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Split AAV-Mediated Gene Therapy Restores Ureagenesis in a Murine Model of Carbamoyl Phosphate Synthetase 1 Deficiency


Nitzahn, Matthew; Allegri, Gabriella; Khoja, Suhail; Truong, Brian; Makris, Georgios; Häberle, Johannes; Lipshutz, Gerald S (2020). Split AAV-Mediated Gene Therapy Restores Ureagenesis in a Murine Model of Carbamoyl Phosphate Synthetase 1 Deficiency. Molecular Therapy, 28(7):1717-1730.

Abstract

The urea cycle enzyme carbamoyl phosphate synthetase 1 (CPS1) catalyzes the initial step of the urea cycle; bi-allelic mutations typically present with hyperammonemia, vomiting, ataxia, lethargy progressing into coma, and death due to brain edema if ineffectively treated. The enzyme deficiency is particularly difficult to treat; early recognition is essential to minimize injury to the brain. Even under optimal conditions, therapeutic interventions are of limited scope and efficacy, with most patients developing long-term neurologic sequelae. One significant encumberment to gene therapeutic development is the size of the CPS1 cDNA, which, at 4.5 kb, nears the packaging capacity of adeno-associated virus (AAV). Herein we developed a split AAV (sAAV)-based approach, packaging the large transgene and its regulatory cassette into two separate vectors, thereby delivering therapeutic CPS1 by a dual vector system with testing in a murine model of the disorder. Cps1-deficient mice treated with sAAVs survive long-term with markedly improved ammonia levels, diminished dysregulation of circulating amino acids, and increased hepatic CPS1 expression and activity. In response to acute ammonia challenging, sAAV-treated female mice rapidly incorporated nitrogen into urea. This study demonstrates the first proof-of-principle that sAAV-mediated therapy is a viable, potentially clinically translatable approach to CPS1 deficiency, a devastating urea cycle disorder.

Abstract

The urea cycle enzyme carbamoyl phosphate synthetase 1 (CPS1) catalyzes the initial step of the urea cycle; bi-allelic mutations typically present with hyperammonemia, vomiting, ataxia, lethargy progressing into coma, and death due to brain edema if ineffectively treated. The enzyme deficiency is particularly difficult to treat; early recognition is essential to minimize injury to the brain. Even under optimal conditions, therapeutic interventions are of limited scope and efficacy, with most patients developing long-term neurologic sequelae. One significant encumberment to gene therapeutic development is the size of the CPS1 cDNA, which, at 4.5 kb, nears the packaging capacity of adeno-associated virus (AAV). Herein we developed a split AAV (sAAV)-based approach, packaging the large transgene and its regulatory cassette into two separate vectors, thereby delivering therapeutic CPS1 by a dual vector system with testing in a murine model of the disorder. Cps1-deficient mice treated with sAAVs survive long-term with markedly improved ammonia levels, diminished dysregulation of circulating amino acids, and increased hepatic CPS1 expression and activity. In response to acute ammonia challenging, sAAV-treated female mice rapidly incorporated nitrogen into urea. This study demonstrates the first proof-of-principle that sAAV-mediated therapy is a viable, potentially clinically translatable approach to CPS1 deficiency, a devastating urea cycle disorder.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Molecular Medicine
Life Sciences > Molecular Biology
Life Sciences > Genetics
Life Sciences > Pharmacology
Life Sciences > Drug Discovery
Language:English
Date:8 July 2020
Deposited On:22 Jan 2021 13:03
Last Modified:27 Jan 2021 12:24
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1525-0016
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ymthe.2020.04.011
PubMed ID:32359471

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