Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I) due to deficient α-L-iduronidase (IDUA) activity results in the accumulation of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in many of the cells of affected patients. Stable gene replacement by in vivo administration of lentiviral vectors (LVs) has therapeutic potential for metabolic disorders and other systemic diseases. We have previously shown in a murine model the therapeutic potential of lentiviral IDUA vector-mediated gene therapy, in which human IDUA cDNA was driven by the cytomegalovirus promoter. However, the major limitation of this approach was the induction of an immune response against the therapeutic protein, which limited the efficacy and long-term duration of treatment. In this study, we evaluate the potential of liver-directed gene therapy, that is, programming of murine hepatocytes to secrete the enzyme with mannose 6-phosphate (M6P), which can be taken up by distant cells. Eight- to 10-week-old mice were injected via the tail vein with a lentiviral vector expressing human IDUA cDNA driven by the albumin gene promoter selectively expressed in hepatocytes. One month after treatment, IDUA activity was present in the liver and spleen of treated mice; an expression level of 1% normal IDUA activity was sufficient to reduce the GAG level in liver, spleen, kidney, heart, and lung. Interestingly, 6 months after a single injection of this vector, IDUA activity was detectable in several murine tissues; the level of enzyme activity was low but sufficient to maintain the decrease in GAG levels in liver, spleen, kidney, heart, and lung. Also, the level of enzyme-specific antibodies reached at 6 months postinjection was nearly null, and real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis showed high levels of vector DNA content in liver and spleen. Thus, these results show that the use of LV with the albumin gene promoter selectively expressed in hepatocytes limited the immune response to the transgene and allowed stable and prolonged expression of the IDUA enzyme and a partial correction of the pathology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas