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J Soc Biol. 2002;196(2):175-81.

[Gene therapy of Gaucher's and Fabry's diseases: current status and prospects].

[Article in French]

Author information

1
INSERM U458, Hôpital Robert Debré, 48, Bd Sérurier, 75019 Paris.

Abstract

Gaucher disease and Fabry disease are lysosomal storage disorders characterized by the accumulation of sphingolipids. In both cases, the goal of gene therapy is to permanently provide tissues with enzyme levels allowing to avoid storage of the undigested substrates. Different gene therapy strategies must however be designed as Gaucher disease is due to a deficiency in the membrane-associated enzyme glucocerebrosidase, whereas Fabry disease is caused by a deficiency in the soluble enzyme alpha-galactosidase. Indeed, a soluble enzyme can be provided to tissues is trans by gene-modified cells whereas gene transfer has to target the most affected cells in the case of membrane-bound enzymes. Thus, in non-neurological Gaucher disease (type 1), the hematopoietic tissue has to be targeted as the deficiency affects the monocyte/macrophage lineage. Following promising preclinical studies, clinical protocols have been initiated to explore the feasibility and safety of retroviral transfer of the glucocerebrosidase gene into CD34+ cells from patients with type 1 Gaucher disease. Although gene-marked cells were detected in vivo, the level of corrected cells was very low, a finding indicating that improved vectors along with partial myeloablation may be necessary. Here, lentiviral vectors should enable more gene transduction into the hematopoietic target cells. As concerns the diffuse neurological lesions in types 2 and 3 of Gaucher disease, they will probably be especially difficult to target by gene therapy because of the non soluble nature of glucocerebrosidase. Finally, over the last few years, Fabry disease has become a compelling target for gene therapy as an etiology-based treatment strategy. Indeed, several recent studies aiming at creating a large in vivo source of alpha-galactosidase have yielded positive long-term results in the Fabry knock-out mouse model.

PMID:
12360746
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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