Adenovirus-transduced lung as a portal for delivering α-galactosidase A into systemic circulation for Fabry disease

Chester Li, Robin J. Ziegler, Maribeth Cherry, Michael Lukason, Robert J. Desnick, Nelson S. Yew, Seng H. Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Gene therapy efforts have focused primarily on the use of either the liver or skeletal muscle as depot organs for the production of a variety of therapeutic proteins that act systemically. Here we examined the lung to determine whether it could function as yet another portal for the secretion of proteins into the circulation. Fabry disease is caused by a deficiency of the lysosomal hydrolase α-galactosidase A, resulting in the abnormal deposition of the glycosphingolipid globotriaosylceramide (GL-3) in vascular lysosomes. Pulmonary instillation of a recombinant adenoviral vector (Ad2/CMVHI-αgal) encoding human α-galactosidase A into Fabry mice resulted in high-level transduction and expression of the enzyme in the lung. Importantly, enzymatic activity was also detected in the plasma, liver, spleen, heart, and kidneys of the Fabry mice. The detection of enzymatic activity outside of the lung, along with the finding that viral DNA was limited to the lung, indicates that the enzyme crossed the air/blood barrier, entered the systemic circulation, and was internalized by the distal visceral organs. The levels of α-galactosidase A attained in these tissues were sufficient to reduce GL-3 to basal levels in the lung, liver, and spleen and to ∼ 50% of untreated levels in the heart. Together, these results suggest that the lung may be a viable alternate depot organ for the production and systemic secretion of α-galactosidase A for Fabry disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-754
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002


  • Adenovirus
  • Fabry disease
  • Gene therapy
  • Globotriaosylceramide
  • Glycosphingolipid
  • Lung
  • α-galactosidase A


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