Abstract Gene therapy approaches using recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 2 (rAAV2) and serotype 8 (rAAV8) have achieved significant clinical benefits. The generation of rAAV Reference Standard Materials (RSM) is key to providing points of reference for particle titer, vector genome titer, and infectious titer for gene transfer vectors. Following the example of the rAAV2RSM, here we have generated and characterized a novel RSM based on rAAV serotype 8. The rAAV8RSM was produced using transient transfection, and the purification was based on density gradient ultracentrifugation. The rAAV8RSM was distributed for characterization along with standard assay protocols to 16 laboratories worldwide. Mean titers and 95% confidence intervals were determined for capsid particles (mean, 5.50×10(11) pt/ml; CI, 4.26×10(11) to 6.75×10(11) pt/ml), vector genomes (mean, 5.75×10(11) vg/ml; CI, 3.05×10(11) to 1.09×10(12) vg/ml), and infectious units (mean, 1.26×10(9) IU/ml; CI, 6.46×10(8) to 2.51×10(9) IU/ml). Notably, there was a significant degree of variation between institutions for each assay despite the relatively tight correlation of assay results within an institution. This outcome emphasizes the need to use RSMs to calibrate the titers of rAAV vectors in preclinical and clinical studies at a time when the field is maturing rapidly. The rAAV8RSM has been deposited at the American Type Culture Collection (VR-1816) and is available to the scientific community.
Post-transcriptional control of mRNA stability and translation is central to multiple developmental pathways. This control can be linked to cytoplasmic polyadenylation in certain settings. In maturing Xenopus oocytes, specific mRNAs are targeted for polyadenylation via recruitment of the Cytoplasmic Polyadenylation Element (CPE) binding protein (CPEB) to CPE(s) within the 3 UTR. Cytoplasmic polyadenylation is also critical to early embryonic events, although corresponding determinants are less defined. Here, we demonstrate that the Xenopus ortholog of the poly(rC) binding protein ?CP2 can recruit cytoplasmic poly(A) polymerase activity to mRNAs in Xenopus post-fertilization embryos, and that this recruitment relies on cis sequences recognized by ?CP2. We find that the h?-globin 3 UTR, a validated mammalian ?CP2 target, constitutes an effective target for cytoplasmic polyadenylation in Xenopus embryos, but not during Xenopus oocyte maturation. We further demonstrate that the cytoplasmic polyadenylation activity is dependent on the action of the C-rich ?CP-binding site in conjunction with the adjacent AAUAAA. Consistent with its ability to target mRNA for poly(A) addition, we find that X?CP2 associates with core components of the Xenopus cytoplasmic polyadenylation complex, including the cytoplasmic poly(A) polymerase XGLD2. Furthermore, we observe that the C-rich ?CP-binding site can robustly enhance the activity of a weak canonical oocyte maturation CPE in early embryos, possibly via a direct interaction between X?CP2 and CPEB1. These studies establish X?CP2 as a novel cytoplasmic polyadenylation trans factor, indicate that C-rich sequences can function as noncanonical cytoplasmic polyadenylation elements, and expand our understanding of the complexities underlying cytoplasmic polyadenylation in specific developmental settings.
Two major problems for translating gene therapy for heart failure therapy are: safe and efficient delivery and the inability to establish a relationship between vector exposure and in vivo effects. We present a pharmacokinetics (PK) analysis of molecular cardiac surgery with recirculating delivery (MCARD) of scAAV6-?ARKct. MCARDs stable cardiac specific delivery profile was exploited to determine vector exposure, half-life, and systemic clearance.
Existing methods of cardiac gene delivery can be classified by the site of injection, interventional approach and type of cardiac circulation at the time of transfer. General criteria to assess the efficacy of a given delivery method include: global versus regional myocardial transduction, technical complexity and the pathophysiological effects associated with its use, delivery-related collateral expression and the delivery-associated inflammatory and immune response. Direct gene delivery (intramyocardial, endocardial, epicardial) may be useful for therapeutic angiogenesis and for focal arrhythmia therapy but with gene expression which is primarily limited to regions in close proximity to the injection site. An often unappreciated limitation of these techniques is that they are frequently associated with substantial systemic vector delivery. Percutaneous infusion of vector into the coronary arteries is minimally invasive and allows for transgene delivery to the whole myocardium. Unfortunately, efficiency of intracoronary delivery is highly variable and the short residence time of vector within the coronary circulation and significant collateral organ expression limit its clinical potential. Surgical techniques, including the incorporation of cardiopulmonary bypass with isolated cardiac recirculation, represent novel delivery strategies that may potentially overcome these limitations; yet, these techniques are complex with inherent morbidity that must be thoroughly evaluated before safe translation into clinical practice. Characteristics of the optimal technique for gene delivery include low morbidity, increased myocardial transcapillary gradient, extended vector residence time in the coronary circulation and exclusion of residual vector from the systemic circulation after delivery to minimize extracardiac expression and to mitigate a cellular immune response. This article is part of a Special Section entitled "Special Section: Cardiovascular Gene Therapy".
?-Adrenergic receptor (?AR) dysfunction in acute myocardial infarction (MI) is associated with elevated levels of the G-protein-coupled receptor kinase-2 (GRK2), which plays a key role in heart failure progression. Inhibition of GRK2 via expression of a peptide ?ARKct transferred by molecular cardiac surgery with recirculating delivery (MCARD) may be a promising intervention. Five sheep underwent scAAV6-mediated MCARD delivery of ?ARKct, and five received no treatment (control). After a 3-week period, the branch of the circumflex artery (OM1) was ligated. Quantitative PCR data showed intense ?ARKct expression in the left ventricle (LV). Circumferential fractional shortening was 23.4 ± 7.1 % (baseline) vs. -2.9 ± 5.2 % (p < 0.05) in the control at 10 weeks. In the MCARD-?ARKct group, this parameter was close to baseline. The same trend was observed with LV wall thickening. Cardiac index fully recovered in the MCARD-?ARKct group. LV end-diastolic volume and LV end-diastolic pressure did not differ in both groups. MCARD-mediated ?ARKct gene expression results in preservation of regional and global systolic function after acute MI without arresting progressive ventricular remodeling.
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