Adeno-associated virus type 12 (AAV12): a novel AAV serotype with sialic acid- and heparan sulfate proteoglycan-independent transduction activity.
ABSTRACT: Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) is a promising vector for gene therapy. Recent isolations of novel AAV serotypes have led to significant advances by broadening the tropism and increasing the efficiency of gene transfer to the desired target cell. However, a major concern that remains is the strong preexisting immune responses to several vectors. In this paper, we describe the isolation and characterization of AAV12, an AAV serotype with unique biological and immunological properties. In contrast to those of all other reported AAVs, AAV12 cell attachment and transduction do not require cell surface sialic acids or heparan sulfate proteoglycans. Furthermore, rAAV12 is resistant to neutralization by circulating antibodies from human serum. The feasibility of rAAV12 as a vector was demonstrated in a mouse model in which muscle and salivary glands were transduced. These characteristics make rAAV12 an interesting candidate for gene transfer applications.
Project description:Viral vectors derived from adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) are widely used for gene transfer both in vitro and in vivo. The increasing use of AAV as a gene transfer vector, as well as recently shown immunological complications in clinical trials, highlight the necessity to define the specific activity of vector preparations beyond current standards. In this report, we determined the infectious, physical and genome-containing particle titers of several wild-type AAV type 2 (wtAAV2) and recombinant AAV type 2 (rAAV2) preparations that were produced and purified by standard methods. We found that the infectivity of wtAAV2 approaches a physical-to-infectious particle ratio of one. This near-perfect physical-to-infectious particle ratio defines a 'ceiling' for the theoretically achievable quality of recombinant AAV vectors. In comparison, for rAAV2, only approximately 50 out of 100 viral particles contained a genome and, more strikingly, only approximately 1 of the 100 viral particles was infectious. Our findings suggest that current strategies for rAAV vector design, production and/or purification should be amenable to improvements. Ultimately, this could result in the generation of near-perfect vector particles, a prospect with significant implications for gene therapy.
Project description:Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors are one of the most promising in vivo gene delivery tools. Several features make rAAV vectors an ideal platform for gene transfer. However, the high homology with the parental wild-type virus, which often infects humans, poses limitations in terms of immune responses associated with this vector platform. Both humoral and cell-mediated immunity to wild-type AAV have been documented in healthy donors, and, at least in the case of anti-AAV antibodies, have been shown to have a potentially high impact on the outcome of gene transfer. While several factors can contribute to the overall immunogenicity of rAAV vectors, vector design and the total vector dose appear to be responsible of immune-mediated toxicities. While preclinical models have been less than ideal in predicting the outcome of gene transfer in humans, the current preclinical body of evidence clearly demonstrates that rAAV vectors can trigger both innate and adaptive immune responses. Data gathered from clinical trials offers key learnings on the immunogenicity of AAV vectors, highlighting challenges as well as the potential strategies that could help unlock the full therapeutic potential of in vivo gene transfer.
Project description:Application of recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) in gene therapy has been limited by its packaging capacity. Recent studies suggested that rAAV could achieve persistent transgene expression beyond 4.7-kb packaging limit. To clarify the mechanism leading to transgene expression from oversized rAAV vector, we constructed a series of rAAV vectors with genomes ranging from 2.9 to 7.2 kb. A plasmid replication origin and an ampicillin-resistant marker were included in the vector to facilitate the recovery of circularized, post-transduction AAV genome. Southern dot-blot analysis and silver staining confirmed that rAAVs could be produced at varying vector size. However, the vector yields decreased approximately tenfold for oversized vectors as compared to regular ones. Alkaline Southern blot hybridization suggested that the packaged genomes for oversized vectors were truncated. In the cells transduced by the above vectors, circularized rAAV monomers could be rescued at 24 hours after infection. Few recovered AAV genomes were >5 kb regardless of the initial vector size. In mice receiving the above vectors, larger circularized rAAV genomes could be recovered for oversized vectors at day 21 after vector administration. Our studies suggested that the partially packaged rAAV sequences may complement each other to restore full expression cassette.
Project description:Although recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors are promising tools for gene therapy of genetic disorders, they remain mostly episomal and hence are lost during cell replication. For this reason, rAAV vectors capable of chromosomal integration would be desirable. Ribosomal DNA (rDNA) repeat sequences are overrepresented during random integration of rAAV. We therefore sought to enhance AAV integration frequency by including 28S rDNA homology arms into our vector design. A vector containing ~1 kb of homology on each side of a cDNA expression cassette for human fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase (FAH) was constructed. rAAV of serotypes 2 and 8 were injected into Fah-deficient mice, a model for human tyrosinemia type 1. Integrated FAH transgenes are positively selected in this model and rDNA-containing AAV vectors had a ~30× higher integration frequency than controls. Integration by homologous recombination (HR) into the 28S rDNA locus was seen in multiple tissues. Furthermore, rDNA-containing AAV vectors for human factor IX (hFIX) demonstrated increased transgene persistence after liver regeneration. We conclude that rDNA containing AAV vectors may be superior to conventional vector design for the treatment of genetic diseases, especially those associated with increased hepatocyte replication.
Project description:Scalable and efficient production of high-quality recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) for gene therapy remains a challenge despite recent clinical successes. We developed a new strategy for scalable and efficient rAAV production by sequestering the AAV helper genes and the rAAV vector DNA in two different subcellular compartments, made possible by using cytoplasmic vaccinia virus as a carrier for the AAV helper genes. For the first time, the contamination of replication-competent AAV particles (rcAAV) can be completely eliminated in theory by avoiding ubiquitous nonhomologous recombination. Vector DNA can be integrated into the host genomes or delivered by a nuclear targeting vector such as adenovirus. In suspension HeLa cells, the achieved vector yield per cell is similar to that from traditional triple-plasmid transfection method. The rcAAV contamination was undetectable at the limit of our assay. Furthermore, this new concept can be used not only for production of rAAV, but also for other DNA vectors.
Project description:Research on cell-free vesicles revealed a multitude of characteristics, in particular of microvesicles and exosomes, that range from their potential as biomarkers to a function in horizontal transfer of genetic information from cell to cell and also include supportive functions in viral infection. Exosome-associated adeno-associated viruses (exo-AAVs) are of particular interest for the past couple of years, because they introduced a new source of highly potent recombinant AAVs with improved features, including accelerated transduction rates and more efficient immune escape. However, key factors like the mode of action, efficiency of production, or engineering of exo-AAVs remain elusive to a large extent. Here, we used the established system of CD9 overexpression to boost the exosome output of AAV producing HEK-AAV cells. The CD9-powered high-exosome environment was established during exo-AAV1 production, and we could demonstrate that the yield of exo-AAVs dramatically increased when compared to standard exo-AAVs. Furthermore, we report that exo-AAV-CD9GFP was more efficient in transduction of cells in the same titer ranges as standard exo-AAVs. Our results provide a technological approach for the generation of exo-AAVs with superior performance.
Project description:The administration of recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors (rAAV) for gene transfer induces strong humoral responses through mechanisms that remain incompletely characterized. To investigate the links between innate and adaptive immune responses to the vector, rAAVs were injected intravenously into mice deficient in cell-intrinsic components of innate responses (Toll-like receptors (TLRs), type-1 interferon (IFN) or inflammasome signaling molecules) and AAV-specific antibodies were measured. Of all molecules tested, only MyD88 was critically needed to mount immunoglobulin G (IgG) responses since MyD88(-/-) mice failed to develop high levels of AAV-specific IgG2 and IgG3, regardless of capsid serotype injected. None of the TLRs tested was essential here, but TLR9 ensured a Th1-biased antibody responses. Indeed, capsid-specific Th1 cells were induced upon injection of rAAV1, as directly confirmed with an epitope-tagged capsid, and the priming and development of these Th1 cells required T cell-extrinsic MyD88. Cell transfer experiments showed that autonomous MyD88 signaling in B cells, but not T cells, was sufficient to produce Th1-dependent IgGs. Therefore, rAAV triggers innate responses, at least via B cells, controlling the development of capsid-specific Th1-driven antibodies. MyD88 emerges as a critical and pivotal regulator of both T- and B-cell adaptive immunity against AAV.
Project description:Adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) are single-stranded dependent parvoviruses being developed as transducing vectors. Although at least five serotypes exist (AAV types 1 to 5 [AAV1 to -5]), only AAV2, AAV3, and AAV4 have been sequenced, and the vectors in use were almost all derived from AAV2. Here we report the cloning and sequencing of a second AAV3 genome and a new AAV serotype designated AAV6 that is related to AAV1. AAV2, AAV3, and AAV6 were 82% identical at the nucleotide sequence level, and AAV4 was 75 to 78% identical to these AAVs. Significant sequence variation was noted in portions of the capsid proteins that presumably are responsible for serotype-specific functions. Vectors produced from AAV3 and AAV6 differed from AAV2 vectors in host range and serologic reactivity. The AAV3 and AAV6 vector serotypes were able to transduce cells in the presence of serum from animals previously exposed to AAV2 vectors. Our results suggest that vectors based on alternative AAV serotypes will have advantages over existing AAV2 vectors, including the transduction of different cell types, and resistance to neutralizing antibodies against AAV2. This could be especially important for gene therapy, as significant immunity against AAV2 exists in human populations and many protocols will likely require multiple vector doses.
Project description:Adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based vectors are promising tools for gene therapeutic applications, in part because AAVs are nonpathogenic viruses, and vectors derived from them can drive long-term transgene expression without integration of the vector DNA into the host genome. AAVs are not strongly immunogenic, but they can, nonetheless, give rise to both a cellular and humoral immune response. As a result, a significant fraction of potential patients for AAV-based gene therapy harbors pre-existing antibodies against AAV. Because even very low levels of antibodies can prevent successful transduction, antecedent anti-AAV antibodies pose a serious obstacle to the universal application of AAV gene therapy. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge of the role of anti-AAV antibodies in AAV-based gene therapy with a particular emphasis on approaches to overcome the hurdle that they pose.
Project description:Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors hold great potential for liver-directed gene therapy. Stable and high levels of transgene expression have been achieved in many murine models. Systemic delivery of AAV vectors in nonhuman primates (NHPs) that are natural hosts of AAVs appear to be challenging due to the high prevalence of pre-existing neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). This study evaluates the performance of AAV8, hu.37, and rh.8 vectors expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) from a liver-specific promoter in rhesus macaques. Two of the animals that received AAV8 showed transduction of 24 and 40% of hepatocytes 7 days after systemic vector delivery. Importantly, expression was detected in several animals after 35 days despite the elevation of liver enzymes and development of transgene-specific T cells in liver. Pre-existing low levels of NAbs profoundly impacted the outcome of gene transfer and redirected vector DNA to spleen. We developed a sensitive in vivo passive transfer assay to detect low levels of NAbs to these novel AAV serotypes. Other strategies need to be developed to reduce immune response to the transgene in order to maintain long-term gene expression.