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Am J Hum Genet. 2007 Feb;80(2):291-7. Epub 2006 Dec 19.

Long-term rescue of a lethal inherited disease by adeno-associated virus-mediated gene transfer in a mouse model of molybdenum-cofactor deficiency.

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  • 1Neurologische Universitätsklinik, Abteilung Allgemeine Neurologie, OFG Research Center for the Molecular Physiology of the Brain, Göttingen, Germany.


Molybdenum cofactor (MoCo) deficiency is a progressive neurological disorder that inevitably leads to early childhood death because of the lack of any effective therapy. In a mouse model of MoCo deficiency type A, the most frequent form of this autosomal recessively inherited disease, the affected animals show the biochemical characteristics of sulphite and xanthine intoxication and do not survive >2 wk after birth. We have constructed a recombinant-expression cassette for the gene MOCS1, which, via alternative splicing, facilitates the expression of the proteins MOCS1A and MOCS1B, both of which are necessary for the formation of a first intermediate, cyclic pyranopterin monophosphate (cPMP), within the biosynthetic pathway leading to active MoCo. A recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector was used to express the artificial MOCS1 minigene, in an attempt to cure the lethal MOCS1-deficient phenotype. The vector was used to transduce Mocs1-deficient mice at both 1 and 4 d after birth or, after a pretreatment with purified cPMP, at 40 d after birth. We report here that all Mocs1-deficient animals injected with a control AAV-enhanced green fluorescent protein vector died approximately 8 d after birth or after withdrawal of cPMP supplementation, whereas AAV-MOCS1-transduced animals show significantly increased longevity. A single intrahepatic injection of AAV-MOCS1 resulted in fertile adult animals without any pathological phenotypes.

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