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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Feb 18;111(7):2680-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1323155111. Epub 2014 Feb 3.

Platelets are efficient and protective depots for storage, distribution, and delivery of lysosomal enzyme in mice with Hurler syndrome.

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Division of Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229.


Use of megakaryocytes/platelets for transgene expression may take advantage of their rapid turnover and protective storage in platelets and reduce the risk of activating oncogenes in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSCs). Here, we show that human megakaryocytic cells could overexpress the lysosomal enzyme, α-l-iduronidase (IDUA), which is deficient in patients with mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I). Upon megakaryocytic differentiation, the amount of released enzyme increased rapidly and steadily by 30-fold. Using a murine MPS I model, we demonstrated that megakaryocyte/platelets were capable of producing, packaging, and storing large amounts of IDUA with proper catalytic activity, lysosomal trafficking, and receptor-mediated uptake. IDUA can be released directly into extracellular space or within microparticles during megakaryocyte maturation or platelet activation, while retaining the capacity for cross-correction in patient's cells. Gene transfer into 1.7% of HSCs led to long-term normalization of plasma IDUA and preferential distribution of enzyme in liver and spleen with complete metabolic correction in MPS I mice. Detection of GFP (coexpressed with IDUA) in Kupffer cells and hepatocytes suggested liver delivery of platelet-derived IDUA possibly via the clearance pathway for senile platelets. These findings provide proof of concept that cells from megakaryocytic lineage and platelets are capable of generating and storing fully functional lysosomal enzymes and can also lead to efficient delivery of both the enzymes released into the circulation and those protected within platelets/microparticles. This study opens a door for use of the megakaryocytes/platelets as a depot for efficient production, delivery, and effective tissue distribution of lysosomal enzymes.


gene therapy; lysosomal storage diseases; platelet clearance; platelet secretion; systemic and on-target delivery

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