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Sample records for retinal gene therapy

  1. Nanoparticles for Retinal Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Conley, Shannon M.; Naash, Muna I.

    2010-01-01

    Ocular gene therapy is becoming a well-established field. Viral gene therapies for the treatment of Leber’s congentinal amaurosis (LCA) are in clinical trials, and many other gene therapy approaches are being rapidly developed for application to diverse ophthalmic pathologies. Of late, development of non-viral gene therapies has been an area of intense focus and one technology, polymer-compacted DNA nanoparticles, is especially promising. However, development of pharmaceutically and clinically viable therapeutics depends not only on having an effective and safe vector but also on a practical treatment strategy. Inherited retinal pathologies are caused by mutations in over 220 genes, some of which contain over 200 individual disease-causing mutations, which are individually very rare. This review will focus on both the progress and future of nanoparticles and also on what will be required to make them relevant ocular pharmaceutics. PMID:20452457

  2. Clinical applications of retinal gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Lipinski, Daniel M; Thake, Miriam; MacLaren, Robert E

    2013-01-01

    Many currently incurable forms of blindness affecting the retina have a genetic etiology and several others, such as those resulting from retinal vascular disturbances, respond to repeated, potentially indefinite administration of molecular based treatments. The recent clinical advances in retinal gene therapy have shown that viral vectors can deliver genes safely to the retina and the promising initial results from a number of clinical trials suggest that certain diseases may potentially be treatable. Gene therapy provides a means of expressing proteins within directly transduced cells with far greater efficacy than might be achieved by traditional systemic pharmacological approaches. Recent developments have demonstrated how vector gene expression may be regulated and further improvements to vector design have limited side effects and improved safety profiles. These recent steps have been most significant in bringing gene therapy into the mainstream of ophthalmology. Nevertheless translating retinal gene therapy from animal research into clinical trials is still a lengthy process, including complexities in human retinal diseases that have been difficult to model in the laboratory. The focus of this review is to summarize the genetic background of the most common retinal diseases, highlight current concepts of gene delivery technology, and relate those technologies to pre-clinical and clinical gene therapy studies.

  3. [Gene therapy for inherited retinal dystrophies].

    PubMed

    Côco, Monique; Han, Sang Won; Sallum, Juliana Maria Ferraz

    2009-01-01

    The inherited retinal dystrophies comprise a large number of disorders characterized by a slow and progressive retinal degeneration. They are the result of mutations in genes that express in either the photoreceptor cells or the retinal pigment epithelium. The mode of inheritance can be autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, X linked recessive, digenic or mitochondrial DNA inherited. At the moment, there is no treatment for these conditions and the patients can expect a progressive loss of vision. Accurate genetic counseling and support for rehabilitation are indicated. Research into the molecular and genetic basis of disease is continually expanding and improving the prospects for rational treatments. In this way, gene therapy, defined as the introduction of exogenous genetic material into human cells for therapeutic purposes, may ultimately offer the greatest treatment for the inherited retinal dystrophies. The eye is an attractive target for gene therapy because of its accessibility, immune privilege and translucent media. A number of retinal diseases affecting the eye have known gene defects. Besides, there is a well characterized animal model for many of these conditions. Proposals for clinical trials of gene therapy for inherited retinal degenerations owing to defects in the gene RPE65, have recently received ethical approval and the obtained preliminary results brought large prospects in the improvement on patient's quality of life.

  4. Gene therapy for inherited retinal degenerations.

    PubMed

    Dalkara, Deniz; Sahel, José-Alain

    2014-03-01

    Gene therapy is quickly becoming a reality applicable in the clinic for inherited retinal diseases. Progress over the past decade has moved proof-of-concept gene therapies from bench to bedside. The remarkable success in safety and efficacy, in the phase I/II clinical trials for the form of the severe childhood-onset blindness, Leber's Congenital Amaurosis (LCA) type II (due to mutations in the RPE65 gene) generated significant interest and opened up possibilities for a new era of retinal gene therapies. Success in these clinical trials was due to combining the favorable features of both the retina as a target organ and adeno-associated virus (AAV) as a vector. The retina offers several advantages for gene therapy approaches. It is an anatomically defined structure that is readily accessible for therapy and has some degree of immune privilege, making it suitable for application of viral vectors. AAV, on the other hand, is a non-pathogenic helper dependent virus that has little immunogenicity. This viral vector transduces quiescent cells efficiently and thanks to its small size diffuses well in the interneural matrix, making it suitable for applications in neural tissue. Building on this initial clinical success with LCA II, we have now many opportunities to extend this proof-of-concept to other retinal diseases. This article will discuss what are some of the most imminent targets for such therapies and what are the challenges that we face in moving these therapies to the clinic.

  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. Gene replacement therapy for retinal CNG channelopathies.

    PubMed

    Schön, Christian; Biel, Martin; Michalakis, Stylianos

    2013-10-01

    Visual phototransduction relies on the function of cyclic nucleotide-gated channels in the rod and cone photoreceptor outer segment plasma membranes. The role of these ion channels is to translate light-triggered changes in the second messenger cyclic guanosine 3'-5'-monophosphate levels into an electrical signal that is further processed within the retinal network and then sent to higher visual centers. Rod and cone photoreceptors express distinct CNG channels. The rod photoreceptor CNG channel is composed of one CNGB1 and three CNGA1 subunits, whereas the cone channel is formed by one CNGB3 and three CNGA3 subunits. Mutations in any of these channel subunits result in severe and currently untreatable retinal degenerative diseases like retinitis pigmentosa or achromatopsia. In this review, we provide an overview of the human diseases and relevant animal models of CNG channelopathies. Furthermore, we summarize recent results from preclinical gene therapy studies using adeno-associated viral vectors and discuss the efficacy and translational potential of these gene therapeutic approaches.

  7. Non-syndromic retinal ciliopathies: translating gene discovery into therapy.

    PubMed

    Estrada-Cuzcano, Alejandro; Roepman, Ronald; Cremers, Frans P M; den Hollander, Anneke I; Mans, Dorus A

    2012-10-15

    Homozygosity mapping and exome sequencing have accelerated the discovery of gene mutations and modifier alleles implicated in inherited retinal degeneration in humans. To date, 158 genes have been found to be mutated in individuals with retinal dystrophies. Approximately one-third of the gene defects underlying retinal degeneration affect the structure and/or function of the 'connecting cilium' in photoreceptors. This structure corresponds to the transition zone of a prototypic cilium, a region with increasing relevance for ciliary homeostasis. The connecting cilium connects the inner and outer segments of the photoreceptor, mediating bi-directional transport of phototransducing proteins required for vision. In fact, the outer segment, connecting cilium and associated basal body, forms a highly specialized sensory cilium, fully dedicated to photoreception and subsequent signal transduction to the brain. At least 21 genes that encode ciliary proteins are implicated in non-syndromic retinal dystrophies such as cone dystrophy, cone-rod dystrophy, Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The generation and characterization of vertebrate retinal ciliopathy animal models have revealed insights into the molecular disease mechanism which are indispensable for the development and evaluation of therapeutic strategies. Gene augmentation therapy has proven to be safe and successful in restoring long-term sight in mice, dogs and humans suffering from LCA or RP. Here, we present a comprehensive overview of the genes, mutations and modifier alleles involved in non-syndromic retinal ciliopathies, review the progress in dissecting the associated retinal disease mechanisms and evaluate gene augmentation approaches to antagonize retinal degeneration in these ciliopathies.

  8. Gene Therapy Approaches For The Treatment Of Retinal Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Petit, Lolita; Punzo, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    There is an impelling need to develop effective therapeutic strategies for patients with retinal disorders. Gleaning from the large quantity of information gathered over the past two decades on the mechanisms governing degeneration of the retina, it is now possible to devise innovative therapies based on retinal gene transfer. Different gene-based approaches are under active investigation. They include strategies to correct the specific genetic defect in inherited retinal diseases, strategies to delay the onset of blindness independently of the disease-causing mutations and strategies to reactivate residual cells at late stages of the diseases. In this review, we discuss the status of application of these technologies, outlining the future therapeutic potential for many forms of retinal blinding diseases. PMID:27875674

  9. Correction of Monogenic and Common Retinal Disorders with Gene Therapy.

    PubMed

    Sengillo, Jesse D; Justus, Sally; Cabral, Thiago; Tsang, Stephen H

    2017-01-27

    The past decade has seen major advances in gene-based therapies, many of which show promise for translation to human disease. At the forefront of research in this field is ocular disease, as the eye lends itself to gene-based interventions due to its accessibility, relatively immune-privileged status, and ability to be non-invasively monitored. A landmark study in 2001 demonstrating successful gene therapy in a large-animal model for Leber congenital amaurosis set the stage for translation of these strategies from the bench to the bedside. Multiple clinical trials have since initiated for various retinal diseases, and further improvements in gene therapy techniques have engendered optimism for alleviating inherited blinding disorders. This article provides an overview of gene-based strategies for retinal disease, current clinical trials that engage these strategies, and the latest techniques in genome engineering, which could serve as the next frontline of therapeutic interventions.

  10. Correction of Monogenic and Common Retinal Disorders with Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Sengillo, Jesse D.; Justus, Sally; Cabral, Thiago; Tsang, Stephen H.

    2017-01-01

    The past decade has seen major advances in gene-based therapies, many of which show promise for translation to human disease. At the forefront of research in this field is ocular disease, as the eye lends itself to gene-based interventions due to its accessibility, relatively immune-privileged status, and ability to be non-invasively monitored. A landmark study in 2001 demonstrating successful gene therapy in a large-animal model for Leber congenital amaurosis set the stage for translation of these strategies from the bench to the bedside. Multiple clinical trials have since initiated for various retinal diseases, and further improvements in gene therapy techniques have engendered optimism for alleviating inherited blinding disorders. This article provides an overview of gene-based strategies for retinal disease, current clinical trials that engage these strategies, and the latest techniques in genome engineering, which could serve as the next frontline of therapeutic interventions. PMID:28134823

  11. Novel adeno-associated viral vectors for retinal gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Vandenberghe, L H; Auricchio, A

    2012-02-01

    Vectors derived from adeno-associated virus (AAV) are currently the most promising vehicles for therapeutic gene delivery to the retina. Recently, subretinal administration of AAV2 has been demonstrated to be safe and effective in patients with a rare form of inherited childhood blindness, suggesting that AAV-mediated retinal gene therapy may be successfully extended to other blinding conditions. This is further supported by the great versatility of AAV as a vector platform as there are a large number of AAV variants and many of these have unique transduction characteristics useful for targeting different cell types in the retina including glia, epithelium and many types of neurons. Naturally occurring, rationally designed or in vitro evolved AAV vectors are currently being utilized to transduce several different cell types in the retina and to treat a variety of animal models of retinal disease. The continuous and creative development of AAV vectors provides opportunities to overcome existing challenges in retinal gene therapy such as efficient transfer of genes exceeding AAV's cargo capacity, or the targeting of specific cells within the retina or transduction of photoreceptors following routinely used intravitreal injections. Such developments should ultimately advance the treatment of a wide range of blinding retinal conditions.

  12. Gene therapy of inherited retinal degenerations: prospects and challenges.

    PubMed

    Trapani, Ivana; Banfi, Sandro; Simonelli, Francesca; Surace, Enrico M; Auricchio, Alberto

    2015-04-01

    Because of its favorable anatomical and immunological characteristics, the eye has been at the forefront of translational gene therapy. Dozens of promising proofs of concept have been obtained in animal models of inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs), and some of them have been relayed to the clinic. The results from the first clinical trials for a congenital form of blindness have generated great interest and have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of intraocular administrations of viral vectors in humans. However, this progress has also generated new questions and posed challenges that need to be addressed to further expand the applicability of gene therapy in the eye, including safe delivery of viral vectors to the outer retina, treatment of dominant IRDs as well as of IRDs caused by mutations in large genes, and, finally, selection of the appropriate IRDs and patients to maximize the efficacy of gene transfer. This review summarizes the strategies that are currently being exploited to overcome these challenges and drive the clinical development of retinal gene therapy.

  13. 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.

  14. Gene therapy for retinal ganglion cell neuroprotection in glaucoma.

    PubMed

    Wilson, A M; Di Polo, A

    2012-02-01

    Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. The primary cause of glaucoma is not known, but several risk factors have been identified, including elevated intraocular pressure and age. Loss of vision in glaucoma is caused by the death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), the neurons that convey visual information from the retina to the brain. Therapeutic strategies aimed at delaying or halting RGC loss, known as neuroprotection, would be valuable to save vision in glaucoma. In this review, we discuss the significant progress that has been made in the use of gene therapy to understand mechanisms underlying RGC degeneration and to promote the survival of these neurons in experimental models of optic nerve injury.

  15. [Progress in research on pathogenic genes and gene therapy for inherited retinal diseases].

    PubMed

    Zhu, Ling; Cao, Cong; Sun, Jiji; Gao, Tao; Liang, Xiaoyang; Nie, Zhipeng; Ji, Yanchun; Jiang, Pingping; Guan, Minxin

    2017-02-10

    Inherited retinal diseases (IRDs), including retinitis pigmentosa, Usher syndrome, Cone-Rod degenerations, inherited macular dystrophy, Leber's congenital amaurosis, Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy are the most common and severe types of hereditary ocular diseases. So far more than 200 pathogenic genes have been identified. With the growing knowledge of the genetics and mechanisms of IRDs, a number of gene therapeutic strategies have been developed in the laboratory or even entered clinical trials. Here the progress of IRD research on the pathogenic genes and therapeutic strategies, particularly gene therapy, are reviewed.

  16. Preclinical studies on specific gene therapy for recessive retinal degenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Stieger, Knut; Chauveau, Christine; Rolling, Fabienne

    2010-10-01

    Inherited retinal diseases are non-lethal and have a wide level of genetic heterogeneity. Many of the genes involved have now been identified and their function elucidated, providing a major step towards the development of gene-based treatments. The most widely used vectors for ocular gene delivery are based on adeno-associated virus (AAV) because they mediate long-term transgene expression in a variety of retinal cell types and elicit minimal immune responses. Extensive preclinical evaluation of gene transfer strategies in small and large animal models is key to the development of successful gene-based therapies for the retina. These preclinical studies have already allowed the field to reach the point where gene therapy to treat inherited blindness has been brought to clinical trial. In this manuscript, we focus on recombinant AAV-mediated specific gene therapy for recessive retinal degenerative diseases we describe the preclinical studies for the treatment of retinal degeneration caused by retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) cells or photoreceptor defects and the immune response induced by retinal rAAV gene transfer.

  17. AAV-mediated gene therapy for retinal disorders in large animal models.

    PubMed

    Stieger, Knut; Lhériteau, Elsa; Lhéariteau, Elsa; Moullier, Phillip; Rolling, Fabienne

    2009-01-01

    Retinal gene therapy holds great promise for the treatment of inherited and noninherited blinding diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. The most widely used vectors for ocular gene delivery are based on adeno-associated virus (AAV) because they elicit minimal immune responses and mediated long-term transgene expression in a variety of retinal cell types. Extensive preclinical evaluation of new strategies in large animal models is key to the development of successful gene-based therapies for the retina. Because of differences in the retinal structures among species and unique structures such as the macula and fovea in the primate retina, nonhuman primates are widely used as preclinical animal models. But the observation of inherited retinal degenerations in dogs, which share a number of clinical and pathologic similarities with humans, has led to the characterization of several canine models for retinal diseases, one of which has already responded successfully to AAV-mediated gene therapy. This article presents a review and detailed discussion of the various large animal models available for the study of AAV-mediated gene-based therapies in the retina.

  18. Gene therapy for retinitis pigmentosa caused by MFRP mutations: human phenotype and preliminary proof of concept.

    PubMed

    Dinculescu, Astra; Estreicher, Jackie; Zenteno, Juan C; Aleman, Tomas S; Schwartz, Sharon B; Huang, Wei Chieh; Roman, Alejandro J; Sumaroka, Alexander; Li, Qiuhong; Deng, Wen-Tao; Min, Seok-Hong; Chiodo, Vince A; Neeley, Andy; Liu, Xuan; Shu, Xinhua; Matias-Florentino, Margarita; Buentello-Volante, Beatriz; Boye, Sanford L; Cideciyan, Artur V; Hauswirth, William W; Jacobson, Samuel G

    2012-04-01

    Autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a heterogeneous group of degenerations of the retina, can be due to mutations in the MFRP (membrane-type frizzled-related protein) gene. A patient with RP with MFRP mutations, one of which is novel and the first splice site mutation reported, was characterized by noninvasive retinal and visual studies. The phenotype, albeit complex, suggested that this retinal degeneration may be a candidate for gene-based therapy. Proof-of-concept studies were performed in the rd6 Mfrp mutant mouse model. The fast-acting tyrosine-capsid mutant AAV8 (Y733F) vector containing the small chicken β-actin promoter driving the wild-type mouse Mfrp gene was used. Subretinal vector delivery on postnatal day 14 prevented retinal degeneration. Treatment rescued rod and cone photoreceptors, as assessed by electroretinography and retinal histology at 2 months of age. This AAV-mediated gene delivery also resulted in robust MFRP expression predominantly in its normal location within the retinal pigment epithelium apical membrane and its microvilli. The clinical features of MFRP-RP and our preliminary data indicating a response to gene therapy in the rd6 mouse suggest that this form of RP is a potential target for gene-based therapy.

  19. Gene Therapy for Retinitis Pigmentosa Caused by MFRP Mutations: Human Phenotype and Preliminary Proof of Concept

    PubMed Central

    Dinculescu, Astra; Estreicher, Jackie; Zenteno, Juan C.; Aleman, Tomas S.; Schwartz, Sharon B.; Huang, Wei Chieh; Roman, Alejandro J.; Sumaroka, Alexander; Li, Qiuhong; Deng, Wen-Tao; Min, Seok-Hong; Chiodo, Vince A.; Neeley, Andy; Liu, Xuan; Shu, Xinhua; Matias-Florentino, Margarita; Buentello-Volante, Beatriz; Boye, Sanford L.; Cideciyan, Artur V.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a heterogeneous group of degenerations of the retina, can be due to mutations in the MFRP (membrane-type frizzled-related protein) gene. A patient with RP with MFRP mutations, one of which is novel and the first splice site mutation reported, was characterized by noninvasive retinal and visual studies. The phenotype, albeit complex, suggested that this retinal degeneration may be a candidate for gene-based therapy. Proof-of-concept studies were performed in the rd6 Mfrp mutant mouse model. The fast-acting tyrosine-capsid mutant AAV8 (Y733F) vector containing the small chicken β-actin promoter driving the wild-type mouse Mfrp gene was used. Subretinal vector delivery on postnatal day 14 prevented retinal degeneration. Treatment rescued rod and cone photoreceptors, as assessed by electroretinography and retinal histology at 2 months of age. This AAV-mediated gene delivery also resulted in robust MFRP expression predominantly in its normal location within the retinal pigment epithelium apical membrane and its microvilli. The clinical features of MFRP-RP and our preliminary data indicating a response to gene therapy in the rd6 mouse suggest that this form of RP is a potential target for gene-based therapy. PMID:22142163

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Zaneveld, Jacques; Wang, Feng; Wang, Xia; Chen, Rui

    2013-02-01

    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.

  2. Gene Therapy and Stem Cell Transplantation in Retinal Disease: The New Frontier.

    PubMed

    MacLaren, Robert E; Bennett, Jean; Schwartz, Steven D

    2016-10-01

    Gene and cell therapies have the potential to prevent, halt, or reverse diseases of the retina in patients with currently incurable blinding conditions. Over the past 2 decades, major advances in our understanding of the pathobiologic basis of retinal diseases, coupled with growth of gene transfer and cell transplantation biotechnologies, have created optimism that previously blinding retinal conditions may be treatable. It is now possible to deliver cloned genes safely and stably to specific retinal cell types in humans. Preliminary results testing gene augmentation strategies in human recessive diseases suggest promising safety and efficacy profiles, including improved visual function outcomes over extended periods. Additional gene-based strategies under development include approaches to autosomal dominant disease ("gain of function"), attempts to deliver genes encoding therapeutic proteins with proven mechanisms of action interfering with specific disease pathways, and approaches that could be used to render retinal cells other than atrophied photoreceptors light sensitive. In the programs that are the furthest along-pivotal regulatory safety and efficacy trials studying individuals with retinal degeneration resulting from RPE65 mutations-initial results reveal a robust safety profile and clinically significant improvements in visual function, thereby making this program a frontrunner for the first approved gene therapy product in the United States. Similar to gene therapy, progress in regenerative or stem cell-based transplantation strategies has been substantial. It is now possible to deliver safely stem cell-derived, terminally differentiated, biologically and genetically defined retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) to the diseased human eye. Although demonstration of clinical efficacy is still well behind the gene therapy field, multiple programs investigating regenerative strategies in RPE disease are beginning to enroll subjects, and initial results suggest

  3. Leber's congenital amaurosis and the role of gene therapy in congenital retinal disorders

    PubMed Central

    Sharif, Walid; Sharif, Zuhair

    2017-01-01

    Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA) and recent gene therapy advancement for treating inherited retinopathies were extensive literature reviewed using MEDLINE, PubMed and EMBASE. Adeno-associated viral vectors were the most utilised vectors for ocular gene therapy. Cone photoreceptor cells might use an alternate pathway which was not reliant of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) derived retinoid isomerohydrolase (RPE65) to access the 11-cis retinal dehydechromophore. Research efforts dedicated on the progression of a gene-based therapy for the treatment of LCA2. Such gene therapy approaches were extremely successful in canine, porcine and rodent LCA2 models. The recombinant AAV2.hRPE65v2 adeno-associated vector contained the RPE65 cDNA and was replication deficient. Its in vitro injection in target cells induced RPE65 protein production. The gene therapy trials that were so far conducted for inherited retinopathies have generated promising results. Phase I clinical trials to cure LCA and choroideremia demonstrated that adeno-associated viral vectors containing RPE genes and photoreceptors respectively, could be successfully administered to inherited retinopathy patients. A phase III trial is presently ongoing and if successful, it will lead the way to additional gene therapy attempts to cure monogenic, inherited retinopathies. PMID:28393043

  4. Gene Therapy for the Retinal Degeneration of Usher Syndrome Caused by Mutations in MYO7A.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Vanda S; Williams, David S

    2015-01-20

    Usher syndrome is a deaf-blindness disorder. One of the subtypes, Usher 1B, is caused by loss of function of the gene encoding the unconventional myosin, MYO7A. A variety of different viral-based delivery approaches have been tested for retinal gene therapy to prevent the blindness of Usher 1B, and a clinical trial based on one of these approaches has begun. This review evaluates the different approaches.

  5. Non-Invasive Gene Transfer by Iontophoresis for Therapy of an Inherited Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Souied, Eric H.; Reid, Silvia N. M.; Piri, Natik I.; Lerner, Leonid E.; Nusinowitz, Steven; Farber, Debora B.

    2009-01-01

    Despite extensive research on many of the genes responsible for inherited retinal degenerations leading to blindness, no effective treatment is currently available for patients affected with these diseases. Among the therapeutic approaches tested on animal models of human retinal degeneration, gene therapy using different types of viral vectors as delivery agents has yielded promising results. We report here our results on a non-invasive, non-viral delivery approach using transscleral iontophoresis for transfer of plasmid DNA into mouse retina. Proof of principle experiments were carried out using plasmid containing GFP cDNA to demonstrate expression of the transferred gene in the retina after single applications of iontophoresis. Various parameters for multiple applications of iontophoresis were optimized to sustain GFP gene expression in mouse photoreceptors. Subsequently, repeated iontophoresis of plasmid containing normal β-phosphodiesterase (β-PDE) cDNA was performed in the rd1 mouse, an animal model of autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa caused by a mutant β-PDE gene. In normal mice, transscleral iontophoresis of the GFP plasmid provided a significant increase in fluorescence of the retina in the treated versus non-treated eyes. In rd1 mice, repeated iontophoresis of β-PDE cDNA plasmid partially rescued photoreceptors morphologically, as observed by microscopy, and functionally, as recorded on ERG measurements, without adverse effects. Therefore, transscleral iontophoresis of plasmid DNA containing therapeutic genes may be an efficient, safe and non-invasive method for the treatment of retinal degenerations. PMID:18653181

  6. 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.

  7. RPE65: role in the visual cycle, human retinal disease, and gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Cai, Xue; Conley, Shannon M; Naash, Muna I

    2009-06-01

    RPE65 is an isomerohydrolase expressed in retinal pigment epithelium. It is critical for the regeneration of the visual pigment necessary for both rod and cone-mediated vision. Mutations in human RPE65 cause Leber's congenital amaurosis and other forms of autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa which are associated with early-onset blindness. Several RPE65 animal models including two different mouse models and a naturally occurring canine model have been thoroughly characterized to determine the mechanisms that underlie RPE65 associated retinal dystrophies. More recently, substantial effort has gone into designing gene therapies for these diseases. Based on several encouraging reports from animal models, at least three clinical trials are currently underway for the treatment of LCA using modified AAV vectors carrying the RPE65 cDNA and have reported positive preliminary results.

  8. RPE65: Role in the visual cycle, human retinal disease, and gene therapy

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Xue; Conley, Shannon M.; Naash, Muna I.

    2010-01-01

    RPE65 is an isomerohydrolase expressed in retinal pigment epithelium. It is critical for the regeneration of the visual pigment necessary for both rod and cone-mediated vision. Mutations in human RPE65 cause Leber’s congenital amaurosis and other forms of autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa which are associated with early-onset blindness. Several RPE65 animal models including two different mouse models and a naturally occurring canine model have been thoroughly characterized to determine the mechanisms that underlie RPE65 associated retinal dystrophies. More recently, substantial effort has gone into designing gene therapies for these diseases. Based on several encouraging reports from animal models, at least three clinical trials are currently underway for the treatment of LCA using modified AAV vectors carrying the RPE65 cDNA and have reported positive preliminary results. PMID:19373675

  9. A long-term efficacy study of gene replacement therapy for RPGR-associated retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Zhijian; Hiriyanna, Suja; Qian, Haohua; Mookherjee, Suddhasil; Campos, Maria M.; Gao, Chun; Fariss, Robert; Sieving, Paul A.; Li, Tiansen; Colosi, Peter; Swaroop, Anand

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in the retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator (RPGR) gene account for >70% of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) and 15–20% of all inherited retinal degeneration. Gene replacement therapy for RPGR-XLRP was hampered by the relatively slow disease progression in mouse models and by difficulties in cloning the full-length RPGR-ORF15 cDNA that includes a purine-rich 3′-coding region; however, its effectiveness has recently been demonstrated in four dogs with RPGR mutations. To advance the therapy to clinical stage, we generated new stable vectors in AAV8 or AAV9 carrying mouse and human full-length RPGR-ORF15-coding sequence and conducted a comprehensive long-term dose-efficacy study in Rpgr-knockout mice. After validating their ability to produce full-length proteins that localize to photoreceptor connecting cilia, we evaluated various vector doses in mice during a 2-year study. We demonstrate that eyes treated with a single injection of mouse or human RPGR-ORF15 vector at an optimal dose maintained the expression of RPGR-ORF15 throughout the study duration and exhibited higher electroretinogram amplitude, thicker photoreceptor layer and better targeting of opsins to outer segments compared with sham-treated eyes. Furthermore, mice that received treatment at an advanced age also showed remarkable preservation of retinal structure and function. Retinal toxicity was observed at high vector doses, highlighting the importance of careful dose optimization in future clinical experiments. Our long-term dose-efficacy study should facilitate the design of human trials with human RPGR-ORF15 vector as a clinical candidate. PMID:25877300

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-07-15

    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.

  11. Gene therapy rescues photoreceptor blindness in dogs and paves the way for treating human X-linked retinitis pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Beltran, William A; Cideciyan, Artur V; Lewin, Alfred S; Iwabe, Simone; Khanna, Hemant; Sumaroka, Alexander; Chiodo, Vince A; Fajardo, Diego S; Román, Alejandro J; Deng, Wen-Tao; Swider, Malgorzata; Alemán, Tomas S; Boye, Sanford L; Genini, Sem; Swaroop, Anand; Hauswirth, William W; Jacobson, Samuel G; Aguirre, Gustavo D

    2012-02-07

    Hereditary retinal blindness is caused by mutations in genes expressed in photoreceptors or retinal pigment epithelium. Gene therapy in mouse and dog models of a primary retinal pigment epithelium disease has already been translated to human clinical trials with encouraging results. Treatment for common primary photoreceptor blindness, however, has not yet moved from proof of concept to the clinic. We evaluated gene augmentation therapy in two blinding canine photoreceptor diseases that model the common X-linked form of retinitis pigmentosa caused by mutations in the retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator (RPGR) gene, which encodes a photoreceptor ciliary protein, and provide evidence that the therapy is effective. After subretinal injections of adeno-associated virus-2/5-vectored human RPGR with human IRBP or GRK1 promoters, in vivo imaging showed preserved photoreceptor nuclei and inner/outer segments that were limited to treated areas. Both rod and cone photoreceptor function were greater in treated (three of four) than in control eyes. Histopathology indicated normal photoreceptor structure and reversal of opsin mislocalization in treated areas expressing human RPGR protein in rods and cones. Postreceptoral remodeling was also corrected: there was reversal of bipolar cell dendrite retraction evident with bipolar cell markers and preservation of outer plexiform layer thickness. Efficacy of gene therapy in these large animal models of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa provides a path for translation to human treatment.

  12. Assessment of different virus-mediated approaches for retinal gene therapy of Usher 1B.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Vanda S; Diemer, Tanja; Williams, David S

    2014-01-01

    Usher syndrome type 1B, which is characterized by congenital deafness and progressive retinal degeneration, is caused by the loss of the function of MYO7A. Prevention of the retinal degeneration should be possible by delivering functional MYO7A to retinal cells. Although this approach has been used successfully in clinical trials for Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA2), it remains a challenge for Usher 1B because of the large size of the MYO7A cDNA. Different viral vectors have been tested for use in MYO7A gene therapy. Here, we review approaches with lentiviruses, which can accommodate larger genes, as well as attempts to use adeno-associated virus (AAV), which has a smaller packaging capacity. In conclusion, both types of viral vector appear to be effective. Despite concerns about the ability of lentiviruses to access the photoreceptor cells, a phenotype of the photoreceptors of Myo7a-mutant mice can be corrected. And although MYO7A cDNA is significantly larger than the nominal carrying capacity of AAV, AAV-MYO7A in single vectors also corrected Myo7a-mutant phenotypes in photoreceptor and RPE cells. Interestingly, however, a dual AAV vector approach was found to be much less effective.

  13. Lighting a candle in the dark: advances in genetics and gene therapy of recessive retinal dystrophies.

    PubMed

    den Hollander, Anneke I; Black, Aaron; Bennett, Jean; Cremers, Frans P M

    2010-09-01

    Nonsyndromic recessive retinal dystrophies cause severe visual impairment due to the death of photoreceptor and retinal pigment epithelium cells. These diseases until recently have been considered to be incurable. Molecular genetic studies in the last two decades have revealed the underlying molecular causes in approximately two-thirds of patients. The mammalian eye has been at the forefront of therapeutic trials based on gene augmentation in humans with an early-onset nonsyndromic recessive retinal dystrophy due to mutations in the retinal pigment epithelium-specific protein 65kDa (RPE65) gene. Tremendous challenges still lie ahead to extrapolate these studies to other retinal disease-causing genes, as human gene augmentation studies require testing in animal models for each individual gene and sufficiently large patient cohorts for clinical trials remain to be identified through cost-effective mutation screening protocols.

  14. A review of therapeutic prospects of non-viral gene therapy in the retinal pigment epithelium

    PubMed Central

    Koirala, Adarsha; Conley, Shannon M.; Naash, Muna I.

    2013-01-01

    Ocular gene therapy has been extensively explored in recent years as a therapeutic avenue to target diseases of the cornea, retina and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene therapy has shown promise in several RPE clinical trials but AAVs have limited payload capacity and potential immunogenicity. Traditionally however, non-viral alternatives have been plagued by low transfection efficiency, short-term expression and low expression levels. Recently, these drawbacks have begun to be overcome by the use of specialty carriers such as polylysine, liposomes, or polyethyleneimines, and by inclusion of suitable DNA elements to enhance gene expression and longevity. Recent advancements in the field have yielded non-viral vectors that have favorable safety profiles, lack immunogenicity, exhibit long-term elevated gene expression, and show efficient transfection in the retina and RPE, making them poised to transition to clinical applications. Here we discuss the advancements in nanotechnology and vector engineering that have improved the prospects for clinical application of non-viral gene therapy in the RPE. PMID:23796578

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Therapy for acute retinal necrosis.

    PubMed

    Kawaguchi, Tatsushi; Spencer, Doran B; Mochizuki, Manabu

    2008-01-01

    Acute retinal necrosis is a progressive necrotizing retinopathy caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV) or varicella zoster virus (VZV). The mainstay of its treatment is antiviral therapy against these pathogenic organisms, such as intravenous acyclovir or oral valacyclovir. Systemic and topical corticosteroids together with antiviral therapy are used as an anti-inflammatory treatment to minimize damages to the optic nerve and retinal blood vessels. Because the majority of severe cases of the disease show occlusive retinal vasculitis, a low dosage of aspirin is used as anti-thrombotic treatment. Vitreo-retinal surgery is useful to repair rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, one of the main late-stage complications. Moreover, recent articles have reported some encouraging results of prophylactic vitrectomy before rhegmatogenous retinal detachment occurs. The efficacy of laser photocoagulation to prevent the development or extension of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment is controversial. Despite these treatments, the visual prognosis of acute retinal necrosis is still poor, in particular VZV-induced acute retinal necrosis.

  18. Retinal gene therapy with a large MYO7A cDNA using adeno-associated virus.

    PubMed

    Lopes, V S; Boye, S E; Louie, C M; Boye, S; Dyka, F; Chiodo, V; Fofo, H; Hauswirth, W W; Williams, D S

    2013-08-01

    Usher 1 patients are born profoundly deaf and then develop retinal degeneration. Thus they are readily identified before the onset of retinal degeneration, making gene therapy a viable strategy to prevent their blindness. Here, we have investigated the use of adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) for the delivery of the Usher 1B gene, MYO7A, to retinal cells in cell culture and in Myo7a-null mice. MYO7A cDNA, under control of a smCBA promoter, was packaged in single AAV2 and AAV5 vectors and as two overlapping halves in dual AAV2 vectors. The 7.9-kb smCBA-MYO7A exceeds the capacity of an AAV vector; packaging of such oversized constructs into single AAV vectors may involve fragmentation of the gene. Nevertheless, the AAV2 and AAV5 single vector preparations successfully transduced photoreceptor and retinal pigment epithelium cells, resulting in functional, full-length MYO7A protein and correction of mutant phenotypes, suggesting successful homologous recombination of gene fragments. With discrete, conventional-sized dual AAV2 vectors, full-length MYO7A was detected, but the level of protein expression was variable, and only a minority of cells showed phenotype correction. Our results show that MYO7A therapy with AAV2 or AAV5 single vectors is efficacious; however, the dual AAV2 approach proved to be less effective.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Retinal blinding disorders and gene therapy--molecular and clinical aspects.

    PubMed

    Lorenz, Birgit; Preising, Markus; Stieger, Knut

    2010-10-01

    Retinal blinding disorders together have a prevalence of 1 in 2000 humans world wide and represent a significant impact on the quality of life as well as the possibility to attain personal achievements. Mutations in genes that are expressed either in RPE cells, photoreceptors or bipolar cells can cause varying forms of degenerative or stationary retinal disorders, as the presence of the encoded proteins is crucial for normal function, maintenance and synaptic interaction. The degree of damage caused by different mutations depends upon the type of mutation within the gene, resulting in either total absence or the presence of a non-functional or potentially toxic protein. Potential treatment strategies require the identification of the cell type, in which the mutated gene is expressed for later targeting by viral vector mediated gene transfer. In the first part of this review, the authors present different cellular pathways that take place either in the RPE, photoreceptors, or bipolar cells. Furthermore, the authors demonstrate why genetic and molecular testing methods, which clearly identify the disease causing mutations, are crucial for attaining the correct diagnosis in order to identify patients suitable to be treated by upcoming new therapeutic methods. In the second part, a short clinical classification of the most important forms of retinal blinding disorders is given, together with clinical aspects concerning the problems that arise when facing low residual visual perception and the enormous heterogeneity of symptoms within these disorders.

  3. Long-term rescue of cone photoreceptor degeneration in retinitis pigmentosa 2 (RP2)-knockout mice by gene replacement therapy

    PubMed Central

    Mookherjee, Suddhasil; Hiriyanna, Suja; Kaneshiro, Kayleigh; Li, Linjing; Li, Yichao; Li, Wei; Qian, Haohua; Li, Tiansen; Khanna, Hemant; Colosi, Peter; Swaroop, Anand; Wu, Zhijian

    2015-01-01

    Retinal neurodegenerative diseases are especially attractive targets for gene replacement therapy, which appears to be clinically effective for several monogenic diseases. X-linked forms of retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) are relatively severe blinding disorders, resulting from progressive photoreceptor dysfunction primarily caused by mutations in RPGR or RP2 gene. With a goal to develop gene therapy for the XLRP-RP2 disease, we first performed detailed characterization of the Rp2-knockout (Rp2-KO) mice and observed early-onset cone dysfunction, which was followed by progressive cone degeneration, mimicking cone vision impairment in XLRP patients. The mice also exhibited distinct and significantly delayed falling phase of photopic b-wave of electroretinogram (ERG). Concurrently, we generated a self-complementary adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector carrying human RP2-coding sequence and demonstrated its ability to mediate stable RP2 protein expression in mouse photoreceptors. A long-term efficacy study was then conducted in Rp2-KO mice following AAV-RP2 vector administration. Preservation of cone function was achieved with a wide dose range over 18-month duration, as evidenced by photopic ERG and optomotor tests. The slower b-wave kinetics was also completely restored. Morphologically, the treatment preserved cone viability, corrected mis-trafficking of M-cone opsin and restored cone PDE6 expression. The therapeutic effect was achieved even in mice that received treatment at an advanced disease stage. The highest AAV-RP2 dose group demonstrated retinal toxicity, highlighting the importance of careful vector dosing in designing future human trials. The wide range of effective dose, a broad treatment window and long-lasting therapeutic effects should make the RP2 gene therapy attractive for clinical development. PMID:26358772

  4. Gene therapy in the second eye of RPE65-deficient dogs improves retinal function

    PubMed Central

    Annear, MJ; Bartoe, JT; Barker, SE; Smith, AJ; Curran, PG; Bainbridge, JW; Ali, RR; Petersen-Jones, SM

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether immune responses interfered with gene therapy rescue using subretinally delivered recombinant adeno-associated viral vector serotype 2 carrying the RPE65 cDNA gene driven by the human RPE65 promoter (rAAV2.hRPE65p.hRPE65) in the second eye of RPE65−/− dogs that had previously been treated in a similar manner in the other eye. Bilateral subretinal injection was performed in nine dogs with the second eye treated 85–180 days after the first. Electroretinography (ERG) and vision testing showed rescue in 16 of 18 treated eyes, with no significant difference between first and second treated eyes. A serum neutralizing antibody (NAb) response to rAAV2 was detected in all treated animals, but this did not prevent or reduce the effectiveness of rescue in the second treated eye. We conclude that successful rescue using subretinal rAAV2.hRPE65p.hRPE65 gene therapy in the second eye is not precluded by prior gene therapy in the contralateral eye of the RPE65−/− dog. This finding has important implications for the treatment of human LCA type II patients. PMID:20703309

  5. Cell and gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Rao, Rajesh C; Zacks, David N

    2014-01-01

    Replacement or repair of a dysfunctional gene combined with promoting cell survival is a two-pronged approach that addresses an unmet need in the therapy of retinal degenerative diseases. In this chapter, we discuss various strategies toward achieving both goals: transplantation of wild-type cells to replace degenerating cells and to rescue gene function, sequential gene and cell therapy, and in vivo reprogramming of rods to cones. These approaches highlight cutting-edge advances in cell and gene therapy, and cellular lineage conversion in order to devise new therapies for various retinal degenerative diseases.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. CNTF Gene Therapy Confers Lifelong Neuroprotection in a Mouse Model of Human Retinitis Pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Lipinski, Daniel M; Barnard, Alun R; Singh, Mandeep S; Martin, Chris; Lee, Edward J; Davies, Wayne I L; MacLaren, Robert E

    2015-01-01

    The long-term outcome of neuroprotection as a therapeutic strategy for preventing cell death in neurodegenerative disorders remains unknown, primarily due to slow disease progression and the inherent difficulty of assessing neuronal survival in vivo. Employing a murine model of retinal disease, we demonstrate that ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) confers life-long protection against photoreceptor degeneration. Repetitive retinal imaging allowed the survival of intrinsically fluorescent cone photoreceptors to be quantified in vivo. Imaging of the visual cortex and assessment of visually-evoked behavioral responses demonstrated that surviving cones retain function and signal correctly to the brain. The mechanisms underlying CNTF-mediated neuroprotection were explored through transcriptome analysis, revealing widespread upregulation of proteolysis inhibitors, which may prevent cellular/extracellular matrix degradation and complement activation in neurodegenerative diseases. These findings provide insights into potential novel therapeutic avenues for diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, for which CNTF has been evaluated unsuccessfully in clinical trials. PMID:25896245

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. A Hypoxia-Responsive Glial Cell–Specific Gene Therapy Vector for Targeting Retinal Neovascularization

    PubMed Central

    Biswal, Manas R.; Prentice, Howard M.; Dorey, C. Kathleen; Blanks, Janet C.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. Müller cells, the major glial cell in the retina, play a significant role in retinal neovascularization in response to tissue hypoxia. We previously designed and tested a vector using a hypoxia-responsive domain and a glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) promoter to drive green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression in Müller cells in the murine model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR). This study compares the efficacy of regulated and unregulated Müller cell delivery of endostatin in preventing neovascularization in the OIR model. Methods. Endostatin cDNA was cloned into plasmids with hypoxia-regulated GFAP or unregulated GFAP promoters, and packaged into self-complementary adeno-associated virus serotype 2 vectors (scAAV2). Before placement in hyperoxia on postnatal day (P)7, mice were given intravitreal injections of regulated or unregulated scAAV2, capsid, or PBS. Five days after return to room air, on P17, neovascular and avascular areas, as well as expression of the transgene and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), were compared in OIR animals treated with a vector, capsid, or PBS. Results. The hypoxia-regulated, glial-specific, vector-expressing endostatin reduced neovascularization by 93% and reduced the central vaso-obliteration area by 90%, matching the results with the unregulated GFAP-Endo vector. Retinas treated with the regulated endostatin vector expressed substantial amounts of endostatin protein, and significantly reduced VEGF protein. Endostatin production from the regulated vector was undetectable in retinas with undamaged vasculature. Conclusions. These findings suggest that the hypoxia-regulated, glial cell–specific vector expressing endostatin may be useful for treatment of neovascularization in proliferative diabetic retinopathy. PMID:25377223

  12. 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.

  13. Gene Therapy in Patient-specific Stem Cell Lines and a Preclinical Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa With Membrane Frizzled-related Protein Defects

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yao; Wu, Wen-Hsuan; Hsu, Chun-Wei; Nguyen, Huy V; Tsai, Yi-Ting; Chan, Lawrence; Nagasaki, Takayuki; Maumenee, Irene H; Yannuzzi, Lawrence A; Hoang, Quan V; Hua, Haiqing; Egli, Dieter; Tsang, Stephen H

    2014-01-01

    Defects in Membrane Frizzled-related Protein (MFRP) cause autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (RP). MFRP codes for a retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)-specific membrane receptor of unknown function. In patient-specific induced pluripotent stem (iPS)-derived RPE cells, precise levels of MFRP, and its dicistronic partner CTRP5, are critical to the regulation of actin organization. Overexpression of CTRP5 in naïve human RPE cells phenocopied behavior of MFRP-deficient patient RPE (iPS-RPE) cells. AAV8 (Y733F) vector expressing human MFRP rescued the actin disorganization phenotype and restored apical microvilli in patient-specific iPS-RPE cell lines. As a result, AAV-treated MFRP mutant iPS-RPE recovered pigmentation and transepithelial resistance. The efficacy of AAV-mediated gene therapy was also evaluated in Mfrprd6/Mfrprd6 mice—an established preclinical model of RP—and long-term improvement in visual function was observed in AAV-Mfrp-treated mice. This report is the first to indicate the successful use of human iPS-RPE cells as a recipient for gene therapy. The observed favorable response to gene therapy in both patient-specific cell lines, and the Mfrprd6/Mfrprd6 preclinical model suggests that this form of degeneration caused by MFRP mutations is a potential target for interventional trials. PMID:24895994

  14. Gene therapy in patient-specific stem cell lines and a preclinical model of retinitis pigmentosa with membrane frizzled-related protein defects.

    PubMed

    Li, Yao; Wu, Wen-Hsuan; Hsu, Chun-Wei; Nguyen, Huy V; Tsai, Yi-Ting; Chan, Lawrence; Nagasaki, Takayuki; Maumenee, Irene H; Yannuzzi, Lawrence A; Hoang, Quan V; Hua, Haiqing; Egli, Dieter; Tsang, Stephen H

    2014-09-01

    Defects in Membrane Frizzled-related Protein (MFRP) cause autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (RP). MFRP codes for a retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)-specific membrane receptor of unknown function. In patient-specific induced pluripotent stem (iPS)-derived RPE cells, precise levels of MFRP, and its dicistronic partner CTRP5, are critical to the regulation of actin organization. Overexpression of CTRP5 in naïve human RPE cells phenocopied behavior of MFRP-deficient patient RPE (iPS-RPE) cells. AAV8 (Y733F) vector expressing human MFRP rescued the actin disorganization phenotype and restored apical microvilli in patient-specific iPS-RPE cell lines. As a result, AAV-treated MFRP mutant iPS-RPE recovered pigmentation and transepithelial resistance. The efficacy of AAV-mediated gene therapy was also evaluated in Mfrp(rd6)/Mfrp(rd6) mice--an established preclinical model of RP--and long-term improvement in visual function was observed in AAV-Mfrp-treated mice. This report is the first to indicate the successful use of human iPS-RPE cells as a recipient for gene therapy. The observed favorable response to gene therapy in both patient-specific cell lines, and the Mfrp(rd6)/Mfrp(rd6) preclinical model suggests that this form of degeneration caused by MFRP mutations is a potential target for interventional trials.

  15. Cone-Specific Promoters for Gene Therapy of Achromatopsia and Other Retinal Diseases.

    PubMed

    Ye, Guo-Jie; Budzynski, Ewa; Sonnentag, Peter; Nork, T Michael; Sheibani, Nader; Gurel, Zafer; Boye, Sanford L; Peterson, James J; Boye, Shannon E; Hauswirth, William W; Chulay, Jeffrey D

    2016-01-01

    Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors containing cone-specific promoters have rescued cone photoreceptor function in mouse and dog models of achromatopsia, but cone-specific promoters have not been optimized for use in primates. Using AAV vectors administered by subretinal injection, we evaluated a series of promoters based on the human L-opsin promoter, or a chimeric human cone transducin promoter, for their ability to drive gene expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) in mice and nonhuman primates. Each of these promoters directed high-level GFP expression in mouse photoreceptors. In primates, subretinal injection of an AAV-GFP vector containing a 1.7-kb L-opsin promoter (PR1.7) achieved strong and specific GFP expression in all cone photoreceptors and was more efficient than a vector containing the 2.1-kb L-opsin promoter that was used in AAV vectors that rescued cone function in mouse and dog models of achromatopsia. A chimeric cone transducin promoter that directed strong GFP expression in mouse and dog cone photoreceptors was unable to drive GFP expression in primate cones. An AAV vector expressing a human CNGB3 gene driven by the PR1.7 promoter rescued cone function in the mouse model of achromatopsia. These results have informed the design of an AAV vector for treatment of patients with achromatopsia.

  16. Preclinical potency and safety studies of an AAV2-mediated gene therapy vector for the treatment of MERTK associated retinitis pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Conlon, Thomas J; Deng, Wen-Tao; Erger, Kirsten; Cossette, Travis; Pang, Ji-jing; Ryals, Renee; Clément, Nathalie; Cleaver, Brian; McDoom, Issam; Boye, Shannon E; Peden, Marc C; Sherwood, Mark B; Abernathy, Corinne R; Alkuraya, Fowzan S; Boye, Sanford L; Hauswirth, William W

    2013-03-01

    Abstract Proof of concept for MERTK gene replacement therapy has been demonstrated using different viral vectors in the Royal College of Surgeon (RCS) rat, a well characterized model of recessive retinitis pigmentosa that contains a mutation in the Mertk gene. MERTK plays a key role in renewal of photoreceptor outer segments (OS) by phagocytosis of shed OS tips. Mutations in MERTK cause impaired phagocytic activity and accumulation of OS debris in the interphotoreceptor space that ultimately leads to photoreceptor cell death. In the present study, we conducted a series of preclinical potency and GLP-compliant safety evaluations of an adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2) vector expressing human MERTK cDNA driven by the retinal pigment epithelium-specific, VMD2 promoter. We demonstrate the potency of the vector in RCS rats by improved electroretinogram (ERG) responses in treated eyes compared with contralateral untreated controls. Toxicology and biodistribution studies were performed in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats injected with two different doses of AAV vectors and buffer control. Delivery of vector in SD rats did not result in a change in ERG amplitudes of rod and cone responses relative to balanced salt solution control-injected eyes, indicating that administration of AAV vector did not adversely affect normal retinal function. In vivo fundoscopic analysis and postmortem retinal morphology of the vector-injected eyes were normal compared with controls. Evaluation of blood smears showed the lack of transformed cells in the treated eyes. All injected eyes and day 1 blood samples were positive for vector genomes, and all peripheral tissues were negative. Our results demonstrate the potency and safety of the AAV2-VMD2-hMERTK vector in animal models tested. A GMP vector has been manufactured and is presently in clinical trial.

  17. Developing an Outcome Measure With High Luminance for Optogenetics Treatment of Severe Retinal Degenerations and for Gene Therapy of Cone Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Cideciyan, Artur V.; Roman, Alejandro J.; Jacobson, Samuel G.; Yan, Boyuan; Pascolini, Michele; Charng, Jason; Pajaro, Simone; Nirenberg, Sheila

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To present stimuli with varied sizes, colors, and patterns over a large range of luminance. Methods The filter bar used in scotopic MP1 was replaced with a custom slide-in tray that introduces light from an external projector driven by an additional computer. MP1 software was modified to provide retinal tracking information to the computer driving the projector. Retinal tracking performance was evaluated by imaging the system input and the output simultaneously with a high-speed video system. Spatial resolution was measured with achromatic and chromatic grating/background combinations over scotopic and photopic ranges. Results The range of retinal illuminance achievable by the modification was up to 6.8 log photopic Trolands (phot-Td); however, in the current work, only a lower range over −4 to +3 log phot-Td was tested in human subjects. Optical magnification was optimized for low-vision testing with gratings from 4.5 to 0.2 cyc/deg. In normal subjects, spatial resolution driven by rods, short wavelength-sensitive (S-) cones, and long/middle wavelength-sensitive (L/M-) cones was obtained by the choice of adapting conditions and wavelengths of grating and background. Data from a patient with blue cone monochromacy was used to confirm mediation. Conclusions The modified MP1 can be developed into an outcome measure for treatments in patients with severe retinal degeneration, very low vision, and abnormal eye movements such as those for whom treatment with optogenetics is planned, as well as for patients with cone disorders such as blue cone monochromacy for whom treatment with gene therapy is planned to improve L/M-cone function above a normal complement of rod and S-cone function. PMID:27309625

  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. Stem Cell Therapies in Retinal Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Garg, Aakriti; Yang, Jin; Lee, Winston; Tsang, Stephen H.

    2017-01-01

    Stem cell therapy has long been considered a promising mode of treatment for retinal conditions. While human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have provided the precedent for regenerative medicine, the development of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) revolutionized this field. iPSCs allow for the development of many types of retinal cells, including those of the retinal pigment epithelium, photoreceptors, and ganglion cells, and can model polygenic diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. Cellular programming and reprogramming technology is especially useful in retinal diseases, as it allows for the study of living cells that have genetic variants that are specific to patients’ diseases. Since iPSCs are a self-renewing resource, scientists can experiment with an unlimited number of pluripotent cells to perfect the process of targeted differentiation, transplantation, and more, for personalized medicine. Challenges in the use of stem cells are present from the scientific, ethical, and political realms. These include transplant complications leading to anatomically incorrect placement, concern for tumorigenesis, and incomplete targeting of differentiation leading to contamination by different types of cells. Despite these limitations, human ESCs and iPSCs specific to individual patients can revolutionize the study of retinal disease and may be effective therapies for conditions currently considered incurable. PMID:28157165

  20. AAV8(Y733F)-mediated gene therapy in a Spata7 knockout mouse model of Leber congenital amaurosis and retinitis pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Hua; Eblimit, Aiden; Moayedi, Yalda; Boye, Sanford L; Chiodo, Vince A; Chen, Yiyun; Li, Yumei; Nichols, Ralph M; Hauswirth, William W; Chen, Rui; Mardon, Graeme

    2016-01-01

    Loss of SPATA7 function causes the pathogenesis of Leber congenital amaurosis and retinitis pigmentosa. Spata7 knockout mice mimic human SPATA7–related retinal disease with apparent photoreceptor degeneration observed as early as postnatal day 15 (P15). To test the efficacy of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene therapy for rescue of photoreceptor survival and function in Spata7 mutant mice, we employed the AAV8(Y733F) vector carrying hGRK1-driven full-length FLAG-tagged Spata7 cDNA to target both rod and cone photoreceptors. Following subretinal injection of this vector, FLAG-tagged SPATA7 was found to co-localize with endogenous SPATA7 in wild-type mice. In Spata7 mutant mice initially treated at P15, we observed improvement of photoresponse, photoreceptor ultrastructure, and significant alleviation of photoreceptor degeneration. Furthermore we performed treatments at P28 and P56 and found that all treatments (P15-P56) can ameliorate rod and cone loss in the long term (1 year); however, none efficiently protect photoreceptors from degeneration by 86 weeks of age since only a small amount of treated photoreceptors can survive to this time. This study demonstrates long-term improvement of photoreceptor function by AAV8(Y733F)-introduced Spata7 expression in a mouse model as potential treatment of the human disease but also suggests that treated mutant photoreceptors still undergo progressive degeneration. PMID:25965394

  1. AAV8(Y733F)-mediated gene therapy in a Spata7 knockout mouse model of Leber congenital amaurosis and retinitis pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Zhong, H; Eblimit, A; Moayedi, Y; Boye, S L; Chiodo, V A; Chen, Y; Li, Y; Nichols, R M; Hauswirth, W W; Chen, R; Mardon, G

    2015-08-01

    Loss of SPATA7 function causes the pathogenesis of Leber congenital amaurosis and retinitis pigmentosa. Spata7 knockout mice mimic human SPATA7-related retinal disease with apparent photoreceptor degeneration observed as early as postnatal day 15 (P15). To test the efficacy of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene therapy for rescue of photoreceptor survival and function in Spata7 mutant mice, we employed the AAV8(Y733F) vector carrying hGRK1-driven full-length FLAG-tagged Spata7 cDNA to target both rod and cone photoreceptors. Following subretinal injection of this vector, FLAG-tagged SPATA7 was found to colocalize with endogenous SPATA7 in wild-type mice. In Spata7 mutant mice initially treated at P15, we observed improvement of photoresponse, photoreceptor ultrastructure and significant alleviation of photoreceptor degeneration. Furthermore, we performed treatments at P28 and P56 and found that all treatments (P15-P56) can ameliorate rod and cone loss in the long term (1 year); however, none efficiently protect photoreceptors from degeneration by 86 weeks of age as only a small amount of treated photoreceptors can survive to this time. This study demonstrates long-term improvement of photoreceptor function by AAV8(Y733F)-introduced Spata7 expression in a mouse model as potential treatment of the human disease, but also suggests that treated mutant photoreceptors still undergo progressive degeneration.

  2. Antiangiogenic Eye Gene Therapy.

    PubMed

    Corydon, Thomas J

    2015-08-01

    The idea of treating disease in humans with genetic material was conceived over two decades ago and with that a promising journey involving development and efficacy studies in cells and animals of a large number of novel therapeutic reagents unfolded. In the footsteps of this process, successful gene therapy treatment of genetic conditions in humans has shown clear signs of efficacy. Notably, significant advancements using gene supplementation and silencing strategies have been made in the field of ocular gene therapy, thereby pinpointing ocular gene therapy as one of the compelling "actors" bringing gene therapy to the clinic. Most of all, this success has been facilitated because of (1) the fact that the eye is an effortlessly accessible, exceedingly compartmentalized, and immune-privileged organ offering a unique advantage as a gene therapy target, and (2) significant progress toward efficient, sustained transduction of cells within the retina having been achieved using nonintegrating vectors based on recombinant adeno-associated virus and nonintegrating lentivirus vectors. The results from in vivo experiments and trials suggest that treatment of inherited retinal dystrophies, ocular angiogenesis, and inflammation with gene therapy can be both safe and effective. Here, the progress of ocular gene therapy is examined with special emphasis on the potential use of RNAi- and protein-based antiangiogenic gene therapy to treat exudative age-related macular degeneration.

  3. Gene Therapy

    MedlinePlus

    ... cells in an effort to treat or stop disease. Genes contain your DNA — the code that controls much of your body's form and function, from making you grow taller to regulating your body systems. Genes that don't work properly can cause disease. Gene therapy replaces a faulty gene or adds ...

  4. 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

  5. Gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Williamson, B

    1982-07-29

    Gene therapy is not yet possible, but may become feasible soon, particularly for well understood gene defects. Although treatment of a patient raises no ethical problems once it can be done well, changing the genes of an early embryo is more difficult, controversial and unlikely to be required clinically.

  6. Gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Drugan, A; Miller, O J; Evans, M I

    1987-01-01

    Severe genetic disorders are potentially correctable by the addition of a normal gene into tissues. Although the technical problems involving integration, stable expression, and insertional damage to the treated cell are not yet fully solved, enough scientific progress has already been made to consider somatic cell gene therapy acceptable from both the ethical and scientific viewpoints. The resolutions to problems evolving from somatic cell gene therapy will help to overcome the technical difficulties encountered presently with germ line gene manipulation. This procedure would then become morally permissible as it will cause, in time, a reduction in the pool of abnormal genes in the population. Enhancement genetic engineering is technically feasible but morally unacceptable. Eugenic genetic engineering is not technically possible or ethically permissible in the foreseeable future.

  7. 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

  8. Gene therapy for retinitis pigmentosa and Leber congenital amaurosis caused by defects in AIPL1: effective rescue of mouse models of partial and complete Aipl1 deficiency using AAV2/2 and AAV2/8 vectors

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Mei Hong; Smith, Alexander J.; Pawlyk, Basil; Xu, Xiaoyun; Liu, Xiaoqing; Bainbridge, James B.; Basche, Mark; McIntosh, Jenny; Tran, Hoai Viet; Nathwani, Amit; Li, Tiansen; Ali, Robin R.

    2009-01-01

    Defects in the photoreceptor-specific gene encoding aryl hydrocarbon receptor-interacting protein-like 1 (AIPL1) are clinically heterogeneous and present as Leber Congenital Amaurosis, the severest form of early-onset retinal dystrophy and milder forms of retinal dystrophies such as juvenile retinitis pigmentosa and dominant cone-rod dystrophy. [Perrault, I., Rozet, J.M., Gerber, S., Ghazi, I., Leowski, C., Ducroq, D., Souied, E., Dufier, J.L., Munnich, A. and Kaplan, J. (1999) Leber congenital amaurosis. Mol. Genet. Metab., 68, 200–208.] Although not yet fully elucidated, AIPL1 is likely to function as a specialized chaperone for rod phosphodiesterase (PDE). We evaluate whether AAV-mediated gene replacement therapy is able to improve photoreceptor function and survival in retinal degeneration associated with AIPL1 defects. We used two mouse models of AIPL1 deficiency simulating three different rates of photoreceptor degeneration. The Aipl1 hypomorphic (h/h) mouse has reduced Aipl1 levels and a relatively slow degeneration. Under light acceleration, the rate of degeneration in the Aipl1 h/h mouse is increased by 2–3-fold. The Aipl1−/− mouse has no functional Aipl1 and has a very rapid retinal degeneration. To treat the different rates of degeneration, two pseudotypes of recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) exhibiting different transduction kinetics are used for gene transfer. We demonstrate restoration of cellular function and preservation of photoreceptor cells and retinal function in Aipl1 h/h mice following gene replacement therapy using an AAV2/2 vector and in the light accelerated Aipl1 h/h model and Aipl1−/− mice using an AAV2/8 vector. We have thus established the potential of gene replacement therapy in varying rates of degeneration that reflect the clinical spectrum of disease. This is the first gene replacement study to report long-term rescue of a photoreceptor-specific defect and to demonstrate effective rescue of a rapid photoreceptor

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    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.

  11. 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

  12. Rearing Light Intensity Affects Inner Retinal Pathology in a Mouse Model of X-Linked Retinoschisis but Does Not Alter Gene Therapy Outcome

    PubMed Central

    Marangoni, Dario; Yong, Zeng; Kjellström, Sten; Vijayasarathy, Camasamudram; A. Sieving, Paul; Bush, Ronald A.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose To test the effects of rearing light intensity on retinal function and morphology in the retinoschisis knockout (Rs1-KO) mouse model of X-linked retinoschisis, and whether it affects functional outcome of RS1 gene replacement. Methods Seventy-six Rs1-KO mice were reared in either cyclic low light (LL, 20 lux) or moderate light (ML, 300 lux) and analyzed at 1 and 4 months. Retinal function was assessed by electroretinogram and cavity size by optical coherence tomography. Expression of inward-rectifier K+ channel (Kir4.1), water channel aquaporin-4 (AQP4), and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were analyzed by Western blotting. In a separate study, Rs1-KO mice reared in LL (n = 29) or ML (n = 27) received a unilateral intravitreal injection of scAAV8-hRs-IRBP at 21 days, and functional outcome was evaluated at 4 months by electroretinogram. Results At 1 month, no functional or structural differences were found between LL- or ML-reared Rs1-KO mice. At 4 months, ML-reared Rs1-KO mice showed significant reduction of b-wave amplitude and b-/a-wave ratio with no changes in a-wave, and a significant increase in cavity size, compared to LL-reared animals. Moderate light rearing increased Kir4.1 expression in Rs1-KO mice by 4 months, but not AQP4 and GFAP levels. Administration of scAAV8-hRS1-IRBP to Rs1-KO mice showed similar improvement of inner retinal ERG function independent of LL or ML rearing. Conclusions Rearing light conditions affect the development of retinal cavities and post-photoreceptor function in Rs1-KO mice. However, the effect of rearing light intensity does not interact with the efficacy of RS1 gene replacement in Rs1-KO mice. PMID:28297725

  13. Overview of retinal differentiation potential of mesenchymal stem cells: A promising approach for retinal cell therapy.

    PubMed

    Salehi, Hossein; Amirpour, Noushin; Razavi, Shahnaz; Esfandiari, Ebrahim; Zavar, Reihaneh

    2017-03-01

    Retinal disease caused by retinal cell apoptosis leads to irreversible vision loss. Stem cell investigation efforts have been made to solve and cure retinal disorders. There are several sources of stem cells which have been used in these experiments. Numerous studies demonstrated that transplanted stem cells can migrate into and integrate in different layers of retina. Among these, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were considered a promising source for cell therapy. Here, we review the literature assessing the potential of MSCs to differentiate into retinal cells in vivo and in vitro as well as their clinical application. However, more investigation is required to define the protocols that optimize stem cell differentiation and their functional integration in the retina.

  14. [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.

  15. 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

  16. Cell-Based Therapy for Degenerative Retinal Disease.

    PubMed

    Zarbin, Marco

    2016-02-01

    Stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and photoreceptors (PRs) have restored vision in preclinical models of human retinal degenerative disease. This review discusses characteristics of stem cell therapy in the eye and the challenges to clinical implementation that are being confronted today. Based on encouraging results from Phase I/II trials, the first Phase II clinical trials of stem cell-derived RPE transplantation are underway. PR transplant experiments have demonstrated restoration of visual function in preclinical models of retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration, but also indicate that no single approach is likely to succeed in overcoming PR loss in all cases. A greater understanding of the mechanisms controlling synapse formation as well as the immunoreactivity of transplanted retinal cells is urgently needed.

  17. Gene therapy: Myth or reality?

    PubMed

    Fischer, Alain

    2016-01-01

    Gene therapy has become a reality, although still a fragile one. Clinical benefit has been achieved over the last 17years in a limited number of medical conditions for which pathophysiological studies determined that they were favorable settings. They include inherited disorders of the immune system, leukodystrophies, possibly hemoglobinopathies, hemophilia B, and retinal dystrophies. Advances in the treatment of B-cell leukemias and lymphomas have also been achieved. Advances in vector development and possible usage of gene editing may lead to significant advances over the next years.

  18. Cone photoreceptors are the main targets for gene therapy of NPHP5 (IQCB1) or NPHP6 (CEP290) blindness: generation of an all-cone Nphp6 hypomorph mouse that mimics the human retinal ciliopathy.

    PubMed

    Cideciyan, Artur V; Rachel, Rivka A; Aleman, Tomas S; Swider, Malgorzata; Schwartz, Sharon B; Sumaroka, Alexander; Roman, Alejandro J; Stone, Edwin M; Jacobson, Samuel G; Swaroop, Anand

    2011-04-01

    Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a severe autosomal recessive childhood blindness, is caused by mutations in at least 15 genes. The most common molecular form is a ciliopathy due to NPHP6 (CEP290) mutations and subjects have profound loss of vision. A similarly severe phenotype occurs in the related ciliopathy NPHP5 (IQCB1)-LCA. Recent success of retinal gene therapy in one form of LCA prompted the question whether we know enough about human NPHP5 and NPHP6 disease to plan such treatment. We determined that there was early-onset rapid degeneration of rod photoreceptors in young subjects with these ciliopathies. Rod outer segment (OS) lamination, when detectable, was disorganized. Retinal pigment epithelium lipofuscin accumulation indicated that rods had existed in the past in most subjects. In contrast to early rod losses, the all-cone human fovea in NPHP5- and NPHP6-LCA of all ages retained cone nuclei, albeit with abnormal inner segments and OS. The rd16 mouse, carrying a hypomorphic Nphp6 allele, was a good model of the rod-dominant human extra-foveal retina. Rd16 mice showed normal genesis of photoreceptors, including the formation of cilia, followed by abnormal elaboration of OS and rapid degeneration. To produce a model of the all-cone human fovea in NPHP6-LCA, we generated rd16;Nrl-/- double-mutant mice. They showed substantially retained cone photoreceptors with disproportionate cone function loss, such as in the human disease. NPHP5- and NPHP6-LCA across a wide age spectrum are thus excellent candidates for cone-directed gene augmentation therapy, and the rd16;Nrl-/- mouse is an appropriate model for pre-clinical proof-of-concept studies.

  19. Advances in bone marrow stem cell therapy for retinal dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Park, Susanna S; Moisseiev, Elad; Bauer, Gerhard; Anderson, Johnathon D; Grant, Maria B; Zam, Azhar; Zawadzki, Robert J; Werner, John S; Nolta, Jan A

    2017-01-01

    The most common cause of untreatable vision loss is dysfunction of the retina. Conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma remain leading causes of untreatable blindness worldwide. Various stem cell approaches are being explored for treatment of retinal regeneration. The rationale for using bone marrow stem cells to treat retinal dysfunction is based on preclinical evidence showing that bone marrow stem cells can rescue degenerating and ischemic retina. These stem cells have primarily paracrine trophic effects although some cells can directly incorporate into damaged tissue. Since the paracrine trophic effects can have regenerative effects on multiple cells in the retina, the use of this cell therapy is not limited to a particular retinal condition. Autologous bone marrow-derived stem cells are being explored in early clinical trials as therapy for various retinal conditions. These bone marrow stem cells include mesenchymal stem cells, mononuclear cells and CD34(+) cells. Autologous therapy requires no systemic immunosuppression or donor matching. Intravitreal delivery of CD34(+) cells and mononuclear cells appears to be tolerated and is being explored since some of these cells can home into the damaged retina after intravitreal administration. The safety of intravitreal delivery of mesenchymal stem cells has not been well established. This review provides an update of the current evidence in support of the use of bone marrow stem cells as treatment for retinal dysfunction. The potential limitations and complications of using certain forms of bone marrow stem cells as therapy are discussed. Future directions of research include methods to optimize the therapeutic potential of these stem cells, non-cellular alternatives using extracellular vesicles, and in vivo high-resolution retinal imaging to detect cellular changes in the retina following cell therapy.

  20. EIAV-based retinal gene therapy in the shaker1 mouse model for usher syndrome type 1B: development of UshStat.

    PubMed

    Zallocchi, Marisa; Binley, Katie; Lad, Yatish; Ellis, Scott; Widdowson, Peter; Iqball, Sharifah; Scripps, Vicky; Kelleher, Michelle; Loader, Julie; Miskin, James; Peng, You-Wei; Wang, Wei-Min; Cheung, Linda; Delimont, Duane; Mitrophanous, Kyriacos A; Cosgrove, Dominic

    2014-01-01

    Usher syndrome type 1B is a combined deaf-blindness condition caused by mutations in the MYO7A gene. Loss of functional myosin VIIa in the retinal pigment epithelia (RPE) and/or photoreceptors leads to blindness. We evaluated the impact of subretinally delivered UshStat, a recombinant EIAV-based lentiviral vector expressing human MYO7A, on photoreceptor function in the shaker1 mouse model for Usher type 1B that lacks a functional Myo7A gene. Subretinal injections of EIAV-CMV-GFP, EIAV-RK-GFP (photoreceptor specific), EIAV-CMV-MYO7A (UshStat) or EIAV-CMV-Null (control) vectors were performed in shaker1 mice. GFP and myosin VIIa expression was evaluated histologically. Photoreceptor function in EIAV-CMV-MYO7A treated eyes was determined by evaluating α-transducin translocation in photoreceptors in response to low light intensity levels, and protection from light induced photoreceptor degeneration was measured. The safety and tolerability of subretinally delivered UshStat was evaluated in macaques. Expression of GFP and myosin VIIa was confirmed in the RPE and photoreceptors in shaker1 mice following subretinal delivery of the EIAV-CMV-GFP/MYO7A vectors. The EIAV-CMV-MYO7A vector protected the shaker1 mouse photoreceptors from acute and chronic intensity light damage, indicated by a significant reduction in photoreceptor cell loss, and restoration of the α-transducin translocation threshold in the photoreceptors. Safety studies in the macaques demonstrated that subretinal delivery of UshStat is safe and well-tolerated. Subretinal delivery of EIAV-CMV-MYO7A (UshStat) rescues photoreceptor phenotypes in the shaker1 mouse. In addition, subretinally delivered UshStat is safe and well-tolerated in macaque safety studies These data support the clinical development of UshStat to treat Usher type 1B syndrome.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26751519

  4. Using induced pluripotent stems cells to understand retinal ciliopathy disease mechanisms and develop therapies

    PubMed Central

    Ramsden, Conor; Jovanovic, Katarina; Coffey, Peter J.; Hardcastle, Alison J.; Cheetham, Michael E.

    2016-01-01

    The photoreceptor cells in the retina have a highly specialized sensory cilium, the outer segment, which is important for detecting light. Mutations in cilia related genes often result in retinal degeneration. The ability to reprogram human cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and then differentiate them into a wide range of different cell types has revolutionized our ability to study human disease. To date, however, the challenge of producing fully differentiated photoreceptors in vitro has limited the application of this technology in studying retinal degeneration. In this review we will discuss recent advances in stem cell technology and photoreceptor differentiation. In particular, the development of photoreceptors with rudimentary outer segments that can be used to understand disease mechanisms and as an important model to test potential new therapies for inherited retinal ciliopathies. PMID:27911706

  5. The gene therapy revolution in ophthalmology.

    PubMed

    Al-Saikhan, Fahad I

    2013-04-01

    The advances in gene therapy hold significant promise for the treatment of ophthalmic conditions. Several studies using animal models have been published. Animal models on retinitis pigmentosa, Leber's Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), and Stargardt disease have involved the use of adeno-associated virus (AAV) to deliver functional genes into mice and canines. Mice models have been used to show that a mutation in cGMP phosphodiesterase that results in retinitis pigmentosa can be corrected using rAAV vectors. Additionally, rAAV vectors have been successfully used to deliver ribozyme into mice with a subsequent improvement in autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. By using dog models, researchers have made progress in studying X-linked retinitis pigmentosa which results from a RPGR gene mutation. Mouse and canine models have also been used in the study of LCA. The widely studied form of LCA is LCA2, resulting from a mutation in the gene RPE65. Mice and canines that were injected with normal copies of RPE65 gene showed signs such as improved retinal pigment epithelium transduction, visual acuity, and functional recovery. Studies on Stargardt disease have shown that mutations in the ABCA4 gene can be corrected with AAV vectors, or nanoparticles. Gene therapy for the treatment of red-green color blindness was successful in squirrel monkeys. Plans are at an advanced stage to begin clinical trials. Researchers have also proved that CD59 can be used with AMD. Gene therapy is also able to treat primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) in animal models, and studies show it is economically viable.

  6. Gene therapy for blindness.

    PubMed

    Sahel, José-Alain; Roska, Botond

    2013-07-08

    Sight-restoring therapy for the visually impaired and blind is a major unmet medical need. Ocular gene therapy is a rational choice for restoring vision or preventing the loss of vision because most blinding diseases originate in cellular components of the eye, a compartment that is optimally suited for the delivery of genes, and many of these diseases have a genetic origin or genetic component. In recent years we have witnessed major advances in the field of ocular gene therapy, and proof-of-concept studies are under way to evaluate the safety and efficacy of human gene therapies. Here we discuss the concepts and recent advances in gene therapy in the retina. Our review discusses traditional approaches such as gene replacement and neuroprotection and also new avenues such as optogenetic therapies. We conjecture that advances in gene therapy in the retina will pave the way for gene therapies in other parts of the brain.

  7. 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.

  8. Highly efficient retinal gene delivery with helper-dependent adenoviral vectors

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Simon; Cao, Huibi; Wu, Jing; Duan, Rongqi; Hu, Jim

    2015-01-01

    There have been significant advancements in the field of retinal gene therapy in the past several years. In particular, therapeutic efficacy has been achieved in three separate human clinical trials conducted to assess the ability of adeno-associated viruses (AAV) to treat of a type of Leber’s congenital amaurosis caused by RPE65 mutations. However, despite the success of retinal gene therapy with AAV, challenges remain for delivering large therapeutic genes or genes requiring long DNA regulatory elements for controlling their expression. For example, Stargardt’s disease, a form of juvenile macular degeneration, is caused by defects in ABCA4, a gene that is too large to be packaged in AAV. Therefore, we investigated the ability of helper dependent adenovirus (HD-Ad) to deliver genes to the retina as it has a much larger transgene capacity. Using an EGFP reporter, our results showed that HD-Ad can transduce the entire retinal epithelium of a mouse using a dose of only 1 × 105 infectious units and maintain transgene expression for at least 4 months. The results demonstrate that HD-Ad has the potential to be an effective vector for the gene therapy of the retina. PMID:26161435

  9. Gene therapy for vision loss -- recent developments.

    PubMed

    Stieger, Knut; Lorenz, Birgit

    2010-11-01

    Retinal gene therapy mediated by adeno-associated virus (AAV) based gene transfer was recently proven to improve photoreceptor function in one form of inherited retinal blinding disorder associated with mutations in the RPE65 gene. Several clinical trials are currently ongoing, and more than 30 patients have been treated to date. Even though only a very limited number of patients will greatly benefit from this still experimental treatment protocol, the technique itself has been shown to be safe and will likely be used in other retinal disorders in the near future. A canine model for achromatopsia has been treated successfully as well as mouse models for different forms of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). For patients with autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP), a combined gene knockdown and gene addition therapy is being developed using RNA interference to block mRNA of the mutant allele. For those patients suffering from RP with unknown mutations, an AAV based transfer of bacterial forms of rhodopsin in the central retina might be an option to reactivate residual cones in the future.

  10. Selective retinal therapy with a continuous line scanning laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paulus, Yannis M.; Jain, ATul; Gariano, Ray F.; Nomoto, Hiroyuki; Schuele, Georg; Sramek, Christopher; Charalel, Resmi; Palanker, Daniel

    2010-02-01

    This study evaluates the effects of exposure duration, beam diameter, and power on the safety, selectivity, and healing of retinal lesions created using a continuous line scanning laser. A 532 nm laser (PASCALTM) with retinal beam diameters of 40 and 66 μm was applied to 60 eyes of 30 Dutch-Belted rabbits. Retinal exposure duration varied from 15 to 60 μs. Lesions were acutely assessed by ophthalmoscopy and fluorescein angiography (FA). RPE flatmounts were evaluated with live-dead fluorescent assay (LD). Histological analysis was performed at 1 hour, 1 and 3 days, 1 and 2 weeks, and 1 and 2 months following laser treatment. Ophthalmoscopic visibility (OV) of the lesions corresponded to photoreceptor damage on histological analysis at 1 hour. In subvisible lesions, FA and LD yielded similar thresholds of RPE damage. The ratios of the threshold of rupture and of OV to FA visibility (measures of safety and selectivity) increased with decreasing duration and beam diameter. Above the threshold of OV, histology showed focal RPE damage and photoreceptor loss at one day without inner retinal effects. By one week, continuity of photoreceptor and RPE layers was restored. By 1 month, photoreceptors appeared normal while hypertrophy and hyperpigmentation of the RPE persisted. Retinal therapy with a fast scanning continuous laser achieves selective targeting of the RPE and, at higher power, of the photoreceptors. The damage zone in the photoreceptor layer is quickly filled-in, likely due to photoreceptor migration from adjacent zones. Continuous scanning laser can treat large retinal areas within standard eye fixation time.

  11. Gene therapy review.

    PubMed

    Moss, Joseph Anthony

    2014-01-01

    The use of genes to treat disease, more commonly known as gene therapy, is a valid and promising tool to manage and treat diseases that conventional drug therapies cannot cure. Gene therapy holds the potential to control a wide range of diseases, including cystic fibrosis, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and blood diseases. This review assesses the current status of gene therapy, highlighting therapeutic methodologies and applications, terminology, and imaging strategies. This article presents an overview of roadblocks associated with each therapeutic methodology, along with some of the scientific, social, and ethical issues associated with gene therapy.

  12. Retinal remodeling.

    PubMed

    Jones, B W; Kondo, M; Terasaki, H; Lin, Y; McCall, M; Marc, R E

    2012-07-01

    Retinal photoreceptor degeneration takes many forms. Mutations in rhodopsin genes or disorders of the retinal pigment epithelium, defects in the adenosine triphosphate binding cassette transporter, ABCR gene defects, receptor tyrosine kinase defects, ciliopathies and transport defects, defects in both transducin and arrestin, defects in rod cyclic guanosine 3',5'-monophosphate phosphodiesterase, peripherin defects, defects in metabotropic glutamate receptors, synthetic enzymatic defects, defects in genes associated with signaling, and many more can all result in retinal degenerative disease like retinitis pigmentosa (RP) or RP-like disorders. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and AMD-like disorders are possibly due to a constellation of potential gene targets and gene/gene interactions, while other defects result in diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma. However, all of these insults as well as traumatic insults to the retina result in retinal remodeling. Retinal remodeling is a universal finding subsequent to retinal degenerative disease that results in deafferentation of the neural retina from photoreceptor input as downstream neuronal elements respond to loss of input with negative plasticity. This negative plasticity is not passive in the face of photoreceptor degeneration, with a phased revision of retinal structure and function found at the molecular, synaptic, cell, and tissue levels involving all cell classes in the retina, including neurons and glia. Retinal remodeling has direct implications for the rescue of vision loss through bionic or biological approaches, as circuit revision in the retina corrupts any potential surrogate photoreceptor input to a remnant neural retina. However, there are a number of potential opportunities for intervention that are revealed through the study of retinal remodeling, including therapies that are designed to slow down photoreceptor loss, interventions that are designed to limit or arrest remodeling events, and

  13. Retinal gene delivery by adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors: Strategies and applications.

    PubMed

    Schön, Christian; Biel, Martin; Michalakis, Stylianos

    2015-09-01

    Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors are the most widely used vehicle systems for neuronal gene transfer. This popularity is based on the non-pathogenic nature of AAVs and their versatility making them a multifunctional vector system for basic research and clinical applications. AAVs are successfully applied in clinical and pre-clinical gene therapy studies for inherited retinal disorders. Their excellent transduction profile and efficiency also boosted the use of AAV vectors in basic research. The AAV vector system can be easily modified and adjusted at multiple levels to allow for optimized and specific gene expression in target cells. Here, we will provide an overview on the AAV vector system and its applications focusing on gene transfer into retinal cells. Furthermore, we will outline and discuss strategies for the optimization of AAV gene transfer by modifications to the AAV vector expression cassette, the AAV capsid or the routes of vector administration.

  14. Use of an Adult Rat Retinal Explant Model for Screening of Potential Retinal Ganglion Cell Neuroprotective Therapies

    PubMed Central

    Bull, Natalie D.; Johnson, Thomas V.; Welsapar, Guncha; DeKorver, Nicholas W.; Tomarev, Stanislav I.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose. To validate an established adult organotypic retinal explant culture system for use as an efficient medium-throughput screening tool to investigate novel retinal ganglion cell (RGC) neuroprotective therapies. Methods. Optimal culture conditions for detecting RGC neuroprotection in rat retinal explants were identified. Retinal explants were treated with various recognized, or purported, neuroprotective agents and cultured for either 4 or 7 days ex vivo. The number of cells surviving in the RGC layer (RGCL) was quantified using histologic and immunohistochemical techniques, and statistical analyses were applied to detect neuroprotective effects. Results. The ability to replicate previously reported in vivo RGC neuroprotection in retinal explants was verified by demonstrating that caspase inhibition, brain-derived neurotrophic factor treatment, and stem cell transplantation all reduced RGCL cell loss in this model. Further screening of potential neuroprotective pharmacologic agents demonstrated that betaxolol, losartan, tafluprost, and simvastatin all alleviated RGCL cell loss in retinal explants, supporting previous reports. However, treatment with brimonidine did not protect RGCL neurons from death in retinal explant cultures. Explants cultured for 4 days ex vivo proved most sensitive for detecting neuroprotection. Conclusions. The current adult rat retinal explant culture model offers advantages over other models for screening potential neuroprotective drugs, including maintenance of neurons in situ, control of environmental conditions, and dissociation from other factors such as intraocular pressure. Verification that neuroprotection by previously identified RGC-protective therapies could be replicated in adult retinal explant cultures suggests that this model could be used for efficient medium-throughput screening of novel neuroprotective therapies for retinal neurodegenerative disease. PMID:21345987

  15. 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.

  16. AAV-mediated gene therapy in Dystrophin-Dp71 deficient mouse leads to blood-retinal barrier restoration and oedema reabsorption.

    PubMed

    Vacca, Ophélie; Charles-Messance, Hugo; El Mathari, Brahim; Sene, Abdoulaye; Barbe, Peggy; Fouquet, Stéphane; Aragón, Jorge; Darche, Marie; Giocanti-Aurégan, Audrey; Paques, Michel; Sahel, José-Alain; Tadayoni, Ramin; Montañez, Cecilia; Dalkara, Deniz; Rendon, Alvaro

    2016-07-15

    Dystrophin-Dp71 being a key membrane cytoskeletal protein, expressed mainly in Müller cells that provide a mechanical link at the Müller cell membrane by direct binding to actin and a transmembrane protein complex. Its absence has been related to blood-retinal barrier (BRB) permeability through delocalization and down-regulation of the AQP4 and Kir4.1 channels (1). We have previously shown that the adeno-associated virus (AAV) variant, ShH10, transduces Müller cells in the Dp71-null mouse retina efficiently and specifically (2,3). Here, we use ShH10 to restore Dp71 expression in Müller cells of Dp71 deficient mouse to study molecular and functional effects of this restoration in an adult mouse displaying retinal permeability. We show that strong and specific expression of exogenous Dp71 in Müller cells leads to correct localization of Dp71 protein restoring all protein interactions in order to re-establish a proper functional BRB and retina homeostasis thus preventing retina from oedema. This study is the basis for the development of new therapeutic strategies in dealing with diseases with BRB breakdown and macular oedema such as diabetic retinopathy (DR).

  17. History of gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Wirth, Thomas; Parker, Nigel; Ylä-Herttuala, Seppo

    2013-08-10

    Two decades after the initial gene therapy trials and more than 1700 approved clinical trials worldwide we not only have gained much new information and knowledge regarding gene therapy in general, but also learned to understand the concern that has persisted in society. Despite the setbacks gene therapy has faced, success stories have increasingly emerged. Examples for these are the positive recommendation for a gene therapy product (Glybera) by the EMA for approval in the European Union and the positive trials for the treatment of ADA deficiency, SCID-X1 and adrenoleukodystrophy. Nevertheless, our knowledge continues to grow and during the course of time more safety data has become available that helps us to develop better gene therapy approaches. Also, with the increased understanding of molecular medicine, we have been able to develop more specific and efficient gene transfer vectors which are now producing clinical results. In this review, we will take a historical view and highlight some of the milestones that had an important impact on the development of gene therapy. We will also discuss briefly the safety and ethical aspects of gene therapy and address some concerns that have been connected with gene therapy as an important therapeutic modality.

  18. Clinical Characteristics and Current Therapies for Inherited Retinal Degenerations

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  19. Human gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Sandhu, J S; Keating, A; Hozumi, N

    1997-01-01

    Human gene therapy and its application for the treatment of human genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, cancer, and other diseases, are discussed. Gene therapy is a technique in which a functioning gene is inserted into a human cell to correct a genetic error or to introduce a new function to the cell. Many methods, including retroviral vectors and non-viral vectors, have been developed for both ex vivo and in vivo gene transfer into cells. Vectors need to be developed that efficiently transfer genes to target cells, and promoter systems are required that regulate gene expression according to physiologic needs of the host cell. There are several safety and ethical issues related to manipulating the human genome that need to be resolved. Current gene therapy efforts focus on gene insertion into somatic cells only. Gene therapy has potential for the effective treatment of genetic disorders, and gene transfer techniques are being used for basic research, for example, in cancer, to examine the underlying mechanism of disease. There are still many technical obstacles to be overcome before human gene therapy can become a routine procedure. The current human genome project provides the sequences of a vast number of human genes, leading to the identification, characterization, and understanding of genes that are responsible for many human diseases.

  20. [Gene therapy and ethics].

    PubMed

    Müller, H; Rehmann-Sutter, C

    1995-01-10

    Gene therapy represents a new strategy to treat human disorders. It was originally conceived as a cure for severe monogenetic disorders. Since its conception, the spectrum of possible application for gene therapy has been to include the treatment of acquired diseases, such as various forms of cancer and some viral infections, most notably human immune deficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B virus. Since somatic gene therapy does not cause substantially new ethical problems, it has gained broad approval. This is by no means the case with germ-line gene therapy. Practically all bodies who were evaluating the related ethical aspects wanted to ban its medical application on grounds of fundamental and pragmatic considerations. In this review, practical and ethical views concerning gene therapy are summarized which were presented at the "Junitagung 1994" of the Swiss Society for Biomedical Ethics in Basle.

  1. Promising and delivering gene therapies for vision loss.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Livia S; Vandenberghe, Luk H

    2015-06-01

    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.

  2. Treatment of ocular disorders by gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Solinís, M Ángeles; del Pozo-Rodríguez, Ana; Apaolaza, Paola S; Rodríguez-Gascón, Alicia

    2015-09-01

    Gene therapy to treat ocular disorders is still starting, and current therapies are primarily experimental, with most human clinical trials still in research state, although beginning to show encouraging results. Currently 33 clinical trials have been approved, are in progress, or have been completed. The most promising results have been obtained in clinical trials of ocular gene therapy for Leber Congenital Amaurosis, which have prompted the study of several ocular diseases that are good candidates to be treated with gene therapy: glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, or choroideremia. The success of gene therapy relies on the efficient delivery of the genetic material to target cells, achieving optimum long-term gene expression. Although viral vectors have been widely used, their potential risk associated mainly with immunogenicity and mutagenesis has promoted the design of non-viral vectors. In this review, the main administration routes and the most studied delivery systems, viral and non-viral, for ocular gene therapy are presented. The primary ocular disease candidates to be treated with gene therapy have been also reviewed, including the genetic basis and the most relevant preclinical and clinical studies.

  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. Parkinson's disease: gene therapies.

    PubMed

    Coune, Philippe G; Schneider, Bernard L; Aebischer, Patrick

    2012-04-01

    With the recent development of effective gene delivery systems, gene therapy for the central nervous system is finding novel applications. Here, we review existing viral vectors and discuss gene therapy strategies that have been proposed for Parkinson's disease. To date, most of the clinical trials were based on viral vectors to deliver therapeutic transgenes to neurons within the basal ganglia. Initial trials used genes to relieve the major motor symptoms caused by nigrostriatal degeneration. Although these new genetic approaches still need to prove more effective than existing symptomatic treatments, there is a need for disease-modifying strategies. The investigation of the genetic factors implicated in Parkinson's disease is providing precious insights in disease pathology that, combined with innovative gene delivery systems, will hopefully offer novel opportunities for gene therapy interventions to slow down, or even halt disease progression.

  6. 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

  7. Vector platforms for gene therapy of inherited retinopathies.

    PubMed

    Trapani, Ivana; Puppo, Agostina; Auricchio, Alberto

    2014-11-01

    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.

  8. Gene therapy for hemophilia.

    PubMed

    Chuah, M K; Evens, H; VandenDriessche, T

    2013-06-01

    Hemophilia A and B are X-linked monogenic disorders resulting from deficiencies of factor VIII and FIX, respectively. Purified clotting factor concentrates are currently intravenously administered to treat hemophilia, but this treatment is non-curative. Therefore, gene-based therapies for hemophilia have been developed to achieve sustained high levels of clotting factor expression to correct the clinical phenotype. Over the past two decades, different types of viral and non-viral gene delivery systems have been explored for hemophilia gene therapy research with a variety of target cells, particularly hepatocytes, hematopoietic stem cells, skeletal muscle cells, and endothelial cells. Lentiviral and adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based vectors are among the most promising vectors for hemophilia gene therapy. In preclinical hemophilia A and B animal models, the bleeding phenotype was corrected with these vectors. Some of these promising preclinical results prompted clinical translation to patients suffering from a severe hemophilic phenotype. These patients receiving gene therapy with AAV vectors showed long-term expression of therapeutic FIX levels, which is a major step forwards in this field. Nevertheless, the levels were insufficient to prevent trauma or injury-induced bleeding episodes. Another challenge that remains is the possible immune destruction of gene-modified cells by effector T cells, which are directed against the AAV vector antigens. It is therefore important to continuously improve the current gene therapy approaches to ultimately establish a real cure for hemophilia.

  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. Gene therapy in periodontics.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Anirban; Singh, Nidhi; Saluja, Mini

    2013-03-01

    GENES are made of DNA - the code of life. They are made up of two types of base pair from different number of hydrogen bonds AT, GC which can be turned into instruction. Everyone inherits genes from their parents and passes them on in turn to their children. Every person's genes are different, and the changes in sequence determine the inherited differences between each of us. Some changes, usually in a single gene, may cause serious diseases. Gene therapy is 'the use of genes as medicine'. It involves the transfer of a therapeutic or working gene copy into specific cells of an individual in order to repair a faulty gene copy. Thus it may be used to replace a faulty gene, or to introduce a new gene whose function is to cure or to favorably modify the clinical course of a condition. It has a promising era in the field of periodontics. Gene therapy has been used as a mode of tissue engineering in periodontics. The tissue engineering approach reconstructs the natural target tissue by combining four elements namely: Scaffold, signaling molecules, cells and blood supply and thus can help in the reconstruction of damaged periodontium including cementum, gingival, periodontal ligament and bone.

  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. Gene therapy for newborns.

    PubMed

    Kohn, D B; Parkman, R

    1997-07-01

    Application of gene therapy to treat genetic and infectious diseases may have several advantages if performed in newborns. Because of the minimal adverse effect of the underlying disease on cells of the newborn, the relatively small size of infants, and the large amount of future growth, gene therapy may be more successful in newborns than in older children or adults. The presence of umbilical cord blood from newborns provides a unique and susceptible target for the genetic modification of hematopoietic stem cells. In our first trial of gene therapy in newborns, we inserted a normal adenosine deaminase gene into umbilical cord blood cells of three neonates with a congenital immune deficiency. The trial demonstrated the successful transduction and engraftment of stem cells, which continue to contribute to leukocyte production more than 3 years later. A similar approach may be taken to insert genes that inhibit replication of HIV-1 into umbilical cord blood cells of HIV-1-infected neonates. Many other metabolic and infectious disorders could be treated by gene therapy during the neonatal period if prenatal diagnoses are made and the appropriate technical and regulatory requirements have been met.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:25213606

  14. Perspectives on best practices for gene therapy programs.

    PubMed

    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; Gubitz, Amelie K

    2015-03-01

    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.

  15. Recombinant AAV-mediated gene transfer to the retina: gene therapy perspectives.

    PubMed

    Rolling, F

    2004-10-01

    Retinal degenerative diseases such as retinal macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa constitute a broad group of diseases that all share one critical feature, the progressive apoptotic loss of cells in the retina. There is currently no effective treatment available by which the course of these disorders can be modified, and visual dysfunction often progresses to total blindness. Gene therapy represents an attractive approach to treating retinal degeneration because the eye is easily accessible and allows local application of therapeutic vectors with reduced risk of systemic effects. Furthermore, transgene expression within the retina and effects of treatments may be monitored by a variety of noninvasive examinations. An increasing number of strategies for molecular treatment of retinal disease rely on recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) as a therapeutic gene delivery vector. Before rAAV-mediated gene therapy for retinal degeneration becomes a reality, there are a number of important requirements that include: (1) evaluation of different rAAV serotypes, (2) screening of vectors in large animals in order to ensure that they mediate safe and long-term gene expression, (3) appropriate regulation of therapeutic gene expression, (4) evaluation of vectors carrying a therapeutic gene in relevant animal models, (5) identification of suitable patients, and finally (6) manufacture of clinical grade vector. All these steps towards gene therapy are still being explored. Outcomes of these studies will be discussed in the order in which they occur, from vector studies to preclinical assessment of the therapeutic potential of rAAV in animal models of retinal degeneration.

  16. Gene Therapy for Skin Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Gorell, Emily; Nguyen, Ngon; Lane, Alfred; Siprashvili, Zurab

    2014-01-01

    The skin possesses qualities that make it desirable for gene therapy, and studies have focused on gene therapy for multiple cutaneous diseases. Gene therapy uses a vector to introduce genetic material into cells to alter gene expression, negating a pathological process. This can be accomplished with a variety of viral vectors or nonviral administrations. Although results are promising, there are several potential pitfalls that must be addressed to improve the safety profile to make gene therapy widely available clinically. PMID:24692191

  17. Dendrimer-based targeted intravitreal therapy for sustained attenuation of neuroinflammation in retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Iezzi, Raymond; Guru, Bharath R; Glybina, Inna V; Mishra, Manoj K; Kennedy, Alexander; Kannan, Rangaramanujam M

    2012-01-01

    Retinal neuroinflammation, mediated by activated microglia, plays a key role in the pathogenesis of photoreceptor and retinal pigment epithelial cell loss in age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. Targeted drug therapy for attenuation of neuroinflammation in the retina was explored using hydroxyl-terminated polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimer-drug conjugate nanodevices. We show that, upon intravitreal administration, PAMAM dendrimers selectively localize within activated outer retinal microglia in two rat models of retinal degeneration, but not in the retina of healthy controls. This pathology-dependent biodistribution was exploited for drug delivery, by covalently conjugating fluocinolone acetonide to the dendrimer. The conjugate released the drug in a sustained manner over 90 days. In vivo efficacy was assessed using the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat retinal degeneration model over a four-week period when peak retinal degeneration occurs. One intravitreal injection of 1 μg of FA conjugated to 7 μg of the dendrimer was able to arrest retinal degeneration, preserve photoreceptor outer nuclear cell counts, and attenuate activated microglia, for an entire month. These studies suggest that PAMAM dendrimers (with no targeting ligands) have an intrinsic ability to selectively localize in activated microglia, and can deliver drugs inside these cells for a sustained period for the treatment of retinal neuroinflammation.

  18. Alphaviruses in Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Lundstrom, Kenneth

    2015-01-01

    Alphavirus vectors present an attractive approach for gene therapy applications due to the rapid and simple recombinant virus particle production and their broad range of mammalian host cell transduction. Mainly three types of alphavirus vectors, namely naked RNA, recombinant particles and DNA/RNA layered vectors, have been subjected to preclinical studies with the goal of achieving prophylactic or therapeutic efficacy, particularly in oncology. In this context, immunization with alphavirus vectors has provided protection against challenges with tumor cells. Moreover, alphavirus intratumoral and systemic delivery has demonstrated substantial tumor regression and significant prolonged survival rates in various animal tumor models. Recent discoveries of the strong association of RNA interference and disease have accelerated gene therapy based approaches, where alphavirus-based gene delivery can play an important role. PMID:25961488

  19. Perspectives of Stem Cell-Based Therapy for Age-Related Retinal Degenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Holan, Vladimir; Hermankova, Barbora; Kossl, Jan

    2017-03-17

    Retinal degenerative diseases, which include age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, mostly affect the elderly population, and are the most common cause of decreased quality of vision or even blindness. So far, there is no satisfactory treatment protocol to prevent, stop or cure these disorders. A great hope and promise for patients suffering from retinal diseases is represented by stem cell-based therapy which could replace diseased or missing retinal cells, and support regeneration. In this respect, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) which can be obtained from the particular patient, and used as autologous cells, have turned out to be a promising stem cell type for treatment. Here we show that MSCs can differentiate into cells expressing markers of retinal cells, inhibit production of proinflammatory cytokines by retinal tissue and produce a number of growth and neuroprotective factors for retinal regeneration. All of these properties make MSCs a prospective cell type for cell-based therapy of age-related retinal degenerative diseases.

  20. Gene Therapy and Children (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Old Feeding Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Gene Therapy and Children KidsHealth > For Parents > Gene Therapy and ... by a "bad" gene. continue Two Types of Gene Therapy The two forms of gene therapy are: Somatic ...

  1. The ethics of gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Chan, Sarah; Harris, John

    2006-10-01

    Recent developments have progressed in areas of science that pertain to gene therapy and its ethical implications. This review discusses the current state of therapeutic gene technologies, including stem cell therapies and genetic modification, and identifies ethical issues of concern in relation to the science of gene therapy and its application, including the ethics of embryonic stem cell research and therapeutic cloning, the risks associated with gene therapy, and the ethics of clinical research in developing new therapeutic technologies. Additionally, ethical issues relating to genetic modification itself are considered: the significance of the human genome, the distinction between therapy and enhancement, and concerns regarding gene therapy as a eugenic practice.

  2. Retinal vascular regeneration.

    PubMed

    Otani, Atsushi; Friedlander, Martin

    2005-01-01

    We discuss the potential use of stem cells for therapeutic angiogenesis in the treatment of retinal diseases. We demonstrate that the clinical utility of these EPC may be not limited in the treatment of ischemic retinal diseases but may also have application for the treatment of retinal degenerative disorders and for a form of cell-based gene therapy. One of the greatest potential benefits of bone marrow derived EPC therapy is the possible use of autologous grafts. Nonetheless, potential toxicities and unregulated cell growth will need to be carefully evaluated before this approach is brought to the clinics.

  3. [Progress on study of achromatopsia and targeted gene therapy].

    PubMed

    Dai, Xu-feng; Pang, Ji-jing

    2012-08-01

    Achromatopsia is an early onset retinal dystrophy that causes severe visual impairment. To date, four genes have been found to be implicated in achromatopsia-associated mutations: guanine nucleotide-binding protein (GNAT2), cyclic nucleotide-gated channel alpha-3 (CNGA3), cyclic nucleotide-gated channel beta-3 (CNGB3) and phosphodiesterase 6C (PDE6C). Even with early onset, the slow progress and the good responses to gene therapy in animal models render achromatopsia a very attractive candidate for human gene therapy after the successful of the Phase I clinical trials of Leber's congenital amaurosis. With the development of molecular genetics and the therapeutic gene replacement technology, the adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector-mediated gene therapy for achromatopsia in the preclinical animal experiments achieved encouraging progress in the past years. This article briefly reviews the recent research achievements of achromatopsia with gene therapy.

  4. 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

  5. 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)

  6. 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

  7. Identical mutation in a novel retinal gene causes progressive rod-cone degeneration in dogs and retinitis pigmentosa in humans.

    PubMed

    Zangerl, Barbara; Goldstein, Orly; Philp, Alisdair R; Lindauer, Sarah J P; Pearce-Kelling, Susan E; Mullins, Robert F; Graphodatsky, Alexander S; Ripoll, Daniel; Felix, Jeanette S; Stone, Edwin M; Acland, Gregory M; Aguirre, Gustavo D

    2006-11-01

    Progressive rod-cone degeneration (prcd) is a late-onset, autosomal recessive photoreceptor degeneration of dogs and a homolog for some forms of human retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Previously, the disease-relevant interval was reduced to a 106-kb region on CFA9, and a common phenotype-specific haplotype was identified in all affected dogs from several different breeds and breed varieties. Screening of a canine retinal EST library identified partial cDNAs for novel candidate genes in the disease-relevant interval. The complete cDNA of one of these, PRCD, was cloned in dog, human, and mouse. The gene codes for a 54-amino-acid (aa) protein in dog and human and a 53-aa protein in the mouse; the first 24 aa, coded for by exon 1, are highly conserved in 14 vertebrate species. A homozygous mutation (TGC --> TAC) in the second codon shows complete concordance with the disorder in 18 different dog breeds/breed varieties tested. The same homozygous mutation was identified in a human patient from Bangladesh with autosomal recessive RP. Expression studies support the predominant expression of this gene in the retina, with equal expression in the retinal pigment epithelium, photoreceptor, and ganglion cell layers. This study provides strong evidence that a mutation in the novel gene PRCD is the cause of autosomal recessive retinal degeneration in both dogs and humans.

  8. 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.

  9. Gene therapy in pancreatic cancer.

    PubMed

    Liu, Si-Xue; Xia, Zhong-Sheng; Zhong, Ying-Qiang

    2014-10-07

    Pancreatic cancer (PC) is a highly lethal disease and notoriously difficult to treat. Only a small proportion of PC patients are eligible for surgical resection, whilst conventional chemoradiotherapy only has a modest effect with substantial toxicity. Gene therapy has become a new widely investigated therapeutic approach for PC. This article reviews the basic rationale, gene delivery methods, therapeutic targets and developments of laboratory research and clinical trials in gene therapy of PC by searching the literature published in English using the PubMed database and analyzing clinical trials registered on the Gene Therapy Clinical Trials Worldwide website (http://www. wiley.co.uk/genmed/ clinical). Viral vectors are main gene delivery tools in gene therapy of cancer, and especially, oncolytic virus shows brighter prospect due to its tumor-targeting property. Efficient therapeutic targets for gene therapy include tumor suppressor gene p53, mutant oncogene K-ras, anti-angiogenesis gene VEGFR, suicide gene HSK-TK, cytosine deaminase and cytochrome p450, multiple cytokine genes and so on. Combining different targets or combination strategies with traditional chemoradiotherapy may be a more effective approach to improve the efficacy of cancer gene therapy. Cancer gene therapy is not yet applied in clinical practice, but basic and clinical studies have demonstrated its safety and clinical benefits. Gene therapy will be a new and promising field for the treatment of PC.

  10. Gene therapy rescues cone function in congenital achromatopsia

    PubMed Central

    Komáromy, András M.; Alexander, John J.; Rowlan, Jessica S.; Garcia, Monique M.; Chiodo, Vince A.; Kaya, Asli; Tanaka, Jacqueline C.; Acland, Gregory M.; Hauswirth, William W.; Aguirre, Gustavo D.

    2010-01-01

    The successful restoration of visual function with recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV)-mediated gene replacement therapy in animals and humans with an inherited disease of the retinal pigment epithelium has ushered in a new era of retinal therapeutics. For many retinal disorders, however, targeting of therapeutic vectors to mutant rods and/or cones will be required. In this study, the primary cone photoreceptor disorder achromatopsia served as the ideal translational model to develop gene therapy directed to cone photoreceptors. We demonstrate that rAAV-mediated gene replacement therapy with different forms of the human red cone opsin promoter led to the restoration of cone function and day vision in two canine models of CNGB3 achromatopsia, a neuronal channelopathy that is the most common form of achromatopsia in man. The robustness and stability of the observed treatment effect was mutation independent, but promoter and age dependent. Subretinal administration of rAAV5–hCNGB3 with a long version of the red cone opsin promoter in younger animals led to a stable therapeutic effect for at least 33 months. Our results hold promise for future clinical trials of cone-directed gene therapy in achromatopsia and other cone-specific disorders. PMID:20378608

  11. Gene therapy rescues cone function in congenital achromatopsia.

    PubMed

    Komáromy, András M; Alexander, John J; Rowlan, Jessica S; Garcia, Monique M; Chiodo, Vince A; Kaya, Asli; Tanaka, Jacqueline C; Acland, Gregory M; Hauswirth, William W; Aguirre, Gustavo D

    2010-07-01

    The successful restoration of visual function with recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV)-mediated gene replacement therapy in animals and humans with an inherited disease of the retinal pigment epithelium has ushered in a new era of retinal therapeutics. For many retinal disorders, however, targeting of therapeutic vectors to mutant rods and/or cones will be required. In this study, the primary cone photoreceptor disorder achromatopsia served as the ideal translational model to develop gene therapy directed to cone photoreceptors. We demonstrate that rAAV-mediated gene replacement therapy with different forms of the human red cone opsin promoter led to the restoration of cone function and day vision in two canine models of CNGB3 achromatopsia, a neuronal channelopathy that is the most common form of achromatopsia in man. The robustness and stability of the observed treatment effect was mutation independent, but promoter and age dependent. Subretinal administration of rAAV5-hCNGB3 with a long version of the red cone opsin promoter in younger animals led to a stable therapeutic effect for at least 33 months. Our results hold promise for future clinical trials of cone-directed gene therapy in achromatopsia and other cone-specific disorders.

  12. A CTRP5 gene S163R mutation knock-in mouse model for late-onset retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Chavali, Venkata R M; Khan, Naheed W; Cukras, Catherine A; Bartsch, Dirk-Uwe; Jablonski, Monica M; Ayyagari, Radha

    2011-05-15

    Late-onset retinal macular degeneration (L-ORD) is an autosomal dominant inherited disorder caused by a single missense mutation (S163R) in the CTRP5/C1QTNF5 protein. Early phenotypic features of L-ORD include: dark adaptation abnormalities, nyctalopia, and drusen deposits in the peripheral macular region. Apart from posterior segment abnormalities, these patients also develop abnormally long anterior lens zonules. In the sixth decade of life the rod and cone function declines, accompanied by electroretinogram (ERG) abnormalities. Some patients also develop choroidal neovascularization and glaucoma. In order to understand the disease pathology and mechanisms involved in retinal dystrophy, we generated a knock-in (Ctrp5(+/-)) mouse model carrying the disease-associated mutation in the mouse Ctrp5/C1QTNF5 gene. These mice develop slower rod-b wave recovery consistent with early dark adaptation abnormalities, accumulation of hyperautofluorescence spots, retinal pigment epithelium abnormalities, drusen, Bruch's membrane abnormalities, loss of photoreceptors, and retinal vascular leakage. The Ctrp5(+/-) mice, which have most of the pathological features of age-related macular degeneration, are unique and may serve as a valuable model both to understand the molecular pathology of late-onset retinal degeneration and to evaluate therapies.

  13. A CTRP5 gene S163R mutation knock-in mouse model for late-onset retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Chavali, Venkata R.M.; Khan, Naheed W.; Cukras, Catherine A.; Bartsch, Dirk-Uwe; Jablonski, Monica M.; Ayyagari, Radha

    2011-01-01

    Late-onset retinal macular degeneration (L-ORD) is an autosomal dominant inherited disorder caused by a single missense mutation (S163R) in the CTRP5/C1QTNF5 protein. Early phenotypic features of L-ORD include: dark adaptation abnormalities, nyctalopia, and drusen deposits in the peripheral macular region. Apart from posterior segment abnormalities, these patients also develop abnormally long anterior lens zonules. In the sixth decade of life the rod and cone function declines, accompanied by electroretinogram (ERG) abnormalities. Some patients also develop choroidal neovascularization and glaucoma. In order to understand the disease pathology and mechanisms involved in retinal dystrophy, we generated a knock-in (Ctrp5+/−) mouse model carrying the disease-associated mutation in the mouse Ctrp5/C1QTNF5 gene. These mice develop slower rod-b wave recovery consistent with early dark adaptation abnormalities, accumulation of hyperautofluorescence spots, retinal pigment epithelium abnormalities, drusen, Bruch's membrane abnormalities, loss of photoreceptors, and retinal vascular leakage. The Ctrp5+/−mice, which have most of the pathological features of age-related macular degeneration, are unique and may serve as a valuable model both to understand the molecular pathology of late-onset retinal degeneration and to evaluate therapies. PMID:21349921

  14. Gene therapy in keratoconus

    PubMed Central

    Farjadnia, Mahgol; Naderan, Mohammad; Mohammadpour, Mehrdad

    2015-01-01

    Keratoconus (KC) is the most common ectasia of the cornea and is a common reason for corneal transplant. Therapeutic strategies that can arrest the progression of this disease and modify the underlying pathogenesis are getting more and more popularity among scientists. Cumulating data represent strong evidence of a genetic role in the pathogenesis of KC. Different loci have been identified, and certain mutations have also been mapped for this disease. Moreover, Biophysical properties of the cornea create an appropriate candidate of this tissue for gene therapy. Immune privilege, transparency and ex vivo stability are among these properties. Recent advantage in vectors, besides the ability to modulate the corneal milieu for accepting the target gene for a longer period and fruitful translation, make a big hope for stupendous results reasonable. PMID:25709266

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  16. [Basic principles of gene therapy].

    PubMed

    Vieweg, J

    1996-09-01

    The rapid development of recombinant DNA technology and our enhanced understanding of the genetic basis of human disease has facilitated the development of new molecular therapeutic modalities, termed gene therapy. Gene therapy involves the transfer of functional genes into somatic cells and their expression in target tissues in order to replace absent genes, correct defective genes, or induce antitumoral activity in the tumor-bearing host. Currently, an increasing number of gene therapy strategies are being investigated in experimental and clinical trials. Despite substantial progress, a number of technical and logistical hurdles must still be overcome before gene therapy can be safety and effectively applied in the human patient. Since gene therapy involves complex cell processing and can be time consuming and costly, simplifications or even alternative approaches will be necessary in order to establish this therapy as suitable for clinical use. This report reviews various gene therapy strategies and gene delivery techniques currently under clinical or experimental investigation. Special emphasis is given to cytokine gene therapy using gene-modified tumor vaccines for cancer treatment.

  17. Targeting Inflammation in Emerging Therapies for Genetic Retinal Disease

    PubMed Central

    Viringipurampeer, Ishaq A.; Bashar, Abu E.; Gregory-Evans, Cheryl Y.; Moritz, Orson L.; Gregory-Evans, Kevin

    2013-01-01

    Genetic retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and monogenic diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa account for some of the commonest causes of blindness in the developed world. Diverse genetic abnormalities and environmental causes have been implicated in triggering multiple pathological mechanisms such as oxidative stress, lipofuscin deposits, neovascularisation, and programmed cell death. In recent years, inflammation has also been highlighted although whether inflammatory mediators play a central role in pathogenesis or a more minor secondary role has yet to be established. Despite this, numerous interventional studies, particularly targeting the complement system, are underway with the promise of novel therapeutic strategies for these important blinding conditions. PMID:23509666

  18. 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.

  19. [Gene replacement therapy in achromatopsia type 2].

    PubMed

    Mühlfriedel, R; Tanimoto, N; Seeliger, M W

    2014-03-01

    Achromatopsia is an autosomal recessive inherited retinal disease caused by a complete loss of cone photoreceptor function. About 80 % of achromatopsia patients show mutations in the alpha or beta subunit (A3 and B3) of the cGMP controlled cation channel CNG (cyclic nucleotide-gated channel) of cone photoreceptors. Homologous to the human disease, CNGA3 deficient mice reveal a loss of cone specific functionality leading to degeneration of affected cone photoreceptors. The Institute for Ophthalmic Research in Tübingen has now succeeded in curing achromatopsia ACHM2 in an animal model. In this article, we explain the recombinant adeno-associated virus-based approach in detail. Furthermore, applied non-invasive diagnostic techniques for quality and success control, ERG, SLO and OCT, are described. The success of the therapy is indicated by a restored cone photoreceptor function as well as the neuronal processing of retinal signals resulting in a specific, cone-mediated behaviour. The outstanding results derived from the animal model are the starting point for the first human translation of a gene therapy for achromatopsia in Germany.

  20. Gene therapy for psychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Gelfand, Yaroslav; Kaplitt, Michael G

    2013-01-01

    Gene therapy has become of increasing interest in clinical neurosurgery with the completion of numerous clinical trials for Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, and pediatric genetic disorders. With improved understanding of the dysfunctional circuitry mediating various psychiatric disorders, deep brain stimulation for refractory psychiatric diseases is being increasingly explored in human patients. These factors are likely to facilitate development of gene therapy for psychiatric diseases. Because delivery of gene therapy agents would require the same surgical techniques currently being employed for deep brain stimulation, neurosurgeons are likely to lead the development of this field, as has occurred in other areas of clinical gene therapy for neurologic disorders. We review the current state of gene therapy for psychiatric disorders and focus specifically on particular areas of promising research that may translate into human trials for depression, drug addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia. Issues that are relatively unique to psychiatric gene therapy are also discussed.

  1. Identifying photoreceptors in blind eyes caused by RPE65 mutations: Prerequisite for human gene therapy success.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Samuel G; Aleman, Tomas S; Cideciyan, Artur V; Sumaroka, Alexander; Schwartz, Sharon B; Windsor, Elizabeth A M; Traboulsi, Elias I; Heon, Elise; Pittler, Steven J; Milam, Ann H; Maguire, Albert M; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Stone, Edwin M; Bennett, Jean

    2005-04-26

    Mutations in RPE65, a gene essential to normal operation of the visual (retinoid) cycle, cause the childhood blindness known as Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). Retinal gene therapy restores vision to blind canine and murine models of LCA. Gene therapy in blind humans with LCA from RPE65 mutations may also have potential for success but only if the retinal photoreceptor layer is intact, as in the early-disease stage-treated animals. Here, we use high-resolution in vivo microscopy to quantify photoreceptor layer thickness in the human disease to define the relationship of retinal structure to vision and determine the potential for gene therapy success. The normally cone photoreceptor-rich central retina and rod-rich regions were studied. Despite severely reduced cone vision, many RPE65-mutant retinas had near-normal central microstructure. Absent rod vision was associated with a detectable but thinned photoreceptor layer. We asked whether abnormally thinned RPE65-mutant retina with photoreceptor loss would respond to treatment. Gene therapy in Rpe65(-/-) mice at advanced-disease stages, a more faithful mimic of the humans we studied, showed success but only in animals with better-preserved photoreceptor structure. The results indicate that identifying and then targeting retinal locations with retained photoreceptors will be a prerequisite for successful gene therapy in humans with RPE65 mutations and in other retinal degenerative disorders now moving from proof-of-concept studies toward clinical trials.

  2. Gene regulation in cancer gene therapy strategies.

    PubMed

    Scanlon, Ian; Lehouritis, Panos; Niculescu-Duvaz, Ion; Marais, Richard; Springer, Caroline J

    2003-10-01

    Regulation of expression in gene therapy is considered to be a very desirable goal, preventing toxic effects and improving biological efficacy. A variety of systems have been reported in an ever widening range of applications, this paper describes these systems with specific reference to cancer gene therapy.

  3. 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…

  4. Gene Therapy for Autoimmune Disease.

    PubMed

    Shu, Shang-An; Wang, Jinjun; Tao, Mi-Hua; Leung, Patrick S C

    2015-10-01

    Advances in understanding the immunological and molecular basis of autoimmune diseases have made gene therapy a promising approach to treat the affected patients. Gene therapy for autoimmune diseases aims to regulate the levels of proinflammatory cytokines or molecules and the infiltration of lymphocytes to the effected sites through successful delivery and expression of therapeutic genes in appropriate cells. The ultimate goal of gene therapy is to restore and maintain the immune tolerance to the relevant autoantigens and improve clinical outcomes for patients. Here, we summarize the recent progress in identifying genes responsible for autoimmune diseases and present examples where gene therapy has been applied as treatments or prevention in autoimmune diseases both in animal models and the clinical trials. Discussion on the advantages and pitfalls of gene therapy strategies employed is provided. The intent of this review is to inspire further studies toward the development of new strategies for successful treatment of autoimmune diseases.

  5. Retinal Changes Induced by Heavy Particles: A New Therapy Modality

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1975-11-01

    time. The changes in this x-ray series were erythema and edema of the lids, conjunctivitis, and an iritis . A chronic purulent lacrimatlon was...radiation produced edema, iritis , and cloud- ing of the vitreous within 24 hours without a retinal lesion. The nature of the lesions produced by the

  6. Stem cell-based therapeutic applications in retinal degenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yiming; Enzmann, Volker; Ildstad, Suzanne T.

    2012-01-01

    Retinal degenerative diseases that target photoreceptors or the adjacent retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) affect millions of people worldwide. Retinal degeneration (RD) is found in many different forms of retinal diseases including retinitis pigmentosa (RP), age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma. Effective treatment for retinal degeneration has been widely investigated. Gene-replacement therapy has been shown to improve visual function in inherited retinal disease. However, this treatment was less effective with advanced disease. Stem cell-based therapy is being pursued as a potential alternative approach in the treatment of retinal degenerative diseases. In this review, we will focus on stem cell-based therapies in the pipeline and summarize progress in treatment of retinal degenerative disease. PMID:20859770

  7. Gene Therapy and Children (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Old Feeding Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Gene Therapy and Children KidsHealth > For Parents > Gene Therapy ... that don't respond to conventional therapies. About Genes Our genes help make us unique. Inherited from ...

  8. Gene therapy for hemophilia.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. Gene therapy for deafness.

    PubMed

    Kohrman, D C; Raphael, Y

    2013-12-01

    Hearing loss is the most common sensory deficit in humans and can result from genetic, environmental or combined etiologies that prevent normal function of the cochlea, the peripheral sensory organ. Recent advances in understanding the genetic pathways that are critical for the development and maintenance of cochlear function, as well as the molecular mechanisms that underlie cell trauma and death, have provided exciting opportunities for modulating these pathways to correct genetic mutations, to enhance the endogenous protective pathways for hearing preservation and to regenerate lost sensory cells with the possibility of ameliorating hearing loss. A number of recent animal studies have used gene-based therapies in innovative ways toward realizing these goals. With further refinement, some of the protective and regenerative approaches reviewed here may become clinically applicable.

  10. Immunotherapy and gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Elizabeth

    2004-02-01

    The Immunotherapy and Gene Therapy meeting of the Academy of Medical Sciences reviewed the state-of-the-art and translational prospects for therapeutic interventions aimed at killing tumor cells, correcting genetic defects and developing vaccines for chronic infections. Crucial basic science concepts and information about dendritic cells, the structure and function of T-cell receptors, and manipulation of the immune response by cytokine antagonists and peptides were presented. This information underpins vaccine design and delivery, as well as attempts to immunomodulate autoimmune disease. Results from studies using anticancer DNA vaccines, which include appropriate signals for both the innate and adaptive immune response, were presented in several talks. The vaccines incorporated helper epitopes and cancer target epitopes such as immunoglobulin idiotypes (for lymphomas and myelomas), melanoma-associated antigens (for melanoma and other solid tumors) and minor histocompatibility antigens (for leukemia). The results of using vaccines employing similar principles and designed to reduce viral load in HIV/AIDS patients were also presented. The introduction of suicide genes incorporating the bacterial enzyme nitroreductase gene (ntr) targeted at tumor cells prior to administration of the prodrug CB-1954, converted by ntr into a toxic alkylating agent, was discussed against the background of clinical trials and improved suicide gene design. The introduction into hematopoietic stem cells of missing genes for the common gamma-chain, deficiency of which causes severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), used similar retroviral transduction. The outcome of treating six SCID patients in the UK, and ten in France was successful immune reconstitution in the majority of patients, but in two of the French cases a complication of lymphoproliferative disease due to insertional mutagenesis was observed. The adoptive transfer of T-cells specific for minor histocompatibility antigens (for

  11. Gene therapy for malignant glioma.

    PubMed

    Okura, Hidehiro; Smith, Christian A; Rutka, James T

    2014-01-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most frequent and devastating primary brain tumor in adults. Despite current treatment modalities, such as surgical resection followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy, only modest improvements in median survival have been achieved. Frequent recurrence and invasiveness of GBM are likely due to the resistance of glioma stem cells to conventional treatments; therefore, novel alternative treatment strategies are desperately needed. Recent advancements in molecular biology and gene technology have provided attractive novel treatment possibilities for patients with GBM. Gene therapy is defined as a technology that aims to modify the genetic complement of cells to obtain therapeutic benefit. To date, gene therapy for the treatment of GBM has demonstrated anti-tumor efficacy in pre-clinical studies and promising safety profiles in clinical studies. However, while this approach is obviously promising, concerns still exist regarding issues associated with transduction efficiency, viral delivery, the pathologic response of the brain, and treatment efficacy. Tumor development and progression involve alterations in a wide spectrum of genes, therefore a variety of gene therapy approaches for GBM have been proposed. Improved viral vectors are being evaluated, and the potential use of gene therapy alone or in synergy with other treatments against GBM are being studied. In this review, we will discuss the most commonly studied gene therapy approaches for the treatment of GBM in preclinical and clinical studies including: prodrug/suicide gene therapy; oncolytic gene therapy; cytokine mediated gene therapy; and tumor suppressor gene therapy. In addition, we review the principles and mechanisms of current gene therapy strategies as well as advantages and disadvantages of each.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Miyadera, Keiko

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1α Target Genes Contribute to Retinal Neuroprotection

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Lin; Yu, Honghua; Yan, Naihong; Lai, Kunbei; Xiang, Mengqing

    2017-01-01

    Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) is a transcription factor that facilitates cellular adaptation to hypoxia and ischemia. Long-standing evidence suggests that one isotype of HIF, HIF-1α, is involved in the pathogenesis of various solid tumors and cardiac diseases. However, the role of HIF-1α in retina remains poorly understood. HIF-1α has been recognized as neuroprotective in cerebral ischemia in the past two decades. Additionally, an increasing number of studies has shown that HIF-1α and its target genes contribute to retinal neuroprotection. This review will focus on recent advances in the studies of HIF-1α and its target genes that contribute to retinal neuroprotection. A thorough understanding of the function of HIF-1α and its target genes may lead to identification of novel therapeutic targets for treating degenerative retinal diseases including glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal vein occlusions. PMID:28289375

  17. Genomic Approaches For the Discovery of Genes Mutated in Inherited Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Siemiatkowska, Anna M.; Collin, Rob W.J.; den Hollander, Anneke I.; Cremers, Frans P.M.

    2014-01-01

    In view of their high degree of genetic heterogeneity, inherited retinal diseases (IRDs) pose a significant challenge for identifying novel genetic causes. Thus far, more than 200 genes have been found to be mutated in IRDs, which together contain causal variants in >80% of the cases. Accurate genetic diagnostics is particularly important for isolated cases, in which X-linked and de novo autosomal dominant variants are not uncommon. In addition, new gene- or mutation-specific therapies are emerging, underlining the importance of identifying causative mutations in each individual. Sanger sequencing of selected genes followed by cost-effective targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) can identify defects in known IRD-associated genes in the majority of the cases. Exome NGS in combination with genetic linkage or homozygosity mapping studies can aid the identification of the remaining causal genes. As these are thought to be mutated in <1% of the cases, validation through functional modeling in, for example, zebrafish and/or replication through the genotyping of large patient cohorts is required. In the near future, whole genome NGS in combination with transcriptome NGS may reveal mutations that are currently hidden in the noncoding regions of the human genome. PMID:24939053

  18. Gene therapy in metachromatic leukodystrophy.

    PubMed

    Sevin, C; Cartier-Lacave, N; Aubourg, P

    2009-01-01

    Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) is a lysosomal storage disease caused by deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme arylsulfatase A. Deficiency of this enzyme results in intralysosomal storage of sphingolipid cerebroside 3-sulfates (sulfatides), which are abundant in myelin and neurons. A pathological hallmark of MLD is demyelination and neurodegeneration, causing various and ultimately lethal neurological symptoms. This review discusses the potential therapeutic application of hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy and intracerebral gene transfer (brain gene therapy) in patients with MLD.

  19. Available Evidence on Leber Congenital Amaurosis and Gene Therapy.

    PubMed

    Alkharashi, Maan; Fulton, Anne B

    2017-01-01

    Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) is a group of severe inherited retinal dystrophies that lead to early childhood blindness. In the last decade, interest in LCA has increased as advances in genetics have been applied to better identify, classify, and treat LCA. To date, 23 LCA genes have been identified. Gene replacement in the RPE65 form of LCA represents a major advance in treatment, although limitations have been recognized. In this article, we review the clinical and genetic features of LCA and evaluate the evidence available for gene therapy in RPE65 disease.

  20. Gene therapy of inherited retinopathies: a long and successful road from viral vectors to patients.

    PubMed

    Colella, Pasqualina; Auricchio, Alberto

    2012-08-01

    Inherited retinopathies (IRs) are common and untreatable blinding conditions inherited mostly as monogenic due to mutations in genes expressed in retinal photoreceptors (PRs) and in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Over the last two decades, the retina has emerged as one of the most favorable target tissues for gene therapy given its small size and its enclosed and immune-privileged environment. Different types of viral vectors have been developed, especially those based on the adeno-associated virus (AAV), which efficiently deliver therapeutic genes to PRs or RPE upon subretinal injections. Dozens of successful proofs of concept of the efficacy of gene therapy for recessive and dominant IRs have been generated in small and large models that have paved the way to the first clinical trials using AAV in patients with Leber congenital amaurosis, a severe form of childhood blindness. The results from these initial trials suggest that retinal gene therapy with AAV is safe in humans, that vision can be improved in patients that have suffered from severe impairment of visual function, in some cases for decades, and that readministration of AAV to the subretinal space is feasible, effective, and safe. However, none of the trials could match the levels of efficacy of gene therapy observed in a dog model of the disease, suggesting that there is room for improvement. In conclusion, these results bode well for further testing of AAV-mediated retinal gene therapy in patients with other monogenic and complex forms of blindness.

  1. Gene Therapy of Inherited Retinopathies: A Long and Successful Road from Viral Vectors to Patients

    PubMed Central

    Colella, Pasqualina

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Inherited retinopathies (IRs) are common and untreatable blinding conditions inherited mostly as monogenic due to mutations in genes expressed in retinal photoreceptors (PRs) and in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Over the last two decades, the retina has emerged as one of the most favorable target tissues for gene therapy given its small size and its enclosed and immune-privileged environment. Different types of viral vectors have been developed, especially those based on the adeno-associated virus (AAV), which efficiently deliver therapeutic genes to PRs or RPE upon subretinal injections. Dozens of successful proofs of concept of the efficacy of gene therapy for recessive and dominant IRs have been generated in small and large models that have paved the way to the first clinical trials using AAV in patients with Leber congenital amaurosis, a severe form of childhood blindness. The results from these initial trials suggest that retinal gene therapy with AAV is safe in humans, that vision can be improved in patients that have suffered from severe impairment of visual function, in some cases for decades, and that readministration of AAV to the subretinal space is feasible, effective, and safe. However, none of the trials could match the levels of efficacy of gene therapy observed in a dog model of the disease, suggesting that there is room for improvement. In conclusion, these results bode well for further testing of AAV-mediated retinal gene therapy in patients with other monogenic and complex forms of blindness. PMID:22734691

  2. Retinitis pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Hamel, Christian

    2006-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is an inherited retinal dystrophy caused by the loss of photoreceptors and characterized by retinal pigment deposits visible on fundus examination. Prevalence of non syndromic RP is approximately 1/4,000. The most common form of RP is a rod-cone dystrophy, in which the first symptom is night blindness, followed by the progressive loss in the peripheral visual field in daylight, and eventually leading to blindness after several decades. Some extreme cases may have a rapid evolution over two decades or a slow progression that never leads to blindness. In some cases, the clinical presentation is a cone-rod dystrophy, in which the decrease in visual acuity predominates over the visual field loss. RP is usually non syndromic but there are also many syndromic forms, the most frequent being Usher syndrome. To date, 45 causative genes/loci have been identified in non syndromic RP (for the autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, X-linked, and digenic forms). Clinical diagnosis is based on the presence of night blindness and peripheral visual field defects, lesions in the fundus, hypovolted electroretinogram traces, and progressive worsening of these signs. Molecular diagnosis can be made for some genes, but is not usually performed due to the tremendous genetic heterogeneity of the disease. Genetic counseling is always advised. Currently, there is no therapy that stops the evolution of the disease or restores the vision, so the visual prognosis is poor. The therapeutic approach is restricted to slowing down the degenerative process by sunlight protection and vitaminotherapy, treating the complications (cataract and macular edema), and helping patients to cope with the social and psychological impact of blindness. However, new therapeutic strategies are emerging from intensive research (gene therapy, neuroprotection, retinal prosthesis). PMID:17032466

  3. Autosomal Dominant Retinal Degeneration and Bone Loss in Patients with a 12-bp Deletion in the CRX Gene

    PubMed Central

    Tzekov, Radouil T.; Liu, Yuhui; Sohocki, Melanie M.; Zack, Donald J.; Daiger, Stephen P.; Heckenlively, John R.; Birch, David G.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose To define the phenotypic expression of a deletion in the gene encoding the transcription factor CRX in a large, seven-generation, white family. Methods Fourteen affected individuals, all heterozygous for the Leu146del12 mutation in the cone-rod homeobox gene (CRX), and four nonaffected relatives from the same family were examined with visual function tests, and 10 underwent bone mineral density (BMD) measurement. Results The ability of the mutated CRX protein to transactivate rhodopsin promoter was decreased by approximately 25%, and its ability to react synergistically with neural retinal leucine zipper (NRL) was reduced by more than 30%. The affected members of the family had an autosomal dominant ocular condition most closely resembling Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) with severe visual impairment at an early age. Depending on age, affected members showed varying degrees of significant visual acuity loss, elevated dark-adaptation thresholds, significantly reduced cone and rod electroretinogram (ERG) amplitudes, and progressive constriction of the visual fields, in most cases leading to complete blindness. Six affected members had reduced levels of BMD in the spine and the hip (osteopenia). Four affected female members who were receiving long-term hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) demonstrated normal values of BMD. Conclusions This large deletion of the CRX gene is associated with a severe form of autosomal dominant retinal degeneration. Affected members not receiving HRT showed reduced BMD (osteopenia). This phenotype may reflect the abnormal influence of mutant CRX on both retinal and pineal development. PMID:11328746

  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 in Heart Failure.

    PubMed

    Fargnoli, Anthony S; Katz, Michael G; Bridges, Charles R; Hajjar, Roger J

    2016-10-28

    Heart failure is a significant burden to the global healthcare system and represents an underserved market for new pharmacologic strategies, especially therapies which can address root cause myocyte dysfunction. Modern drugs, surgeries, and state-of-the-art interventions are costly and do not improve survival outcome measures. Gene therapy is an attractive strategy, whereby selected gene targets and their associated regulatory mechanisms can be permanently managed therapeutically in a single treatment. This in theory could be sustainable for the patient's life. Despite the promise, however, gene therapy has numerous challenges that must be addressed together as a treatment plan comprising these key elements: myocyte physiologic target validation, gene target manipulation strategy, vector selection for the correct level of manipulation, and carefully utilizing an efficient delivery route that can be implemented in the clinic to efficiently transfer the therapy within safety limits. This chapter summarizes the key developments in cardiac gene therapy from the perspective of understanding each of these components of the treatment plan. The latest pharmacologic gene targets, gene therapy vectors, delivery routes, and strategies are reviewed.

  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. In vivo versus ex vivo CRISPR therapies for retinal dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Bakondi, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    SUMMARY Two therapeutic paths have been proposed to treat inherited retinal dystrophy using clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR). One strategy is to genetically correct patient cells ex vivo for autologous transplant, whereas the second is to modify cells in vivo by delivering CRISPR effectors to the retina. The feasibility of both editing strategies has been demonstrated within three years of CRISPR’s adaptation to mammalian systems. However, the functional integration of transplanted cells into host retinae has been a long-standing challenge that currently represents the 2025 moonshot of the National Eye Institute’s Audacious Goals Initiative. The clinical translatability of each path is discussed with regard to current investigations and whether cell replacement can be circumvented by in vivo editing. PMID:28163772

  8. Gene Therapy for Childhood Neurofibromatosis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-05-01

    AD_________________ Award Number: W81XWH-13-1-0101 TITLE: Gene Therapy for Childhood ...May 2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Gene Therapy for Childhood Neurofibromatosis 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-13-1-0101 5c...technology. This approach still represents a plausible and very different way to treat childhood neurofibromatosis, as well as other solid tumors

  9. 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

  10. Gene therapy and peripheral nerve repair: a perspective

    PubMed Central

    Hoyng, Stefan A.; de Winter, Fred; Tannemaat, Martijn R.; Blits, Bas; Malessy, Martijn J. A.; Verhaagen, Joost

    2015-01-01

    Clinical phase I/II studies have demonstrated the safety of gene therapy for a variety of central nervous system disorders, including Canavan’s, Parkinson’s (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), retinal diseases and pain. The majority of gene therapy studies in the CNS have used adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV) and the first AAV-based therapeutic, a vector encoding lipoprotein lipase, is now marketed in Europe under the name Glybera. These remarkable advances may become relevant to translational research on gene therapy to promote peripheral nervous system (PNS) repair. This short review first summarizes the results of gene therapy in animal models for peripheral nerve repair. Secondly, we identify key areas of future research in the domain of PNS-gene therapy. Finally, a perspective is provided on the path to clinical translation of PNS-gene therapy for traumatic nerve injuries. In the latter section we discuss the route and mode of delivery of the vector to human patients, the efficacy and safety of the vector, and the choice of the patient population for a first possible proof-of-concept clinical study. PMID:26236188

  11. 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

  12. Gene therapy and peripheral nerve repair: a perspective.

    PubMed

    Hoyng, Stefan A; de Winter, Fred; Tannemaat, Martijn R; Blits, Bas; Malessy, Martijn J A; Verhaagen, Joost

    2015-01-01

    Clinical phase I/II studies have demonstrated the safety of gene therapy for a variety of central nervous system disorders, including Canavan's, Parkinson's (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD), retinal diseases and pain. The majority of gene therapy studies in the CNS have used adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV) and the first AAV-based therapeutic, a vector encoding lipoprotein lipase, is now marketed in Europe under the name Glybera. These remarkable advances may become relevant to translational research on gene therapy to promote peripheral nervous system (PNS) repair. This short review first summarizes the results of gene therapy in animal models for peripheral nerve repair. Secondly, we identify key areas of future research in the domain of PNS-gene therapy. Finally, a perspective is provided on the path to clinical translation of PNS-gene therapy for traumatic nerve injuries. In the latter section we discuss the route and mode of delivery of the vector to human patients, the efficacy and safety of the vector, and the choice of the patient population for a first possible proof-of-concept clinical study.

  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 in Heart Failure

    PubMed Central

    Vinge, Leif Erik; Raake, Philip W.; Koch, Walter J.

    2008-01-01

    With increasing knowledge of basic molecular mechanisms governing the development of heart failure (HF), the possibility of specifically targeting key pathological players is evolving. Technology allowing for efficient in vivo transduction of myocardial tissue with long-term expression of a transgene enables translation of basic mechanistic knowledge into potential gene therapy approaches. Gene therapy in HF is in its infancy clinically with the predominant amount of experience being from animal models. Nevertheless, this challenging and promising field is gaining momentum as recent preclinical studies in larger animals have been carried out and, importantly, there are 2 newly initiated phase I clinical trials for HF gene therapy. To put it simply, 2 parameters are needed for achieving success with HF gene therapy: (1) clearly identified detrimental/beneficial molecular targets; and (2) the means to manipulate these targets at a molecular level in a sufficient number of cardiac cells. However, several obstacles do exist on our way to efficient and safe gene transfer to human myocardium. Some of these obstacles are discussed in this review; however, it primarily focuses on the molecular target systems that have been subjected to intense investigation over the last decade in an attempt to make gene therapy for human HF a reality. PMID:18566312

  15. Lung gene therapy-How to capture illumination from the light already present in the tunnel.

    PubMed

    Xia, Emily; Munegowda, Manjunatha Ankathatti; Cao, Huibi; Hu, Jim

    2014-09-01

    Gene therapy has been considered as the most ideal medical intervention for genetic diseases because it is intended to target the cause of diseases instead of disease symptoms. Availability of techniques for identification of genetic mutations and for in vitro manipulation of genes makes it practical and attractive. After the initial hype in 1990s and later disappointments in clinical trials for more than a decade, light has finally come into the tunnel in recent years, especially in the field of eye gene therapy where it has taken big strides. Clinical trials in gene therapy for retinal degenerative diseases such as Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA) and choroideremia demonstrated clear therapeutic efficacies without apparent side effects. Although these successful examples are still rare and sporadic in the field, they provide the proof of concept for harnessing the power of gene therapy to treat genetic diseases and to modernize our medication. In addition, those success stories illuminate the path for the development of gene therapy treating other genetic diseases. Because of the differences in target organs and cells, distinct barriers to gene delivery exist in gene therapy for each genetic disease. It is not feasible for authors to review the current development in the entire field. Thus, in this article, we will focus on what we can learn from the current success in gene therapy for retinal degenerative diseases to speed up the gene therapy development for lung diseases, such as cystic fibrosis.

  16. Gene Therapy for Metabolic Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Chandler, Randy J.; Venditti, Charles P.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Gene therapy has recently shown great promise as an effective treatment for a number of metabolic diseases caused by genetic defects in both animal models and human clinical trials. Most of the current success has been achieved using a viral mediated gene addition approach, but gene-editing technology has progressed rapidly and gene modification is being actively pursued in clinical trials. This review focuses on viral mediated gene addition approaches, because most of the current clinical trials utilize this approach to treat metabolic diseases. PMID:27853673

  17. Hereditary Retinal Dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Hohman, Thomas C

    2016-12-30

    As our understanding of the genetic basis for inherited retinal disease has expanded, gene therapy has advanced into clinical development. When the gene mutations associated with inherited retinal dystrophies were identified, it became possible to create animal models in which individual gene were altered to match the human mutations. The retina of these animals were then characterized to assess whether the mutated genes produced retinal phenotypes characteristic of disease-affected patients. Following the identification of a subpopulation of patients with the affected gene and the development of techniques for the viral gene transduction of retinal cells, it has become possible to deliver a copy of the normal gene into the retinal sites of the mutated genes. When this was performed in animal models of monogenic diseases, at an early stage of retinal degeneration when the affected cells remained viable, successful gene augmentation corrected the structural and functional lesions characteristic of the specific diseases in the areas of the retina that were successfully transduced. These studies provided the essential proof-of-concept needed to advance monogenic gene therapies into clinic development; these therapies include treatments for: Leber's congenital amaurosis type 2, caused by mutations to RPE65, retinoid isomerohydrolase; choroideremia, caused by mutations to REP1, Rab escort protein 1; autosomal recessive Stargardt disease, caused by mutations to ABCA4, the photoreceptor-specific ATP-binding transporter; Usher 1B disease caused by mutations to MYO7A, myosin heavy chain 7; X-linked juvenile retinoschisis caused by mutations to RS1, retinoschisin; autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa caused by mutations to MERTK, the proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase MER; Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy caused by mutations to ND4, mitochondrial nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) subunit 4 and achromatopsia, caused by

  18. Apoptotic genes in cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Opalka, Bertram; Dickopp, Alexandra; Kirch, Hans-Christoph

    2002-01-01

    Induction of apoptosis in malignant cells is a major goal of cancer therapy in general and of certain cancer gene therapy strategies in particular. Numerous apoptosis-regulating genes have been evaluated for this purpose. Besides the most prominent p53 gene others include p16, p21, p27, E2F genes, FHIT, PTEN and CASPASE genes. Recently, the potential for therapy of an adenoviral gene, E1A, known for a long time for its apoptosis-inducing activity, has been discovered. In experimental settings, these genes have proven their tumor-suppressive and apoptosis-inducing activity. Clinical trials are currently being performed with selected genes. By far the most studies transfer the p53 gene using retro- or adenoviral vectors. Disease stabilization or other benefits were observed in a limited number of patients when p53 was applied alone or in combination with cytotoxic drugs. A second proapoptotic gene that has entered clinical trials is adenovirus E1A. Here, too, disease stabilization as well as/or local regression in one case have been demonstrated in selected patients. In all cases, side effects were tolerable. To further improve E1A as a therapeutic transgene, we have deleted transforming domains from the adenovirus 5 and 12 13S cDNAs. Mutants were derived which had completely lost their transforming activity in combination with the E1B oncogene but retained a pronounced tumor-suppressive activity. Cells transduced with these constructs showed a highly reduced ability to grow in soft agar, and tumor growth in nude mice could be substantially suppressed. Outgrowing tumors had lost E1A expression when analyzed in Western blots. These E1A constructs may represent valuable tools for cancer gene therapy in the future.

  19. Gene therapy for bone regeneration.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jeffrey; Sun, Michael H; Kang, Quan; Peng, Ying; Jiang, Wei; Luu, Hue H; Luo, Qing; Park, Jae Yoon; Li, Yien; Haydon, Rex C; He, Tong-Chuan

    2005-04-01

    Efficacious bone regeneration could revolutionize the clinical management of many bone and musculoskeletal disorders. Bone has the unique ability to regenerate and continuously remodel itself throughout life. However, clinical situations arise when bone is unable to heal itself, as with segmental bone loss, fracture non-union, and failed spinal fusion. This leads to significant morbidity and mortality. Current attempts at improved bone healing have been met with limited success, fueling the development of improved techniques. Gene therapy in many ways represents an ideal approach for augmenting bone regeneration. Gene therapy allows specific gene products to be delivered to a precise anatomic location. In addition, the level of transgene expression as well as the duration of expression can be regulated with current techniques. For bone regeneration, the gene of interest should be delivered to the fracture site, expressed at appropriate levels, and then deactivated once the fracture has healed. Delivery of biological factors, mostly bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), has yielded promising results both in animal and clinical studies. There has also been tremendous work on discovering new growth factors and exploring previously defined ones. Finally, significant advances are being made in the delivery systems of the genes, ranging from viral and non-viral vectors to tissue engineering scaffolds. Despite some public hesitation to gene therapy, its use has great potential to expand our ability to treat a variety of human bone and musculoskeletal disorders. It is conceivable that in the near future gene therapy can be utilized to induce bone formation in virtually any region of the body in a minimally invasive manner. As bone biology and gene therapy research progresses, the goal of successful human gene transfer for augmentation of bone regeneration draws nearer.

  20. Timing of Antioxidant Gene Therapy: Implications for Treating Dry AMD

    PubMed Central

    Biswal, Manas R.; Han, Pingyang; Zhu, Ping; Wang, Zhaoyang; Li, Hong; Ildefonso, Cristhian J.; Lewin, Alfred S.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose To investigate whether antioxidant gene therapy protects the structure and function of retina in a murine model of RPE atrophy, and to determine whether antioxidant gene therapy can prevent degeneration once it has begun. Methods We induced mitochondrial oxidative stress in RPE by conditional deletion of Sod2, the gene for manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD). These mice exhibited localized atrophy of the RPE and overlying photoreceptors. We restored Sod2 to the RPE of one eye using adeno-associated virus (AAV) by subretinal injection at an early (6 weeks) and a late stage (6 months), injecting the other eye with an AAV vector expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP). Retinal degeneration was monitored over a period of 9 months by electroretinography (ERG) and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). Immunohistochemical and histologic analyses were conducted to measure oxidative stress markers and to visualize retinal structure. Results One month after delivery, the AAV-Sod2 injection resulted in production of MnSod in the RPE and negligible expression in the neural retina. Electroretinography and OCT suggested no adverse effects due to increased expression of MnSOD or subretinal injection. Decrease in the ERG response and thinning retinal thickness was significantly delayed in eyes with early treatment with the Sod2 vector, but treatment at 6 months of age did not affect the ERG decline seen in these mice. Conclusions We conclude that antioxidant gene therapy may be effective in preventing the detrimental effects of oxidative stress, but may not be beneficial once substantial tissue damage has occurred. PMID:28241311

  1. Human germline gene therapy reconsidered.

    PubMed

    Resnik, D B; Langer, P J

    2001-07-20

    This paper reevaluates the notion of human germline gene therapy (HGLGT) in light of developments in biomedicine, biotechnology, and ethical and policy analysis. The essay makes the following key points. First, because the distinction among "therapy," "prevention," and "enhancement" is not clear in human genetics, "gene therapy" is an inadequate descriptor of the process and goals of germline genetic alterations. The alternate use of the phrase "human germline genome modification" (HGLGM) could avoid a misleading label. Second, procedures that could be construed as genetic "enhancement" may not be as morally problematic as some have supposed, once one understands that the boundaries between therapy, prevention, and enhancement are not obvious in genetic medicine. Third, HGLGM might be the medically and morally most appropriate way of avoiding the birth of a child with a genetic disease in only a small range of cases. Fourth, there are still many ethical and scientific problems relating to the safety and efficacy of HGLGM.

  2. Gene Therapy in Corneal Transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Qazi, Yureeda; Hamrah, Pedram

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24138037

  3. Safety and Efficacy of Human Wharton's Jelly-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Therapy for Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Leow, S. N.; Luu, Chi D.; Hairul Nizam, M. H.; Mok, P. L.; Ruhaslizan, R.; Wong, H. S.; Wan Abdul Halim, Wan Haslina; Ng, M. H.; Ruszymah, B. H. I.; Chowdhury, S. R.; Bastion, M. L. C.; Then, K. Y.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To investigate the safety and efficacy of subretinal injection of human Wharton’s Jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hWJ-MSCs) on retinal structure and function in Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats. Methods RCS rats were divided into 2 groups: hWJ-MSCs treated group (n = 8) and placebo control group (n = 8). In the treatment group, hWJ-MSCs from healthy donors were injected into the subretinal space in one eye of each rat at day 21. Control group received saline injection of the same volume. Additional 3 animals were injected with nanogold-labelled stem cells for in vivo tracking of cells localisation using a micro-computed tomography (microCT). Retinal function was assessed by electroretinography (ERG) 3 days before the injection and repeated at days 15, 30 and 70 after the injection. Eyes were collected at day 70 for histology, cellular and molecular studies. Results No retinal tumor formation was detected by histology during the study period. MicroCT scans showed that hWJ-MSCs stayed localised in the eye with no systemic migration. Transmission electron microscopy showed that nanogold-labelled cells were located within the subretinal space. Histology showed preservation of the outer nuclear layer (ONL) in the treated group but not in the control group. However, there were no significant differences in the ERG responses between the groups. Confocal microscopy showed evidence of hWJ-MSCs expressing markers for photoreceptor, Müller cells and bipolar cells. Conclusions Subretinal injection of hWJ-MSCs delay the loss of the ONL in RCS rats. hWJ-MSCs appears to be safe and has potential to differentiate into retinal-like cells. The potential of this cell-based therapy for the treatment of retinal dystrophies warrants further studies. PMID:26107378

  4. Significant changes in endogenous retinal gene expression assessed 1 year after a single intraocular injection of AAV-CNTF or AAV-BDNF

    PubMed Central

    LeVaillant, Chrisna J; Sharma, Anil; Muhling, Jill; Wheeler, Lachlan PG; Cozens, Greg S; Hellström, Mats; Rodger, Jennifer; Harvey, Alan R

    2016-01-01

    Use of viral vectors to deliver therapeutic genes to the central nervous system holds promise for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and neurotrauma. Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors encoding brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) or ciliary derived neurotrophic factor (CNTF) promote the viability and regeneration of injured adult rat retinal ganglion cells. However, these growth-inducing transgenes are driven by a constitutively active promoter, thus we examined whether long-term AAV-mediated secretion of BDNF or CNTF affected endogenous retinal gene expression. One year after the intravitreal injection of AAV-green fluorescent protein (GFP), bi-cistronic AAV-BDNF-GFP or AAV-CNTF-GFP, mRNA was extracted and analyzed using custom 96 well polymerase chain reaction arrays. Of 93 test genes, 56% showed significantly altered expression in AAV-BDNF-GFP and/or AAV-CNTF-GFP retinas compared with AAV-GFP controls. Of these genes, 73% showed differential expression in AAV-BDNF versus AAV-CNTF injected eyes. To focus on retinal ganglion cell changes, quantitative polymerase chain reaction was undertaken on mRNA (16 genes) obtained from fixed retinal sections in which the ganglion cell layer was enriched. The sign and extent of fold changes in ganglion cell layer gene expression differed markedly from whole retinal samples. Sustained and global alteration in endogenous mRNA expression after gene therapy should be factored into any interpretation of experimental/clinical outcomes, particularly when introducing factors into the central nervous system that require secretion to evoke functionality. PMID:27933306

  5. Significant changes in endogenous retinal gene expression assessed 1 year after a single intraocular injection of AAV-CNTF or AAV-BDNF.

    PubMed

    LeVaillant, Chrisna J; Sharma, Anil; Muhling, Jill; Wheeler, Lachlan Pg; Cozens, Greg S; Hellström, Mats; Rodger, Jennifer; Harvey, Alan R

    2016-01-01

    Use of viral vectors to deliver therapeutic genes to the central nervous system holds promise for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and neurotrauma. Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors encoding brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) or ciliary derived neurotrophic factor (CNTF) promote the viability and regeneration of injured adult rat retinal ganglion cells. However, these growth-inducing transgenes are driven by a constitutively active promoter, thus we examined whether long-term AAV-mediated secretion of BDNF or CNTF affected endogenous retinal gene expression. One year after the intravitreal injection of AAV-green fluorescent protein (GFP), bi-cistronic AAV-BDNF-GFP or AAV-CNTF-GFP, mRNA was extracted and analyzed using custom 96 well polymerase chain reaction arrays. Of 93 test genes, 56% showed significantly altered expression in AAV-BDNF-GFP and/or AAV-CNTF-GFP retinas compared with AAV-GFP controls. Of these genes, 73% showed differential expression in AAV-BDNF versus AAV-CNTF injected eyes. To focus on retinal ganglion cell changes, quantitative polymerase chain reaction was undertaken on mRNA (16 genes) obtained from fixed retinal sections in which the ganglion cell layer was enriched. The sign and extent of fold changes in ganglion cell layer gene expression differed markedly from whole retinal samples. Sustained and global alteration in endogenous mRNA expression after gene therapy should be factored into any interpretation of experimental/clinical outcomes, particularly when introducing factors into the central nervous system that require secretion to evoke functionality.

  6. Gene therapy for Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Fillat, Cristina; Altafaj, Xavier

    2012-01-01

    The presence of an additional copy of HSA21 chromosome in Down syndrome (DS) individuals leads to the overexpression of 30-50% of HSA21 genes. This upregulation can, in turn, trigger a deregulation on the expression of non-HSA21 genes. Moreover, the overdose of HSA21 microRNAs (miRNAs) may result in the downregulation of its target genes. Additional complexity can also arise from epigenetic changes modulating gene expression. Thus, a myriad of transcriptional and posttranscriptional alterations participate to produce abnormal phenotypes in almost all tissues and organs of DS individuals. The study of the physiological roles of genes dysregulated in DS, as well as their characterization in murine models with gene(s) dosage imbalance, pointed out several genes, and functional noncoding elements to be particularly critical in the etiology of DS. Recent findings indicate that gene therapy strategies-based on the introduction of genetic elements by means of delivery vectors-toward the correction of phenotypic abnormalities in DS are also very promising tool to identify HSA21 and non-HSA21 gene candidates, contributing to DS phenotype. In this chapter, we focus on the impact of normalizing the expression levels of up or downregulated genes to rescue particular phenotypes of DS. Attempts toward gene-based treatment approaches in mouse models will be discussed as new opportunities to ameliorate DS alterations.

  7. Differential gene expression profiling of large and small retinal ganglion cells

    PubMed Central

    Ivanov, Dmitry; Dvoriantchikova, Galina; Barakat, David J.; Nathanson, Lubov; Shestopalov, Valery I.

    2014-01-01

    Different sub-populations of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) vary in their sensitivity to pathological conditions such as retinal ischemia, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Comparative transcriptomic analysis of such groups will likely reveal molecular determinants of differential sensitivity to stress. However, gene expression profiling of primary neuronal sub-populations represent a challenge due to the cellular heterogeneity of retinal tissue. In this manuscript, we report the use of a fluorescent neural tracer to specifically label and selectively isolate RGCs with different soma sizes by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) for the purpose of differential gene expression profiling. We identified 145 genes that were more active in the large RGCs and 312 genes in the small RGCs. Differential data were validated by quantitative RT-PCR, several corresponding proteins were confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Functional characterization revealed differential activity of genes implicated in synaptic transmission, neurotransmitter secretion, axon guidance, chemotaxis, ion transport and tolerance to stress. An in silico reconstruction of cellular networks suggested that differences in pathway activity between the two sub-populations of RGCs are controlled by networks interconnected by SP-1, Erk2(MAPK1), Egr1, Egr2 and, potentially, regulated via transcription factors C/EBPbeta, HSF1, STAT1- and c-Myc. The results show that FACS-aided purification of retrogradely labeled cells can be effectively utilized for transcriptional profiling of adult retinal neurons. PMID:18640154

  8. Controversies in Anticoagulant Therapy in Vitreo-Retinal Surgery.

    PubMed

    Grzybowski, Andrzej; Kupidura-Majewski, Konrad; Kupidura, Paulina

    2015-01-01

    The number of elderly patients using anticoagulant and antiplatelet treatment in prevention of thromboembolism has significantly increased in recent years. It was believed for many years that those patients may be at higher risk for hemorhages during ocular surgery. Different strategies were proposed to prevent these complications, including discontinuation of anticoagulants, dose reduction, or substitution with low molecular weight heparin. The objective of this work was to evaluate the results of studies presenting the results of vitreoretinal surgeries in patients continuing antiplatelet and/or anticoagulant treatment. We performed a PubMed search of possible intraoperative and postoperative hemorrhages in patients receiving anticoagulant and/or antiplatelet therapy during vitreoretinal surgery in 2007-2014. In most of the studies reviewed there was no substantial increase in intraoperative and postoperative hemorrhages risks during vitreoretinal surgery. However, in some studies, a substantially increased risk has been identified. We conclude that the available data is insufficient to decide whether to continue or discontinue anticoagulant and/or antiplatelet therapy during vitreoretinal surgery and we recommend an individualized approach in consultation with the patient's medical doctors and anesthesiologists.

  9. 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)

  10. Regulation of photoreceptor gene expression by the retinal homeobox (Rx) gene product

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Yi; Martinez-De Luna, Reyna I.; Lou, Chih-Hong; Nekkalapudi, Srivamsi; Kelly, Lisa E.; Sater, Amy K.; El-Hodiri, Heithem M.

    2010-01-01

    The retinal homeobox (Rx) gene product is essential for eye development. However little is known about its molecular function. It has been demonstrated that Rx binds to photoreceptor conserved element (PCE-1), a highly conserved element found in the promoter region of photoreceptor-specific genes such as rhodopsin and red cone opsin. We verify that Rx is co-expressed with rhodopsin and red cone opsin in maturing photoreceptors and demonstrate that Rx binds to the rhodopsin and red cone opsin promoters in vivo. We also find that Rx can cooperate with the Xenopus analogs of Crx and Nrl, otx5b and XLMaf (respectively), to activate a Xenopus opsin promoter-dependent reporter. Finally, we demonstrate that reduction of Rx expression in tadpoles results in decreases in expression of several PCE-1 containing photoreceptor genes, abnormal photoreceptor morphology, and impaired vision. Our data suggests that Rx, in combination with other transcription factors, is necessary for normal photoreceptor gene expression, maintenance, and function. This establishes a direct role for Rx in regulation of genes expressed in a differentiated cell type. PMID:20060393

  11. [Gene therapy and Alzheimer's disease].

    PubMed

    Li, Jian; Li, Wenwen; Zhou, Jun

    2015-04-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the presence of extracellular β-amyloid in the senile plaques, intracellular aggregates of abnormal phosphorylation of tau protein in the neurofibrillary tangles, neuronal loss and cerebrovascular amyloidosis. The manifestations of clinical symptoms include memory impairment, cognitive decline, altered behavior and language deficit. Currently available drugs in AD therapy consist of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, NMDA receptor antagonists, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, etc. These drugs can only alleviate the symptoms of AD. Gene therapy is achieved by vector-mediated gene transfer technology, which can delivery DNA or RNA into target cells to promote the expression of a protective or therapeutic protein and silence certain virulence genes.

  12. Acute intensive insulin therapy exacerbates diabetic blood-retinal barrier breakdown via hypoxia-inducible factor-1α and VEGF

    PubMed Central

    Poulaki, Vassiliki; Qin, Wenying; Joussen, Antonia M.; Hurlbut, Peter; Wiegand, Stanley J.; Rudge, John; Yancopoulos, George D.; Adamis, Anthony P.

    2002-01-01

    Acute intensive insulin therapy is an independent risk factor for diabetic retinopathy. Here we demonstrate that acute intensive insulin therapy markedly increases VEGF mRNA and protein levels in the retinae of diabetic rats. Retinal nuclear extracts from insulin-treated rats contain higher hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) levels and demonstrate increased HIF-1α–dependent binding to hypoxia-responsive elements in the VEGF promoter. Blood-retinal barrier breakdown is markedly increased with acute intensive insulin therapy but can be reversed by treating animals with a fusion protein containing a soluble form of the VEGF receptor Flt; a control fusion protein has no such protective effect. The insulin-induced retinal HIF-1α and VEGF increases and the related blood-retinal barrier breakdown are suppressed by inhibitors of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase, but not inhibitors of p42/p44 MAPK or protein kinase C. Taken together, these findings indicate that acute intensive insulin therapy produces a transient worsening of diabetic blood-retinal barrier breakdown via an HIF-1α–mediated increase in retinal VEGF expression. Insulin-induced VEGF expression requires p38 MAPK and PI 3-kinase, whereas hyperglycemia-induced VEGF expression is HIF-1α–independent and requires PKC and p42/p44 MAPK. To our knowledge, these data are the first to identify a specific mechanism for the transient worsening of diabetic retinopathy, specifically blood-retinal barrier breakdown, that follows the institution of intensive insulin therapy. PMID:11901189

  13. Mesenchymal stem cell therapy in retinal and optic nerve diseases: An update of clinical trials

    PubMed Central

    Labrador-Velandia, Sonia; Alonso-Alonso, María Luz; Alvarez-Sanchez, Sara; González-Zamora, Jorge; Carretero-Barrio, Irene; Pastor, José Carlos; Fernandez-Bueno, Iván; Srivastava, Girish Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Retinal and optic nerve diseases are degenerative ocular pathologies which lead to irreversible visual loss. Since the advanced therapies availability, cell-based therapies offer a new all-encompassing approach. Advances in the knowledge of neuroprotection, immunomodulation and regenerative properties of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been obtained by several preclinical studies of various neurodegenerative diseases. It has provided the opportunity to perform the translation of this knowledge to prospective treatment approaches for clinical practice. Since 2008, several first steps projecting new treatment approaches, have been taken regarding the use of cell therapy in patients with neurodegenerative pathologies of optic nerve and retina. Most of the clinical trials using MSCs are in I/II phase, recruiting patients or ongoing, and they have as main objective the safety assessment of MSCs using various routes of administration. However, it is important to recognize that, there is still a long way to go to reach clinical trials phase III-IV. Hence, it is necessary to continue preclinical and clinical studies to improve this new therapeutic tool. This paper reviews the latest progress of MSCs in human clinical trials for retinal and optic nerve diseases. PMID:27928464

  14. Gene Therapy Shows Promise for Aggressive Lymphoma

    MedlinePlus

    ... fullstory_163824.html Gene Therapy Shows Promise for Aggressive Lymphoma Over one-third of patients appeared disease- ... 2017 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental gene therapy for aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma beat back more than a ...

  15. 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.

  16. The Role of Retinal Determination Gene Network (RDGN) in Hormone Signaling Transduction and Prostate Tumorigenes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-12-01

    Tumorigenes PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Xiaoming Ju, MD CONTRACTING ORGANIZATION: Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA 19107 REPORT DATE: December 2015...COVERED (From - To) 30Sep2011 - 29Sep2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER The Role of Retinal Determination Gene Network (RDGN) in...by DACH1 in vitro and in vivo and showed using ChIP analysis the binding of DACH1 to key target genes. We used genetic deletion studies to identify

  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. Replication-dependent histone genes are actively transcribed in differentiating and aging retinal neurons.

    PubMed

    Banday, Abdul Rouf; Baumgartner, Marybeth; Al Seesi, Sahar; Karunakaran, Devi Krishna Priya; Venkatesh, Aditya; Congdon, Sean; Lemoine, Christopher; Kilcollins, Ashley M; Mandoiu, Ion; Punzo, Claudio; Kanadia, Rahul N

    2014-01-01

    In the mammalian genome, each histone family contains multiple replication-dependent paralogs, which are found in clusters where their transcription is thought to be coupled to the cell cycle. Here, we wanted to interrogate the transcriptional regulation of these paralogs during retinal development and aging. We employed deep sequencing, quantitative PCR, in situ hybridization (ISH), and microarray analysis, which revealed that replication-dependent histone genes were not only transcribed in progenitor cells but also in differentiating neurons. Specifically, by ISH analysis we found that different histone genes were actively transcribed in a subset of neurons between postnatal day 7 and 14. Interestingly, within a histone family, not all paralogs were transcribed at the same level during retinal development. For example, expression of Hist1h1b was higher embryonically, while that of Hist1h1c was higher postnatally. Finally, expression of replication-dependent histone genes was also observed in the aging retina. Moreover, transcription of replication-dependent histones was independent of rapamycin-mediated mTOR pathway inactivation. Overall, our data suggest the existence of variant nucleosomes produced by the differential expression of the replication-dependent histone genes across retinal development. Also, the expression of a subset of replication-dependent histone isotypes in senescent neurons warrants re-examining these genes as "replication-dependent." Thus, our findings underscore the importance of understanding the transcriptional regulation of replication-dependent histone genes in the maintenance and functioning of neurons.

  19. Targeted Gene Therapy for Breast Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-06-01

    From the studies performed during the last one year, we determined the effects of AAV-mediated anti-angiogenic gene therapy as a combination therapy...angiogenic gene therapy in combination with chemotherapy. In the next year, we will determine whether such a combination therapy would provide regression of established tumors.

  20. 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

  1. American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy

    MedlinePlus

    ... Join ASGCT! Job Bank Donate Media The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy is the primary professional membership organization for gene and cell therapy. The Society's members are scientists, physicians, patient advocates, and other ...

  2. Retinitis Pigmentosa and Bilateral Idiopathic Demyelinating Optic Neuritis in a 6-Year-Old Boy with OFD1 Gene Mutation

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xun; Zheng, Cong; Liu, Wen

    2017-01-01

    To identify the cause of a sudden binocular vision decrease in patients with retinitis pigmentosa and bilateral idiopathic demyelinating optic neuritis is difficult, but early diagnosis and treatment significantly improve the prognosis. Here, we report a 6-year-old boy with a progressive binocular vision decrease in 38 days. The patient had a history of night blindness, a mottled retina without pigmentation, extinguished electroretinographic response, tritanopia, and an absent ellipsoid zone outside the macula fovea by optical coherence tomography in both eyes. His condition was diagnosed as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) with idiopathic demyelinating optic neuritis (IDON). After corticosteroid therapy, visual acuity recovered to OD: 0.5 and OS: 0.4. Genetic analysis revealed a G985S variant in the oral-facial-digital syndrome 1 gene. Ophthalmologists should pay attention to the existence of other complications in patients with RP who suffer a sudden decrease in vision. A gene survey can help clarify this diagnosis. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a patient with RP and ON, as well as genetic testing results. Nevertheless, the pathogenicity of the variant needs further confirmation. PMID:28191358

  3. Orthopedic Gene Therapy in 2008

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Christopher H; Ghivizzani, Steven C; Robbins, Paul D

    2008-01-01

    Orthopedic disorders, although rarely fatal, are the leading cause of morbidity and impose a huge socioeconomic burden. Their prevalence will increase dramatically as populations age and gain weight. Many orthopedic conditions are difficult to treat by conventional means; however, they are good candidates for gene therapy. Clinical trials have already been initiated for arthritis and the aseptic loosening of prosthetic joints, and the development of bone-healing applications is at an advanced, preclinical stage. Other potential uses include the treatment of Mendelian diseases and orthopedic tumors, as well as the repair and regeneration of cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Many of these goals should be achievable with existing technologies. The main barriers to clinical application are funding and regulatory issues, which in turn reflect major safety concerns and the opinion, in some quarters, that gene therapy should not be applied to nonlethal, nongenetic diseases. For some indications, advances in nongenetic treatments have also diminished enthusiasm. Nevertheless, the preclinical and early clinical data are impressive and provide considerable optimism that gene therapy will provide straightforward, effective solutions to the clinical management of several common debilitating disorders that are otherwise difficult and expensive to treat. PMID:19066598

  4. 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.

  5. Differential Gene Expression in Explanted Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells 12-Hours Post-Exposure to 532 nm, 120 ps Pulsed Laser Light

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-04-01

    years or younger, either sex, with no mitigating ocular or retinal pathology such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa , etc. Donor: The...USAFA TR 2004-01 Differential Gene Expression in Explanted Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells 12-hours Post-Exposure to 532 nm, 120 ps Pulsed...TR 2004-01 This article, "Differential Gene Expression in Explanted Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells 12-hours Post-Exposure to 532 nm, 120 ps

  6. Progress of mesenchymal stem cell therapy for neural and retinal diseases

    PubMed Central

    Ng, Tsz Kin; Fortino, Veronica R; Pelaez, Daniel; Cheung, Herman S

    2014-01-01

    Complex circuitry and limited regenerative power make central nervous system (CNS) disorders the most challenging and difficult for functional repair. With elusive disease mechanisms, traditional surgical and medical interventions merely slow down the progression of the neurodegenerative diseases. However, the number of neurons still diminishes in many patients. Recently, stem cell therapy has been proposed as a viable option. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), a widely-studied human adult stem cell population, have been discovered for more than 20 years. MSCs have been found all over the body and can be conveniently obtained from different accessible tissues: bone marrow, blood, and adipose and dental tissue. MSCs have high proliferative and differentiation abilities, providing an inexhaustible source of neurons and glia for cell replacement therapy. Moreover, MSCs also show neuroprotective effects without any genetic modification or reprogramming. In addition, the extraordinary immunomodulatory properties of MSCs enable autologous and heterologous transplantation. These qualities heighten the clinical applicability of MSCs when dealing with the pathologies of CNS disorders. Here, we summarize the latest progress of MSC experimental research as well as human clinical trials for neural and retinal diseases. This review article will focus on multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, autism, glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. PMID:24772238

  7. 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.

  8. Gene therapy restores vision in a canine model of childhood blindness.

    PubMed

    Acland, G M; Aguirre, G D; Ray, J; Zhang, Q; Aleman, T S; Cideciyan, A V; Pearce-Kelling, S E; Anand, V; Zeng, Y; Maguire, A M; Jacobson, S G; Hauswirth, W W; Bennett, J

    2001-05-01

    The relationship between the neurosensory photoreceptors and the adjacent retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) controls not only normal retinal function, but also the pathogenesis of hereditary retinal degenerations. The molecular bases for both primary photoreceptor and RPE diseases that cause blindness have been identified. Gene therapy has been used successfully to slow degeneration in rodent models of primary photoreceptor diseases, but efficacy of gene therapy directed at photoreceptors and RPE in a large-animal model of human disease has not been reported. Here we study one of the most clinically severe retinal degenerations, Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). LCA causes near total blindness in infancy and can result from mutations in RPE65 (LCA, type II; MIM 180069 and 204100). A naturally occurring animal model, the RPE65-/- dog, suffers from early and severe visual impairment similar to that seen in human LCA. We used a recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) carrying wild-type RPE65 (AAV-RPE65) to test the efficacy of gene therapy in this model. Our results indicate that visual function was restored in this large animal model of childhood blindness.

  9. RPE65 gene therapy slows cone loss in Rpe65-deficient dogs.

    PubMed

    Mowat, F M; Breuwer, A R; Bartoe, J T; Annear, M J; Zhang, Z; Smith, A J; Bainbridge, J W B; Petersen-Jones, S M; Ali, R R

    2013-05-01

    Recent clinical trials of retinal pigment epithelium gene (RPE65) supplementation therapy in Leber congenital amaurosis type 2 patients have demonstrated improvements in rod and cone function, but it may be some years before the effects of therapy on photoreceptor survival become apparent. The Rpe65-deficient dog is a very useful pre-clinical model in which to test efficacy of therapies, because the dog has a retina with a high degree of similarity to that of humans. In this study, we evaluated the effect of RPE65 gene therapy on photoreceptor survival in order to predict the potential benefit and limitations of therapy in patients. We examined the retinas of Rpe65-deficient dogs after RPE65 gene therapy to evaluate the preservation of rods and cone photoreceptor subtypes. We found that gene therapy preserves both rods and cones. While the moderate loss of rods in the Rpe65-deficient dog retina is slowed by gene therapy, S-cones are lost extensively and gene therapy can prevent that loss, although only within the treated area. Although LM-cones are not lost extensively, cone opsin mislocalization indicates that they are stressed, and this can be partially reversed by gene therapy. Our results suggest that gene therapy may be able to slow cone degeneration in patients if intervention is sufficiently early and also that it is probably important to treat the macula in order to preserve central function.

  10. Advancement and prospects of tumor gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chao; Wang, Qing-Tao; Liu, He; Zhang, Zhen-Zhu; Huang, Wen-Lin

    2011-03-01

    Gene therapy is one of the most attractive fields in tumor therapy. In past decades, significant progress has been achieved. Various approaches, such as viral and non-viral vectors and physical methods, have been developed to make gene delivery safer and more efficient. Several therapeutic strategies have evolved, including gene-based (tumor suppressor genes, suicide genes, antiangiogenic genes, cytokine and oxidative stress-based genes) and RNA-based (antisense oligonucleotides and RNA interference) approaches. In addition, immune response-based strategies (dendritic cell- and T cell-based therapy) are also under investigation in tumor gene therapy. This review highlights the progress and recent developments in gene delivery systems, therapeutic strategies, and possible clinical directions for gene therapy.

  11. Pseudo-Fovea Formation After Gene Therapy for RPE65-LCA

    PubMed Central

    Cideciyan, Artur V.; Aguirre, Geoffrey K.; Jacobson, Samuel G.; Butt, Omar H.; Schwartz, Sharon B.; Swider, Malgorzata; Roman, Alejandro J.; Sadigh, Sam; Hauswirth, William W.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. The purpose of this study was to evaluate fixation location and oculomotor characteristics of 15 patients with Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) caused by RPE65 mutations (RPE65-LCA) who underwent retinal gene therapy. Methods. Eye movements were quantified under infrared imaging of the retina while the subject fixated on a stationary target. In a subset of patients, letter recognition under retinal imaging was performed. Cortical responses to visual stimulation were measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in two patients before and after therapy. Results. All patients were able to fixate on a 1° diameter visible target in the dark. The preferred retinal locus of fixation was either at the anatomical fovea or at an extrafoveal locus. There were a wide range of oculomotor abnormalities. Natural history showed little change in oculomotor abnormalities if target illuminance was increased to maintain target visibility as the disease progressed. Eleven of 15 study eyes treated with gene therapy showed no differences from baseline fixation locations or instability over an average of follow-up of 3.5 years. Four of 15 eyes developed new pseudo-foveas in the treated retinal regions 9 to 12 months after therapy that persisted for up to 6 years; patients used their pseudo-foveas for letter identification. fMRI studies demonstrated that preservation of light sensitivity was restricted to the cortical projection zone of the pseudo-foveas. Conclusions. The slow emergence of pseudo-foveas many months after the initial increases in light sensitivity points to a substantial plasticity of the adult visual system and a complex interaction between it and the progression of underlying retinal disease. The visual significance of pseudo-foveas suggests careful consideration of treatment zones for future gene therapy trials. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00481546.) PMID:25537204

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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 (RhoS334) 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 RhoS334, which prevented retinal degeneration and improved visual function. PMID:26666451

  14. 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.

  15. Episomal vectors for gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Ehrhardt, Anja; Haase, Rudolf; Schepers, Aloys; Deutsch, Manuel J; Lipps, Hans Joachim; Baiker, Armin

    2008-06-01

    The increasing knowledge of the molecular and genetic background of many different human diseases has led to the vision that genetic engineering might be used one day for their phenotypic correction. The main goal of gene therapy is to treat loss-of-function genetic disorders by delivering correcting therapeutic DNA sequences into the nucleus of a cell, allowing its long-term expression at physiologically relevant levels. Manifold different vector systems for the therapeutic gene delivery have been described over the recent years. They all have their individual advantages but also their individual limitations and must be judged on a careful risk/benefit analysis. Integrating vector systems can deliver genetic material to a target cell with high efficiency enabling long-term expression of an encoded transgene. The main disadvantage of integrating vector systems, however, is their potential risk of causing insertional mutagenesis. Episomal vector systems have the potential to avoid these undesired side effects, since they behave as separate extrachromosomal elements in the nucleus of a target cell. Within this article we present a comprehensive survey of currently available episomal vector systems for the genetic modification of mammalian cells. We will discuss their advantages and disadvantages and their applications in the context of basic research, biotechnology and gene therapy.

  16. Stem cell directed gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Engel, B C; Kohn, D B

    1999-05-01

    A potential therapeutic approach to HIV-1 infection is the genetic modification of cells of a patient to make them resistant to HIV-1. Hematopoietic stem cells are an attractive target for gene therapy of AIDS because of their ability to generate a broad repertoire of mature T lymphocytes, as well as the monocytic cells (macrophages, dendritic cells and microglia) which are also involved in HIV-1 pathogenesis. A number of synthetic "anti-HIV-1 genes" have been developed which inhibit HIV-1 replication. However, current methods for gene transfer into human hematopoietic stem cells, using retroviral vectors derived from the Moloney murine leukemia virus, have been minimally effective. Clinical trials performed to date in which hematopoietic cells from HIV-1-positive patients have been transduced with retroviral vectors and then reinfused have produced low to undetectable levels of gene-containing peripheral blood leukocytes. New vector delivery systems, such as lentiviral vectors, need to be developed to ensure efficient gene transfer and persistent transgene expression to provide life-long resistance to the cells targeted by HIV-1.

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

    PubMed

    Dinculescu, Astra; Stupay, Rachel M; 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.

  18. Fishing for age-related visual system mutants: behavioral screening of retinal degeneration genes in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Li, Lei; Li, Yuhao; Chen, Dongyan; Shao, Jinping; Li, Xinle; Xu, Chen

    2010-02-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has recently become a mainstream model system for genetic studies of human diseases, such as neurological degenerative diseases, heart diseases, immuno-system disorders, etc. In this article, we will review some recent findings of the usefulness of zebrafish as a model vertebrate for behavioral screening of mutations in vertebrate visual system, for example, genes involved in age-related retinal degeneration.

  19. Improved Intravitreal AAV-Mediated Inner Retinal Gene Transduction after Surgical Internal Limiting Membrane Peeling in Cynomolgus Monkeys.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Kazuhisa; Igarashi, Tsutomu; Miyake, Koichi; Kobayashi, Maika; Yaguchi, Chiemi; Iijima, Osamu; Yamazaki, Yoshiyuki; Katakai, Yuko; Miyake, Noriko; Kameya, Shuhei; Shimada, Takashi; Takahashi, Hiroshi; Okada, Takashi

    2017-01-04

    The retina is an ideal target for gene therapy because of its easy accessibility and limited immunological response. We previously reported that intravitreally injected adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector transduced the inner retina with high efficiency in a rodent model. In large animals, however, the efficiency of retinal transduction was low, because the vitreous and internal limiting membrane (ILM) acted as barriers to transduction. To overcome these barriers in cynomolgus monkeys, we performed vitrectomy (VIT) and ILM peeling before AAV vector injection. Following intravitreal injection of 50 μL triple-mutated self-complementary AAV serotype 2 vector encoding EGFP, transduction efficiency was analyzed. Little expression of GFP was detected in the control and VIT groups, but in the VIT+ILM group, strong GFP expression was detected within the peeled ILM area. To detect potential adverse effects, we monitored the retinas using color fundus photography, optical coherence tomography, and electroretinography. No serious side effects associated with the pretreatment were observed. These results indicate that surgical ILM peeling before AAV vector administration would be safe and useful for efficient transduction of the nonhuman primate retina and provide therapeutic benefits for the treatment of retinal diseases.

  20. Gene therapy in the cornea: 2005--present.

    PubMed

    Mohan, Rajiv R; Tovey, Jonathan C K; Sharma, Ajay; Tandon, Ashish

    2012-01-01

    Successful restoration of vision in human patients with gene therapy affirmed its promise to cure ocular diseases and disorders. The efficacy of gene therapy is contingent upon vector and mode of therapeutic DNA introduction into targeted cells/tissues. The cornea is an ideal tissue for gene therapy due to its ease of access and relative immune-privilege. Considerable progress has been made in the field of corneal gene therapy in last 5 years. Several new gene transfer vectors, techniques and approaches have evolved. Although corneal gene therapy is still in its early stages of development, the potential of gene-based interventions to treat corneal abnormalities has begun to surface. Identification of next generation viral and nanoparticle vectors, characterization of delivered gene levels, localization, and duration in the cornea, and significant success in controlling corneal disorders, particularly fibrosis and angiogenesis, in experimental animal disease models, with no major side effects have propelled gene therapy a step closer toward establishing gene-based therapies for corneal blindness. Recently, researchers have assessed the delivery of therapeutic genes for corneal diseases and disorders due to trauma, infections, chemical, mechanical, and surgical injury, and/or abnormal wound healing. This review provides an update on the developments in gene therapy for corneal diseases and discusses the barriers that hinder its utilization for delivering genes in the cornea.

  1. Hematopoietic Stem Cell Expansion and Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Watts, Korashon Lynn; Adair, Jennifer; Kiem, Hans-Peter

    2012-01-01

    Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) gene therapy remains a highly attractive treatment option for many disorders including hematologic conditions, immunodeficiencies including HIV/AIDS, and other genetic disorders like lysosomal storage diseases, among others. In this review, we discuss the successes, side effects, and limitations of current gene therapy protocols. In addition, we describe the opportunities presented by implementing ex vivo expansion of gene-modified HSCs, as well as summarize the most promising ex vivo expansion techniques currently available. We conclude by discussing how some of the current limitations of HSC gene therapy could be overcome by combining novel HSC expansion strategies with gene therapy. PMID:21999373

  2. 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.

  3. Gene therapy for bone healing.

    PubMed

    Evans, Christopher H

    2010-06-23

    Clinical problems in bone healing include large segmental defects, spinal fusions, and the nonunion and delayed union of fractures. 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.

  4. 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

  5. The Pathway From Genes to Gene Therapy in Glaucoma: A Review of Possibilities for Using Genes as Glaucoma Drugs.

    PubMed

    Borrás, Teresa

    2017-01-01

    Treatment of diseases with gene therapy is advancing rapidly. The use of gene therapy has expanded from the original concept of re-placing the mutated gene causing the disease to the use of genes to con-trol nonphysiological levels of expression or to modify pathways known to affect the disease. Genes offer numerous advantages over conventional drugs. They have longer duration of action and are more specific. Genes can be delivered to the target site by naked DNA, cells, nonviral, and viral vectors. The enormous progress of the past decade in molecular bi-ology and delivery systems has provided ways for targeting genes to the intended cell/tissue and safe, long-term vectors. The eye is an ideal organ for gene therapy. It is easily accessible and it is an immune-privileged site. Currently, there are clinical trials for diseases affecting practically every tissue of the eye, including those to restore vision in patients with Leber congenital amaurosis. However, the number of eye trials compared with those for systemic diseases is quite low (1.8%). Nevertheless, judg-ing by the vast amount of ongoing preclinical studies, it is expected that such number will increase considerably in the near future. One area of great need for eye gene therapy is glaucoma, where a long-term gene drug would eliminate daily applications and compliance issues. Here, we review the current state of gene therapy for glaucoma and the possibilities for treating the trabecular meshwork to lower intraocular pressure and the retinal ganglion cells to protect them from neurodegeneration.

  6. Immunomodulatory gene therapy in lysosomal storage disorders

    PubMed Central

    Koeberl, D.D.; Kishnani, P.S.

    2010-01-01

    Significant advances in therapy for lysosomal storage disorders have occurred with an accelerating pace over the past decade. Although enzyme replacement therapy has improved the outcome of lysosomal storage disorders, antibody responses have occurred and sometimes prevented efficacy, especially in cross-reacting immune material negative patients with Pompe disease. Preclinical gene therapy experiments have revealed the relevance of immune responses to long-term efficacy. The choice of regulatory cassette played a critical role in evading humoral and cellular immune responses to gene therapy in knockout mouse models, at least in adult animals. Liver-specific regulatory cassettes prevented antibody formation and enhanced the efficacy of gene therapy. Regulatory T cells prevented transgene directed immune responses, as shown by adoptive transfer of antigen-specific immune tolerance to enzyme therapy. Immunomodulatory gene therapy with a very low vector dose could enhance the efficacy of enzyme therapy in Pompe disease and other lysosomal storage disorders. PMID:19807648

  7. Immunomodulatory gene therapy in lysosomal storage disorders.

    PubMed

    Koeberl, Dwight D; Kishnani, Priya S

    2009-12-01

    Significant advances in therapy for lysosomal storage disorders have occurred with an accelerating pace over the past decade. Although enzyme replacement therapy has improved the outcome of lysosomal storage disorders, antibody responses have occurred and sometimes prevented efficacy, especially in cross-reacting immune material negative patients with Pompe disease. Preclinical gene therapy experiments have revealed the relevance of immune responses to long-term efficacy. The choice of regulatory cassette played a critical role in evading humoral and cellular immune responses to gene therapy in knockout mouse models, at least in adult animals. Liver-specific regulatory cassettes prevented antibody formation and enhanced the efficacy of gene therapy. Regulatory T cells prevented transgene directed immune responses, as shown by adoptive transfer of antigen-specific immune tolerance to enzyme therapy. Immunomodulatory gene therapy with a very low vector dose could enhance the efficacy of enzyme therapy in Pompe disease and other lysosomal storage disorders.

  8. Recent progress in cerebrovascular gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Sato, Naoyuki; Shimamura, Munehisa; Morishita, Ryuichi

    2005-07-01

    Gene therapy provides a potential strategy for the treatment of cardiovascular disease such as peripheral arterial disease, myocardial infarction, restenosis after angioplasty, and vascular bypass graft occlusion. Currently, more than 20 clinical studies of gene therapy for cardiovascular disease are in progress. Although cerebrovascular gene therapy has not proceeded to clinical trials, in contrast to cardiovascular gene therapy, there have been several trials in experimental models. Three major potential targets for cerebrovascular gene therapy are vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), ischemic cerebrovascular disease, and restenosis after angioplasty, for which current therapy is often inadequate. In experimental SAH models, strategies using genes encoding a vasodilating protein or decoy oligodeoxynucleotides have been reported to be effective against vasospasm after SAH. In experimental ischemic cerebrovascular disease, gene therapy using growth factors, such as Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), or Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), has been reported to be effective for neuroprotection and angiogenesis. Nevertheless, cerebrovascular gene therapy for clinical human treatment still has some problems, such as transfection efficiency and the safety of vectors. Development of an effective and safe delivery system for a target gene will make human cerebrovascular gene therapy possible.

  9. Targeted Gene Therapy for Breast Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1998-08-01

    AD AWARD NUMBER DAMD17-97-1-7232 TITLE: Targeted Gene Therapy for Breast Cancer PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Jinha M. Park CONTRACTING ORGANIZATION...FUNDING NUMBERS Targeted Gene Therapy for Breast Cancer DAMD17-97-1-7232 6. AUTHOR(S) Jinha M. Park 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) 8...of surface mAb has been internalized by receptor-mediated endocytosis. These mAbs show promise in the specific delivery of gene therapy vectors

  10. 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

    2016-01-22

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Loss of heterozygosity for the NF2 gene in retinal and optic nerve lesions of patients with neurofibromatosis 2

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Chi-Chao; Koch, Christian A; Kaiser-Kupfer, Muriel I; Parry, Dilys M; Gutmann, David H; Zhuang, Zhengping; Vortmeyer, Alexander O

    2008-01-01

    Individuals affected with the neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) cancer predisposition syndrome develop specific ocular lesions. To determine whether these lesions result from altered NF2 gene expression, microdissection and PCR were used to investigate 40 ocular lesions from seven eyes of four NF2 patients for LOH, with markers that flank the NF2 gene on chromosome 22q. NF2 protein (merlin) expression was also evaluated in these lesions, using immunohistochemistry. Retinal hamartoma was observed in all seven eyes, including one with combined pigment epithelial and retinal hamartoma (CPERH). Retinal tufts were present in four eyes (three patients), retinal dysplasia in two eyes (two patients), optic nerve neurofibroma in one eye, iris naevoid hyperplasia in two eyes (two patients) and pseudophakia in all eyes. Markers were informative in three patients (six eyes from three unrelated families). One patient was non-informative due to prolonged decalcification. All retinal and optic nerve, but not iris lesions, demonstrated consistent LOH for the NF2 gene. Merlin was not expressed in the retina, optic nerve, or iris lesions. These results suggest that inactivation of the NF2 gene is associated with the formation of a variety of retinal and optic nerve lesions in NF2 patients. PMID:12210058

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Gene based therapies for kidney regeneration.

    PubMed

    Janssen, Manoe J; Arcolino, Fanny O; Schoor, Perry; Kok, Robbert Jan; Mastrobattista, Enrico

    2016-11-05

    In this review we provide an overview of the expanding molecular toolbox that is available for gene based therapies and how these therapies can be used for a large variety of kidney diseases. Gene based therapies range from restoring gene function in genetic kidney diseases to steering complex molecular pathways in chronic kidney disorders, and can provide a treatment or cure for diseases that otherwise may not be targeted. This approach involves the delivery of recombinant DNA sequences harboring therapeutic genes to improve cell function and thereby promote kidney regeneration. Depending on the therapy, the recombinant DNA will express a gene that directly plays a role in the function of the cell (gene addition), that regulates the expression of an endogenous gene (gene regulation), or that even changes the DNA sequence of endogenous genes (gene editing). Some interventions involve permanent changes in the genome whereas others are only temporary and leave no trace. Efficient and safe delivery are important steps for all gene based therapies and also depend on the mode of action of the therapeutic gene. Here we provide examples on how the different methods can be used to treat various diseases, which technologies are now emerging (such as gene repair through CRISPR/Cas9) and what the opportunities, perspectives, potential and the limitations of these therapies are for the treatment of kidney diseases.

  16. 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(®).

  17. 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

  18. Towards gene therapy for deafness.

    PubMed

    Di Domenico, Marina; Ricciardi, Carmela; Martone, Tiziana; Mazzarella, Nicoletta; Cassandro, Claudia; Chiarella, Giuseppe; D'Angelo, Luigi; Cassandro, Ettore

    2011-10-01

    Many hearing disorders are associated with the damage or loss of sensory hair cells (HC) which can produce a profound and irreversible deafness. Apoptosis pathway is reported to play an important role leading to rapid expansion of the HC lesion after exposure to intense noise. Furthermore, progress made over the last year in understanding molecular mechanisms involved in the proliferative and regenerative capacity of sensory cells in the mammalian inner ear has raised the possibility that targeted therapies might prevent the loss of these cells and preserve the patient's hearing. A first step towards the successful therapeutic exploitation is a better understanding of the different pathways that control survival and proliferation of sensory cells. In this review, we provide an overview of recent findings concerning the possibility to prevent apoptosis in auditory cells. We also show the current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms involved in the potential regenerative behavior of these cells and the progress of gene therapy to prevent deafness noise-induced.

  19. 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

  20. Channelrhodopsin-2 gene transduced into retinal ganglion cells restores functional vision in genetically blind rats.

    PubMed

    Tomita, Hiroshi; Sugano, Eriko; Isago, Hitomi; Hiroi, Teru; Wang, Zhuo; Ohta, Emi; Tamai, Makoto

    2010-03-01

    To test the hypothesis that transduction of the channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) gene, a microbial-type rhodopsin gene, into retinal ganglion cells of genetically blind rats will restore functional vision, we recorded visually evoked potentials and tested the experimental rats for the presence of optomotor responses. The N-terminal fragment of the ChR2 gene was fused to the fluorescent protein Venus and inserted into an adeno-associated virus to make AAV2-ChR2V. AAV2-ChR2V was injected intravitreally into the eyes of 6-month-old dystrophic RCS (rdy/rdy) rats. Visual function was evaluated six weeks after the injection by recording visually evoked potentials (VEPs) and testing optomotor responses. The expression of ChR2V in the retina was investigated histologically. We found that VEPs could not be recorded from 6-month-old dystrophic RCS rats that had not been injected with AAV2-ChR2V. In contrast, VEPs were elicited from RCS rats six weeks after injection with AAV2-ChR2V. The VEPs were recorded at stimulation rates <20Hz, which was the same as that of normal rats. Optomotor responses were also significantly better after the AAV2-ChR2V injection. Expression of ChR2V was observed mainly in the retinal ganglion cells. These findings demonstrate that visual function can be restored in blind rats by transducing the ChR2V gene into retinal ganglion cells.

  1. The RPGRIP1-deficient dog, a promising canine model for gene therapy

    PubMed Central

    Lhériteau, Elsa; Libeau, Lyse; Stieger, Knut; Deschamps, Jack-Yves; Mendes-Madeira, Alexandra; Provost, Nathalie; Lemoine, Francoise; Mellersh, Cathryn; Ellinwood, N. Matthew; Cherel, Yan; Moullier, Philippe

    2009-01-01

    Purpose To evaluate the RPGRIP1-deficient miniature longhaired dachshund (MLHD) dog as a potential candidate for gene therapy. Methods Six RPGRIP1-deficient MLHD dogs from our dog colony have been observed for two years using a variety of noninvasive procedures. These included bilateral full-field electroretinograms (ERG) to evaluate retinal function, fundus photographs to evaluate retinal vascularization, and optical coherence tomographs (OCT) to evaluate retinal thickness. We also performed histological examination of hematoxylin- and eosin-stained retinal sections as well as sections labeled in situ by the terminal dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) method. Results ERG findings showed that as early as 2 months of age, cone function was lost while rod function was preserved. However, by 9 months of age, both cone and rod functions could not be detected. Functional visual assessment based on the ability to avoid obstacles showed that vision was retained up to the age of 11 months. Both OCT and histopathology studies revealed a progressive thinning of the outer nuclear layer (ONL) over the first 2 years of age. TUNEL labeling identified apoptotic photoreceptor cell death as the cause of this thinning of the ONL. Conclusions A treatment strategy should consist in initiating gene therapy as early as possible after birth to prevent or delay the loss of rod function. In the MLHD, successful subretinal delivery of a therapeutic vector is feasible at 2 months of age and may prevent or delay the loss of rod function. PMID:19223988

  2. 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.

  3. Ipsilateral and Contralateral Retinal Ganglion Cells Express Distinct Genes during Decussation at the Optic Chiasm

    PubMed Central

    Marcucci, Florencia; Cerullo, Isadora

    2016-01-01

    The increasing availability of transcriptomic technologies within the last decade has facilitated high-throughput identification of gene expression differences that define distinct cell types as well as the molecular pathways that drive their specification. The retinal projection neurons, retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), can be categorized into distinct morphological and functional subtypes and by the laterality of their projections. Here, we present a method for purifying the sparse population of ipsilaterally projecting RGCs in mouse retina from their contralaterally projecting counterparts during embryonic development through rapid retrograde labeling followed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Through microarray analysis, we uncovered the distinct molecular signatures that define and distinguish ipsilateral and contralateral RGCs during the critical period of axonal outgrowth and decussation, with more than 300 genes differentially expressed within these two cell populations. Among the differentially expressed genes confirmed through in vivo expression validation, several genes that mark “immaturity” are expressed within postmitotic ipsilateral RGCs. Moreover, at least one complementary pair, Igf1 and Igfbp5, is upregulated in contralateral or ipsilateral RGCs, respectively, and may represent signaling pathways that determine ipsilateral versus contralateral RGC identity. Importantly, the cell cycle regulator cyclin D2 is highly expressed in peripheral ventral retina with a dynamic expression pattern that peaks during the period of ipsilateral RGC production. Thus, the molecular signatures of ipsilateral and contralateral RGCs and the mechanisms that regulate their differentiation are more diverse than previously expected. PMID:27957530

  4. Gene Therapy for Leber's Congenital Amaurosis is Safe and Effective Through 1.5 Years After Vector Administration

    PubMed Central

    Simonelli, Francesca; Maguire, Albert M; Testa, Francesco; Pierce, Eric A; Mingozzi, Federico; Bennicelli, Jeannette L; Rossi, Settimio; Marshall, Kathleen; Banfi, Sandro; Surace, Enrico M; Sun, Junwei; Redmond, T Michael; Zhu, Xiaosong; Shindler, Kenneth S; Ying, Gui-Shuang; Ziviello, Carmela; Acerra, Carmela; Wright, J Fraser; McDonnell, Jennifer Wellman; High, Katherine A; Bennett, Jean; Auricchio, Alberto

    2009-01-01

    The safety and efficacy of gene therapy for inherited retinal diseases is being tested in humans affected with Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA), an autosomal recessive blinding disease. Three independent studies have provided evidence that the subretinal administration of adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors encoding RPE65 in patients affected with LCA2 due to mutations in the RPE65 gene, is safe and, in some cases, results in efficacy. We evaluated the long-term safety and efficacy (global effects on retinal/visual function) resulting from subretinal administration of AAV2-hRPE65v2. Both the safety and the efficacy noted at early timepoints persist through at least 1.5 years after injection in the three LCA2 patients enrolled in the low dose cohort of our trial. A transient rise in neutralizing antibodies to AAV capsid was observed but there was no humoral response to RPE65 protein. The persistence of functional amelioration suggests that AAV-mediated gene transfer to the human retina does not elicit immunological responses which cause significant loss of transduced cells. The persistence of physiologic effect supports the possibility that gene therapy may influence LCA2 disease progression. The safety of the intervention and the stability of the improvement in visual and retinal function in these subjects support the use of AAV-mediated gene augmentation therapy for treatment of inherited retinal diseases. PMID:19953081

  5. Gene therapy for Leber's congenital amaurosis is safe and effective through 1.5 years after vector administration.

    PubMed

    Simonelli, Francesca; Maguire, Albert M; Testa, Francesco; Pierce, Eric A; Mingozzi, Federico; Bennicelli, Jeannette L; Rossi, Settimio; Marshall, Kathleen; Banfi, Sandro; Surace, Enrico M; Sun, Junwei; Redmond, T Michael; Zhu, Xiaosong; Shindler, Kenneth S; Ying, Gui-Shuang; Ziviello, Carmela; Acerra, Carmela; Wright, J Fraser; McDonnell, Jennifer Wellman; High, Katherine A; Bennett, Jean; Auricchio, Alberto

    2010-03-01

    The safety and efficacy of gene therapy for inherited retinal diseases is being tested in humans affected with Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA), an autosomal recessive blinding disease. Three independent studies have provided evidence that the subretinal administration of adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors encoding RPE65 in patients affected with LCA2 due to mutations in the RPE65 gene, is safe and, in some cases, results in efficacy. We evaluated the long-term safety and efficacy (global effects on retinal/visual function) resulting from subretinal administration of AAV2-hRPE65v2. Both the safety and the efficacy noted at early timepoints persist through at least 1.5 years after injection in the three LCA2 patients enrolled in the low dose cohort of our trial. A transient rise in neutralizing antibodies to AAV capsid was observed but there was no humoral response to RPE65 protein. The persistence of functional amelioration suggests that AAV-mediated gene transfer to the human retina does not elicit immunological responses which cause significant loss of transduced cells. The persistence of physiologic effect supports the possibility that gene therapy may influence LCA2 disease progression. The safety of the intervention and the stability of the improvement in visual and retinal function in these subjects support the use of AAV-mediated gene augmentation therapy for treatment of inherited retinal diseases.

  6. Approaches to mitochondrial gene therapy.

    PubMed

    D'Souza, Gerard G M; Weissig, Volkmar

    2004-09-01

    Since their discovery during the end of the 80's the number of diseases found to be associated with defects in the mitochondrial genome has grown significantly. Organs affected by mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) include in decreasing order of vulnerability the brain, skeletal muscle, heart, kidney and liver. Hence neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases represent the two largest groups of mtDNA diseases. Despite major advances in understanding mtDNA defects at the genetic and biochemical level, there is however no satisfactory treatment available to the vast majority of patients. This is largely due to the fact that most of these patients have respiratory chain defects, i.e. defects that involve the final common pathway of oxidative metabolism, making it impossible to bypass the defect by administering alternative metabolic carriers of energy. Conventional biochemical treatment having reached an impasse, the exploration of gene therapeutic approaches for patients with mtDNA defects is warranted. For now mitochondrial gene therapy appears to be only theoretical and speculative. Any possibility for gene replacement is dependent on the development of an efficient mitochondrial transfection vector. In this review we describe the current state of the development of mitochondria-specific DNA delivery systems. We summarize our own efforts in exploring the properties of dequalinium and other similar cationic bolaamphiphiles with delocalized charge centers, for the design of a vector suited for the transport of DNA to mitochondria in living cells. Further, we outline some unique hurdles that need to be overcome if the development of such delivery systems is to progress.

  7. Nuclear receptor NR2E3 gene mutations distort human retinal laminar architecture and cause an unusual degeneration.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Samuel G; Sumaroka, Alexander; Aleman, Tomas S; Cideciyan, Artur V; Schwartz, Sharon B; Roman, Alejandro J; McInnes, Roderick R; Sheffield, Val C; Stone, Edwin M; Swaroop, Anand; Wright, Alan F

    2004-09-01

    Mutations in the nuclear receptor gene, NR2E3, cause a disorder of human retinal photoreceptor development characterized by hyperfunction and excess of the minority S (short wavelength or blue) cone photoreceptor type, but near absence of function of the majority rod receptor. NR2E3 disease can also progress to blindness. How the human retina accommodates mis-specified types and numbers of neurons and advances to retinal degeneration are unknown. We studied the retinal organization in vivo of patients with NR2E3 mutations. Early human NR2E3 disease with S cone hyperfunction showed thickened retinal layers within an otherwise normally structured retina. With visual loss, however, lamination was coarse and there was a strikingly thick and bulging appearance to the retina, localized to an annulus encircling the central fovea. This pattern was not found in other retinal degenerations. The abnormal laminar retinal architecture of early NR2E3 disease may be due in part to larger cells with an S cone phenotype in place of rods that failed to differentiate. The later-stage dysplastic appearance suggests a previously unrecognized proliferative response in human retinal degeneration.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Retinoids for treatment of retinal diseases.

    PubMed

    Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2010-06-01

    Knowledge about retinal photoreceptor signal transduction and the visual cycle required for normal eyesight has increased exponentially over the past decade. Substantial progress in human genetics has facilitated the 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 can now be used to generate 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 the development of improved therapies for millions who are progressing towards blindness or are almost completely robbed of their eyesight.

  12. 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

  13. Engineering Factor Viii for Hemophilia Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Sean A.; Dong, Biao; Firrman, Jenni A.; Moore, Andrea R.; Sang, Nianli; Xiao, Weidong

    2012-01-01

    Current treatment of hemophilia A by intravenous infusion of factor VIII (fVIII) concentrates is very costly and has a potential adverse effect of developing inhibitors. Gene therapy, on the other hand, can potentially overcome these limitations associated with fVIII replacement therapy. Although hemophilia B gene therapy has achieved promising outcomes in human clinical trials, hemophilia A gene therapy lags far behind. Compared to factor IX, fVIII is a large protein which is difficult to express at sustaining therapeutic levels when delivered by either viral or non-viral vectors. To improve fVIII gene delivery, numerous strategies have been exploited to engineer the fVIII molecule and overcome the hurdles preventing long term and high level expression. Here we reviewed these strategies, and discussed their pros and cons in human gene therapy of hemophilia A. PMID:23565342

  14. 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.

  15. High-Throughput Retina-Array for Screening 93 Genes Involved in Inherited Retinal Dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Song, Jin; Smaoui, Nizar; Ayyagari, Radha; Stiles, David; Benhamed, Sonia; MacDonald, Ian M.; Daiger, Stephen P.; Tumminia, Santa J.; Hejtmancik, Fielding

    2011-01-01

    Purpose. Retinal dystrophy (RD) is a broad group of hereditary disorders with heterogeneous genotypes and phenotypes. Current available genetic testing for these diseases is complicated, time consuming, and expensive. This study was conducted to develop and apply a microarray-based, high-throughput resequencing system to detect sequence alterations in genes related to inherited RD. Methods. A customized 300-kb resequencing chip, Retina-Array, was developed to detect sequence alterations of 267,550 bases of both sense and antisense sequence in 1470 exons spanning 93 genes involved in inherited RD. Retina-Array was evaluated in 19 patient samples with inherited RD provided by the eyeGENE repository and four Centre d'Etudes du Polymorphisme Humaine reference samples through a high-throughput experimental approach that included an automated PCR assay setup and quantification, efficient post-quantification data processing, optimized pooling and fragmentation, and standardized chip processing. Results. The performance of the chips demonstrated that the average base pair call rate and accuracy were 93.56% and 99.86%, respectively. In total, 304 candidate variations were identified using a series of customized screening filters. Among 174 selected variations, 123 (70.7%) were further confirmed by dideoxy sequencing. Analysis of patient samples using Retina-Array resulted in the identification of 10 known mutations and 12 novel variations with high probability of deleterious effects. Conclusions. This study suggests that Retina-Array might be a valuable tool for the detection of disease-causing mutations and disease severity modifiers in a single experiment. Retinal-Array may provide a powerful and feasible approach through which to study genetic heterogeneity in retinal diseases. PMID:22025579

  16. Cancer gene therapy targeting cellular apoptosis machinery.

    PubMed

    Jia, Lin-Tao; Chen, Si-Yi; Yang, An-Gang

    2012-11-01

    The unraveling of cellular apoptosis machinery provides novel targets for cancer treatment, and gene therapy targeting this suicidal system has been corroborated to cause inflammation-free autonomous elimination of neoplastic cells. The apoptotic machinery can be targeted by introduction of a gene encoding an inducer, mediator or executioner of apoptotic cell death or by inhibition of anti-apoptotic gene expression. Strategies targeting cancer cells, which are achieved by selective gene delivery, specific gene expression or secretion of target proteins via genetic modification of autologous cells, dictate the outcome of apoptosis-based cancer gene therapy. Despite so far limited clinical success, gene therapy targeting the apoptotic machinery has great potential to benefit patients with threatening malignancies provided the availability of efficient and specific gene delivery and administration systems.

  17. Gene therapy for childhood immunological diseases.

    PubMed

    Kohn, D B

    2008-01-01

    Gene therapy using autologous hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) that are corrected with the normal gene may have a beneficial effect on blood cell production or function, without the immunologic complications of allogeneic HSC transplantation. Childhood immunological diseases are highly favorable candidates for responses to gene therapy using HSC. Hemoglobinopathies, lysosomal and metabolic disorders and defects of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells should also be ameliorated by gene therapy using autologous HSC. At present, gene therapy has been beneficial for patients with XSCID, ADA-deficient SCID and chronic granulomatous disease. The principle that partial marrow conditioning increases engraftment of gene-corrected HSC has been demonstrated. Clinical trials are being developed in Europe and the United States to treat several other genetic blood cell disorders. This progress is tempered by the serious complication observed in XSCID patients developing T lymphoproliferative disease. New methods for gene transfer (lentiviral and foamy viral vectors, semi-viral systems and gene correction) may retain or further increase the efficacy and decrease the risks from gene therapy using HSC. Ultimately, the relative benefits and risks of autologous gene therapy will be weighed against other available options (for example, allogeneic HSCT) to determine the treatment of choice.

  18. Molecular study of the rhodopsin gene in retinitis pigmentosa patients in the Basque Country.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, A I; Arostegui, E; Martin, R; Duran, M; Onaindia, M L; Molina, M; Tejada, M I

    1998-05-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a degenerative disorder affecting the outer segment of the retina and leading to night blindness and progressive visual field loss. The rhodopsin gene encodes a photolabile pigment located in the rod outer segments constituting around 80-90% of its protein content and is the initiation point for the visual cascade upon absorption of a single photon. Seventy-five unrelated, isolated RP families in the Basque Country, with at least one affected member, were diagnosed at our hospital after ophthalmic examination and electroretinogram analysis. The patients received genetic counselling according to their individual case based on their clinical diagnosis. The modes of inheritance found from pedigree studies were the following: 20% (15/75) were classified as autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (ADRP), 17.33% (13/75) were autosomal recessive (ARRP), 2.66% (2/75) were unclassified (NC), and 60% (45/75) were sporadic cases (SCRP). From these families, 75 unrelated and affected index cases together with 22 affected relatives and 42 unaffected relatives were screened for mutations in the rhodopsin gene by GC clamped denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Our results showed that five ADRP, three ARRP, 15 SCRP, and one NC families had alterations in this gene. Only three of these alterations, that is 4% (3/75) (95% CL 0-8), appeared to be responsible for the disease. This represents a lower percentage than the 10% previously reported.

  19. Altered glial gene expression, density, and architecture in the visual cortex upon retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Cornett, Ashley; Sucic, Joseph F; Hillsburg, Dylan; Cyr, Lindsay; Johnson, Catherine; Polanco, Anthony; Figuereo, Joe; Cabine, Kenneth; Russo, Nickole; Sturtevant, Ann; Jarvinen, Michael K

    2011-11-08

    Genes encoding the proteins of cytoskeletal intermediate filaments (IF) are tightly regulated, and they are important for establishing neural connections. However, it remains uncertain to what extent neurological disease alters IF gene expression or impacts cells that express IFs. In this study, we determined the onset of visual deficits in a mouse model of progressive retinal degeneration (Pde6b(-) mice; Pde6b(+) mice have normal vision) by observing murine responses to a visual task throughout development, from postnatal day (PND) 21 to adult (N=174 reliable observations). Using Q-PCR, we evaluated whether expression of the genes encoding two Type III IF proteins, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and vimentin was altered in the visual cortex before, during, and after the onset of visual deficits. Using immunohistochemical techniques, we investigated the impact of vision loss on the density and morphology of astrocytes that expressed GFAP and vimentin in the visual cortex. We found that Pde6b(-) mice displayed 1) evidence of blindness at PND 49, with visual deficits detected at PND 35, 2) reduced GFAP mRNA expression in the visual cortex between PND 28 and PND 49, and 3) an increased ratio of vimentin:GFAP-labeled astrocytes at PND 49 with reduced GFAP cell body area. Together, these findings demonstrate that retinal degeneration modifies cellular and molecular indices of glial plasticity in a visual system with drastically reduced visual input. The functional consequences of these structural changes remain uncertain.

  20. Candidate diseases for prenatal gene therapy.

    PubMed

    David, Anna L; Waddington, Simon N

    2012-01-01

    Prenatal gene therapy aims to deliver genes to cells and tissues early in prenatal life, allowing correction of a genetic defect, before irreparable tissue damage has occurred. In contrast to postnatal gene therapy, prenatal application may target genes to a large population of stem cells, and the smaller fetal size allows a higher vector to target cell ratio to be achieved. Early gestation delivery may allow the development of immune tolerance to the transgenic protein, which would facilitate postnatal repeat vector administration if needed. Moreover, early delivery would avoid anti-vector immune responses which are often acquired in postnatal life. The NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee considered that a candidate disease for prenatal gene therapy should pose serious morbidity and mortality risks to the fetus or neonate, and not have any effective postnatal treatment. Prenatal gene therapy would therefore be appropriate for life-threatening disorders, in which prenatal gene delivery maintains a clear advantage over cell transplantation or postnatal gene therapy. If deemed safer and more efficacious, prenatal gene therapy may be applicable for nonlethal conditions if adult gene transfer is unlikely to be of benefit. Many candidate diseases will be inherited congenital disorders such as thalassaemia or lysosomal storage disorders. However, obstetric conditions such as fetal growth restriction may also be treated using a targeted gene therapy approach. In each disease, the condition must be diagnosed prenatally, either via antenatal screening and prenatal diagnosis, for example, in the case of hemophilias, or by ultrasound assessment of the fetus, for example, congenital diaphragmatic hernia. In this chapter, we describe some examples of the candidate diseases and discuss how a prenatal gene therapy approach might work.

  1. Targeted Gene Therapy for Breast Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-06-01

    or transduced son, WI). A mouse monoclonal anti-human VEGF with 100 multiplicities of infection (MOI) of rAAV-sFlt-l. receptor-1 (FIt-1 receptor...only partial amounts of the cancer patients correlate with advanced and metastatic deficient protein/enzyme for phenotypic correction of disease and...activity of matrix metalloproteinase. Cancer Res 2000;60: 4- sulfatase to the retinal pigment epithelium of feline mucopolysacchar- 5410-3. idosis VI. J Gene Med 2002;4:613-321.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Recent advances in fetal gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Buckley, Suzanne M K; Rahim, Ahad A; Chan, Jerry K Y; David, Anna L; Peebles, Donald M; Coutelle, Charles; Waddingtont, Simon N

    2011-04-01

    Over the first decade of this new millennium gene therapy has demonstrated clear clinical benefits in several diseases for which conventional medicine offers no treatment. Clinical trials of gene therapy for single gene disorders have recruited predominantly young patients since older subjects may have suffered irrevocablepathological changes or may not be available because the disease is lethal relatively early in life. The concept of fetal gene therapy is an extension of this principle in that diseases in which irreversible changes occur at or beforebirth can be prevented by gene supplementation or repair in the fetus or associated maternal tissues. This article ccnsiders the enthusiasm and skepticism held for fetal gene therapy and its potential for clinical application. It coversa spectrum of candidate diseases for fetal gene therapy including Pompe disease, Gaucher disease, thalassemia, congenital protein C deficiency and cystic fibrosis. It outlines successful and not-so-successful examples of fetal gene therapy in animal models. Finally the application and potential of fetal gene transfer as a fundamental research tool for developmental biology and generation of somatic transgenic animals is surveyed.

  5. [Gene therapy of neurological diseases].

    PubMed

    Kahn, A; Haase, G; Akli, S; Guidotti, J E

    1996-01-01

    transgenes transferred through adenoviral vectors, we have constructed vectors with cDNAs or genes for various neutrophic factors: CNTF, NT3, BDNF and GDNF. These vectors were biologically active on target cells, ex vivo and in vivo. In the pmn mouse model of progressive motor neuronal degeneration, some of these vectors, alone or combined, allowed for prolongation of life of homozygous animals by more than two fold, and for decrease in the demyelination of phrenic nerve axons. Finally, we have also constructed an adenoviral vector carrying the alpha-hexosaminidase cDNA, encoding the enzyme subunit deficient in Tay Sachs patients. This vector permitted to normalize ganglioside metabolism in Tay Sachs fibroblasts and is currently tested in knock out mice deficient in hexosaminidase A. In spite of all these encouraging results, we are nevertheless aware that progress in vector design and delivery strategies will be needed before gene therapy can become a realistic therapeutical strategy in humans.

  6. Vectors--shuttle vehicles for gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Wilson, J M

    1997-01-01

    Gene therapy is being considered for the treatment of various inherited and acquired disorders. The basic premise of this new therapeutic modality is manipulation of gene expression towards a therapeutic end. The early development of the field focused on a technique called ex vivo gene therapy in which autologous cells are genetically manipulated in culture prior to transplantation. Recent advances have stimulated the development of in vivo gene therapy approaches based on direct delivery of the therapeutic gene to cells in vivo. The rate-limiting technologies of gene therapy are the gene delivery vehicles, called vectors, used to accomplish gene transfer. The most efficient vectors are based on recombinant versions of viruses with retroviral vectors serving as prototypes. This viral vector system has been exploited in ex vivo approaches of gene therapy in which cultured, dividing cells are transduced with the recombinant virus resulting in integration of the proviral DNA into the chromosomal DNA of the recipient cell. The use of retroviral vectors in gene therapy has been restricted to ex vivo approaches because of difficulties in purifying the virion and the requirement that the target cell is dividing at the time of transduction. More recently, vectors based on adenoviruses have been developed for in vivo gene therapy. These viruses can be grown in large quantities and highly purified. Importantly, they efficiently transduce the recombinant genome into non-dividing cells. Applications include in vivo gene delivery to a variety of targets such as muscle, lung, liver and the central nervous system. Clinical trials of in vivo delivery with adenoviruses have been undertaken for the treatment of cystic fibrosis.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Novel deletions involving the USH2A gene in patients with Usher syndrome and retinitis pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    García-García, Gema; Jaijo, Teresa; Aparisi, Maria J.; Larrieu, Lise; Faugère, Valérie; Blanco-Kelly, Fiona; Ayuso, Carmen; Roux, Anne-Francoise; Millán, José M.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose The aim of the present work was to identify and characterize large rearrangements involving the USH2A gene in patients with Usher syndrome and nonsyndromic retinitis pigmentosa. Methods The multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) technique combined with a customized array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) analysis was applied to 40 unrelated patients previously screened for point mutations in the USH2A gene in which none or only one pathologic mutation was identified. Results We detected six large deletions involving USH2A in six out of the 40 cases studied. Three of the patients were homozygous for the deletion, and the remaining three were compound heterozygous with a previously identified USH2A point mutation. In five of these cases, the patients displayed Usher type 2, and the remaining case displayed nonsyndromic retinitis pigmentosa. The exact breakpoint junctions of the deletions found in USH2A in four of these cases were characterized. Conclusions Our study highlights the need to develop improved efficient strategies of mutation screening based upon next generation sequencing (NGS) that reduce cost, time, and complexity and allow simultaneous identification of all types of disease-causing mutations in diagnostic procedures. PMID:25352746

  11. Retinitis Pigmentosa

    MedlinePlus

    ... Action You are here Home › Retinal Diseases Listen Retinitis Pigmentosa What is retinitis pigmentosa? What are the symptoms? ... is available? What treatment is available? What is retinitis pigmentosa? Retinitis pigmentosa, also known as RP, refers to ...

  12. 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.

  13. In Vivo Noninvasive Imaging for Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    2003-01-01

    Gene therapy is reaching a stage where some clinical benefits have been demonstrated on patients involved in phase I/II clinical trials. However, in many cases, the clinical benefit is hardly measurable and progress in the improvement of gene therapy formulations is hampered by the lack of objective clinical endpoints to measure transgene delivery and to quantitate transgene expression. However, these endpoints rely almost exclusively on the analysis of biopsies by molecular and histopathological methods. These methods provide only a limited picture of the situation. Therefore, there is a need for a technology that would allow precise, spacio-temporal measurement of gene expression on a whole body scale upon administration of the gene delivery vector. In the field of gene therapy, a considerable effort is being invested in the development of noninvasive imaging of gene expression and this review presents the various strategies currently being developed. PMID:12721514

  14. 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.

  15. Biodegradable nanoparticles for gene therapy technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosseinkhani, Hossein; He, Wen-Jie; Chiang, Chiao-Hsi; Hong, Po-Da; Yu, Dah-Shyong; Domb, Abraham J.; Ou, Keng-Liang

    2013-07-01

    Rapid propagations in materials technology together with biology have initiated great hopes in the possibility of treating many diseases by gene therapy technology. Viral and non-viral gene carriers are currently applied for gene delivery. Non-viral technology is safe and effective for the delivery of genetic materials to cells and tissues. Non-viral systems are based on plasmid expression containing a gene encoding a therapeutic protein and synthetic biodegradable nanoparticles as a safe carrier of gene. Biodegradable nanoparticles have shown great interest in drug and gene delivery systems as they are easy to be synthesized and have no side effect in cells and tissues. This review provides a critical view of applications of biodegradable nanoparticles on gene therapy technology to enhance the localization of in vitro and in vivo and improve the function of administered genes.

  16. Transcriptional Profile Analysis of RPGRORF15 Frameshift Mutation Identifies Novel Genes Associated with Retinal Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Genini, Sem; Zangerl, Barbara; Slavik, Julianna; Acland, Gregory M.; Beltran, William A.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose. To identify genes and molecular mechanisms associated with photoreceptor degeneration in a canine model of XLRP caused by an RPGR exon ORF15 microdeletion. Methods. Expression profiles of mutant and normal retinas were compared by using canine retinal custom cDNA microarrays. qRT-PCR, Western blot analysis, and immunohistochemistry (IHC) were applied to selected genes, to confirm and expand the microarray results. Results. At 7 and 16 weeks, respectively, 56 and 18 transcripts were downregulated in the mutant retinas, but none were differentially expressed (DE) at both ages, suggesting the involvement of temporally distinct pathways. Downregulated genes included the known retina-relevant genes PAX6, CHML, and RDH11 at 7 weeks and CRX and SAG at 16 weeks. Genes directly or indirectly active in apoptotic processes were altered at 7 weeks (CAMK2G, NTRK2, PRKCB, RALA, RBBP6, RNF41, SMYD3, SPP1, and TUBB2C) and 16 weeks (SLC25A5 and NKAP). Furthermore, the DE genes at 7 weeks (ELOVL6, GLOD4, NDUFS4, and REEP1) and 16 weeks (SLC25A5 and TARS2) are related to mitochondrial functions. qRT-PCR of 18 genes confirmed the microarray results and showed DE of additional genes not on the array. Only GFAP was DE at 3 weeks of age. Western blot and IHC analyses also confirmed the high reliability of the transcriptomic data. Conclusions. Several DE genes were identified in mutant retinas. At 7 weeks, a combination of nonclassic anti- and proapoptosis genes appear to be involved in photoreceptor degeneration, whereas at both 7 and 16 weeks, the expression of mitochondria-related genes indicates that they may play a relevant role in the disease process. PMID:20574030

  17. Early Gene Expression Changes in the Retinal Ganglion Cell Layer of a Rat Glaucoma Model

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Ying; Johnson, Elaine C.; Cepurna, William O.; Dyck, Jennifer A.; Doser, Tom

    2011-01-01

    Purpose. To identify patterns of early gene expression changes in the retinal ganglion cell layer (GCL) of a rodent model of chronic glaucoma. Methods. Prolonged elevation of intraocular pressure (IOP) was produced in rats by episcleral vein injection of hypertonic saline (N = 30). GCLs isolated by laser capture microdissection were grouped by grading of the nerve injury (<25% axon degeneration for early injury; >25% for advanced injury). Gene expression was determined by cDNA microarray of independent GCL RNA samples. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) was used to further examine the expression of selected genes. Results. By array analysis, 533 GCL genes (225 up, 308 down) were significantly regulated in early injury. Compared to only one major upregulated gene class of metabolism regulation, more were downregulated, including mitochondria, ribosome, proteasome, energy pathways, protein synthesis, protein folding, and synaptic transmission. qPCR confirmed an early upregulation of Atf3. With advanced injury, 1790 GCL genes were significantly regulated (997 up, 793 down). Altered gene categories included upregulated protein synthesis, immune response, and cell apoptosis and downregulated dendrite morphogenesis and axon extension. Of all the early changed genes, 50% were not present in advanced injury. These uniquely affected genes were mainly associated with upregulated transcription regulation and downregulated protein synthesis. Conclusions. Early GCL gene responses to pressure-induced injury are characterized by an upregulation of Atf3 and extensive downregulation in genes associated with cellular metabolism and neuronal functions. Most likely, these changes represent those specific to RGCs and are thus potentially important for enhancing RGC survival in glaucoma. PMID:21051717

  18. Gene and cell therapy for children — New medicines, new challenges?☆

    PubMed Central

    Buckland, Karen F.; Bobby Gaspar, H.

    2014-01-01

    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. 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

  20. Gene Therapy: A Paradigm Shift in Dentistry.

    PubMed

    Siddique, Nida; Raza, Hira; Ahmed, Sehrish; Khurshid, Zohaib; Zafar, Muhammad Sohail

    2016-11-10

    Gene therapy holds a promising future for bridging the gap between the disciplines of medicine and clinical dentistry. The dynamic treatment approaches of gene therapy have been advancing by leaps and bounds. They are transforming the conventional approaches into more precise and preventive ones that may limit the need of using drugs and surgery. The oral cavity is one of the most accessible areas for the clinical applications of gene therapy for various oral tissues. The idea of genetic engineering has become more exciting due to its advantages over other treatment modalities. For instance, the body is neither subjected to an invasive surgery nor deep wounds, nor is it susceptible to systemic effects of drugs. The aim of this article is to review the gene therapy applications in the field of dentistry. In addition, therapeutic benefits in terms of treatment of diseases, minimal invasion and maximum outcomes have been discussed.

  1. Gene Therapy: A Paradigm Shift in Dentistry

    PubMed Central

    Siddique, Nida; Raza, Hira; Ahmed, Sehrish; Khurshid, Zohaib; Zafar, Muhammad Sohail

    2016-01-01

    Gene therapy holds a promising future for bridging the gap between the disciplines of medicine and clinical dentistry. The dynamic treatment approaches of gene therapy have been advancing by leaps and bounds. They are transforming the conventional approaches into more precise and preventive ones that may limit the need of using drugs and surgery. The oral cavity is one of the most accessible areas for the clinical applications of gene therapy for various oral tissues. The idea of genetic engineering has become more exciting due to its advantages over other treatment modalities. For instance, the body is neither subjected to an invasive surgery nor deep wounds, nor is it susceptible to systemic effects of drugs. The aim of this article is to review the gene therapy applications in the field of dentistry. In addition, therapeutic benefits in terms of treatment of diseases, minimal invasion and maximum outcomes have been discussed. PMID:27834914

  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. 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

  4. Cone Structure in Retinal Degeneration Associated with Mutations in the peripherin/RDS Gene

    PubMed Central

    Talcott, Katherine E.; Ratnam, Kavitha; Sundquist, Sanna M.; Lucero, Anya S.; Day, Shelley; Zhang, Yuhua; Roorda, Austin

    2011-01-01

    Purpose. To study cone photoreceptor structure and function associated with mutations in the second intradiscal loop region of peripherin/RDS. Methods. High-resolution macular images were obtained with adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy and spectral domain optical coherence tomography in four patients with peripherin/RDS mutations and 27 age-similar healthy subjects. Measures of retinal structure and fundus autofluorescence (AF) were correlated with visual function, including best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), kinetic and static perimetry, fundus-guided microperimetry, full-field electroretinography (ERG), and multifocal ERG. The coding regions of the peripherin/RDS gene were sequenced in each patient. Results. Heterozygous mutations in peripherin/RDS were predicted to affect protein structure in the second intradiscal domain in each patient (Arg172Trp, Gly208Asp, Pro210Arg and Cys213Tyr). BCVA was at least 20/32 in the study eye of each patient. Diffuse cone-greater-than-rod dysfunction was present in patient 1, while rod-greater-than-cone dysfunction was present in patient 4; macular outer retinal dysfunction was present in all patients. Macular AF was heterogeneous, and the photoreceptor-retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) junction layer showed increased reflectivity at the fovea in all patients except patient 1, who showed cone-rod dystrophy. Cone packing was irregular, and cone spacing was significantly increased (z-scores >2) at most locations throughout the central 4° in each patient. Conclusions. peripherin/RDS mutations produced diffuse AF abnormalities, disruption of the photoreceptor/RPE junction, and increased cone spacing, consistent with cone loss in the macula. The abnormalities observed suggest that the integrity of the second intradiscal domain of peripherin/RDS is critical for normal macular cone structure. PMID:21071739

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-22

    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.

  6. 'RetinoGenetics': a comprehensive mutation database for genes related to inherited retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Ran, Xia; Cai, Wei-Jun; Huang, Xiu-Feng; Liu, Qi; Lu, Fan; Qu, Jia; Wu, Jinyu; Jin, Zi-Bing

    2014-01-01

    Inherited retinal degeneration (IRD), a leading cause of human blindness worldwide, is exceptionally heterogeneous with clinical heterogeneity and genetic variety. During the past decades, tremendous efforts have been made to explore the complex heterogeneity, and massive mutations have been identified in different genes underlying IRD with the significant advancement of sequencing technology. In this study, we developed a comprehensive database, 'RetinoGenetics', which contains informative knowledge about all known IRD-related genes and mutations for IRD. 'RetinoGenetics' currently contains 4270 mutations in 186 genes, with detailed information associated with 164 phenotypes from 934 publications and various types of functional annotations. Then extensive annotations were performed to each gene using various resources, including Gene Ontology, KEGG pathways, protein-protein interaction, mutational annotations and gene-disease network. Furthermore, by using the search functions, convenient browsing ways and intuitive graphical displays, 'RetinoGenetics' could serve as a valuable resource for unveiling the genetic basis of IRD. Taken together, 'RetinoGenetics' is an integrative, informative and updatable resource for IRD-related genetic predispositions. Database URL: http://www.retinogenetics.org/.

  7. Anatomical and Gene Expression Changes in the Retinal Pigmented Epithelium Atrophy 1 (rpea1) Mouse: A Potential Model of Serous Retinal Detachment

    PubMed Central

    Luna, Gabriel; Lewis, Geoffrey P.; Linberg, Kenneth A.; Chang, Bo; Hu, Quiri; Munson, Peter J.; Maminishkis, Arvydas; Miller, Sheldon S.; Fisher, Steven K.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the rpea1 mouse whose retina spontaneously detaches from the underlying RPE as a potential model for studying the cellular effects of serous retinal detachment (SRD). Methods Optical coherence tomography (OCT) was performed immediately prior to euthanasia; retinal tissue was subsequently prepared for Western blotting, microarray analysis, immunocytochemistry, and light and electron microscopy (LM, EM). Results By postnatal day (P) 30, OCT, LM, and EM revealed the presence of small shallow detachments that increased in number and size over time. By P60 in regions of detachment, there was a dramatic loss of PNA binding around cones in the interphotoreceptor matrix and a concomitant increase in labeling of the outer nuclear layer and rod synaptic terminals. Retinal pigment epithelium wholemounts revealed a patchy loss in immunolabeling for both ezrin and aquaporin 1. Anti-ezrin labeling was lost from small regions of the RPE apical surface underlying detachments at P30. Labeling for tight-junction proteins provided a regular array of profiles outlining the periphery of RPE cells in wild-type tissue, however, this pattern was disrupted in the mutant as early as P30. Microarray analysis revealed a broad range of changes in genes involved in metabolism, signaling, cell polarity, and tight-junction organization. Conclusions These data indicate changes in this mutant mouse that may provide clues to the underlying mechanisms of SRD in humans. Importantly, these changes include the production of multiple spontaneous detachments without the presence of a retinal tear or significant degeneration of outer segments, changes in the expression of proteins involved in adhesion and fluid transport, and a disrupted organization of RPE tight junctions that may contribute to the formation of focal detachments. PMID:27603725

  8. 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

  9. Gene therapy for human genetic disease?

    PubMed

    Friedmann, T; Roblin, R

    1972-03-03

    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

  10. 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

  11. Strategies in Gene Therapy for Glioblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Kwiatkowska, Aneta; Nandhu, Mohan S.; Behera, Prajna; Chiocca, E. Antonio; Viapiano, Mariano S.

    2013-01-01

    Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most aggressive form of brain cancer, with a dismal prognosis and extremely low percentage of survivors. Novel therapies are in dire need to improve the clinical management of these tumors and extend patient survival. Genetic therapies for GBM have been postulated and attempted for the past twenty years, with variable degrees of success in pre-clinical models and clinical trials. Here we review the most common approaches to treat GBM by gene therapy, including strategies to deliver tumor-suppressor genes, suicide genes, immunomodulatory cytokines to improve immune response, and conditionally-replicating oncolytic viruses. The review focuses on the strategies used for gene delivery, including the most common and widely used vehicles (i.e., replicating and non-replicating viruses) as well as novel therapeutic approaches such as stem cell-mediated therapy and nanotechnologies used for gene delivery. We present an overview of these strategies, their targets, different advantages, and challenges for success. Finally, we discuss the potential of gene therapy-based strategies to effectively attack such a complex genetic target as GBM, alone or in combination with conventional therapy. PMID:24202446

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Progress in gene therapy for neurological disorders.

    PubMed

    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

    2013-05-01

    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.

  15. Concise Review: Dental Pulp Stem Cells: A Novel Cell Therapy for Retinal and Central Nervous System Repair.

    PubMed

    Mead, Ben; Logan, Ann; Berry, Martin; Leadbeater, Wendy; Scheven, Ben A

    2017-01-01

    Dental pulp stem cells (DPSC) are neural crest-derived ecto-mesenchymal stem cells that can relatively easily and non-invasively be isolated from the dental pulp of extracted postnatal and adult teeth. Accumulating evidence suggests that DPSC have great promise as a cellular therapy for central nervous system (CNS) and retinal injury and disease. The mode of action by which DPSC confer therapeutic benefit may comprise multiple pathways, in particular, paracrine-mediated processes which involve a wide array of secreted trophic factors and is increasingly regarded as the principal predominant mechanism. In this concise review, we present the current evidence for the use of DPSC to repair CNS damage, including recent findings on retinal ganglion cell neuroprotection and regeneration in optic nerve injury and glaucoma. Stem Cells 2017;35:61-67.

  16. Conditional ablation of the choroideremia gene causes age-related changes in mouse retinal pigment epithelium.

    PubMed

    Wavre-Shapton, Silène T; Tolmachova, Tanya; Lopes da Silva, Mafalda; da Silva, Mafalda Lopes; Futter, Clare E; Seabra, Miguel C

    2013-01-01

    The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a pigmented monolayer of cells lying between the photoreceptors and a layer of fenestrated capillaries, the choriocapillaris. Choroideremia (CHM) is an X-linked progressive degeneration of these three layers caused by the loss of function of Rab Escort protein-1 (REP1). REP1 is involved in the prenylation of Rab proteins, key regulators of membrane trafficking. To study the pathological consequences of chronic disruption of membrane traffic in the RPE we used a cell type-specific knock-out mouse model of the disease, where the Chm/Rep1 gene is deleted only in pigmented cells (Chm(Flox), Tyr-Cre+). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to quantitate the melanosome distribution in the RPE and immunofluorescent staining of rhodopsin was used to quantitate phagocytosed rod outer segments in retinal sections. The ultrastructure of the RPE and Bruch's membrane at different ages was characterised by TEM to analyse age-related changes occurring as a result of defects in membrane traffic pathways. Chm/Rep1 gene knockout in RPE cells resulted in reduced numbers of melanosomes in the apical processes and delayed phagosome degradation. In addition, the RPE accumulated pathological changes at 5-6 months of age similar to those observed in 2-year old controls. These included the intracellular accumulation of lipofuscin-containing deposits, disorganised basal infoldings and the extracellular accumulation of basal laminar and basal linear deposits. The phenotype of the Chm(Flox), Tyr-Cre+ mice suggests that loss of the Chm/Rep1 gene causes premature accumulation of features of aging in the RPE. Furthermore, the striking similarities between the present observations and some of the phenotypes reported in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) suggest that membrane traffic defects may contribute to the pathogenesis of AMD.

  17. Gene therapy: a primer for neurosurgeons.

    PubMed

    Chiocca, E Antonio

    2003-08-01

    Gene therapy involves the transfer of genes into cells with therapeutic intent. Although several methods can accomplish this, vectors based on viruses still provide the most efficient approach. For neurosurgical purposes, preclinical and clinical applications in the areas of glioma therapy, spinal neurosurgery, and neuroprotection for treatment of Parkinson's disease and cerebral ischemia are reviewed. In general, therapies applied in the neurosurgical realm have proven relatively safe, despite occasional, well-publicized cases of morbidity and death in non-neurosurgical trials. However, continued clinical and preclinical research in this area is critical, to fully elucidate potential toxicities and to generate truly effective treatments that can be applied in neurological diseases.

  18. ‘RetinoGenetics’: a comprehensive mutation database for genes related to inherited retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ran, Xia; Cai, Wei-Jun; Huang, Xiu-Feng; Liu, Qi; Lu, Fan; Qu, Jia; Wu, Jinyu; Jin, Zi-Bing

    2014-01-01

    Inherited retinal degeneration (IRD), a leading cause of human blindness worldwide, is exceptionally heterogeneous with clinical heterogeneity and genetic variety. During the past decades, tremendous efforts have been made to explore the complex heterogeneity, and massive mutations have been identified in different genes underlying IRD with the significant advancement of sequencing technology. In this study, we developed a comprehensive database, ‘RetinoGenetics’, which contains informative knowledge about all known IRD-related genes and mutations for IRD. ‘RetinoGenetics’ currently contains 4270 mutations in 186 genes, with detailed information associated with 164 phenotypes from 934 publications and various types of functional annotations. Then extensive annotations were performed to each gene using various resources, including Gene Ontology, KEGG pathways, protein–protein interaction, mutational annotations and gene–disease network. Furthermore, by using the search functions, convenient browsing ways and intuitive graphical displays, ‘RetinoGenetics’ could serve as a valuable resource for unveiling the genetic basis of IRD. Taken together, ‘RetinoGenetics’ is an integrative, informative and updatable resource for IRD-related genetic predispositions. Database URL: http://www.retinogenetics.org/. PMID:24939193

  19. Investor Outlook: Focus on Upcoming LCA2 Gene Therapy Phase III Results.

    PubMed

    Schimmer, Joshua; Breazzano, Steven

    2015-09-01

    Investor interest in gene therapy has increased substantially over the past few years, and the next major catalyst for the field is likely to be Spark Therapeutics's phase III trial for 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). Analysis of the approach from the basic genetics, underlying visual mechanisms, clinical data, and commercialization considerations helps frame investor expectations and the potential implications for the broader field.

  20. Gene and Cell Therapy for Heart Failure

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Abstract 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 Ca2+ pump in the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR), SRCa2+-ATPase has been shown to correct deficient Ca2+ 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. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 11, 2025–2042. PMID:19416058

  1. 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.

  2. Gene Therapy for Choroideremia Using an Adeno-Associated Viral (AAV) Vector

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  3. Human gene therapy and slippery slope arguments.

    PubMed Central

    McGleenan, T

    1995-01-01

    Any suggestion of altering the genetic makeup of human beings through gene therapy is quite likely to provoke a response involving some reference to a 'slippery slope'. In this article the author examines the topography of two different types of slippery slope argument, the logical slippery slope and the rhetorical slippery slope argument. The logical form of the argument suggests that if we permit somatic cell gene therapy then we are committed to accepting germ line gene therapy in the future because there is no logically sustainable distinction between them. The rhetorical form posits that allowing somatic cell therapy now will be taking the first step on a slippery slope which will ultimately lead to the type of genocide perpetrated by the Nazis. The author tests the validity of these lines of argument against the facts of human gene therapy and concludes that because of their dependence on probabilities that cannot be empirically proven they should be largely disregarded in the much more important debate on moral line-drawing in gene therapy. PMID:8778459

  4. [Gene therapy--hopes and fears].

    PubMed

    Pietrzyk, J J

    1998-01-01

    Gene therapy assumes the correction of a genetic defect by the delivery of a correct DNA sequence to the target cells. Depending on the target cells two types gene therapy have been defined: somatic and germinal. By July 1998, 351 protocols of somatic therapy were approved by the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee. The majority of protocols focus on cancer therapy and monogenic diseases. By now, still there is more unfulfilled expectation than clinically sound achievements, since no effective prevention or successful treatment for genetic diseases or cancer have been developed. Germline genetic modification is considered as the treatment of choice for such a diseases like retinoblastoma. Tay-Sachs, Lesch-Nyhan and metachromatic leuko-dystrophy. This approach which is still illegal or prohibited by rules in many European countries, is gathering more and more advocates. Once we learn how to control gene expression the perspectives for clinical application of gene therapy might be enormous. The safety of genetic modification of gametes or embryonal stem cells remains to be properly addressed and successfully solved. The ethical issues of germinal gene therapy are still the subject of controversial opinions among the scientists, lawyers and philosophers.

  5. Novel Cell and Gene Therapies for HIV

    PubMed Central

    Hoxie, James A.; June, Carl H.

    2012-01-01

    Highly active antiretroviral therapy dramatically improves survival in HIV-infected patients. However, persistence of HIV in reservoirs has necessitated lifelong treatment that can be complicated by cumulative toxicities, incomplete immune restoration, and the emergence of drug-resistant escape mutants. Cell and gene therapies offer the promise of preventing progressive HIV infection by interfering with HIV replication in the absence of chronic antiviral therapy. Individuals homozygous for a deletion in the CCR5 gene (CCR5Δ32) are largely resistant to infection from R5-topic HIV-1 strains, which are most commonly transmitted. A recent report that an HIV-infected patient with relapsed acute myelogenous leukemia was effectively cured from HIV infection after transplantation of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSC) from a CCR5Δ32 homozygous donor has generated renewed interest in developing treatment strategies that target viral reservoirs and generate HIV resistance in a patient’s own cells. Although the development of cell-based and gene transfer therapies has been slow, progress in a number of areas is evident. Advances in the fields of gene-targeting strategies, T-cell-based approaches, and HSCs have been encouraging, and a series of ongoing and planned trials to establish proof of concept for strategies that could lead to successful cell and gene therapies for HIV are under way. The eventual goal of these studies is to eliminate latent viral reservoirs and the need for lifelong antiretroviral therapy. PMID:23028130

  6. Human cone visual pigment deletions spare sufficient photoreceptors to warrant gene therapy.

    PubMed

    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; Wissinger, Bernd; Jacobson, Samuel G

    2013-12-01

    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.

  7. Alphavirus vectors for cancer gene therapy (review).

    PubMed

    Yamanaka, Ryuya

    2004-04-01

    Alphaviruses have several characteristics that make them attractive as gene therapy vectors such as transient and high-level expression of a heterologous gene. Alphavirus vectors, Semliki Forest virus (SFV), Sindbis virus (SIN) and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEE) have been developed as gene expression vectors. Alphaviruses are positive-strand RNA viruses that can mediate efficient cytoplasmic gene expression in mammalian cells. The alphavirus RNA replication machinery has been engineered for high level heterologous gene expression. Since an RNA virus vector cannot integrate into chromosomal DNA, concerns about cell transformation are reduced. Alphavirus vectors demonstrate promise for the safe tumor-killing and tumor-specific immune responses. Recombinant alphavirus RNA replicons may facilitate gene therapy of cancer.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Why commercialization of gene therapy stalled; examining the life cycles of gene therapy technologies.

    PubMed

    Ledley, F D; McNamee, L M; Uzdil, V; Morgan, I W

    2014-02-01

    This report examines the commercialization of gene therapy in the context of innovation theories that posit a relationship between the maturation of a technology through its life cycle and prospects for successful product development. We show that the field of gene therapy has matured steadily since the 1980s, with the congruent accumulation of >35 000 papers, >16 000 US patents, >1800 clinical trials and >$4.3 billion in capital investment in gene therapy companies. Gene therapy technologies comprise a series of dissimilar approaches for gene delivery, each of which has introduced a distinct product architecture. Using bibliometric methods, we quantify the maturation of each technology through a characteristic life cycle S-curve, from a Nascent stage, through a Growing stage of exponential advance, toward an Established stage and projected limit. Capital investment in gene therapy is shown to have occurred predominantly in Nascent stage technologies and to be negatively correlated with maturity. Gene therapy technologies are now achieving the level of maturity that innovation research and biotechnology experience suggest may be requisite for efficient product development. Asynchrony between the maturation of gene therapy technologies and capital investment in development-focused business models may have stalled the commercialization of gene therapy.

  11. The case for intrauterine gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Mattar, Citra N; Waddington, Simon N; Biswas, Arijit; Davidoff, Andrew M; Choolani, Mahesh; Chan, Jerry K Y; Nathwani, Amit C

    2012-10-01

    Single-gene disorders can cause perinatal mortality or severe permanent morbidity. Intrauterine gene therapy seeks to correct the genetic defect in the early stages of pathogenesis through delivery of a vector system expressing the therapeutic transgene to the fetus. Advantages of intrauterine gene therapy include prevention of irreversible organ damage, potentially inducing central tolerance and wider bio-distribution, including the brain after delivery of vector. Already, proof-of-cure has been demonstrated in knockout animal models for several diseases. Long-term outcomes pertaining to efficacy and durability of transgene expression and safety are under investigation in clinically relevant non-human primate models. Bystander effects in the mother from transplacental vector trafficking require further assessment. In this chapter, we discuss the candidate diseases amenable to intrauterine gene therapy, current state-of-the-art evidence, and potential clinical applications.

  12. Update on gene therapy for immunodeficiencies.

    PubMed

    Kohn, Donald B

    2010-05-01

    Primary immune deficiencies (PID) are due to blood cell defects and can be treated with transplantation of normal hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) from another person (allogeneic). Gene therapy in which a patient's autologous HSC are genetically corrected represents an alternative treatment for patients with PID, which could avoid the immunologic risks of allogeneic HSCT and confer similar benefits. Recent clinical trials using gene therapy have led to immune restoration in patients with X-linked severe combined immune deficiency (XSCID), adenosine deaminase (ADA)-deficient SCID and chronic granulomatous disease (CGD). However, severe complications arose in several of the patients in whom the integrated retroviral vectors led to leukoproliferative disorders. New approaches using safer integrating vectors or direct correction of the defective gene underlying the PID are being developed and may lead to safer and effective gene therapy for PID.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Replacement Gene Therapy with a Human RPGRIP1 Sequence Slows Photoreceptor Degeneration in a Murine Model of Leber Congenital Amaurosis

    PubMed Central

    Pawlyk, Basil S.; Bulgakov, Oleg V.; Liu, Xiaoqing; Xu, Xiaoyun; Adamian, Michael; Sun, Xun; Khani, Shahrokh C.; Berson, Eliot L.; Sandberg, Michael A.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract RPGR-interacting protein-1 (RPGRIP1) is localized in the photoreceptor-connecting cilium, where it anchors the RPGR (retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator) protein, and its function is essential for photoreceptor maintenance. Genetic defect in RPGRIP1 is a known cause of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a severe, early-onset form of retinal degeneration. We evaluated the efficacy of replacement gene therapy in a murine model of LCA carrying a targeted disruption of RPGRIP1. The replacement construct, packaged in an adeno-associated virus serotype 8 (AAV8) vector, used a rhodopsin kinase gene promoter to drive RPGRIP1 expression. Both promoter and transgene were of human origin. After subretinal delivery of the replacement gene in the mutant mice, human RPGRIP1 was expressed specifically in photoreceptors, localized correctly in the connecting cilia, and restored the normal localization of RPGR. Electroretinogram and histological examinations showed better preservation of rod and cone photoreceptor function and improved photoreceptor survival in the treated eyes. This study demonstrates the efficacy of human gene replacement therapy and validates a gene therapy design for future clinical trials in patients afflicted with this condition. Our results also have therapeutic implications for other forms of retinal degenerations attributable to a ciliary defect. PMID:20384479

  16. Molecular imaging and cancer gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Saadatpour, Z; Bjorklund, G; Chirumbolo, S; Alimohammadi, M; Ehsani, H; Ebrahiminejad, H; Pourghadamyari, H; Baghaei, B; Mirzaei, H R; Sahebkar, A; Mirzaei, H; Keshavarzi, M

    2016-11-18

    Gene therapy is known as one of the most advanced approaches for therapeutic prospects ranging from tackling genetic diseases to combating cancer. In this approach, different viral and nonviral vector systems such as retrovirus, lentivirus, plasmid and transposon have been designed and employed. These vector systems are designed to target different therapeutic genes in various tissues and cells such as tumor cells. Therefore, detection of the vectors containing therapeutic genes and monitoring of response to the treatment are the main issues that are commonly faced by researchers. Imaging techniques have been critical in guiding physicians in the more accurate and precise diagnosis and monitoring of cancer patients in different phases of malignancies. Imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) are non-invasive and powerful tools for monitoring of the distribution of transgene expression over time and assessing patients who have received therapeutic genes. Here, we discuss most recent advances in cancer gene therapy and molecular approaches as well as imaging techniques that are utilized to detect cancer gene therapeutics and to monitor the patients' response to these therapies worldwide, particularly in Iranian Academic Medical Centers and Hospitals.Cancer Gene Therapy advance online publication, 18 November 2016; doi:10.1038/cgt.2016.62.

  17. 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.

  18. Refined genetic and physical positioning of the gene for Doyne honeycomb retinal dystrophy (DHRD).

    PubMed

    Kermani, S; Gregory-Evans, K; Tarttelin, E E; Bellingham, J; Plant, C; Bird, A C; Fox, M; Bhattacharya, S S; Gregory-Evans, C Y

    1999-01-01

    Doyne honeycomb retinal dystrophy (DHRD) is a late-onset autosomal dominant disorder that causes degeneration of the retina and can lead to blindness. We have previously assigned DHRD to a 5-cM region of chromosome 2p16 between marker loci D2S2739 and D2S378. Using sequence-tagged sites (STSs), expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and polymorphic markers within the DHRD region, we have identified 18 yeast artificial chromosomes (YACs) encompassing the DHRD locus, spanning approximately 3 Mb. The YAC contig was constructed by STS content mapping of these YACs and incorporates 13 STSs, including four genes and six polymorphic marker loci. We also report the genetic mapping of two families with a dominant drusen phenotype to the DHRD locus, and genetic refinement of the disease locus to a critical interval flanked by microsatellite marker loci D2S2352 and D2S2251, a distance of approximately 700 kb. These studies exclude a number of candidate genes and provide a resource for construction of a transcriptional map of the region, as a prerequisite to identification of the DHRD disease-causing gene and genes for other diseases mapping in the region, such as Malattia leventinese and Carney complex.

  19. Retinal-specific guanylate cyclase gene mutations in Leber's congenital amaurosis.

    PubMed

    Perrault, I; Rozet, J M; Calvas, P; Gerber, S; Camuzat, A; Dollfus, H; Châtelin, S; Souied, E; Ghazi, I; Leowski, C; Bonnemaison, M; Le Paslier, D; Frézal, J; Dufier, J L; Pittler, S; Munnich, A; Kaplan, J

    1996-12-01

    Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA, MIM 204,000), the earliest and most severe form of inherited retinopathy, accounts for at least 5% of all inherited retinal dystrophies. This autosomal recessive condition is usually recognized at birth or during the first months of life in an infant with total blindness or greatly impaired vision, normal fundus and extinguished electroretinogram (ERG). Nystagmus (pendular type) and characteristic eye poking are frequently observed in the first months of life (digito-ocular sign of Franceschetti). Hypermetropia and keratoconus frequently develop in the course of the disease. The observation by Waardenburg of normal children born to affected parents supports the genetic heterogeneity of LCA. Until now, however, little was known about the pathophysiology of the disease, but LCA is usually regarded as the consequence of either impaired development of photoreceptors or extremely early degeneration of cells that have developed normally. We have recently mapped a gene for LCA to chromosome 17p13.1 (LCA1) by homozygosity mapping in consanguineous families of North African origin and provided evidence of genetic heterogeneity in our sample, as LCA1 accounted for 8/15 LCA families in our series. Here, we report two missense mutations (F589S) and two frameshift mutations (nt 460 del C, nt 693 del C) of the retinal guanylate cyclase (RETGC, GDB symbol GUC2D) gene in four unrelated LCA1 probands of North African ancestry and ascribe LCA1 to an impaired production of cGMP in the retina, with permanent closure of cGMP-gated cation channels.

  20. 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.

  1. Fetal gene therapy: opportunities and risks.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Anna M; Schoeberlein, Andreina; Surbek, Daniel

    2009-08-10

    Advances in human prenatal medicine and molecular genetics have allowed the diagnosis of many genetic diseases early in gestation. In-utero transplantation of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) has been successfully used as a therapy in different animal models and recently also in human fetuses. Unfortunately, clinical success of this novel treatment is limited by the lack of donor cell engraftment in non-immunocompromised hosts and is thus restricted to diseases where the fetus is affected by severe immunodeficiency. Gene therapy using genetically modified autologous HSC circumvents allogeneic HLA barriers and constitutes one of the most promising new approaches to correct genetic deficits in the fetus. Recent developments of strategies to overcome failure of efficient transduction of quiescent hematopoietic cells include the use of new vector constructs and transduction protocols. These improvements open new perspectives for gene therapy in general and for prenatal gene transfer in particular. The fetus may be especially susceptible for successful gene therapy due to the immunologic naiveté of the immature hematopoietic system during gestation, precluding an immune reaction towards the transgene. Ethical issues, in particular those regarding treatment safety, must be taken into account before clinical trials with fetal gene therapy in human pregnancies can be initiated.

  2. 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.

  3. AAV Mediated GDNF Secretion From Retinal Glia Slows Down Retinal Degeneration in a Rat Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Dalkara, Deniz; Kolstad, Kathleen D; Guerin, Karen I; Hoffmann, Natalie V; Visel, Meike; Klimczak, Ryan R; Schaffer, David V; Flannery, John G

    2011-01-01

    Mutations in over 80 identified genes can induce apoptosis in photoreceptors, resulting in blindness with a prevalence of 1 in 3,000 individuals. This broad genetic heterogeneity of disease impacting a wide range of photoreceptor functions renders the design of gene-specific therapies for photoreceptor degeneration impractical and necessitates the development of mutation-independent treatments to slow photoreceptor cell death. One promising strategy for photoreceptor neuroprotection is neurotrophin secretion from Müller cells, the primary retinal glia. Müller glia are excellent targets for secreting neurotrophins as they span the entire tissue, ensheath all neuronal populations, are numerous, and persist through retinal degeneration. We previously engineered an adeno-associated virus (AAV) variant (ShH10) capable of efficient and selective glial cell transduction through intravitreal injection. ShH10-mediated glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) secretion from glia, generates high GDNF levels in treated retinas, leading to sustained functional rescue for over 5 months. This GDNF secretion from glia following intravitreal vector administration is a safe and effective means to slow the progression of retinal degeneration in a rat model of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and shows significant promise as a gene therapy to treat human retinal degenerations. These findings also demonstrate for the first time that glia-mediated secretion of neurotrophins is a promising treatment that may be applicable to other neurodegenerative conditions. PMID:21522134

  4. 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.

  5. 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.).

  6. Gene Therapy for Fracture Repair

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-12-01

    chemotactic factor for human mast cells. J. Immunol. 153: 3717-3723. 36 41. Ono I, Yamashita T, Hida T, Jin HY, Ito Y, Hamada H, Akasaka Y, Ishii T...1994;153:3717–23. [37] Ono I, Yamashita T, Hida T, Jin HY, Ito Y, Hamada H, et al. Local administration of hepatocyte growth factor gene enhances the

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Haemophilia gene therapy: Progress and challenges.

    PubMed

    Lheriteau, Elsa; Davidoff, Andrew M; Nathwani, Amit C

    2015-09-01

    Current treatment for haemophilia entails life-long intravenous infusion of clotting factor concentrates. This is highly effective at controlling and preventing haemorrhage and its associated complications. Clotting factor replacement therapy is, however, demanding, exceedingly expensive and not curative. In contrast, gene therapy for haemophilia offers the potential of a cure as a result of continuous endogenous expression of biologically active factor VIII (FVIII) or factor IX (FIX) proteins following stable transfer of a normal copy of the respective gene. Our group has recently established the first clear proof-of-concept for a gene therapy approach to the treatment of severe haemophilia B. This entails a single intravenous administration of an adeno-associated virus vector encoding an optimised FIX gene, resulting in a long-term (>4 years) dose dependent increase in plasma FIX levels at therapeutic levels without persistent or late toxicity. Gene therapy therefore has the potential to change the treatment paradigm for haemophilia but several hurdles need to be overcome before this can happen. This review provides a summary of the progress made to date and discusses the remaining changes.

  10. 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.

  11. Effect of initial retinal thickness on outcome of intravitreal bevacizumab therapy for diabetic macular edema

    PubMed Central

    Mushtaq, Bushra; Crosby, Niall J; Dimopoulos, Antonios T; Lip, Peck Lin; Stavrou, Panagiota; El-Sherbiny, Samer; Yang, Yit

    2014-01-01

    Purpose To investigate whether eyes with diabetic macular edema (DME) and central retinal thickness (CRT) >400 μm had better visual and anatomical outcomes compared to eyes with a CRT <400 μm when treated with intravitreal bevacizumab in a real-world setting. Patients and methods Patients undergoing intravitreal bevacizumab therapy for DME were identified from the departmental database of a tertiary referral unit. Following the initial injection, a retreatment was performed for any persistent macular edema, unless there had been no previous response to repeated doses. Recorded parameters included visual acuity, CRT on optical coherence tomography (spectral domain optical coherence tomography [SD-OCT]), and SD-OCT characteristics. Comparisons were made between data at baseline and 12 months after the first injection, and differences were tested for statistical significance using the Student’s t-test. Results In all, 175 eyes of 142 patients were analyzed. Patients in group 2 (CRT >400 μm) had significantly more injections than group 1 (CRT <400 μm) (4.0 versus 3.3; P=0.003). Both groups had similar numbers of eyes with preexisting epiretinal membrane and/or vitreomacular traction at baseline. The reduction in CRT was significantly greater in group 2 when compared to group 1 (P<0.0001). In terms of visual gain between baseline and month 12, each gained significantly by a mean of 0.12 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution units (P=0.0001), but there was no difference between groups 1 and 2 (P=0.99). Conclusion These results do not support a 400 μm baseline CRT cut-off for treating DME with bevacizumab, in contrast to published data on ranibizumab. Our results also indicate that patients with a thicker CRT require more bevacizumab injections, making treatment less cost-effective for these patients. Our results could be used by practitioners to support the use of bevacizumab in DME without applying a CRT cut-off. PMID:24812486

  12. Genome editing for human gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Meissner, Torsten B; Mandal, Pankaj K; Ferreira, Leonardo M R; Rossi, Derrick J; Cowan, Chad A

    2014-01-01

    The rapid advancement of genome-editing techniques holds much promise for the field of human gene therapy. From bacteria to model organisms and human cells, genome editing tools such as zinc-finger nucleases (ZNFs), TALENs, and CRISPR/Cas9 have been successfully used to manipulate the respective genomes with unprecedented precision. With regard to human gene therapy, it is of great interest to test the feasibility of genome editing in primary human hematopoietic cells that could potentially be used to treat a variety of human genetic disorders such as hemoglobinopathies, primary immunodeficiencies, and cancer. In this chapter, we explore the use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system for the efficient ablation of genes in two clinically relevant primary human cell types, CD4+ T cells and CD34+ hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. By using two guide RNAs directed at a single locus, we achieve highly efficient and predictable deletions that ablate gene function. The use of a Cas9-2A-GFP fusion protein allows FACS-based enrichment of the transfected cells. The ease of designing, constructing, and testing guide RNAs makes this dual guide strategy an attractive approach for the efficient deletion of clinically relevant genes in primary human hematopoietic stem and effector cells and enables the use of CRISPR/Cas9 for gene therapy.

  13. Renal diseases as targets of gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Brett; Giannoukakis, Nick; Trucco, Massimo

    2008-01-01

    A number of renal pathologies exist that have seen little or no improvement in treatment methods over the past 20 years. These pathologies include acute and chronic kidney diseases as well as posttransplant kidney survival and host rejection. A novel approach to treatment methodology may provide new insight to further progress our understanding of the disease and overall patient outcome. Recent advances in human genomics and gene delivery systems have opened the door to possible cures through the direct modulation of cellular genes. These techniques of gene therapy have not been extensively applied to renal pathologies, but clinical trials on other organ systems and kidney research in animal models hold promise. Techniques have employed viral and nonviral vectors to deliver gene modulating compounds directly into the cell. These vectors have the capability to replace defective alleles, express novel genes, or suppress the expression of pathogenic genes in a wide variety of kidney cell types. Focus has also been placed on ex vivo modification of kidney tissue to promote allograft survival and limit the resulting immune response to the transplanted organ. This could prove a valuable alternative to current immunosuppressive drugs and their deleterious effects on patients. While continued research and clinical trials are needed to identify a robust system of gene delivery, gene therapy techniques have great potential to treat kidney disease at the cellular level and improve patient quality of life.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Master regulators in development: Views from the Drosophila retinal determination and mammalian pluripotency gene networks.

    PubMed

    Davis, Trevor L; Rebay, Ilaria

    2017-01-15

    Among the mechanisms that steer cells to their correct fate during development, master regulatory networks are unique in their sufficiency to trigger a developmental program outside of its normal context. In this review we discuss the key features that underlie master regulatory potency during normal and ectopic development, focusing on two examples, the retinal determination gene network (RDGN) that directs eye development in the fruit fly and the pluripotency gene network (PGN) that maintains cell fate competency in the early mammalian embryo. In addition to the hierarchical transcriptional activation, extensive positive transcriptional feedback, and cooperative protein-protein interactions that enable master regulators to override competing cellular programs, recent evidence suggests that network topology must also be dynamic, with extensive rewiring of the interactions and feedback loops required to navigate the correct sequence of developmental transitions to reach a final fate. By synthesizing the in vivo evidence provided by the RDGN with the extensive mechanistic insight gleaned from the PGN, we highlight the unique regulatory capabilities that continual reorganization into new hierarchies confers on master control networks. We suggest that deeper understanding of such dynamics should be a priority, as accurate spatiotemporal remodeling of network topology will undoubtedly be essential for successful stem cell based therapeutic efforts.

  17. Gene expression analysis of zebrafish melanocytes, iridophores, and retinal pigmented epithelium reveals indicators of biological function and developmental origin.

    PubMed

    Higdon, Charles W; Mitra, Robi D; Johnson, Stephen L

    2013-01-01

    In order to facilitate understanding of pigment cell biology, we developed a method to concomitantly purify melanocytes, iridophores, and retinal pigmented epithelium from zebrafish, and analyzed their transcriptomes. Comparing expression data from these cell types and whole embryos allowed us to reveal gene expression co-enrichment in melanocytes and retinal pigmented epithelium, as well as in melanocytes and iridophores. We found 214 genes co-enriched in melanocytes and retinal pigmented epithelium, indicating the shared functions of melanin-producing cells. We found 62 genes significantly co-enriched in melanocytes and iridophores, illustrative of their shared developmental origins from the neural crest. This is also the first analysis of the iridophore transcriptome. Gene expression analysis for iridophores revealed extensive enrichment of specific enzymes to coordinate production of their guanine-based reflective pigment. We speculate the coordinated upregulation of specific enzymes from several metabolic pathways recycles the rate-limiting substrate for purine synthesis, phosphoribosyl pyrophosphate, thus constituting a guanine cycle. The purification procedure and expression analysis described here, along with the accompanying transcriptome-wide expression data, provide the first mRNA sequencing data for multiple purified zebrafish pigment cell types, and will be a useful resource for further studies of pigment cell biology.

  18. Gene repair and transposon-mediated gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Paul D; Augustin, Lance B; Kren, Betsy T; Steer, Clifford J

    2002-01-01

    The main strategy of gene therapy has traditionally been focused on gene augmentation. This approach typically involves the introduction of an expression system designed to express a specific protein in the transfected cell. Both the basic and clinical sciences have generated enough information to suggest that gene therapy would eventually alter the fundamental practice of modern medicine. However, despite progress in the field, widespread clinical applications and success have not been achieved. The myriad deficiencies associated with gene augmentation have resulted in the development of alternative approaches to treat inherited and acquired genetic disorders. One, derived primarily from the pioneering work of homologous recombination, is gene repair. Simply stated, the process involves targeting the mutation in situ for gene correction and a return to normal gene function. Site-specific genetic repair has many advantages over augmentation although it too is associated with significant limitations. This review outlines the advantages and disadvantages of gene correction. In particular, we discuss technologies based on chimeric RNA/DNA oligonucleotides, single-stranded and triplex-forming oligonucleotides, and small fragment homologous replacement. While each of these approaches is different, they all share a number of common characteristics, including the need for efficient delivery of nucleic acids to the nucleus. In addition, we review the potential application of a novel and exciting nonviral gene augmentation strategy--the Sleeping Beauty transposon system.

  19. Clinical adenoviral gene therapy for prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Schenk, Ellen; Essand, Magnus; Bangma, Chris H; Barber, Chris; Behr, Jean-Paul; Briggs, Simon; Carlisle, Robert; Cheng, Wing-Shing; Danielsson, Angelika; Dautzenberg, Iris J C; Dzojic, Helena; Erbacher, Patrick; Fisher, Kerry; Frazier, April; Georgopoulos, Lindsay J; Hoeben, Rob; Kochanek, Stefan; Koppers-Lalic, Daniela; Kraaij, Robert; Kreppel, Florian; Lindholm, Leif; Magnusson, Maria; Maitland, Norman; Neuberg, Patrick; Nilsson, Berith; Ogris, Manfred; Remy, Jean-Serge; Scaife, Michelle; Schooten, Erik; Seymour, Len; Totterman, Thomas; Uil, Taco G; Ulbrich, Karel; Veldhoven-Zweistra, Joke L M; de Vrij, Jeroen; van Weerden, Wytske; Wagner, Ernst; Willemsen, Ralph

    2010-07-01

    Prostate cancer is at present the most common malignancy in men in the Western world. When localized to the prostate, this disease can be treated by curative therapy such as surgery and radiotherapy. However, a substantial number of patients experience a recurrence, resulting in spreading of tumor cells to other parts of the body. In this advanced stage of the disease only palliative treatment is available. Therefore, there is a clear clinical need for new treatment modalities that can, on the one hand, enhance the cure rate of primary therapy for localized prostate cancer and, on the other hand, improve the treatment of metastasized disease. Gene therapy is now being explored in the clinic as a treatment option for the various stages of prostate cancer. Current clinical experiences are based predominantly on trials with adenoviral vectors. As the first of a trilogy of reviews on the state of the art and future prospects of gene therapy in prostate cancer, this review focuses on the clinical experiences and progress of adenovirus-mediated gene therapy for this disease.

  20. Gene Therapy for Fracture Repair

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-12-01

    relative transgene expression efficiencies for the MLV-based and lentiviral-based vectors, the Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein (EGFP) was used as...for both Cy3 and Cy5 2,-15i Hybridized to to Aigilent Rat -s 2-- Gene Chip - iGnTrr. . tea 2 ug universal RNAw silx sl59 (?es) Cy310-0 (control) 1...fractures were also examined at sacrifice for evidence of fibrosis due to irritation or migration of the stabilizing pin. None was observed and the fracture

  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. Gene Therapy of Human Breast Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1996-10-01

    anticoagulation are ineligible. Study Design. Patients will undergo surgical removal of metastatic disease under local anesthesia in order to provide...tolerate this treatment . Gene Therapy of Human Breast Cancer - Appendix F 1 1 . Patients who require anticoagulation are not eligible. 12 . There i...pregnancy, or lactation, or any significant uncontrolled medical or pyschiatric illness. Patients wh� require corticosteroids or anticoagulation are

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Gene therapy and targeted toxins for glioma.

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

    The most common primary brain tumor in adults is glioblastoma. These tumors are highly invasive and aggressive with a mean survival time of 15-18 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.

  6. Aptamer-mediated cancer gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Dongxi; Shigdar, Sarah; Qiao, Greg; Zhou, Shu-Feng; Li, Yong; Wei, Ming Q; Qiao, Liang; Shamaileh, Hadi Al; Zhu, Yimin; Zheng, Conglong; Pu, Chunwen; Duan, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Cancer as a genetic disorder is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Conventional anticancer options such as chemo- and/or radio-therapy have their own drawbacks and could not provide a cure in most cases at present. More effective therapeutic strategies with less side effects are urgently needed. Aptamers, also known as chemical antibodies, are single strand DNA or RNA molecules that can bind to their target molecules with high affinity and specificity. Such site-specific binding ability of aptamers facilitates the delivery and interaction of exogenous nucleic acids with diseased genes. Thus, aptamer-guided gene therapy has emerged as a promising anticancer strategy in addition to the classic treatment regimen. Aptamers can directly deliver anti-cancer nucleic acids, e.g. small interfering RNA, micro RNA, antimicroRNA and small hairpin RNA, to cancer cells or function as a targeting ligand to guide nanoparticles containing therapeutic nucleic acids. This review focuses on recent progress in aptamer-mediated gene therapy for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and other types of cancers, shedding light on the potential of this novel approach of targeted cancer gene therapy.

  7. 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

  8. Gene Insertion Into Genomic Safe Harbors for Human Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Papapetrou, Eirini P; Schambach, Axel

    2016-01-01

    Genomic safe harbors (GSHs) are sites in the genome able to accommodate the integration of new genetic material in a manner that ensures that the newly inserted genetic elements: (i) function predictably and (ii) do not cause alterations of the host genome posing a risk to the host cell or organism. GSHs are thus ideal sites for transgene insertion whose use can empower functional genetics studies in basic research and therapeutic applications in human gene therapy. Currently, no fully validated GSHs exist in the human genome. Here, we review our formerly proposed GSH criteria and discuss additional considerations on extending these criteria, on strategies for the identification and validation of GSHs, as well as future prospects on GSH targeting for therapeutic applications. In view of recent advances in genome biology, gene targeting technologies, and regenerative medicine, gene insertion into GSHs can potentially catalyze nearly all applications in human gene therapy. PMID:26867951

  9. Challenges in neuroprotective nanomedicine development: progress towards noninvasive gene therapy of glaucoma.

    PubMed

    Alqawlaq, Samih; Huzil, J Torin; Ivanova, Marina V; Foldvari, Marianna

    2012-07-01

    Over the past decade the application of gene therapy of retinal diseases such as glaucoma has produced promising results. However, optic nerve regeneration and restoration of vision in patients with glaucoma is still far from reality. Neuroprotective approaches in the form of gene therapy may provide significant advantages, but are still limited by many factors both at the organ and cellular levels. In general, gene delivery systems for eye diseases range from simple eye drops and ointments to more advanced bio- and nanotechnology-based systems such as muco-adhesive systems, polymers, liposomes and ocular inserts. Most of these technologies were developed for front-of-the-eye ophthalmic therapies and are not applicable as back-of-the-eye delivery systems. Currently, only the invasive intravitreal injections are capable of successfully delivering genes to the retina. Here we review the challenges and possible strategies for the noninvasive gene therapy of glaucoma including the barriers in the eye and in neural cells, and present a cross-sectional view of gene delivery as it pertains to the prevention and treatment of glaucoma.

  10. Growth factor gene therapy for Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

    Tuszynski, Mark H; U, Hoi Sang; Alksne, John; Bakay, Roy A; Pay, Mary Margaret; Merrill, David; Thal, Leon J

    2002-11-15

    The capacity to prevent neuronal degeneration and death during the course of progressive neurological disorders such as Alzheimer disease (AD) would represent a significant advance in therapy. Nervous system growth factors are families of naturally produced proteins that, in animal models, exhibit extensive potency in preventing neuronal death due to a variety of causes, reversing age-related atrophy of neurons, and ameliorating functional deficits. The main challenge in translating growth factor therapy to the clinic has been delivery of growth factors to the brain in sufficient concentrations to influence neuronal function. One means of achieving growth factor delivery to the central nervous system in a highly targeted, effective manner may be gene therapy. In this article the authors summarize the development and implementation of nerve growth factor gene delivery as a potential means of reducing cell loss in AD.

  11. Optimizing ribozymes for somatic cell gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Branch, A D; Klotman, P E

    1998-01-01

    Therapeutic ribozymes are created through a multistep process that requires trial and error. There are few established rules governing ribozyme design, but guidelines are emerging. It is not yet known whether hammerheads and hairpins, the two ribozymes most widely studied as potential gene therapy agents, have the inherent capability to ablate single genes. Their capacity for specificity and selectivity remains to be explored through rigorous experimentation. These experiments require a battery of control molecules, the characteristics of which are outlined here. Methods for completing the steps in the ribozyme development process, from the selection of a target gene to the quantitation of RNA levels, are also presented and discussed.

  12. Gene therapy used for tissue engineering applications.

    PubMed

    Heyde, Mieke; Partridge, Kris A; Oreffo, Richard O C; Howdle, Steven M; Shakesheff, Kevin M; Garnett, Martin C

    2007-03-01

    This review highlights the advances at the interface between tissue engineering and gene therapy. There are a large number of reports on gene therapy in tissue engineering, and these cover a huge range of different engineered tissues, different vectors, scaffolds and methodology. The review considers separately in-vitro and in-vivo gene transfer methods. The in-vivo gene transfer method is described first, using either viral or non-viral vectors to repair various tissues with and without the use of scaffolds. The use of a scaffold can overcome some of the challenges associated with delivery by direct injection. The ex-vivo method is described in the second half of the review. Attempts have been made to use this therapy for bone, cartilage, wound, urothelial, nerve tissue regeneration and for treating diabetes using viral or non-viral vectors. Again porous polymers can be used as scaffolds for cell transplantation. There are as yet few comparisons between these many different variables to show which is the best for any particular application. With few exceptions, all of the results were positive in showing some gene expression and some consequent effect on tissue growth and remodelling. Some of the principal advantages and disadvantages of various methods are discussed.

  13. Cardiac gene therapy: optimization of gene delivery techniques in vivo.

    PubMed

    Katz, Michael G; Swain, JaBaris D; White, Jennifer D; Low, David; Stedman, Hansell; Bridges, Charles R

    2010-04-01

    Vector-mediated cardiac gene therapy holds tremendous promise as a translatable platform technology for treating many cardiovascular diseases. The ideal technique is one that is efficient and practical, allowing for global cardiac gene expression, while minimizing collateral expression in other organs. Here we survey the available in vivo vector-mediated cardiac gene delivery methods--including transcutaneous, intravascular, intramuscular, and cardiopulmonary bypass techniques--with consideration of the relative merits and deficiencies of each. Review of available techniques suggests that an optimal method for vector-mediated gene delivery to the large animal myocardium would ideally employ retrograde and/or anterograde transcoronary gene delivery,extended vector residence time in the coronary circulation, an increased myocardial transcapillary gradient using physical methods, increased endothelial permeability with pharmacological agents, minimal collateral gene expression by isolation of the cardiac circulation from the systemic, and have low immunogenicity.

  14. The sensitivity of light-evoked responses of retinal ganglion cells is decreased in nitric oxide synthase gene knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guo-Yong; van der List, Deborah A; Nemargut, Joseph P; Coombs, Julie L; Chalupa, Leo M

    2007-11-30

    We have shown previously that increasing the production of nitric oxide (NO) results in a dampening of visual responses of retinal ganglion cells (G. Y. Wang, L. C. Liets, & L. M. Chalupa, 2003). To gain further insights into the role of NO in retinal function, we made whole-cell patch clamp recordings from ganglion cells of neural type nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) gene knockout mice. Here we show that in the dark-adapted state, the sensitivity of retinal ganglion cell to light stimulation is decreased in nNOS knockout animals. The lowest light intensities required to evoke optimal responses and the average intensities that evoked half-maximal responses were significantly higher in nNOS knockouts than in normal mice. Retinal histology and other features of light-evoked responses of ganglion cells in nNOS mice appeared to be indistinguishable from those of normal mice. Collectively, these results, in conjunction with our previous work, provide evidence that increasing levels of NO dampen visual responses of ganglion cells, while a lack of nNOS decreases the sensitivity of these neurons to light. Thus, NO levels in the retina are capable of modulating the information that ganglion cells convey to the visual centers of the brain.

  15. Transcriptional Targeting in Cancer Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    2003-01-01

    Cancer gene therapy has been one of the most exciting areas of therapeutic research in the past decade. In this review, we discuss strategies to restrict transcription of transgenes to tumour cells. A range of promoters which are tissue-specific, tumour-specific, or inducible by exogenous agents are presented. Transcriptional targeting should prevent normal tissue toxicities associated with other cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy. In addition, the specificity of these strategies should provide improved targeting of metastatic tumours following systemic gene delivery. Rapid progress in the ability to specifically control transgenes will allow systemic gene delivery for cancer therapy to become a real possibility in the near future. PMID:12721516

  16. Treating Immunodeficiency through HSC Gene Therapy.

    PubMed

    Booth, Claire; Gaspar, H Bobby; Thrasher, Adrian J

    2016-04-01

    Haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) gene therapy has been successfully employed as a therapeutic option to treat specific inherited immune deficiencies, including severe combined immune deficiencies (SCID) over the past two decades. Initial clinical trials using first-generation gamma-retroviral vectors to transfer corrective DNA demonstrated clinical benefit for patients, but were associated with leukemogenesis in a number of cases. Safer vectors have since been developed, affording comparable efficacy with an improved biosafety profile. These vectors are now in Phase I/II clinical trials for a number of immune disorders with more preclinical studies underway. Targeted gene editing allowing precise DNA correction via platforms such as ZFNs, TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9 may now offer promising strategies to improve the safety and efficacy of gene therapy in the future.

  17. Evaluation of autosomal dominant retinal dystrophy genes in an unaffected cohort suggests rare or private missense variants may often be benign

    PubMed Central

    Strom, Samuel P.

    2013-01-01

    Background Many genes have been reported as harboring autosomal dominant mutations causing retinal dystrophy. As newly available gene panel sequencing and whole exome sequencing will open these genes up to greater scrutiny, we assess the rate of rare coding variation in these genes among unaffected individuals to provide context for variants that will be discovered when clinical subjects are sequenced. Methods Publicly available data from the Exome Variant Project were analyzed, focusing on 36 genes known to harbor mutations causing autosomal dominant macular dystrophy. Results Rates of rare (minor allele frequency ≤0.1%) and private missense variants within autosomal dominant retinal dystrophy genes were found to occur at a high frequency in unaffected individuals, while nonsense variants were not. Conclusions We conclude that rare missense variations in most of these genes identified in individuals with retinal dystrophy cannot be confidently classified as disease-causing in the absence of additional information such as linkage or functional validation. PMID:23687434

  18. Review: Retinal degeneration: Focus on the unfolded protein response

    PubMed Central

    Gorbatyuk, Oleg

    2013-01-01

    Recently published literature has provided evidence that the unfolded protein response (UPR) is involved in the development of retinal degeneration. The scope of these studies encompassed diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity, glaucoma, retinal detachment, light-induced retinal degeneration, age-related macular degeneration, and inherited retinal degeneration. Subsequent studies investigating the role of individual UPR markers in retinal pathogenesis and examining the therapeutic potential of reprogramming the UPR as a method for modulating the rate of retinal degeneration have been initiated. Manipulation of UPR markers has been made possible by the use of knockout mice, pharmacological agents, and viral vector-mediated augmentation of gene expression. Future research will aim at identifying specific inhibitors and/or inducers of UPR regulatory markers as well as expand the list of UPR-related animal models. Additionally, adeno-associated virus-mediated gene delivery is a safe and effective method for modulating gene expression, and thus is a useful research tool for manipulating individual UPR markers in affected retinas and a promising delivery vector for gene therapy in retinal degenerative disorders. PMID:24068865

  19. Gene Therapy: Implications for Craniofacial Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Scheller, Erica L.; Villa-Diaz, Luis G; Krebsbach, Paul H.

    2011-01-01

    Gene therapy in the craniofacial region provides a unique tool for delivery of DNA to coordinate protein production in both time and space. The drive to bring this technology to the clinic is derived from the fact that over 85% of the global population may at one time require repair or replacement of a craniofacial structure. This need ranges from mild tooth decay and tooth loss to temporomandibular joint disorders and large-scale reconstructive surgery. Our ability to insert foreign DNA into a host cell has been developing since early uses of gene therapy to alter bacterial properties for waste cleanup in the 1980s followed by successful human clinical trials in the 1990s to treat severe combined immunodeficiency. In the past twenty years the emerging field of craniofacial tissue engineering has adopted these techniques to enhance regeneration of mineralized tissues, salivary gland, periodontium, and to reduce tumor burden of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Studies are currently pursuing research on both biomaterial-mediated gene delivery as well as more clinically efficacious, though potentially more hazardous, viral methods. Though hundreds of gene therapy clinical trials have taken place in the past twenty years, we must still work to ensure an ideal safety profile for each gene and delivery method combination. With adequate genotoxicity testing, we can expect gene therapy to augment protein delivery strategies and potentially allow for tissue-specific targeting, delivery of multiple signals, and increased spatial and temporal control with the goal of natural tissue replacement in the craniofacial complex. PMID:22337437

  20. Recent progress in gene therapy for hemophilia.

    PubMed

    Chuah, Marinee K; Nair, Nisha; VandenDriessche, Thierry

    2012-06-01

    Hemophilia A and B are X-linked monogenic disorders caused by deficiencies in coagulation factor VIII (FVIII) and factor IX (FIX), respectively. Current treatment for hemophilia involves intravenous infusion of clotting factor concentrates. However, this does not constitute a cure, and the development of gene-based therapies for hemophilia to achieve prolonged high level expression of clotting factors to correct the bleeding diathesis are warranted. Different types of viral and nonviral gene delivery systems and a wide range of different target cells, including hepatocytes, skeletal muscle cells, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), and endothelial cells, have been explored for hemophilia gene therapy. Adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based and lentiviral vectors are among the most promising vectors for hemophilia gene therapy. Stable correction of the bleeding phenotypes in hemophilia A and B was achieved in murine and canine models, and these promising preclinical studies prompted clinical trials in patients suffering from severe hemophilia. These studies recently resulted in the first demonstration that long-term expression of therapeutic FIX levels could be achieved in patients undergoing gene therapy. Despite this progress, there are still a number of hurdles that need to be overcome. In particular, the FIX levels obtained were insufficient to prevent bleeding induced by trauma or injury. Moreover, the gene-modified cells in these patients can become potential targets for immune destruction by effector T cells, specific for the AAV vector antigens. Consequently, more efficacious approaches are needed to achieve full hemostatic correction and to ultimately establish a cure for hemophilia A and B.

  1. [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.

  2. Gene Therapy Applications to Cancer Treatment

    PubMed Central

    2003-01-01

    Over the past ten years significant advances have been made in the fields of gene therapy and tumour immunology, such that there now exists a considerable body of evidence validating the proof in the principle of gene therapy based cancer vaccines. While clinical benefit has so far been marginal, data from preclinical and early clinical trials of gene therapy combined with standard therapies are strongly suggestive of additional benefit. Many reasons have been proposed to explain the paucity of clinical responses to single agent vaccination strategies including the poor antigenicity of tumour cells and the development of tolerance through down-regulation of MHC, costimulatory, signal transduction, and other molecules essential for the generation of strong immune responses. In addition, there is now evidence from animal models that the growing tumour may actively inhibit the host immune response. Removal of the primary tumour prior to T cell transfer from the spleen of cancer bearing animals, led to effective tumour cell line specific immunity in the recipient mouse suggesting that there is an ongoing tumour-host interaction. This model also illustrates the potential difficulties of clinical vaccine trials in patients with advanced stage disease. PMID:12686721

  3. Efficacy of single bevacizumab injection as adjuvant therapy to laser photocoagulation in macular edema secondary to branch retinal vein occlusion

    PubMed Central

    Kartasasmita, Arief S; Takarai, Siska; Switania, Astriviani; Enus, Sutarya

    2016-01-01

    Background Macular grid laser photocoagulation remains the standard treatment for macular edema secondary to branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO). One possible strategy for treating macular edema is to inhibit VEGF activity by competitive binding of VEGF with an anti-VEGF antibody, suggesting the therapy option with bevacizumab. However, multiple injections of anti-VEGF may lead to complications and high cost. Purpose The aim of this study was to evaluate the improvement in visual acuity and central macular thickness after combination therapy of laser photocoagulation with single intravitreal bevacizumab injection in macular edema secondary to BRVO. Methods Nineteen patients with macular edema secondary to BRVO were assigned to either the group of nine patients in combination therapy of laser photocoagulation with intravitreal bevacizumab or the group of ten patients in the laser photocoagulation therapy. Complete ophthalmologic examinations were performed just before the therapy and at 1 month following the therapy. Changes in visual acuity were tested with the logarithm of minimum angle of resolution (logMAR), and central macular thickness was measured by optical coherence tomography (OCT). Results Combination therapy of laser photocoagulation and single intravitreal bevacizumab injection resulted in a significantly better visual acuity compared to laser photocoagulation therapy (0.35 versus 0.13 logMAR; P=0.041) and reduced macular thickness by 120.33 µm versus 71.50 µm (P=0.277), although this difference was not significant. Conclusion Laser photocoagulation combined with a single intravitreal bevacizumab has a substantial effect on increasing visual acuity in macular edema secondary to BRVO. PMID:27826179

  4. Alternative strategies for gene therapy of hemophilia.

    PubMed

    Montgomery, Robert R; Shi, Qizhen

    2010-01-01

    Hemophilia A and B are monogenic disorders that were felt to be ideal targets for initiation of gene therapy. Although the first hemophilia gene therapy trial has been over 10 years ago, few trials are currently actively recruiting. Although preclinical studies in animals were promising, levels achieved in humans did not achieve long-term expression at adequate levels to achieve cures. Transplantation as a source of cellular replacement therapy for both hemophilia A and B have been successful following liver transplantation in which the recipient produces normal levels of either factor VIII (FVIII) or factor IX (FIX). Most of these transplants have been conducted for the treatment of liver failure rather than for "curing" hemophilia. There are a variety of new strategies for delivering the missing clotting factor through ectopic expression of the deficient protein. One approach uses hematopoietic stem cells using either a nonspecific promoter or using a lineage-specific promoter. An alternative strategy includes enhanced expression in endothelial cells or blood-outgrowth endothelial cells. An additional approach includes the expression of FVIII or FIX intraarticularly to mitigate the intraarticular bleeding that causes much of the disability for hemophilia patients. Because activated factor VII (FVIIa) can be used to treat patients with inhibitory antibodies to replacement clotting factors, preclinical gene therapy has been performed using platelet- or liver-targeted FVIIa expression. All of these newer approaches are just beginning to be explored in large animal models. Whereas improved recombinant replacement products continue to be the hallmark of hemophilia therapy, the frequency of replacement therapy is beginning to be addressed through longer-acting replacement products. A safe cure of hemophilia is still the desired goal, but many barriers must still be overcome.

  5. Fetal muscle gene therapy/gene delivery in large animals.

    PubMed

    Abi-Nader, Khalil N; David, Anna L

    2011-01-01

    Gene delivery to the fetal muscles is a potential strategy for the early treatment of muscular dystrophies. In utero muscle gene therapy can also be used to treat other genetic disorders such as hemophilia, where the missing clotting proteins may be secreted from the treated muscle. In the past few years, studies in small animal models have raised the hopes that a phenotypic cure can be obtained after fetal application of gene therapy. Studies of efficacy and safety in large animals are, however, essential before clinical application can be considered in the human fetus. For this reason, the development of clinically applicable strategies for the delivery of gene therapy to the fetal muscles is of prime importance. In this chapter, we describe the protocols for in utero ultrasound-guided gene delivery to the ovine fetal muscle in early gestation. In particular, procedures to inject skeletal muscle groups such as the thigh and thoracic musculature and targeting the diaphragm in the fetus are described in detail.

  6. Newer gene editing technologies toward HIV gene therapy.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-14

    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.

  7. Noninvasive tracking of gene transcript and neuroprotection after gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Ren, J; Chen, Y I; Liu, C H; Chen, P-C; Prentice, H; Wu, J-Y; Liu, P K

    2016-01-01

    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) complimentary DNA (cDNA) encoded in self-complementary adeno-associated virus-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.

  8. Adenoviral Vector-Mediated Gene Therapy for Gliomas: Coming of Age

    PubMed Central

    Castro, Maria G.; Candolfi, Marianela; Wilson, Thomas J.; Calinescu, Alexandra; Paran, Christopher; Kamran, Neha; Koschmann, Carl; Moreno-Ayala, Mariela A.; Assi, Hikmat; Lowenstein, Pedro R.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common primary brain tumor in adults; it carries a dismal prognosis. Adenoviral vector (Ad)-mediated gene transfer is being developed as a promising therapeutic strategy for GBM. Preclinical studies have demonstrated safety and efficacy of adenovirus administration into the brain and tumor mass in rodents and into the non-human primates’ brain. Importantly Ads have been safely administered within the tumor resection cavity in humans. Areas Covered Background on GBM and Ad vectors; we describe gene therapy strategies for GBM and discuss the value of combination approaches. Finally we discuss the results of the human clinical trials for GBM that have used adenoviral vectors. Expert Opinion The transduction characteristics of Ad vectors, and their safety profile, added to their capacity to achieve high levels of transgene expression have made them powerful vectors for the treatment of GBM. Recent gene therapy successes in the treatment of retinal diseases and systemic brain metabolic diseases, encourages the development of gene therapy for malignant glioma. Exciting clinical trials are currently recruiting patients; although it is large randomized phase III controlled clinical trials that will provide the final decision on the success of gene therapy for the treatment of GBM. PMID:24773178

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. [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.

  12. 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.

  13. Pharmacological and rAAV Gene Therapy Rescue of Visual Functions in a Blind Mouse Model of Leber Congenital Amaurosis

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    Background Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a heterogeneous early-onset retinal dystrophy, accounts for ~15% of inherited congenital blindness. One cause of LCA is loss of the enzyme lecithin:retinol acyl transferase (LRAT), which is required for regeneration of the visual photopigment in the retina. Methods and Findings An animal model of LCA, the Lrat−/− mouse, recapitulates clinical features of the human disease. Here, we report that two interventions—intraocular gene therapy and oral pharmacologic treatment with novel retinoid compounds—each restore retinal function to Lrat−/− mice. Gene therapy using intraocular injection of recombinant adeno-associated virus carrying the Lrat gene successfully restored electroretinographic responses to ~50% of wild-type levels (p < 0.05 versus wild-type and knockout controls), and pupillary light responses (PLRs) of Lrat−/− mice increased ~2.5 log units (p < 0.05). Pharmacological intervention with orally administered pro-drugs 9-cis-retinyl acetate and 9-cis-retinyl succinate (which chemically bypass the LRAT-catalyzed step in chromophore regeneration) also caused long-lasting restoration of retinal function in LRAT-deficient mice and increased ERG response from ~5% of wild-type levels in Lrat−/− mice to ~50% of wild-type levels in treated Lrat−/− mice (p < 0.05 versus wild-type and knockout controls). The interventions produced markedly increased levels of visual pigment from undetectable levels to 600 pmoles per eye in retinoid treated mice, and ~1,000-fold improvements in PLR and electroretinogram sensitivity. The techniques were complementary when combined. Conclusion Intraocular gene therapy and pharmacologic bypass provide highly effective and complementary means for restoring retinal function in this animal model of human hereditary blindness. These complementary methods offer hope of developing treatment to restore vision in humans with certain forms of hereditary congenital blindness. PMID

  14. Methods to monitor gene therapy with molecular imaging.

    PubMed

    Waerzeggers, Yannic; Monfared, Parisa; Viel, Thomas; Winkeler, Alexandra; Voges, Jürgen; Jacobs, Andreas H

    2009-06-01

    Recent progress in scientific and clinical research has made gene therapy a promising option for efficient and targeted treatment of several inherited and acquired disorders. One of the most critical issues for ensuring success of gene-based therapies is the development of technologies for non-invasive monitoring of the distribution and kinetics of vector-mediated gene expression. In recent years many molecular imaging techniques for safe, repeated and high-resolution in vivo imaging of gene expression have been developed and successfully used in animals and humans. In this review molecular imaging techniques for monitoring of gene therapy are described and specific use of these methods in the different steps of a gene therapy protocol from gene delivery to assessment of therapy response is illustrated. Linking molecular imaging (MI) to gene therapy will eventually help to improve the efficacy and safety of current gene therapy protocols for human application and support future individualized patient treatment.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Bottlenecks in Development of Retinal Therapeutic Post-Transcriptional Gene Silencing Agents

    PubMed Central

    Sullivan, Jack M.; Yau, Edwin H.; Taggart, R. Thomas; Butler, Mark C.; Kolniak, Tiffany A.

    2011-01-01

    Development of post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) agents for therapeutic purposes is an immense challenge in modern biology. Established technologies used to knockdown a specific target RNA and its cognate protein: antisense, ribozyme, RNAi, all conditionally depend upon an initial, critical annealing event of the PTGS ligand to a target RNA. In this review we address the nature of the bottlenecks, emphasizing the biocomplexity of target RNA structure, that currently limit PTGS therapeutic development. We briefly review existing and emerging technologies designed to release these constraints to realize the potential of PTGS agents in gene based therapies. PMID:17976683

  18. AAV-mediated gene therapy for hemophilia.

    PubMed

    Couto, Linda B; Pierce, Glenn F

    2003-10-01

    Gene therapy for hemophilia has been contemplated since the coagulation Factor genes responsible for the disease were cloned 20 years ago. Multiple approaches towards the delivery of Factors VIII or IX, the defective genes in the most common forms of hemophilia, have resulted in positive results in animals, and largely equivocal results in human clinical testing. Use of vectors based on adeno-associated virus has led to robust and sustained cures in hemophilic mice and dogs, and intriguing preliminary results in small or ongoing clinical trials. As more clinical experience is gained, solving delivery issues will be of paramount importance and will lead to more clinical success. This success will permit hemophilia to be cured following a single injection of the normal gene.

  19. Gene therapy: X-SCID transgene leukaemogenicity.

    PubMed

    Thrasher, Adrian J; Gaspar, H Bobby; Baum, Christopher; Modlich, Ute; Schambach, Axel; Candotti, Fabio; Otsu, Makoto; Sorrentino, Brian; Scobie, Linda; Cameron, Ewan; Blyth, Karen; Neil, Jim; Abina, Salima Hacein-Bey; Cavazzana-Calvo, Marina; Fischer, Alain

    2006-09-21

    Gene therapy has been remarkably effective for the immunological reconstitution of patients with severe combined immune deficiency, but the occurrence of leukaemia in a few patients has stimulated debate about the safety of the procedure and the mechanisms of leukaemogenesis. Woods et al. forced high expression of the corrective therapeutic gene IL2RG, which encodes the gamma-chain of the interleukin-2 receptor, in a mouse model of the disease and found that tumours appeared in a proportion of cases. Here we show that transgenic IL2RG does not necessarily have potent intrinsic oncogenic properties, and argue that the interpretation of this observation with respect to human trials is overstated.

  20. Is cancer gene therapy an empty suit?

    PubMed Central

    Brenner, Malcolm K; Gottschalk, Stephen; Leen, Ann M; Vera, Juan F

    2014-01-01

    Gene therapy as a treatment for cancer is regarded as high in promise, but low in delivery, a deficiency that has become more obvious with ever-increasing reports of the successful correction of monogenic disorders by this approach. We review the commercial and scientific obstacles that have led to these delays and describe how they are progressively being overcome. Recent and striking successes and correspondingly increased commercial involvement suggest that gene transfer could finally become a powerful method for development of safe and effective cancer therapeutic drugs. PMID:24079872

  1. 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.

  2. Cardiac gene therapy: from concept to reality.

    PubMed

    Kratlian, Razmig Garo; Hajjar, Roger J

    2012-03-01

    Heart failure is increasing in incidence throughout the world, especially in industrialized countries. Although the current therapeutic modalities have been successful in stabilizing the course of heart failure, morbidity and mortality remain quite high and there remains a great need for innovative breakthroughs that will offer new treatment strategies for patients with advanced forms of the disease. The past few years have witnessed a greater understanding of the molecular underpinnings of the failing heart, paving the way for novel strategies in modulating the cellular environment. As such, gene therapy has recently emerged as a powerful tool offering the promise of a new paradigm for alleviating heart failure. Current gene therapy research for heart failure is focused on exploring potential cellular targets and preclinical and clinical studies are ongoing toward the realization of this goal. Efforts also include the development of sophisticated viral vectors and vector delivery methods for efficient transduction of cardiomyocytes.

  3. 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.

  4. Pluripotent Stem Cells and Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Simara, Pavel; Motl, Jason A.; Kaufman, Dan S.

    2013-01-01

    Human pluripotent stem cells represent an accessible cell source for novel cell-based clinical research and therapies. With the realization of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), it is possible to produce almost any desired cell type from any patient's cells. Current developments in gene modification methods have opened the possibility for creating genetically corrected human iPSCs for certain genetic diseases that could be used later in autologous transplantation. Promising preclinical studies have demonstrated correction of disease-causing mutations in a number of hematological, neuronal and muscular disorders. This review aims to summarize these recent advances with a focus on iPSC generation techniques, as well as gene modification methods. We will then further discuss some of the main obstacles remaining to be overcome before successful application of human pluripotent stem cell-based therapy arrives in the clinic and what the future of stem cell research may look like. PMID:23353080

  5. Advances of gene therapy for primary immunodeficiencies

    PubMed Central

    Candotti, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    In the recent past, the gene therapy field has witnessed a remarkable series of successes, many of which have involved primary immunodeficiency diseases, such as X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency, adenosine deaminase deficiency, chronic granulomatous disease, and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. While such progress has widened the choice of therapeutic options in some specific cases of primary immunodeficiency, much remains to be done to extend the geographical availability of such an advanced approach and to increase the number of diseases that can be targeted. At the same time, emerging technologies are stimulating intensive investigations that may lead to the application of precise genetic editing as the next form of gene therapy for these and other human genetic diseases. PMID:27508076

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. [The return of germline gene therapy].

    PubMed

    Jordan, Bertrand

    2015-01-01

    The recent development of a powerful and flexible genome editing technique (the CRISP-cas9 method) accelerates tremendously the production of animal models and will significantly enhance the perspectives of (somatic) gene therapy. However, it also raises a real possibility of germline modifications in humans, with therapeutic aims or for "improvement": this raises thorny ethical questions that are no longer theoretical (as in the 1990s) but will have to be faced in the very near future.

  9. 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

  10. [Gene therapy for adenosine deaminase deficiency].

    PubMed

    Sakiyama, Yukio; Ariga, Tadashi; Ohtsu, Makoto

    2005-03-01

    A four year-old boy with adenosine deaminase (ADA-) deficient severe combined immunodeficiency(SCID) receiving PEG-ADA was treated under a gene therapy protocol targeting peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) in 1995. After eleven infusions of autologous PBLs transduced with retroviral vector LASN encoding ADAcDNA, he exhibited increased levels of the CD8+ T lymphocytes, serum immunoglobulin, specific antibodies and delayed type hypersensitivity skin tests. Follow-up studies also provided evidence of long-term persistence and function of transduced PBLs with improvement in the immune function. However, the therapeutic effect of this gene therapy has been difficult to assess because of the concomitant treatment of PEG-ADA. Two ADA-SCID patients have been currently treated with autologous bone marrow CD34+ cells engineered with a retroviral vector GCsapM-ADA after discontinuation of PEG-ADA. The restoration of intracellular ADA enzymatic activity in lymphocytes and granulocytes resulted in correction of the systemic toxicity and liver function in the absence of PEG-ADA treatment. Both patients are at home where they are clinically well, and they do not experience adversed effect, with follow up being 12 months after CD34+ cells gene therapy.

  11. Tripartite meeting in gene and cell therapy, 2008: Irish Society for Gene and Cell Therapy, British Society for Gene Therapy, and International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy of Cancer.

    PubMed

    Guinn, Barbara; Casey, Garrett; Collins, Sara; O'Brien, Tim; Alexander, M Yvonne; Tangney, Mark

    2008-10-01

    The second annual meeting of the Irish Society for Gene and Cell Therapy was held in Cork, Ireland on May 15 and 16, 2008 (http://crr.ucc.ie/isgct/). The meeting was jointly organized with the British Society for Gene Therapy and the International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy of Cancer. Because of the location of the conference and the co-organization of this meeting with the British and International Gene Therapy societies, the meeting enjoyed a range of talks from some of the major leaders in the field. Particularly notable were the talented molecular and cell biologists from Ireland who have contributed cutting edge science to the field of gene therapy. Topics including cardiovascular disease, repair of single-gene disorders, and cancer gene therapy were discussed with presentations ranging from basic research to translation into the clinic. Here we describe some of the most exciting presentations and their potential impact on imminent clinical gene therapy trials.

  12. Gene therapies development: slow progress and promising prospect

    PubMed Central

    Hanna, Eve; Rémuzat, Cécile; Auquier, Pascal; Toumi, Mondher

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Background: In 1989, the concept of human gene therapies has emerged with the first approved human gene therapy trial of Rosenberg et al. Gene therapies are considered as promising therapies applicable to a broad range of diseases. Objective: The objective of this study was to review the descriptive data on gene therapy clinical trials conducted worldwide between 1989 and 2015, and to discuss potential success rates of these trials over time and anticipated market launch in the upcoming years. Methods: A publicly available database, ‘Gene Therapy Clinical Trials Worldwide’, was used to extract descriptive data on gene therapy clinical trials: (1) number of trials per year between 1989 and 2015; (2) countries; (3) diseases targeted by gene therapies; (4) vectors used for gene delivery; (5) trials status; (6) phases of development. Results: Between 1989 and 2015, 2,335 gene therapy clinical trials have been completed, were ongoing or approved (but not started) worldwide. The number of clinical trials did not increase steadily over time; it reached its highest peak in 2015 (163 trials). Almost 95% of the trials were in early phases of development and 72% were ongoing. The United States undertook 67% of gene therapy clinical trials. The majority of gene therapies clinical trials identified targeted cancer diseases. Conclusion: The first gene therapy was approved in the European Union in 2012, after two decades of dashed expectations. This approval boosted the investment in developing gene therapies. Regulators are creating a specific path for rapid access of those new therapies, providing hope for manufacturers, healthcare professionals, and patients. However, payers are increasingly scrutinizing the additional benefits of the new therapies. Major steps forward are expected in the field of gene therapies in the future. PMID:28265348

  13. Evaluation of Ocular Gene Therapy in an Italian Patient Affected by Congenital Leber Amaurosis Type 2 Treated in Both Eyes.

    PubMed

    Testa, Francesco; Maguire, Albert M; Rossi, Settimio; Marshall, Kathleen; Auricchio, Alberto; Melillo, Paolo; Bennett, Jean; Simonelli, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    Gene therapy clinical trials with gene augmentation therapy for Leber Congenital Amaurosis have shown partial reversal of retinal dysfunction. Most studies described the effect of treatment in a single eye and limited evidence is reported in literature about patients treated in both eyes. In this chapter, we present the findings of a young patient treated in both eyes. Efficacy of the treatment was assessed with Best Corrected Visual Acuity, Goldman Visual Field testing, Esterman computerized binocular visual field and Microperimetric testing. Post-treatment results showed improvement of visual function in both eyes, in particular, a strong amelioration was observed after the first injection, by using conventional monocular tests. Moreover, the treatment in the second eye resulted in a further improvement of binocular visual functionality, as easily detected by computerized binocular visual field. In conclusion, our data suggest that gene therapy can inhibit retinal degeneration and can be safe and effective in restoring visual functionality in young subjects treated in both eyes. Finally, new outcome measurements, in particular binocular computerized visual field parameters, can therefore be useful to quantify overall visual gain in patients undergoing gene therapy in both eyes.

  14. 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.

  15. CRB1: one gene, many phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Ehrenberg, Miriam; Pierce, Eric A; Cox, Gerald F; Fulton, Anne B

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in the CRB1 gene cause severe retinal degenerations, which may present as Leber congenital amaurosis, early onset retinal dystrophy, retinitis pigmentosa, or cone-rod dystrophy. Some clinical features should alert the ophthalmologist to the possibility of CRB1 disease. These features are nummular pigmentation of the retina, atrophic macula, retinal degeneration associated with Coats disease, and a unique form of retinitis pigmentosa named para-arteriolar preservation of the retinal pigment epithelium (PPRPE). Retinal degenerations associated with nanophthalmos and hyperopia, or with keratoconus, can serve as further clinical cues to mutations in CRB1. Despite this, no clear genotype-phenotype relationship has been established in CRB1 disease. In CRB1-disease, as in other inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs), it is essential to diagnose the specific disease-causing gene for the disease as genetic therapy has progressed considerably in the last few years and might be applicable.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. [Gene therapy of SCID-X1].

    PubMed

    Baum, C; Schambach, A; Modlich, U; Thrasher, A

    2007-12-01

    X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID-X1) is an inherited disease caused by inactivating mutations in the gene encoding the interleukin 2 receptor common gamma chain (IL2RG), which is located on the X-chromosome. Affected boys fail to develop two major effector cell types of the immune system (T cells and NK cells) and suffer from a functional B cell defect. Although drugs such as antibiotics can offer partial protection, the boys normally die in the first year of life in the absence of a curative therapy. For a third of the children, bone marrow transplantation from a fully matched donor is available and can cure the disease without major side effects. Mismatched bone marrow transplantation, however, is complicated by severe and potentially lethal side effects. Over the past decade, scientists worldwide have developed new treatments by introducing a correct copy of the IL2RG-cDNA. Gene therapy was highly effective when applied in young children. However, in a few patients the IL2RG-gene vector has unfortunately caused leukaemia. Activation of cellular proto-oncogenes by accidental integration of the gene vector has been identified as the underlying mechanism. In future clinical trials, improved vector technology in combination with other protocol modifications may reduce the risk of this side effect.

  19. 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.

  20. Gene expression-targeted isoflavone therapy.

    PubMed

    Węgrzyn, Alicja

    2012-04-01

    Lysosomal storage diseases (LSD) form a group of inherited metabolic disorders caused by dysfunction of one of the lysosomal proteins, resulting in the accumulation of certain compounds. Although these disorders are among first genetic diseases for which specific treatments were proposed, there are still serious unsolved problems that require development of novel therapeutic procedures. An example is neuronopathy, which develops in most of LSD and cannot be treated efficiently by currently approved therapies. Recently, a new potential therapy, called gene expression-targeted isoflavone therapy (GET IT), has been proposed for a group of LSD named mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS), in which storage of incompletely degraded glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) results in severe symptoms of virtually all tissues and organs, including central nervous system. The idea of this therapy is to inhibit synthesis of GAGs by modulating expression of genes coding for enzymes involved in synthesis of these compounds. Such a modulation is possible by using isoflavones, particularly genistein, which interfere with a signal transduction process necessary for stimulation of expression of certain genes. Results of in vitro experiments and studies on animal models indicated a high efficiency of GET IT, including correction of behavior of affected mice. However, clinical trials, performed with soy isoflavone extracts, revealed only limited efficacy. This caused a controversy about GET IT as a potential, effective treatment of patients suffering from MPS, especially neuronopathic forms of these diseases. It this critical review, I present possible molecular mechanisms of therapeutic action of isoflavones (particularly genistein) and suggest that efficacy of GET IT might be sufficiently high when using relatively high doses of synthetic genistein (which was employed in experiments on cell cultures and mouse models) rather than low doses of soy isoflavone extracts (which were used in clinical trials). This

  1. Quantitative analysis of retinal OCT.

    PubMed

    Sonka, Milan; Abràmoff, Michael D

    2016-10-01

    Clinical acceptance of 3-D OCT retinal imaging brought rapid development of quantitative 3-D analysis of retinal layers, vasculature, retinal lesions as well as facilitated new research in retinal diseases. One of the cornerstones of many such analyses is segmentation and thickness quantification of retinal layers and the choroid, with an inherently 3-D simultaneous multi-layer LOGISMOS (Layered Optimal Graph Image Segmentation for Multiple Objects and Surfaces) segmentation approach being extremely well suited for the task. Once retinal layers are segmented, regional thickness, brightness, or texture-based indices of individual layers can be easily determined and thus contribute to our understanding of retinal or optic nerve head (ONH) disease processes and can be employed for determination of disease status, treatment responses, visual function, etc. Out of many applications, examples provided in this paper focus on image-guided therapy and outcome prediction in age-related macular degeneration and on assessing visual function from retinal layer structure in glaucoma.

  2. A Novel Gene Gun-Mediated IL-12 Gene Therapy for Breast Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-10-01

    The results of this study show that particle-mediated IL-12 gene therapy was effective against mammary tumors in mouse models. IL-12 gene therapy of...combination with IL-12 gene therapy , IL-18 and ICE genes were found to be more effective in treatment of established TS/A mammary tumor than IL-12 alone. These...results suggest that particle-mediated IL-12 gene therapy , alone or in combination with other immunological approaches, may be effective for

  3. Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor regulates the visual cycle genes Rlbp1 and Rdh5 in the retinal pigment epithelium

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Bin; Li, Shuang; Li, Huirong; Chen, Yu; Ma, Xiaoyin; Wang, Jing; Lu, Fan; Qu, Jia; Hou, Ling

    2016-01-01

    Regeneration of the visual pigment by cells of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is fundamental to vision. Here we show that the microphthalmia-associated transcription factor, MITF, which plays a central role in the development and function of RPE cells, regulates the expression of two visual cycle genes, Rlbp1 which encodes retinaldehyde binding protein-1 (RLBP1), and Rdh5, which encodes retinol dehydrogenase-5 (RDH5). First, we found that Rlbp1 and Rdh5 are downregulated in optic cups and presumptive RPEs of Mitf-deficient mouse embryos. Second, experimental manipulation of MITF levels in human RPE cells in culture leads to corresponding modulations of the endogenous levels of RLBP1 and RDH5. Third, the retinal degeneration associated with the disruption of the visual cycle in Mitf-deficient mice can be partially corrected both structurally and functionally by an exogenous supply of 9-cis-retinal. We conclude that the expression of Rlbp1 and Rdh5 critically depends on functional Mitf in the RPE and suggest that MITF has an important role in controlling retinoid processing in the RPE. PMID:26876013

  4. Antioxidant gene therapy against neuronal cell death

    PubMed Central

    Navarro-Yepes, Juliana; Zavala-Flores, Laura; Annadurai, Anandhan; Wang, Fang; Skotak, Maciej; Chandra, Namas; Li, Ming; Pappa, Aglaia; Martinez-Fong, Daniel; Razo, Luz Maria Del; Quintanilla-Vega, Betzabet; Franco, Rodrigo

    2014-01-01

    Oxidative stress is a common hallmark of neuronal cell death associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, as well as brain stroke/ischemia and traumatic brain injury. Increased accumulation of reactive species of both oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen (RNS) has been implicated in mitochondrial dysfunction, energy impairment, alterations in metal homeostasis and accumulation of aggregated proteins observed in neurodegenerative disorders, which lead to the activation/modulation of cell death mechanisms that include apoptotic, necrotic and autophagic pathways. Thus, the design of novel antioxidant strategies to selectively target oxidative stress and redox imbalance might represent important therapeutic approaches against neurological disorders. This work reviews the evidence demonstrating the ability of genetically encoded antioxidant systems to selectively counteract neuronal cell loss in neurodegenerative diseases and ischemic brain damage. Because gene therapy approaches to treat inherited and acquired disorders offer many unique advantages over conventional therapeutic approaches, we discussed basic research/clinical evidence and the potential of virus-mediated gene delivery techniques for antioxidant gene therapy. PMID:24333264

  5. Gene therapy for primary adaptive immune deficiencies.

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

    Gene therapy has become an option for the treatment of 2 forms of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID): X-linked SCID and adenosine deaminase deficiency. The results of clinical trials initiated more than 10 years ago testify to sustained and reproducible correction of the underlying T-cell immunodeficiency. Successful treatment is based on the selective advantage conferred on T-cell precursors through their expression of the therapeutic transgene. However, "first-generation" retroviral vectors also caused leukemia in some patients with X-linked SCID because of the constructs' tendency to insert into active genes (eg, proto-oncogenes) in progenitor cells and transactivate an oncogene through a viral element in the long terminal repeat. These elements have been deleted from the vectors now in use. Together with the use of lentiviral vectors (which are more potent for transducing stem cells), these advances should provide a basis for the safe and effective extension of gene therapy's indications in the field of primary immunodeficiencies. Nevertheless, this extension will have to be proved by examining the results of the ongoing clinical trials.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Potential anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapies for central retinal vein occlusion.

    PubMed

    Figueroa, Marta S; Contreras, Inés

    2012-11-12

    Central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) remains an important cause of visual loss. Impaired venous drainage leads to retinal hypoxia with upregulation and release of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). VEGF increases vascular permeability and leads to the breakdown of the blood-retinal barrier, with the development of macular oedema. Treatment strategies for macular oedema in CRVO currently under evaluation focus on VEGF blockage. Bevacizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that blocks VEGF. It has been evaluated in a clinical trial that compared intravitreal injections of bevacizumab 1.25 mg with sham injections every 6 weeks. At the end of a 24-week follow-up period, 60.0% of patients in the bevacizumab group had gained ≥ 15 letters compared with 20.0% in the control group (p=0.003). Aflibercept (previously VEGF Trap-Eye) is a 115  kD decoy receptor fusion protein. Aflibercept is capable of binding both VEGF and placental growth factor (PlGF). By blocking both VEGF and PlGF, aflibercept could be more effective than other anti-VEGF drugs. Two clinical trials have evaluated the efficacy of aflibercept for the treatment of macular oedema in CRVO: COPERNICUS and GALILEO. Both included a similar 6-month phase, during which patients were randomized to receive either an intravitreal injection of aflibercept 2 mg or a sham injection every month. In a second 6-month phase of the GALILEO study, patients in the treatment group were treated on an as needed (PRN) basis with aflibercept, while patients in the placebo group continued with sham injections. In the second 6-month phase in the COPERNICUS study, all patients were treated with aflibercept on a PRN basis. Treatment with aflibercept led to an improvement in visual acuity of ≥ 15 letters in 55.3% (COPERNICUS) and 60.2% of patients (GALILEO). Patients initially in the placebo group and then treated PRN gained only a mean of 3.8 letters, with 30.1% achieving a visual gain of ≥ 15 letters (COPERNICUS). The

  9. Gene therapy targeting inflammation in atherosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Van-Assche, Tim; Huygelen, Veronique; Crabtree, Mark J; Antoniades, Charalambos

    2011-12-01

    The extensive cross-talk between the immune system and vasculature leading to the infiltration of immune cells into the vascular wall is a major step in atherogenesis. In this process, reactive oxygen species play a crucial role, by inducing the oxidation of LDL and the formation of foam cells, and by activating a number of redox-sensitive transcriptional factors such as nuclear factor kappa B (NFkappa B) or activating protein 1 (AP1), that regulate the expression of multiple pro/anti inflammatory genes involved in atherogenesis. Delivery of genes encoding antioxidant defense enzymes (e.g. superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase or heme oxygenase- 1) or endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), suppress atherogenesis in animal models. Similarly, delivery of genes encoding regulators of redox sensitive transcriptional factors (e.g. NF-kappa B, AP-1, Nrf2 etc) or reactive oxygen species scavengers have been successfully used in experimental studies. Despite the promising results from basic science, the clinical applicability of these strategies has proven to be particularly challenging. Issues regarding the vectors used to deliver the genes (and the development of immune responses or other side effects) and the inability of sufficient and sustained local expression of these genes at the target-tissue are some of the main reasons preventing optimism regarding the use of these strategies at a clinical level. Therefore, although premature to discuss about effective "gene therapy" in atherosclerosis at a clinical level, gene delivery techniques opened new horizons in cardiovascular research, and the development of new vectors may allow their extensive use in clinical trials in the future.

  10. State-of-the-art human gene therapy: part I. Gene delivery technologies.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dan; Gao, Guangping

    2014-01-01

    Safe and effective gene delivery is a prerequisite for successful gene therapy. In the early age of human gene therapy, setbacks due to problematic gene delivery vehicles plagued the exciting therapeutic outcome. However, gene delivery technologies rapidly evolved ever since. With the advancement of gene delivery techniques, gene therapy clinical trials surged during the past decade. As the first gene therapy product (Glybera) has obtained regulatory approval and reached clinic, human gene therapy finally realized the promise that genes can be medicines. The diverse gene delivery techniques available today have laid the foundation for gene therapy applications in treating a wide range of human diseases. Some of the most urgent unmet medical needs, such as cancer and pandemic infectious diseases, have been tackled by gene therapy strategies with promising results. Furthermore, combining gene transfer with other breakthroughs in biomedical research and novel biotechnologies opened new avenues for gene therapy. Such innovative therapeutic strategies are unthinkable until now, and are expected to be revolutionary. In part I of this review, we introduced recent development of non-viral and viral gene delivery technology platforms. As cell-based gene therapy blossomed, we also summarized the diverse types of cells and vectors employed in ex vivo gene transfer. Finally, challenges in current gene delivery technologies for human use were discussed.

  11. [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.

  12. Gene therapy of primary T cell immunodeficiencies.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-10

    Gene therapy of severe combined immunodeficiencies has been proven to be effective to provide sustained correction of the T cell immunodeficiencies. This has been achieved for 2 forms of SCID, i.e SCID-X1 (γc deficiency) and adenosine deaminase deficiency. Occurrence of gene toxicity generated by integration of first generation retroviral vectors, as observed in the SCID-X1 trials has led to replace these vectors by self inactivated (SIN) retro(or lenti) viruses that may provide equivalent efficacy with a better safety profile. Results of ongoing clinical studies in SCID as well as in other primary immunodeficiencies, such as the Wiskott Aldrich syndrome, will be thus very informative.

  13. 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.

  14. Gene therapy: progress in childhood disease.

    PubMed

    Ginn, Samantha L; Alexander, Ian E

    2012-06-01

    The recent sequencing of the human genome combined with the development of massively high throughput genetic analysis technologies is driving unprecedented growth in our knowledge of the molecular basis of disease. While this has already had a major impact on our diagnostic power, the therapeutic benefits remain largely unrealised. This review examines progress in the exciting and challenging field of gene therapy. In particular we focus on the treatment of genetic disease in infants and children where the most significant successes have been observed to date, despite the majority of trial participants being adults. Notably, gene transfer to the haematopoietic compartment has provided the clearest examples of therapeutic benefit, particularly in the context of primary immunodeficiencies. The triumphs and tribulations of these successes are explored, and the key challenges confronting researchers as they seek to further advance the field are defined and discussed.

  15. Identification of genetic variation and haplotype structure of the canine ABCA4 gene for retinal disease association studies

    PubMed Central

    Zangerl, B.; Lindauer, S. J.; Acland, G. M.; Aguirre, G. D.

    2010-01-01

    Over 200 mutations in the retina specific member of the ATP-binding cassette transporter super-family (ABCA4) have been associated with a diverse group of human retinal diseases. The disease mechanisms, and genotype–phenotype associations, nonetheless, remain elusive in many cases. As orthologous genes are commonly mutated in canine models of human blinding disorders, canine ABCA4 appears to be an ideal candidate gene to identify and study sequence changes in dogs affected by various forms of inherited retinal degeneration. However, the size of the gene and lack of haplotype assignment significantly limit targeted association and/or linkage approaches. This study assessed the naturally observed sequence diversity of ABCA4 in the dog, identifying 80% of novel variations. While none of the observed polymorphisms have been associated with blinding disorders to date, breed and potentially disease specific haplotypes have been identified. Moreover, a tag SNP map of 17 (15) markers has been established that accurately predicts common ABCA4 haplotypes (frequency > 5%) explaining >85% (>80%) of the observed genetic diversity and will considerably advance future studies. Our sequence analysis of the complete canine ABCA4 coding region will clearly provide a baseline and tools for future association studies and comparative genomics to further delineate the role of ABCA4 in canine blinding disorders. PMID:20661590

  16. Retinal Expression of the Drosophila eyes absent Gene Is Controlled by Several Cooperatively Acting Cis-regulatory Elements

    PubMed Central

    Neuman, Sarah D.; Bashirullah, Arash; Kumar, Justin P.

    2016-01-01

    The eyes absent (eya) gene of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is a member of an evolutionarily conserved gene regulatory network that controls eye formation in all seeing animals. The loss of eya leads to the complete elimination of the compound eye while forced expression of eya in non-retinal tissues is sufficient to induce ectopic eye formation. Within the developing retina eya is expressed in a dynamic pattern and is involved in tissue specification/determination, cell proliferation, apoptosis, and cell fate choice. In this report we explore the mechanisms by which eya expression is spatially and temporally governed in the developing eye. We demonstrate that multiple cis-regulatory elements function cooperatively to control eya transcription and that spacing between a pair of enhancer elements is important for maintaining correct gene expression. Lastly, we show that the loss of eya expression in sine oculis (so) mutants is the result of massive cell death and a progressive homeotic transformation of retinal progenitor cells into head epidermis. PMID:27930646

  17. The future of human gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Rubanyi, G M

    2001-06-01

    Human gene therapy (HGT) is defined as the transfer of nucleic acids (DNA) to somatic cells of a patient which results in a therapeutic effect, by either correcting genetic defects or by overexpressing proteins that are therapeutically useful. In the past, both the professional and the lay community had high (sometimes unreasonably high) expectations from HGT because of the early promise of treating or preventing diseases effectively and safely by this new technology. Although the theoretical advantages of HGT are undisputable, so far HGT has not delivered the promised results: convincing clinical efficacy could not be demonstrated yet in most of the trials conducted so far, while safety concerns were raised recently as the consequence of the "Gelsinger Case" in Philadelphia. This situation resulted from the by now well-recognized disparity between theory and practice. In other words, the existing technologies could not meet the practical needs of clinically successful HGT so far. However, over the past years, significant progress was made in various enabling technologies, in the molecular understanding of diseases and the manufacturing of vectors. HGT is a complex process, involving multiple steps in the human body (delivery to organs, tissue targeting, cellular trafficking, regulation of gene expression level and duration, biological activity of therapeutic protein, safety of the vector and gene product, to name just a few) most of which are not completely understood. The prerequisite of successful HGT include therapeutically suitable genes (with a proven role in pathophysiology of the disease), appropriate gene delivery systems (e.g., viral and non-viral vectors), proof of principle of efficacy and safety in appropriate preclinical models and suitable manufacturing and analytical processes to provide well-defined HGT products for clinical investigations. The most promising areas for gene therapy today are hemophilias, for monogenic diseases, and cardiovascular

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Corneal gene therapy: basic science and translational perspective.

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

    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 the 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.

  20. 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

  1. Gene expression regulation in retinal pigment epithelial cells induced by viral RNA and viral/bacterial DNA

    PubMed Central

    Brosig, Anton; Kuhrt, Heidrun; Wiedemann, Peter; Kohen, Leon; Bringmann, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Purpose The pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is associated with systemic and local inflammation. Various studies suggested that viral or bacterial infection may aggravate retinal inflammation in the aged retina. We compared the effects of synthetic viral RNA (poly(I:C)) and viral/bacterial DNA (CpG-ODN) on the expression of genes known to be involved in the development of AMD in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. Methods Cultured human RPE cells were stimulated with poly(I:C; 500 µg/ml) or CpG-ODN (500 nM). Alterations in gene expression and protein secretion were determined with real-time RT–PCR and ELISA, respectively. Phosphorylation of signal transduction molecules was revealed by western blotting. Results Poly(I:C) induced gene expression of the pattern recognition receptor TLR3, transcription factors (HIF-1α, p65/NF-κB), the angiogenic factor bFGF, inflammatory factors (IL-1β, IL-6, TNFα, MCP-1, MIP-2), and complement factors (C5, C9, CFB). Poly(I:C) also induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK proteins, and the secretion of bFGF and TNFα from the cells. CpG-ODN induced moderate gene expression of transcription factors (p65/NF-κB, NFAT5) and complement factors (C5, C9), while it had no effect on the expression of various TLR, angiogenic factor, and inflammatory factor genes. The activities of various signal transduction pathways and transcription factors were differentially involved in mediating the poly(I:C)-induced transcriptional activation of distinct genes. Conclusions The widespread effects of viral RNA, and the restricted effects of viral/bacterial DNA, on the gene expression pattern of RPE cells may suggest that viral RNA rather than viral/bacterial DNA induces physiologic alterations of RPE cells, which may aggravate inflammation in the aged retina. The data also suggest that selective inhibition of distinct signal transduction pathways or individual transcription factors may not be effective to inhibit

  2. Non-viral gene therapy for GDNF production in RCS rat: the crucial role of the plasmid dose.

    PubMed

    Touchard, E; Heiduschka, P; Berdugo, M; Kowalczuk, L; Bigey, P; Chahory, S; Gandolphe, C; Jeanny, J-C; Behar-Cohen, F

    2012-09-01

    Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is one of the candidate molecules among neurotrophic factors proposed for a potential treatment of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). It must be administered repeatedly or through sustained releasing systems to exert prolonged neuroprotective effects. In the dystrophic Royal College of Surgeon's (RCS) rat model of RP, we found that endogenous GDNF levels dropped during retinal degeneration time course, opening a therapeutic window for GDNF supplementation. We showed that after a single electrotransfer of 30 μg of GDNF-encoding plasmid in the rat ciliary muscle, GDNF was produced for at least 7 months. Morphometric, electroretinographic and optokinetic analyses highlighted that this continuous release of GDNF delayed photoreceptors (PRs) as well as retinal functions loss until at least 70 days of age in RCS rats. Unexpectedly, increasing the GDNF secretion level accelerated PR degeneration and the loss of electrophysiological responses. This is the first report: (i) demonstrating the efficacy of GDNF delivery through non-viral gene therapy in RP; (ii) establishing the efficacy of intravitreal administration of GDNF in RP associated with a mutation in the retinal pigment epithelium; and (iii) warning against potential toxic effects of GDNF within the eye/retina.

  3. Neutrophil chemotactic factor (IL-8) gene expression by cytokine-treated retinal pigment epithelial cells.

    PubMed Central

    Elner, V. M.; Strieter, R. M.; Elner, S. G.; Baggiolini, M.; Lindley, I.; Kunkel, S. L.

    1990-01-01

    The neural-derived retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) underlies the sensory retina and is central to both retinal homeostasis and many common retinal diseases. Retinal pigment epithelium cells are actively phagocytic and share several features with macrophages that have recently been shown to produce a neutrophil chemotactic factor (NCF), also known as interleukin-8, after cytokine stimulation. Because RPE cell responses to cytokines are largely unknown, human RPE cell NCF production was monitored after interleukin-1-beta (IL-1 beta), tumor necrosis factor-alpha, or lipopolysaccharide stimulation. RPE NCF mRNA expression and RPE production of biologically active NCF was time and concentration dependent. Maximal NCF mRNA expression occurred at 20 ng/ml for IL-1 beta. Messenger RNA expression in RPE cells and biologically active NCF in RPE cell supernatants were found 1 hour after stimulation and were maintained for 24 hours. These findings demonstrate that cytokine-stimulated RPE cells may evoke or augment neutrophil-mediated inflammation by synthesizing NCF, a cytokine that may be important in ocular disease mechanisms. Images Figure 1 Figure 3 PMID:2183623

  4. 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.

  5. The promise of gene therapy in gastrointestinal and liver diseases

    PubMed Central

    Prieto, J; Herraiz, M; Sangro, B; Qian, C; Mazzolini, G; Melero, I; Ruiz, J

    2003-01-01

    Gene therapy consists of the transfer of genetic material to cells to achieve a therapeutic goal. In the field of gastroenterology and hepatology gene therapy has produced considerable expectation as a potential tool in the management of conditions that lack effective therapy including non-resectable neoplasms of the liver, pancreas and gastrointestinal tract, chronic viral hepatitis unresponsive to interferon therapy, liver cirrhosis, and inflammatory bowel disease. PMID:12651882

  6. 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.

  7. Central Leptin Gene Therapy to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk Factors

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-03-01

    W81XWH-04-1-0701 TITLE: Central Leptin Gene Therapy to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk Factors PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Urszula T. Iwaniec...CONTRACT NUMBER Central Leptin Gene Therapy to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk Factors 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-04-1-0701 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER...control of obesity through centrally administered, recombinant adeno-associated virus leptin gene (rAAV-lep) therapy will decrease the incidence of

  8. 78 FR 70307 - Guidance for Industry: Preclinical Assessment of Investigational Cellular and Gene Therapy...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-25

    ... Investigational Cellular and Gene Therapy Products; Availability AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS. ACTION... entitled ``Guidance for Industry: Preclinical Assessment of Investigational Cellular and Gene Therapy... and Gene Therapies (OCTGT). The product areas covered by this guidance are cellular therapy,...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Müller glia reactivity follows retinal injury despite the absence of the glial fibrillary acidic protein gene in Xenopus.

    PubMed

    Martinez-De Luna, Reyna I; Ku, Ray Y; Aruck, Alexandria M; Santiago, Francesca; Viczian, Andrea S; San Mauro, Diego; Zuber, Michael E

    2016-03-17

    Intermediate filament proteins are structural components of the cellular cytoskeleton with cell-type specific expression and function. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is a type III intermediate filament protein and is up-regulated in glia of the nervous system in response to injury and during neurodegenerative diseases. In the retina, GFAP levels are dramatically increased in Müller glia and are thought to play a role in the extensive structural changes resulting in Müller cell hypertrophy and glial scar formation. In spite of similar changes to the morphology of Xenopus Müller cells following injury, we found that Xenopus lack a gfap gene. Other type III intermediate filament proteins were, however, significantly induced following rod photoreceptor ablation and retinal ganglion cell axotomy. The recently available X. tropicalis and X. laevis genomes indicate a small deletion most likely resulted in the loss of the gfap gene during anuran evolution. Lastly, a survey of representative species from all three extant amphibian orders including the Anura (frogs, toads), Caudata (salamanders, newts), and Gymnophiona (caecilians) suggests that deletion of the gfap locus occurred in the ancestor of all Anura after its divergence from the Caudata ancestor around 290 million years ago. Our results demonstrate that extensive changes in Müller cell morphology following retinal injury do not require GFAP in Xenopus, and other type III intermediate filament proteins may be involved in the gliotic response.

  13. A Novel Gene Gun-Mediated IL-12 Gene Therapy for Breast Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1999-10-01

    The overall goal of our research is to develop an immunological approach for breast cancer gene therapy . The results of the first year study...described in our previous Annual Report, show that gene gun-mediated Th-12 gene therapy is effective against breast tumors in mouse models. During the second...effect of IL-l2 gene therapy against 4T1 tumor is not mediated by T cells, but rather involves NK cells. From several different immunomodulatory genes

  14. Customized biomaterials to augment chondrocyte gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Aguilar, Izath Nizeet; Trippel, Stephen; Shi, Shuiliang; Bonassar, Lawrence J

    2017-02-07

    A persistent challenge in enhancing gene therapy is the transient availability of the target gene product. This is particularly true in tissue engineering applications. The transient exposure of cells to the product could be insufficient to promote tissue regeneration. Here we report the development of a new material engineered to have a high affinity for a therapeutic gene product. We focus on insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) for its highly anabolic effects on many tissues such as spinal cord, heart, brain and cartilage. One of the ways that tissues store IGF-I is through a group of insulin like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs), such as IGFBP-5. We grafted the IGF-I binding peptide sequence from IGFBP-5 onto alginate in order to retain the endogenous IGF-I produced by transfected chondrocytes. This novel material bound IGF-I and released the growth factor for at least 30days in culture. We found that this binding enhanced the biosynthesis of transfected cells up to 19-fold. These data demonstrate the coordinated engineering of cell behavior and material chemistry to greatly enhance extracellular matrix synthesis and tissue assembly, and can serve as a template for the enhanced performance of other therapeutic proteins.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. [Development of gene therapy in major brain diseases].

    PubMed

    Fan, Li; Jiang, Xin-guo

    2010-09-01

    In recent years, the development of molecular biology and medicine has prompted the research of gene therapy for brain diseases. In this review, we summarized the current gene therapy approaches of major brain diseases. Against the pathogenesis of major brain diseases, including brain tumors, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and cerebrovascular disorders, there are several effective gene therapy strategies. It is no doubt that, gene therapy, as a novel treatment, is of great significance for understanding the causes, as well as comprehensive treatment for brain diseases.

  18. Safety and Effects of the Vector for the Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy Gene Therapy Clinical Trial

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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

  19. Endodrainage, Tumor Photocoagulation, and Silicone Oil Tamponade for Primary Exudative Retinal Detachment due to Choroidal Melanoma Persisting after Proton Beam Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Seibel, Ira; Cordini, Dino; Willerding, Gregor; Riechardt, Aline Isabel; Joussen, Antonia Maria

    2014-01-01

    Background Choroidal melanoma is frequently accompanied by an exudative retinal detachment that can persist after proton beam therapy. This study investigates whether vitrectomy without tumor resection improves the clinical outcome. Methods This is a retrospective interventional case series. Twenty patients with choroidal melanoma with exudative retinal detachment involving the macula were treated by vitrectomy, endodrainage, photocoagulation, and silicone oil tamponade after proton beam therapy. Results The mean follow-up was 38.4 months (median 21.5, range 12.0-122.0). The mean time between proton beam therapy and surgery was 4.5 months (range 0.1-9.2). Reattachment was achieved in 95% of the patients after one vitrectomy. One patient was lost to follow-up because enucleation was performed after 45.9 months due to a secondary glaucoma. Mean visual acuity decreased from 1.1 to 1.8 logMAR before vitrectomy and after 4 years, respectively. No patient showed local tumor recurrence. Metastatic disease was present in 1 patient after 15.2 months, and this patient died after 19.2 months. Conclusion Vitrectomy is indicated after therapeutic proton beam irradiation in patients who present with persisting exudative retinal detachment involving the macula and high local or systemic risk factors for hemorrhagic complications, thus excluding endoresection. PMID:27175359

  20. [The gene therapy for a patient with ADA deficiency; report of the first gene therapy trial in Japan].

    PubMed

    Ariga, T; Kawamura, N; Sakiyama, Y

    1997-06-01

    Since the first gene therapy clinical trial for an ADA deficient patient was performed in September 1990, 10 ADA deficient patients have been enrolled in gene therapy clinical trial. We have been performing the first gene therapy trial in Japan for a 5 year boy with ADA deficiency since August 1995. Activated T cells from the patient's peripheral mononuclear cells were transduced by a retrovirus vector, LASN, which contained cDNA of human ADA gene, and re-infused to him intravenously after 7-11 days. We have already performed 10 cycles of the therapy for the patient. Here, we report the successful results of the gene therapy with laboratory and clinical evaluation. Furthermore, we overview the results of gene therapy for ADA deficient patients which were recently reported from 4 other groups.

  1. Progress and prospects: hurdles to cardiovascular gene therapy clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Hedman, M; Hartikainen, J; Ylä-Herttuala, S

    2011-08-01

    Several gene therapy approaches have been designed for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. A positive finding is that the safety of cardiovascular gene therapy has been excellent even in long-term follow-up. However, several hurdles to this field are still present. A major disappointing feature of the trials is that while preclinical and uncontrolled phase-I gene therapy trials have been positive, none of the randomized controlled phase-II/III cardiovascular gene therapy trials have shown clinically relevant positive effects. Low gene transfer efficiency seems to be associated with several trials. A sophisticated efficient delivery method for cardiovascular applications is still lacking and only low concentrations of the gene product are produced in the target tissues. Only a few gene therapy vectors can be produced in large scale. In addition, inflammatory reactions against vectors and inability to regulate gene expression are still present. Furthermore, a strong placebo effect is affecting the results in gene therapy trials, and long-term trials have become more difficult to conduct because of the multiplicity of therapies applied simultaneously on the patients. This review summarizes advances and obstacles of current cardiovascular clinical gene therapy trials.

  2. 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

  3. Structural recovery of the retina in a retinoschisin-deficient mouse after gene replacement therapy by solid lipid nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Apaolaza, P S; Del Pozo-Rodríguez, A; Solinís, M A; Rodríguez, J M; Friedrich, U; Torrecilla, J; Weber, B H F; Rodríguez-Gascón, A

    2016-06-01

    X-linked juvenile retinoschisis (XLRS) is a retinal degenerative disorder caused by mutations in the RS1 gene encoding a protein termed retinoschisin. The disease is an excellent candidate for gene replacement therapy as the majority of mutations have been shown to lead to a complete deficiency of the secreted protein in the retinal structures. In this work, we have studied the ability of non-viral vectors based on solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) to induce the expression of retinoschisin in photoreceptors (PR) after intravitreal administration to Rs1h-deficient mice. We designed two vectors prepared with SLN, protamine, and dextran (DX) or hyaluronic acid (HA), bearing a plasmid containing the human RS1 gene under the control of the murin opsin promoter (mOPS). In vitro, the nanocarriers were able to induce the expression of retinoschisin in a PR cell line. After injection into the murine vitreous, the formulation prepared with HA induced a higher transfection level in PR than the formulation prepared with DX. Moreover, the level of retinoschisin in the inner nuclear layer (INL), where bipolar cells are located, was also higher. Two weeks after vitreal administration into Rs1h-deficient mice, both formulations showed significant improvement of the retinal structure by inducing a decrease of cavities and PR loss, and an increase of retinal and outer nuclear layer (ONL) thickness. HA-SLN resulted in a significant higher increase in the thickness of both retina and ONL, which can be explained by the higher transfection level of PR. In conclusion, we have shown the structural improvement of the retina of Rs1h-deficient mice with PR specific expression of the RS1 gene driven by the specific promoter mOPS, after successful delivery via SLN-based non-viral vectors.

  4. Nanoparticles for cancer gene therapy: Recent advances, challenges, and strategies.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kui; Kievit, Forrest M; Zhang, Miqin

    2016-12-01

    Compared to conventional treatments, gene therapy offers a variety of advantages for cancer treatment including high potency and specificity, low off-target toxicity, and delivery of multiple genes that concurrently target cancer tumorigenesis, recurrence, and drug resistance. In the past decades, gene therapy has undergone remarkable progress, and is now poised to become a first line therapy for cancer. Among various gene delivery systems, nanoparticles have attracted much attention because of their desirable characteristics including low toxicity profiles, well-controlled and high gene delivery efficiency, and multi-functionalities. This review provides an overview on gene therapeutics and gene delivery technologies, and highlight recent advances, challenges and insights into the design and the utility of nanoparticles in gene therapy for cancer treatment.

  5. Revertant mosaicism in skin: natural gene therapy

    PubMed Central

    Lai-Cheong, Joey E.; McGrath, John A.; Uitto, Jouni

    2011-01-01

    Revertant mosaicism is a naturally occurring phenomenon involving spontaneous correction of a pathogenic mutation in a somatic cell. Recent studies suggest that it is not a rare event and that it could be clinically relevant to phenotypic expression and patient treatment. Indeed, revertant cell therapy represents a potential “natural gene therapy” because in vivo reversion obviates the need for further genetic correction. Revertant mosaicism has been observed in several inherited conditions, including epidermolysis bullosa, a heterogeneous group of blistering skin disorders. These diseases provide a useful model for studying revertant mosaicism because of the visual and accessible nature of skin. This overview highlights the latest developments in revertant mosaicism and the translational implications germane to heritable skin disorders. PMID:21195026

  6. Engineering AAV receptor footprints for gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Madigan, Victoria J; Asokan, Aravind

    2016-06-01

    Adeno-associated viruses (AAV) are currently at the forefront of human gene therapy clinical trials as recombinant vectors. Significant progress has been made in elucidating the structure, biology and tropisms of different naturally occurring AAV isolates in the past decade. In particular, a spectrum of AAV capsid interactions with host receptors have been identified and characterized. These studies have enabled a better understanding of key determinants of AAV cell recognition and entry in different hosts. This knowledge is now being applied toward engineering new, lab-derived AAV capsids with favorable transduction profiles. The current review conveys a structural perspective of capsid-glycan interactions and provides a roadmap for generating synthetic strains by engineering AAV receptor footprints.

  7. 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.

  8. The companions: regulatory T cells and gene therapy

    PubMed Central

    Eghtesad, Saman; Morel, Penelope A; Clemens, Paula R

    2009-01-01

    Undesired immunological responses to products of therapeutic gene replacement have been obstacles to successful gene therapy. Understanding such responses of the host immune system to achieve immunological tolerance to a transferred gene product is therefore crucial. In this article, we review relevant studies of immunological responses to gene replacement therapy, the role of immunological tolerance mediated by regulatory T cells in down-regulating the unwanted immune responses, and the interrelationship of the two topics. PMID:19368560

  9. Advances in gene therapy for ADA-deficient SCID.

    PubMed

    Aiuti, Alessandro

    2002-10-01

    Adenosine deaminase (ADA)-deficient severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) was the first inherited disease treated with gene therapy. The pilot gene therapy studies demonstrated the safety, therapeutic potential and limitations of ADA gene transfer into hematopoietic cells using retroviral vectors. This review describes the latest progress in ADA-SCID dinical trials using peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) and hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). PBL gene therapy was able to restore T-cell functions after discontinuation of ADA enzyme replacement therapy, but only partially corrected the purine metabolic defect. The development of improved HSC gene transfer protocols, combined with low intensity conditioning, allowed full correction of the immunological and metabolic ADA defects, with clinic benefit. These results have important implications for future applications of gene therapy in other disorders involving the hemapoietic system.

  10. New approaches to gene and cell therapy for hemophilia.

    PubMed

    Ohmori, T; Mizukami, H; Ozawa, K; Sakata, Y; Nishimura, S

    2015-06-01

    Hemophilia is considered suitable for gene therapy because it is caused by a single gene abnormality, and therapeutic coagulation factor levels may vary across a broad range. Recent success of hemophilia B gene therapy with an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector in a clinical trial showed the real prospect that, through gene therapy, a cure for hemophilia may become a reality. However, AAV-mediated gene therapy is not applicable to patients with hemophilia A at present, and neutralizing antibodies against AAV reduce the efficacy of AAV-mediated strategies. Because patients that benefit from AAV treatment (hemophilia B without neutralizing antibodies) are estimated to represent only 15% of total patients with hemophilia, the development of basic technologies for hemophilia A and those that result in higher therapeutic effects are critical. In this review, we present an outline of gene therapy methods for hemophilia, including the transition of technical developments thus far and our novel techniques.

  11. 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

  12. Mutations of the XLRS1 gene cause abnormalities of photoreceptor as well as inner retinal responses of the ERG.

    PubMed

    Bradshaw, K; George, N; Moore, A; Trump, D

    1999-01-01

    Intensity-series rod and cone ERGs were recorded in 19 patients with XLRS and 26 control eyes. All patients were examined by one ophthalmologist and diagnosed on the basis of fundus appearance and evidence of the disease in other males in the same family. Mutations in the XLRS1 gene have been identified in 15 of the patients. Dark-adapted ERGs were significantly different from controls for all test conditions and for both a-wave and b-wave responses. Abnormalities were detectable in all patients but there was considerable variation in the severity of abnormality. One third of the patients had the dark-adapted 'negative-wave' response typically associated with inner retinal disorder, but about one third showed only mild depression of the b-wave while the remainder had abnormally low a-waves in addition to depressed b-waves. Light-adapted responses were also affected and both a-wave and b-wave responses differed significantly from controls, but the 'negative-wave' response was not seen in any patient. The severity of the ERG abnormality did not correlate with the classification of fundus appearance or patient age suggesting that retinal function is relatively stable throughout life. The severity of ERG abnormalities did not correlate with the type of mutation and responses could differ between affected males within the same family. These results indicate considerable heterogeneity of ERG response without clinical, age or genetic correlate. The abnormal a-wave responses indicate that photoreceptor as well as inner retinal layer function may be affected in XLRS, at least in some patients.

  13. Spata7 is a retinal ciliopathy gene critical for correct RPGRIP1 localization and protein trafficking in the retina

    PubMed Central

    Eblimit, Aiden; Nguyen, Thanh-Minh T.; Chen, Yiyun; Esteve-Rudd, Julian; Zhong, Hua; Letteboer, Stef; Van Reeuwijk, Jeroen; Simons, David L.; Ding, Qian; Wu, Ka Man; Li, Yumei; Van Beersum, Sylvia; Moayedi, Yalda; Xu, Huidan; Pickard, Patrick; Wang, Keqing; Gan, Lin; Wu, Samuel M.; Williams, David S.; Mardon, Graeme; Roepman, Ronald; Chen, Rui

    2015-01-01

    Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) and juvenile retinitis pigmentosa (RP) are severe hereditary diseases that causes visual impairment in infants and children. SPATA7 has recently been identified as the LCA3 and juvenile RP gene in humans, whose function in the retina remains elusive. Here, we show that SPATA7 localizes at the primary cilium of cells and at the connecting cilium (CC) of photoreceptor cells, indicating that SPATA7 is a ciliary protein. In addition, SPATA7 directly interacts with the retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator interacting protein 1 (RPGRIP1), a key connecting cilium protein that has also been linked to LCA. In the retina of Spata7 null mutant mice, a substantial reduction of RPGRIP1 levels at the CC of photoreceptor cells is observed, suggesting that SPATA7 is required for the stable assembly and localization of the ciliary RPGRIP1 protein complex. Furthermore, our results pinpoint a role of this complex in protein trafficking across the CC to the outer segments, as we identified that rhodopsin accumulates in the inner segments and around the nucleus of photoreceptors. This accumulation then likely triggers the apoptosis of rod photoreceptors that was observed. Loss of Spata7 function in mice indeed results in a juvenile RP-like phenotype, characterized by progressive degeneration of photoreceptor cells and a strongly decreased light response. Together, these results indicate that SPATA7 functions as a key member of a retinal ciliopathy-associated protein complex, and that apoptosis of rod photoreceptor cells triggered by protein mislocalization is likely the mechanism of disease progression in LCA3/ juvenile RP patients. PMID:25398945

  14. Gene Therapy and Gene Editing for the Corneal Dystrophies.

    PubMed

    Williams, Keryn A; Irani, Yazad D

    2016-01-01

    Despite ever-increasing understanding of the genetic underpinnings of many corneal dystrophies, gene therapy designed to ameliorate disease has not yet been reported in any human patient. In this review, we explore the likely reasons for this apparent failure of translation. We identify the requirements for success: the genetic defect involved must have been identified and mapped, vision in the affected patient must be significantly impaired or likely to be impaired, no better or equivalently effective treatment must be available, the treatment must be capable of modulating corneal pathology, and delivery of the construct to the appropriate cell must be practicable. We consider which of the corneal dystrophies might be amenable to treatment by genetic manipulations, summarize existing therapeutic options for treatment, and explore gene editing using clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat/Cas and other similar transformative technologies as the way of the future. We then summarize recent laboratory-based advances in gene delivery and the development of in vitro and in vivo models of the corneal dystrophies. Finally, we review recent experimental work that has increased our knowledge of the pathobiology of these conditions.

  15. Retinal remodeling in the Tg P347L rabbit, a large-eye model of retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Jones, B W; Kondo, M; Terasaki, H; Watt, C B; Rapp, K; Anderson, J; Lin, Y; Shaw, M V; Yang, J-H; Marc, R E

    2011-10-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is an inherited blinding disease characterized by progressive loss of retinal photoreceptors. There are numerous rodent models of retinal degeneration, but most are poor platforms for interventions that will translate into clinical practice. The rabbit possesses a number of desirable qualities for a model of retinal disease including a large eye and an existing and substantial knowledge base in retinal circuitry, anatomy, and ophthalmology. We have analyzed degeneration, remodeling, and reprogramming in a rabbit model of retinal degeneration, expressing a rhodopsin proline 347 to leucine transgene in a TgP347L rabbit as a powerful model to study the pathophysiology and treatment of retinal degeneration. We show that disease progression in the TgP347L rabbit closely tracks human cone-sparing RP, including the cone-associated preservation of bipolar cell signaling and triggering of reprogramming. The relatively fast disease progression makes the TgP347L rabbit an excellent model for gene therapy, cell biological intervention, progenitor cell transplantation, surgical interventions, and bionic prosthetic studies.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Glucocorticoids induce transactivation of tight junction genes occludin and claudin-5 in retinal endothelial cells via a novel cis-element.

    PubMed

    Felinski, Edward A; Cox, Amy E; Phillips, Brett E; Antonetti, David A

    2008-06-01

    Tight junctions between vascular endothelial cells help to create the blood-brain and blood-retinal barriers. Breakdown of the retinal tight junction complex is problematic in several disease states including diabetic retinopathy. Glucocorticoids can restore and/or preserve the endothelial barrier to paracellular permeability, although the mechanism remains unclear. We show that glucocorticoid treatment of primary retinal endothelial cells increases content of the tight junction proteins occludin and claudin-5, co-incident with an increase in barrier properties of endothelial monolayers. The glucocorticoid receptor antagonist RU486 reverses both the glucocorticoid-stimulated increase in occludin content and the increase in barrier properties. Transcriptional activity from the human occludin and claudin-5 promoters increases in retinal endothelial cells upon glucocorticoid treatment, and is dependent on the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) as demonstrated by siRNA. Deletion analysis of the occludin promoter reveals a 205bp sequence responsible for the glucocorticoid response. However, this region does not possess a canonical glucocorticoid response element and does not bind to the GR in a chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay. Mutational analysis of this region revealed a novel 40bp occludin enhancer element (OEE), containing two highly conserved regions of 10 and 13 base pairs, that is both necessary and sufficient for glucocorticoid-induced gene expression in retinal endothelial cells. These data suggest a novel mechanism for glucocorticoid induction of vascular endothelial barrier properties through increased occludin and claudin-5 gene expression.

  19. Development of mitochondrial gene replacement therapy.

    PubMed

    Khan, Shaharyar M; Bennett, James P

    2004-08-01

    Many "classic" mitochondrial diseases have been described that arise from single homoplasmic mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). These diseases typically affect nonmitotic tissues (brain, retina, muscle), present with variable phenotypes, can appear sporadically, and are untreatable. Evolving evidence implicates mtDNA abnormalities in diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and type II diabetes, but specific causal mutations for these conditions remain to be defined. Understanding the mtDNA genotype-phenotype relationships and developing specific treatment for mtDNA-based diseases is hampered by inability to manipulate the mitochondrial genome. We present a novel protein transduction technology ("protofection") that allows insertion and expression of the human mitochondrial genome into mitochondria of living cells. With protofection, the mitochondrial genotype can be altered, or exogenous genes can be introduced to be expressed and either retained in mitochondria or be directed to other organelles. Protofection also delivers mtDNA in vivo, opening the way to rational development of mitochondrial gene replacement therapy of mtDNA-based diseases.

  20. A Double Selection Approach to Achieve Specific Expression of Toxin Genes for Ovarian Cancer Gene Therapy

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-11-01

    specific expression of toxin genes for ovarian cancer gene therapy PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: David T. Curiel, M.D., Ph.D. Gene Siegal...A double selection approach to achieve specific expression of toxin genes for ovarian cancer gene therapy 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-05-1-0035...cancer. This system should result in highly efficient and specific expression of toxin encoding genes in tumor cells, enabling these cells to be

  1. Viability of long-term gene therapy in the cochlea.

    PubMed

    Atkinson, Patrick J; Wise, Andrew K; Flynn, Brianna O; Nayagam, Bryony A; Richardson, Rachael T

    2014-04-22

    Gene therapy has been investigated as a way to introduce a variety of genes to treat neurological disorders. An important clinical consideration is its long-term effectiveness. This research aims to study the long-term expression and effectiveness of gene therapy in promoting spiral ganglion neuron survival after deafness. Adenoviral vectors modified to express brain derived neurotrophic factor or neurotrophin-3 were unilaterally injected into the guinea pig cochlea one week post ototoxic deafening. After six months, persistence of gene expression and significantly greater neuronal survival in neurotrophin-treated cochleae compared to the contralateral cochleae were observed. The long-term gene expression observed indicates that gene therapy is potentially viable; however the degeneration of the transduced cells as a result of the original ototoxic insult may limit clinical effectiveness. With further research aimed at transducing stable cochlear cells, gene therapy may be an efficacious way to introduce neurotrophins to promote neuronal survival after hearing loss.

  2. Retinitis pigmentosa

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001029.htm Retinitis pigmentosa To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Retinitis pigmentosa is an eye disease in which there is ...

  3. Gene therapy of the brain: the trans-vascular approach.

    PubMed

    Schlachetzki, Felix; Zhang, Yun; Boado, Ruben J; Pardridge, William M

    2004-04-27

    Many chronic neurologic diseases do not respond to small molecule therapeutics, and have no effective long-term therapy. Gene therapy offers the promise of an effective cure for both genetic and acquired brain disease. However, the limiting problem in brain gene therapy is delivery to brain followed by regulation of the expression of the transgene. Present day gene vectors do not cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Consequently, brain gene therapy requires craniotomy and the local injection of a viral