Correction of enzymatic and lysosomal storage defects in fabry mice by adenovirus-mediated gene transfer

Robin J. Ziegler, Nelson S. Yew, Chester Li, Maribeth Cherry, Patricia Berthelette, Helen Romanczuk, Yiannis A. Ioannou, Kenneth M. Zeidner, Robert J. Desnick, Seng H. Cheng

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87 Scopus citations


Fabry disease is a recessive, X-linked disorder caused by a deficiency of the lysosomal hydrolase α-galactosidase A. Deficiency of this enzyme results in progressive deposition of the glycosphingolipid globotriaosylceramide (GL-3) in the vascular lysosomes, with resultant distension of the organelle. The demonstration of a secretory pathway for lysosomal enzymes and their subsequent recapture by distant cells through the mannose 6-phosphate receptor pathway has provided a rationale for somatic gene therapy of lysosomal storage disorders. Toward this end, recombinant adenoviral vectors encoding human α-galactosidase A (Ad2/CEHα-Gal, Ad2/CMVHIα-Gal) were constructed and injected intravenously into Fabry knockout mice. Administration of Ad2/CEHα-Gal to the Fabry mice resulted in an elevation of α-galactosidase A activity in all tissues, including the liver, lung, kidney, heart, spleen, and muscle, to levels above those observed in normal animals. However, enzymatic expression declined rapidly such that by 12 weeks, only 10% of the activity observed on day 3 remained, α-Galactosidase A detected in the plasma of injected animals was in a form that was internalized by Fabry fibroblasts grown in culture. Such internalization occurred via the mannose 6-phosphate receptors. Importantly, concomitant with the increase in enzyme activity was a significant reduction in GL-3 content in all tissues to near normal levels for up to 6 months posttreatment. However, as expression of α-galactosidase A declined, low levels of GL-3 reaccumulated in some of the tissues at 6 months. For protracted treatment, we showed that readministration of recombinant adenovirus vectors could be facilitated by transient immunosuppression using a monoclonal antibody against CD40 ligand (MR1). Together, these data demonstrate that the defects in α-galactosidase A activity and lysosomal storage of GL-3 in Fabry mice can be corrected by adenovirus-mediated gene transfer. This suggests that gene replacement therapy represents a viable approach for the treatment of Fabry disease and potentially other lysosomal storage disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1667-1682
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Gene Therapy
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Jul 1999


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