are capable of forming several thousand anucleate platelets that circulate within blood vessels to establish hemostasis by repairing vascular injury. Platelets play an essential role in other biological processes (immune response, angiogenesis) as well as diseased states (atherosclerosis, cancer, thrombosis). Thus, recent advances in genetic manipulation of megakaryocytes could lead to new and improved therapies for treating a variety of disorders. In summary, genetic manipulation of megakaryocytes has progressed to the point where clinically relevant strategies are being developed for human trials for genetic disorders affecting platelets. Nevertheless, challenges still need to be overcome to perfect this field; therefore, strategies to increase the safety and benefit of megakaryocyte gene therapy will be discussed. PMID:26787735