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Nat Med. 1999 Jul;5(7):768-73.

Long-term cure of the photosensitivity of murine erythropoietic protoporphyria by preselective gene therapy.

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Division of Health Sciences & Technology, Cambridge 02139, USA.


Definitive cure of an animal model of a human disease by gene transfer into hematopoietic stem cells has not yet been accomplished in the absence of spontaneous in vivo selection for transduced cells. Erythropoietic protoporphyria is a genetic disease in which ferrochelatase is defective. Protoporphyrin accumulates in erythrocytes, leaks into the plasma and results in severe skin photosensitivity. Using a mouse model of erythropoietic protoporphyria, we demonstrate here that ex vivo preselection of hematopoietic stem cells transduced with a polycistronic retrovirus expressing both human ferrochelatase and green fluorescent protein results in complete and long-term correction of skin photosensitivity in all transplanted mice.

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