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Hum Mol Genet. 2003 May 1;12(9):961-73.

Production of MPS VII mouse (Gus(tm(hE540A x mE536A)Sly)) doubly tolerant to human and mouse beta-glucuronidase.

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  • 1Edward A. Doisy Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO 63104, USA.


Mucopolysaccharidosis VII (MPS VII, Sly syndrome) is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disease caused by beta-glucuronidase (GUS) deficiency. A naturally occurring mouse model of that disease has been very useful for studying experimental approaches to therapy. However, immune responses can complicate evaluation of the long-term benefits of enzyme replacement or gene therapy delivered to adult MPS VII mice. To make this model useful for studying the long-term effectiveness and side effects of experimental therapies delivered to adult mice, we developed a new MPS VII mouse model, which is tolerant to both human and murine GUS. To achieve this, we used homologous recombination to introduce simultaneously a human cDNA transgene expressing inactive human GUS into intron 9 of the murine Gus gene and a targeted active site mutation (E536A) into the adjacent exon 10. When the heterozygote products of germline transmission were bred to homozygosity, the homozygous mice expressed no GUS enzyme activity but expressed inactive human GUS protein highly and were tolerant to immune challenge with human enzyme. Expression of the mutant murine Gus gene was reduced to about 10% of normal levels, but the inactive murine GUS enzyme also conferred tolerance to murine GUS. This MPS VII mouse model should be useful to evaluate therapeutic responses in adult mice receiving repetitive doses of enzyme or mice receiving gene therapy as adults. Heterozygotes expressed only 9.5-26% of wild-type levels of murine GUS instead of the expected 50%, indicating a dominant-negative effect of the mutant enzyme monomers on the activity of GUS tetramers in different tissues. Corrective gene therapy in this model should provide high enough levels of expression of normal GUS monomers to overcome the dominant negative effect of mutant monomers on newly synthesized GUS tetramers in most tissues.

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