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      Genomic DNA transfer with a high-capacity adenovirus vector results in improved in vivo gene expression and decreased toxicity.

      Nature genetics

      Adenoviridae, Animals, DNA-Binding Proteins, biosynthesis, genetics, Gene Expression Regulation, Genes, RAG-1, Genetic Therapy, methods, Genetic Vectors, Homeodomain Proteins, Humans, Liver, metabolism, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Recombinant Proteins, Transcription, Genetic, Transfection, alpha 1-Antitrypsin

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          Abstract

          Many applications for human gene therapy would be facilitated by high levels and long duration of physiologic gene expression. Adenoviral vectors are frequently used for gene transfer because of their high cellular transduction efficiency in vitro and in vivo. Expression of viral proteins and the low capacity for foreign DNA limits the clinical application of first- and second-generation adenoviral vectors. Adenoviral vectors with all viral coding sequences deleted offer the prospect of decreased host immune responses to viral proteins, decreased cellular toxicity of viral proteins and increased capacity to accommodate large regulatory DNA regions. Currently most vectors used in vivo for preclinical and clinical studies express cDNAs under the control of heterologous eukaryotic or viral promoters. Using an adenoviral vector with all viral coding sequences deleted and containing the complete human alpha1-antitrypsin (PI) locus, we observed tissue-specific transcriptional regulation in cell culture and in vivo; intravenous injection in mice resulted in high levels of very stable expression for more than ten months and decreased acute and chronic toxicity. These results indicate significant advantages of regulated gene expression using genomic DNA for gene transfer and of adenoviral gene transfer vectors devoid of all viral coding sequences.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Cellular immunity to viral antigens limits E1-deleted adenoviruses for gene therapy.

          An important limitation that has emerged in the use of adenoviruses for gene therapy has been loss of recombinant gene expression that occurs concurrent with the development of pathology in the organ expressing the transgene. We have used liver-directed approaches to gene therapy in mice to study mechanisms that underlie the problems with transient expression and pathology that have characterized in vivo applications of first-generation recombinant adenoviruses (i.e., those deleted of E1a and E1b). Our data are consistent with the following hypothesis. Cells harboring the recombinant viral genome express the transgene as desired; however, low-level expression of viral genes also occurs. A virus-specific cellular immune response is stimulated that leads to destruction of the genetically modified hepatocytes, massive hepatitis, and repopulation of the liver with nontransgene-containing hepatocytes. These findings suggest approaches for improving recombinant adenoviruses that are based on further crippling the virus to limit expression of nondeleted viral genes.
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            A helper-dependent adenovirus vector system: removal of helper virus by Cre-mediated excision of the viral packaging signal.

            Adenoviruses are attractive vectors for the delivery of foreign genes into mammalian cells for gene therapy. However, current vectors retain many viral genes that, when expressed at low levels, contribute to the induction of a host immune response against transduced cells. We have developed a helper-dependent packaging system for production of vectors that have large regions of the genome deleted. Helper viruses were constructed with packaging signals flanked by loxP sites so that in 293 cells that stably express the Cre recombinase (293Cre), the packaging signal was efficiently excised, rendering the helper virus genome unpackageable. However, the helper virus DNA was replicated at normal levels and could thus express all of the functions necessary in trans for replication and packaging of a vector genome containing the appropriate cis-acting elements. Serial passage of the vector in helper virus-infected 293Cre cells resulted in an approximately 10-fold increase in vector titer per passage. The vector could be partially separated from residual helper virus by cesium chloride buoyant density centrifugation. Large scale preparations of vector yielded semi-purified stocks of approximately 10(10) transducing virions/ml, with < 0.01% contamination by the E1-deleted helper virus. This system should have great utility for the generation of adenovirus-based vectors with increased cloning capacity, increased safety and reduced immunogenicity.
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              Immune responses to transgene-encoded proteins limit the stability of gene expression after injection of replication-defective adenovirus vectors.

              The use of replication-defective adenoviruses (RDAd) for human gene therapy has been limited by host immune responses that result in transient recombinant gene expression in vivo. It remained unclear whether these immune responses were directed predominantly against viral proteins or, alternatively, against foreign transgene-encoded proteins. In this report, we have compared the stability of recombinant gene expression in adult immunocompetent mice following intramuscular (i.m.) injection with identical RDAd encoding self (murine) or foreign (human) erythropoietin. Our results demonstrate that immune responses direct against foreign transgene-encoded proteins are the major determinants of the stability of gene expression following i.m. injection of RDAd. Moreover, we demonstrate long-term recombinant gene expression in immunocompetent animals following a single i.m. injection of RDAd encoding a self protein. These findings are important for the design of future preclinical and clinical gene therapy trials.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                9462752
                10.1038/ng0298-180

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