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Hum Gene Ther. 1990 Fall;1(3):241-56.

Evaluation of the transfer and expression in mice of an enzyme-encoding gene using a human adenovirus vector.

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Laboratoire de Génétique des Virus Oncogènes, Institut Gustave-Roussy, Villejuif, France.


Mutant mice of the Spf-ash strain have an inherited defect in ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) protein synthesis, and were used to ascertain the potential of recombinant adenoviruses for introducing and expressing the normal gene lacking in these mice. These OTC mutant mice are characterized by a reduction in the amount of OTC activity, resulting in hyperammonemia, pronounced orotic aciduria, growth retardation, and sparse fur until weaning. A recombinant adenovirus that harbors the rat OTC cDNA under the control of the viral major late promoter (MLP) was constructed and injected into such newborn mice. The effect of the virus was analyzed by monitoring the hepatic OTC enzyme during several months after the injection. An increase in OTC activity was detected and was accompanied by a diminution of orotic acid in the urine. The observation of MLP-OTC mRNA transcripts over 1 year following the injection attests to the relatively long-term presence of the transferred gene. In those mice showing the greatest OTC activity, a normalization of the fur was also observed. The experiments reported here document the feasibility of using adenovirus for the direct delivery in vivo of a gene to restore an impaired metabolism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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