Towards gene therapy of Hurler syndrome.

L. J. Fairbairn, L. S. Lashford, E. Spooncer, R. H. McDermott, G. Lebens, J. E. Arrand, J. R. Arrand, I. Bellantuono, R. Holt, C. E. Hatton, A. Cooper, G. T. Besley, J. E. Wraith, D. S. Anson, J. J. Hopwood, T. M. Dexter

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation is the most effective treatment for Hurler's syndrome. However, due to a lack of matched related donors and unacceptable morbidity of matched unrelated transplants, this therapy is not available to all patients. Therefore we have been developing an alternative approach based on transfer and expression of the normal gene in autologous bone marrow. A retroviral vector carrying the full length cDNA for alpha-L-iduronidase has been constructed and used to transduce bone marrow from patients with this disorder. A number of different gene transfer protocols have been assessed including the effect of intensive schedules of exposure of bone marrow to viral supernatant and the influence of growth factors. With these protocols we have demonstrated successful gene transfer into primitive CD34+ cells and subsequent enzyme expression in their maturing progeny. Also, using long-term bone marrow cultures, we have demonstrated high levels of enzyme expression sustained for several months. The efficiency of gene transfer has been assessed by PCR analysis of haemopoietic colonies as around 50%. No advantage has been demonstrated for the addition of growth factors or intensive viral exposure schedules. Indeed a possible disadvantage has been identified for the use of intensive transduction procedures. The enzyme is secreted into the medium and functional localisation has been demonstrated by reversal of the phenotypic effects of lysosomal storage in macrophages. This pre-clinical work forms the basis for a clinical trial of gene therapy for Hurler syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-31
Number of pages5
JournalCasopís lékarů ceských
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 8 Jan 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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