Liver gene therapy with adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors is under clinical investigation for haemophilia A (HemA), the most common inherited X-linked bleeding disorder. Major limitations are the large size of the F8 transgene, which makes packaging in a single AAV vector a challenge, as well as the development of circulating anti-F8 antibodies which neutralise F8 activity. Taking advantage of split-intein-mediated protein trans-splicing, we divided the coding sequence of the large and highly secreted F8-N6 variant in two separate AAV-intein vectors whose co-administration to HemA mice results in the expression of therapeutic levels of F8 over time. This occurred without eliciting circulating anti-F8 antibodies unlike animals treated with the single oversized AAV-F8 vector under clinical development. Therefore, liver gene therapy with AAV-F8-N6 intein should be considered as a potential therapeutic strategy for HemA.
Authors: Federica Esposito, Hristiana Lyubenova, Patrizia Tornabene, Stefano Auricchio, Antonella Iuliano, Edoardo Nusco, Simone Merlin, Cristina Olgasi, Giorgia Manni, Marco Gargaro, Francesca Fallarino, Antonia Follenzi, Alberto Auricchio
Sources: EMBO Molecular Medicine