Long-term sustained effect of liver-targeted AAV gene therapy for MNGIE


Mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy (MNGIE) is caused by mutations in TYMP, the gene encoding the enzyme thymidine phosphorylase (TP). TP dysfunction results in systemic accumulation of the noxious TP substrates thymidine and deoxyuridine. Gene therapy using either a lentiviral vector or adeno-associated vector (AAV) has proven to be a feasible strategy, as both vectors restore biochemical homeostasis in a murine model of the disease. Here, the authors show that the effect of an AAV containing the TYMP coding sequence transcriptionally targeted to the liver persists in mice. Although the vector copy number was diluted and AAV-mediated liver TP activity eventually reduced or lost after 21 months at the lowest vector doses, the effect was sustained (with a negligible decrease in TP activity) and fully effective on nucleoside homeostasis for at least 21 months at a dose of 2×1012 vg/kg. Macroscopic visual inspection of the animals’ organs at completion of the study showed no adverse effects associated with the treatment. These results further support the feasibility of gene therapy for MNGIE.

Torres-Torronteras J, Cabrera-Pérez R, Vila-Julia F, et al. Long-term sustained effect of liver-targeted AAV gene therapy for MNGIE. Hum Gene Ther. 2017 Dec 28. [Epub ahead of print]