Engineering a lysosomal enzyme with a derivative of receptor-binding domain of apoE enables delivery across the blood-brain barrier.
ABSTRACT: To realize the potential of large molecular weight substances to treat neurological disorders, novel approaches are required to surmount the blood-brain barrier (BBB). We investigated whether fusion of a receptor-binding peptide from apolipoprotein E (apoE) with a potentially therapeutic protein can bind to LDL receptors on the BBB and be transcytosed into the CNS. A lysosomal enzyme, ?-L-iduronidase (IDUA), was used for biological and therapeutic evaluation in a mouse model of mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) type I, one of the most common lysosomal storage disorders with CNS deficits. We identified two fusion candidates, IDUAe1 and IDUAe2, by in vitro screening, that exhibited desirable receptor-mediated binding, endocytosis, and transendothelial transport as well as appropriate lysosomal enzyme trafficking and biological function. Robust peripheral IDUAe1 or IDUAe2 generated by transient hepatic expression led to elevated enzyme levels in capillary-depleted, enzyme-deficient brain tissues and protein delivery into nonendothelium perivascular cells, neurons, and astrocytes within 2 d of treatment. Moreover, 5 mo after long-term delivery of moderate levels of IDUAe1 derived from maturing red blood cells, 2% to 3% of normal brain IDUA activities were obtained in MPS I mice, and IDUAe1 protein was detected in neurons and astrocytes throughout the brain. The therapeutic potential was demonstrated by normalization of brain glycosaminoglycan and ?-hexosaminidase in MPS I mice 5 mo after moderate yet sustained delivery of IDUAe1. These findings provide a noninvasive and BBB-targeted procedure for the delivery of large-molecule therapeutic agents to treat neurological lysosomal storage disorders and potentially other diseases that involve the brain.
Project description:Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I) is a lysosomal disease resulting from deficiency in the ?-L-iduronidase (IDUA) hydrolase and subsequent accumulation of glycosaminoglycan (GAG). Clinically, enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with IDUA achieves negligible neurological benefits presumably due to blood-brain-barrier (BBB) limitations. To investigate the plant lectin ricin B chain (RTB) as a novel carrier for enzyme delivery to the brain, an IDUA:RTB fusion protein (IDUAL), produced in N. benthamiana leaves, was tested in a murine model of Hurler syndrome (MPS I). Affect mice (n=3 for each group) were intravenously injected with a single dose of IDUAL (0.58, 2 or 5.8mgIDUAequivalents/kg) and analyzed after 24h. IDUA activities in liver, kidney and spleen increased significantly, and liver GAG levels were significantly reduced in all three groups. Plasma IDUA levels for all treated groups were high at 1h after injection and decreased by 95% at 4h, indicating efficient distribution into tissues. For long-term evaluations, IDUAL (0.58 or 2mg/kg, 8 weekly injections) was intravenously injected into MPS I mice (n=12 for each group). Thirteen days after the 8th injection, significant IDUA activity was detected in the liver and spleen. GAG levels in tissues including the brain cortex and cerebellum were significantly reduced in treated animals. Treated MPS I mice also showed significant improvement in neurocognitive testing. ELISA results showed that while there was a significant antibody response against IDUAL and plant-derived IDUA, there was no significant antibody response to RTB. No major toxicity or adverse events were observed. Together, these results showed that infusion of IDUAL allowed for significant IDUA levels and GAG reduction in the brain and subsequent neurological benefits. This RTB-mediated delivery may have significant implications for therapeutic protein delivery impacting a broad spectrum of lysosomal, and potentially neurological diseases.
Project description:Use of megakaryocytes/platelets for transgene expression may take advantage of their rapid turnover and protective storage in platelets and reduce the risk of activating oncogenes in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSCs). Here, we show that human megakaryocytic cells could overexpress the lysosomal enzyme, ?-l-iduronidase (IDUA), which is deficient in patients with mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I). Upon megakaryocytic differentiation, the amount of released enzyme increased rapidly and steadily by 30-fold. Using a murine MPS I model, we demonstrated that megakaryocyte/platelets were capable of producing, packaging, and storing large amounts of IDUA with proper catalytic activity, lysosomal trafficking, and receptor-mediated uptake. IDUA can be released directly into extracellular space or within microparticles during megakaryocyte maturation or platelet activation, while retaining the capacity for cross-correction in patient's cells. Gene transfer into 1.7% of HSCs led to long-term normalization of plasma IDUA and preferential distribution of enzyme in liver and spleen with complete metabolic correction in MPS I mice. Detection of GFP (coexpressed with IDUA) in Kupffer cells and hepatocytes suggested liver delivery of platelet-derived IDUA possibly via the clearance pathway for senile platelets. These findings provide proof of concept that cells from megakaryocytic lineage and platelets are capable of generating and storing fully functional lysosomal enzymes and can also lead to efficient delivery of both the enzymes released into the circulation and those protected within platelets/microparticles. This study opens a door for use of the megakaryocytes/platelets as a depot for efficient production, delivery, and effective tissue distribution of lysosomal enzymes.
Project description:Restricting transgene expression to maturing erythroid cells can reduce the risk for activating oncogenes in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and their progeny, yet take advantage of their robust protein synthesis machinery for high-level protein production. This study sought to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of reprogramming erythroid cells for production of a lysosomal enzyme, alpha-L-iduronidase (IDUA). An erythroid-specific hybrid promoter provided inducible IDUA expression and release during in vitro erythroid differentiation in murine erythroleukemia cells, resulting in phenotypical cross-correction in an enzyme-deficient lymphoblastoid cell line derived from patients with mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I). Stable and higher than normal plasma IDUA levels were achieved in vivo in primary and secondary MPS I chimeras for at least 9 months after transplantation of HSCs transduced with the erythroid-specific IDUA-containing lentiviral vector (LV). Moreover, long-term metabolic correction was demonstrated by normalized urinary glycosaminoglycan accumulation in all treated MPS I mice. Complete normalization of tissue pathology was observed in heart, liver, and spleen. Notably, neurological function and brain pathology were significantly improved in MPS I mice by erythroid-derived, higher than normal peripheral IDUA protein. These data demonstrate that late-stage erythroid cells, transduced with a tissue-specific LV, can deliver a lysosomal enzyme continuously at supraphysiological levels to the bloodstream and can correct the disease phenotype in both viscera and CNS of MPS I mice. This approach provides a paradigm for the utilization of RBC precursors as a depot for efficient and potentially safer systemic delivery of nonsecreted proteins by ex vivo HSC gene transfer.
Project description:Iduronidase (IDUA)-deficient mice accumulate glycosaminoglycans in cells and tissues and exhibit many of the same neuropathological symptoms of patients suffering from Mucopolysaccharidosis I. Intravenous enzyme-replacement therapy for Mucopolysaccharidosis I ameliorates glycosaminoglycan storage and many of the somatic aspects of the disease but fails to treat neurological symptoms due to poor transport across the blood-brain barrier. In this study, we examined the delivery of IDUA conjugated to guanidinoneomycin (GNeo), a molecular transporter. GNeo-IDUA and IDUA injected intravenously resulted in reduced hepatic glycosaminoglycan accumulation but had no effect in the brain due to fast clearance from the circulation. In contrast, intranasally administered GNeo-IDUA entered the brain rapidly. Repetitive intranasal treatment with GNeo-IDUA reduced glycosaminoglycan storage, lysosome size and number, and neurodegenerative astrogliosis in the olfactory bulb and primary somatosensory cortex, whereas IDUA was less effective. The enhanced efficacy of GNeo-IDUA was not the result of increased nose-to-brain delivery or enzyme stability, but rather due to more efficient uptake into neurons and astrocytes. GNeo conjugation also enhanced glycosaminoglycan clearance by intranasally delivered sulfamidase to the brain of sulfamidase-deficient mice, a model of Mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA. These findings suggest the general utility of the guanidinoglycoside-based delivery system for restoring missing lysosomal enzymes in the brain.
Project description:Patients with mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I), a genetic deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme ?-l-iduronidase (IDUA), exhibit accumulation of glycosaminoglycans in tissues, with resulting diverse clinical manifestations including neurological, ocular, skeletal, and cardiac disease. MPS I is currently treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation or weekly enzyme infusions, but these therapies have significant drawbacks for patient safety and quality of life and do not effectively address some of the most critical clinical sequelae, such as life-threatening cardiac valve involvement. Using the naturally occurring feline model of MPS I, we tested liver-directed gene therapy as a means of achieving long-term systemic IDUA reconstitution. We treated four MPS I cats at 3-5 mo of age with an adeno-associated virus serotype 8 vector expressing feline IDUA from a liver-specific promoter. We observed sustained serum enzyme activity for 6 mo at ? 30% of normal levels in one animal, and in excess of normal levels in three animals. Remarkably, treated animals not only demonstrated reductions in glycosaminoglycan storage in most tissues, but most also exhibited complete resolution of aortic valve lesions, an effect that has not been previously observed in this animal model or in MPS I patients treated with current therapies. These data point to clinically meaningful benefits of the robust enzyme expression achieved with hepatic gene transfer that extend beyond the economic and quality of life advantages over lifelong enzyme infusions.
Project description:The mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) are a heterogeneous group of in-born metabolic conditions caused by genetic defects that result in the absence or severe deficiency of one of the lysosomal hydrolases responsible for the degradation of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Such enzyme deficiency causes accumulation of GAGs that begins in infancy and progressively worsens, often affecting several organs including the central nervous system (CNS) inducing mental retardation, progressive neurodegeneration, and premature death. Over the last years, enormous progress has been made in the treatment of many MPS types, and available treatments are efficacious for many of them. Nevertheless, treatment of MPS with CNS involvement is limited mostly because of delivery impediments related to the presence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). This chapter presents an overview of the BBB and of the different strategies that have been developed to overcome the problem of drug transport at the BBB, assuring efficient delivery of therapeutic agents to the brain.
Project description:Sulfatases are potential therapeutic biopharmaceuticals, as mutations in sulfatase genes leads to inherited disease. Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) Type II is caused by mutations in the lysosomal enzyme, iduronate-2-sulfatase (IDS). MPS-II affects the brain and enzyme replacement therapy is ineffective for the brain, because IDS does not cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). To deliver IDS across the human BBB, the sulfatase has been re-engineered as an IgG-sulfatase fusion protein with a genetically engineered monoclonal antibody (MAb) against the human insulin receptor (HIR). The HIRMAb part of the HIRMAb-IDS fusion protein acts as a molecular Trojan horse to ferry the fused IDS across the BBB. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells were stably transfected to produce the HIRMAb-IDS fusion protein. The fusion protein was triaged to the lysosomal compartment of MPS-II fibroblasts based on confocal microscopy, and 300 ng/mL medium concentrations normalized IDS enzyme activity in the cells. The HIRMAb-IDS fusion protein was tritiated and injected intravenously into the adult Rhesus monkey at a low dose of 0.1 mg/kg. The IDS enzyme activity in plasma was elevated 10-fold above the endogenous level, and therapeutic plasma concentrations were generated in vivo. The uptake of the HIRMAb-IDS fusion protein in the brain was sufficiently high to produce therapeutic concentrations of IDS in the brain following IV administration of the fusion protein.
Project description:The potential host immune response to a nonself protein poses a fundamental challenge for gene therapies targeting recessive diseases. We demonstrate in both dogs and nonhuman primates that liver-directed gene transfer using an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector in neonates induces a persistent state of immunological tolerance to the transgene product, substantially improving the efficacy of subsequent vector administration targeting the central nervous system (CNS). We applied this approach to a canine model of mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I), a progressive neuropathic lysosomal storage disease caused by deficient activity of the enzyme ?-l-iduronidase (IDUA). MPS I dogs treated systemically in the first week of life with a vector expressing canine IDUA did not develop antibodies against the enzyme and exhibited robust expression in the CNS upon intrathecal AAV delivery at 1 month of age, resulting in complete correction of brain storage lesions. Newborn rhesus monkeys treated systemically with AAV vector expressing human IDUA developed tolerance to the transgene, resulting in high cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) IDUA expression and no antibody induction after subsequent CNS gene therapy. These findings suggest that inducing tolerance to the transgene product during a critical period in immunological development can improve the efficacy and safety of gene therapy.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) Type I (MPSI) is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the lysosomal enzyme, ?-L-iduronidase (IDUA), and a majority of patients present with severe neurodegeneration and cognitive impairment. Recombinant IDUA does not cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). To enable BBB transport, IDUA was re-engineered as an IgG-IDUA fusion protein, valanafusp alpha, where the IgG domain targets the BBB human insulin receptor to enable transport of the enzyme into the brain. We report the results of a 52-week clinical trial on the safety and efficacy of valanafusp alpha in pediatric MPSI patients with cognitive impairment. In the phase I trial, 6 adults with attenuated MPSI were administered 0.3, 1, and 3 mg/kg doses of valanafusp alpha by intravenous (IV) infusion. In the phase II trial, 11 pediatric subjects, 2-15 years of age, were treated for 52 weeks with weekly IV infusions of valanafusp alpha at 1, 3, or 6 mg/kg. Assessments of adverse events, cognitive stabilization, and somatic stabilization were made. Outcomes at 52 weeks were compared to baseline. RESULTS:Drug related adverse events included infusion related reactions, with an incidence of 1.7%, and transient hypoglycemia, with an incidence of 6.4%. The pediatric subjects had CNS involvement with a mean enrollment Development Quotient (DQ) of 36.1±7.1. The DQ, and the cortical grey matter volume of brain, were stabilized by valanafusp alpha treatment. Somatic manifestations were stabilized, or improved, based on urinary glycosaminoglycan levels, hepatic and spleen volumes, and shoulder range of motion. CONCLUSION:Clinical evidence of the cognitive and somatic stabilization indicates that valanafusp alpha is transported into both the CNS and into peripheral organs due to its dual targeting mechanism via the insulin receptor and the mannose 6-phosphate receptor. This novel fusion protein offers a pharmacologic approach to the stabilization of cognitive function in MPSI. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Clinical Trials.Gov, NCT03053089 . Retrospectively registered 9 February, 2017; Clinical Trials.Gov, NCT03071341 . Registered 6 March, 2017.
Project description:High fidelity animal models of human disease are essential for preclinical evaluation of novel gene and protein therapeutics. However, these studies can be complicated by exaggerated immune responses against the human transgene. Here we demonstrate that dogs with a genetic deficiency of the enzyme ?-l-iduronidase (IDUA), a model of the lysosomal storage disease mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I), can be rendered immunologically tolerant to human IDUA through neonatal exposure to the enzyme. Using MPS I dogs tolerized to human IDUA as neonates, we evaluated intrathecal delivery of an adeno-associated virus serotype 9 vector expressing human IDUA as a therapy for the central nervous system manifestations of MPS I. These studies established the efficacy of the human vector in the canine model, and allowed for estimation of the minimum effective dose, providing key information for the design of first-in-human trials. This approach can facilitate evaluation of human therapeutics in relevant animal models, and may also have clinical applications for the prevention of immune responses to gene and protein replacement therapies.