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Blood. 2000 Apr 15;95(8):2536-42.

Improved muscle-derived expression of human coagulation factor IX from a skeletal actin/CMV hybrid enhancer/promoter.

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Departments of Pediatrics and Pathology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Hemophilia B is caused by the absence of functional coagulation factor IX (F.IX) and represents an important model for treatment of genetic diseases by gene therapy. Recent studies have shown that intramuscular injection of an adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector into mice and hemophilia B dogs results in vector dose-dependent, long-term expression of biologically active F.IX at therapeutic levels. In this study, we demonstrate that levels of expression of approximately 300 ng/mL (6% of normal human F.IX levels) can be reached by intramuscular injection of mice using a 2- to 4-fold lower vector dose (1 x 10(11) vector genomes/mouse, injected into 4 intramuscular sites) than previously described. This was accomplished through the use of an improved expression cassette that uses the cytomegalovirus (CMV) immediate early enhancer/promoter in combination with a 1.2-kilobase portion of human skeletal actin promoter. These results correlated with enhanced levels of F.IX transcript and secreted F.IX protein in transduced murine C2C12 myotubes. Systemic F.IX expression from constructs containing the CMV enhancer/promoter alone was 120 to 200 ng/mL in mice injected with 1 x 10(11) vector genomes. Muscle-specific promoters performed poorly for F.IX transgene expression in vitro and in vivo. However, the incorporation of a sequence from the alpha-skeletal actin promoter containing at least 1 muscle-specific enhancer and 1 enhancer-like element further improved muscle-derived expression of F.IX from a CMV enhancer/promoter-driven expression cassette over previously published results. These findings will allow the design of a clinical protocol for therapeutic levels of F.IX expression with lower vector doses, thus enhancing efficacy and safety of the protocol. (Blood. 2000;95:2536-2542)

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