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Nature. 1992 Dec 24-31;360(6406):749-53.

Reversal of pathology in murine mucopolysaccharidosis type VII by somatic cell gene transfer.

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  • 1Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609.


An inherited deficiency of beta-glucuronidase in humans, mice and dogs causes mucopolysaccharidosis VII (Sly syndrome), a progressive degenerative disease that reduces lifespan (to an average of 5 months in mice) and results from lysosomal storage of undegraded glycosaminoglycans in the spleen, liver, kidney, cornea, brain and skeletal system. Bone marrow transplantation in mutant mice provides a source of normal enzyme ('cross-correction'), which substantially improves the clinical condition and extends the average lifespan to 18 months. Gene therapy by transfer of a beta-glucuronidase gene into mutant haematopoietic stem cells is an alternative approach, but it is not known whether the low expression of vector-transferred genes in vivo would be sufficiently effective. Here we show that retroviral vector-mediated transfer of the gene to mutant stem cells results in long-term expression of low levels of beta-glucuronidase which partially corrects the disease by reducing lysosomal storage in liver and spleen.

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