REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0602.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Gene therapy; ocular neovascularization; viral vectors; preclinical; clinical trials; anti-angiogenesis; AAV
Online: 23 December 2020 (17:45:44 CET)
Pathological vessel growth harms vision and may finally lead to vision loss. Anti-angiogenic gene therapy with viral vectors for ocular neovascularization has shown great promise in pre-clinical studies. Most of the studies has conducted with different adeno-associate serotype vectors. In addition, Adeno and lentivirus vectors have been used. Therapy has targeted to block vascular endothelial growth factors or other pro-angiogenic factors. Clinical trials of intraocular gene therapy for neovascularization have shown the treatment to be safe without severe adverse events or systemic effects. Nevertheless, clinical studies have not proceeded phase 2 trials further.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0010.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Ophthalmology Keywords: Gene therapy, gene editing, CRISPR/Cas9, Cas12a, dual AAV, triple AAV, clinical trials, retina, hereditary retinal dystrophies
Online: 1 October 2018 (13:52:23 CEST)
Recently, there have been revolutions in the development of both gene therapy and genome surgical treatments for inherited diseases. Much of this progress has been centered around hereditary retinal dystrophies, because the eye is an immune-privileged and anatomically ideal target. Gene therapy treatments, already demonstrated to be safe and efficacious in numerous clinical trials, are benefitting from the development of new viral vectors, such as dual and triple AAVs. CRISPR/Ca9, which revolutionized the field of gene editing, is being adapted into more precise “high fidelity” and catalytically dead variants. New CRISPR endonucleases, such as CjCas9 and Cas12a, are generating excitement in the field as well. Stem cell therapy has emerged as a promising alternative, allowing human embryo derived stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells to be edited precisely in vitro and then reintroduced into the body. This article highlights recent progress made in gene therapy and genome surgery for retinal disorders, and it provides an update on precision medicine FDA treatment trials.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0411.v1
Online: 16 March 2021 (10:14:06 CET)
Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) infection causes the most severe form of viral hepatitis but little is known about the molecular mechanisms involved. The recently developed HDV mouse model based on the delivery of HDV replication-competent genomes using adeno-associated vectors (AAV) develop a liver pathology very similar to the human disease, and allowed us to perform mechanistic studies. We have generated different AAV-HDV mutants to eliminate the expression HDV antigens (HDAgs), characterized them both in vitro and in vivo. We confirmed that S-HDAg is essential for HDV replication and cannot be replaced by L-HDAg or host cellular proteins, and the L-HDAg is essential for HDV infectious particle production. We have also found that the lack of L-HDAg resulted in the increase of of S-HDAg expression levels and the exacerbation of liver damage which is T cell independent but is associated with an increment in liver inflammation. Interestingly, early expression of L-HDAg significantly ameliorated the liver damage induced by the mutant expressing only the S-HDAg. In summary, the use of AAV-HDV represents a very attractive platform to interrogate in vivo the role of viral components in the HDV life cycle and to better understand the mechanism of HDV-induced liver pathology.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0173.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Behavioral Neuroscience Keywords: γ-synuclein; AAV vector; antisense oligonucleotide; cognitive dysfunction; dopamine; motor deficits
Online: 12 January 2022 (14:27:18 CET)
The synuclein family consists of α-, β-, and γ-Synuclein (α-Syn, β-Syn, and γ-Syn), expressed in the neurons and concentrated in synaptic terminals. While α-Syn is at the center of interest due to its implication in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other synucleinopathies, limited information exists on the other members. The current study aimed at investigating the biological role of γ-Syn controlling the midbrain dopamine (DA) function. We generated two different mouse models with i) γ-Syn overexpression induced by an adeno-associated viral vector and ii) γ-Syn knockdown induced by a ligand-conjugated antisense oligonucleotide, to modify the endogenous γ-Syn transcription levels in midbrain DA neurons. The progressive overexpression of γ-Syn decreased DA neurotransmission in the nigrostriatal and mesocortical pathways. In parallel, mice evoked motor deficits in the rotarod and impaired cognitive performance as assessed by novel object recognition, passive avoidance, and Morris water maze tests. Conversely, acute γ-Syn knockdown selectively in DA neurons facilitated forebrain DA neurotransmission. Importantly, modifications in γ-Syn expression did not induce the loss of DA neurons or changes in α-Syn expression. Collectively, our data strongly suggest that DA re-lease/re-uptake processes in the nigrostriatal and mesocortical pathways are partially dependent on SNc/VTA γ-Syn transcription levels, and are linked to modulation of DA transporter function, similar to α-Syn.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0273.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Dry-AMD; oxidative stress; MnSOD; RPE; retinal degeneration; Erythropoietin; gene therapy; Animal model; AAV; ERG
Online: 12 April 2021 (09:37:18 CEST)
Erythropoietin (EPO) protects cells by inhibiting apoptosis, oxidative stress and inflammation in several models of retinal degeneration. In this study, we demonstrate the effects of recombinant Adeno Associated Virus (AAV) vector-mediated delivery of a modified form of erythropoietin (EPO-R76E) in an established mouse model of dry-AMD in which retinal degeneration is induced by RPE oxidative stress. Experimental vector AAV-EPO-R76E and control vector AAV-GFP were packaged into serotype-1 (AAV1) to enable RPE selective expression. RPE oxidative stress-mediated retinal degeneration was induced by exon specific deletion of the protective enzyme MnSOD (encoded by Sod2) by cre/lox mechanism. Experimental mice received subretinal injection of AAV-EPO-R76E in the right eye and AAV-GFP in the left eye. Western blotting of RPE/Choroid protein samples from AAV-EPO-R76E injected eyes showed RPE specific exogenous protein expression. Retinal degeneration was monitored by electroretinography (ERG). EPO-R76E over-expression in RPE delayed the progressive retinal degeneration as measured by light microscopy in RPE specific Sod2 knockout mice. Delivery of EPO-R76E vector can be used as a tool to prevent retinal degeneration induced by RPE oxidative stress as seen in this mouse model.