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J Virol. 2016 Jul 27;90(16):7019-7031. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02953-15. Print 2016 Aug 15.

Identification and Validation of Small Molecules That Enhance Recombinant Adeno-associated Virus Transduction following High-Throughput Screens.

Author information

1
Gene Therapy Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
2
Department of Pharmacology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
3
Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
4
Department of Ophthalmology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.
5
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA.
6
Gene Therapy Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA rjs@med.unc.edu.

Abstract

While the recent success of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene therapy in clinical trials is promising, challenges still face the widespread applicability of recombinant AAV(rAAV). A major goal is to enhance the transduction efficiency of vectors in order to achieve therapeutic levels of gene expression at a vector dose that is below the immunological response threshold. In an attempt to identify novel compounds that enhance rAAV transduction, we performed two high-throughput screens comprising 2,396 compounds. We identified 13 compounds that were capable of enhancing transduction, of which 12 demonstrated vector-specific effects and 1 could also enhance vector-independent transgene expression. Many of these compounds had similar properties and could be categorized into five groups: epipodophyllotoxins (group 1), inducers of DNA damage (group 2), effectors of epigenetic modification (group 3), anthracyclines (group 4), and proteasome inhibitors (group 5). We optimized dosing for the identified compounds in several immortalized human cell lines as well as normal diploid cells. We found that the group 1 epipodophyllotoxins (teniposide and etoposide) consistently produced the greatest transduction enhancement. We also explored transduction enhancement among single-stranded, self-complementary, and fragment vectors and found that the compounds could impact fragmented rAAV2 transduction to an even greater extent than single-stranded vectors. In vivo analysis of rAAV2 and all of the clinically relevant compounds revealed that, consistent with our in vitro results, teniposide exhibited the greatest level of transduction enhancement. Finally, we explored the capability of teniposide to enhance transduction of fragment vectors in vivo using an AAV8 capsid that is known to exhibit robust liver tropism. Consistent with our in vitro results, teniposide coadministration greatly enhanced fragmented rAAV8 transduction at 48 h and 8 days. This study provides a foundation based on the rAAV small-molecule screen methodology, which is ideally used for more-diverse libraries of compounds that can be tested for potentiating rAAV transduction.

IMPORTANCE:

This study seeks to enhance the capability of adeno-associated viral vectors for therapeutic gene delivery applicable to the treatment of diverse diseases. To do this, a comprehensive panel of FDA-approved drugs were tested in human cells and in animal models to determine if they increased adeno-associated virus gene delivery. The results demonstrate that particular groups of drugs enhance adeno-associated virus gene delivery by unknown mechanisms. In particular, the enhancement of gene delivery was approximately 50 to 100 times better with than without teniposide, a compound that is also used as chemotherapy for cancer. Collectively, these results highlight the potential for FDA-approved drug enhancement of adeno-associated virus gene therapy, which could result in safe and effective treatments for diverse acquired or genetic diseases.

PMID:
27147738
PMCID:
PMC4984620
DOI:
10.1128/JVI.02953-15
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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