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Mol Ther. 2009 Jul;17(7):1145-54. doi: 10.1038/mt.2009.35. Epub 2009 Mar 3.

Directed engineering of a high-expression chimeric transgene as a strategy for gene therapy of hemophilia A.

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Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


Human coagulation factor VIII (fVIII) is inefficiently biosynthesized in vitro and has proven difficult to express at therapeutic levels using available clinical gene-transfer technologies. Recently, we showed that a porcine and certain hybrid human/porcine fVIII transgenes demonstrate up to 100-fold greater expression than human fVIII. In this study, we extend these results to describe the use of a humanized, high-expression, hybrid human/porcine fVIII transgene that is 89% identical to human fVIII and was delivered by lentiviral vectors (LVs) to hematopoietic stem cells for gene therapy of hemophilia A. Recombinant human immunodeficiency virus-based vectors encoding the fVIII chimera efficiently transduced human embryonic kidney (HEK)-293T cells. Cells transduced with hybrid human/porcine fVIII encoding vectors expressed fVIII at levels 6- to 100-fold greater than cells transduced with vectors encoding human fVIII. Transplantation of transduced hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells into hemophilia A mice resulted in long-term fVIII expression at therapeutic levels despite <5% genetically modified blood mononuclear cells. Furthermore, the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) -derived vector effectively transduced the human hematopoietic cell lines K562, EU1, U.937, and Jurkat as well as the nonhematopoietic cell lines, HEK-293T and HeLa. All cell lines expressed hybrid human/porcine fVIII, albeit at varying levels with the K562 cells expressing the highest level of the hematopoietic cell lines. From these studies, we conclude that humanized high-expression hybrid fVIII transgenes can be utilized in gene therapy applications for hemophilia A to significantly increase fVIII expression levels compared to what has been previously achieved.

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