Development of Improved Factor VIII Molecules and New Gene Transfer Approaches for Hemophilia A
Evgueni L. Saenko,
Natalya M. Ananyeva,
Robert G. Hawley.
Hemophilia A, the most common inherited bleeding disorder, is caused by deficiency or functional defects in coagulation factor VIII (fVIII). Conventional treatment for this disease involves intravenous infusions of plasma-derived or recombinant fVIII products. Although replacement therapy effectively stops the bleeding episodes, it has a risk of transmission of viral blood-borne diseases and development of neutralizing antibodies that inactivate the administered fVIII protein. Hemophilia A is an attractive candidate for application of gene therapy approaches because the therapeutic window is wide and even modest elevation of fVIII levels will correct the hemophilic phenotype. Ongoing preclinical investigations utilize animal models of hemophilia A, including genetically fVIII-deficient mice and naturally fVIII-deficient dogs, to optimize vectors, transgenes and target cell populations for Phase I clinical trials. In this review, we outline the progress in understanding the mechanisms of fVIII turnover, which provides a basis for development of improved fVIII molecules with prolonged half-life in the circulation. We discuss the possibility of incorporating these improved fVIII molecules as transgenes into selfinactivating lentiviral vectors carrying chromatin insulator sequences, representing a new generation of gene delivery vehicle, to target hematopoietic stem cells and endothelial cells. The use of hematopoietic stem cells as the target cell population may prevent inhibitor formation to transduced fVIII by induction of immune tolerance. Alternatively, endothelial cells may support optimal synthesis of fVIII and myeloablative conditioning of patients with radiation or chemotherapy may not be required for efficient engraftment of the engineered cells. Collectively, these proposed advances represent promising prophylactic strategies toward long-term correction of the coagulation defect in this progressively debilitating, life-threatening disease.
Keywords: improved factor Vlll, fviit, fuill produc
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