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Development of a Gene Therapy Vector for RDH12-Associated Retinal Dystrophy

Feathers, KL; Jia, L; Perera, ND; Chen, A; Presswalla, FK; Khan, NW; Fahim, AT; ... Thompson, DA; + view all (2019) Development of a Gene Therapy Vector for RDH12-Associated Retinal Dystrophy. Human Gene Therapy , 30 (11) pp. 1325-1335. 10.1089/hum.2019.017. Green open access

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Abstract

Early-onset severe retinal dystrophy (EOSRD) is a genetically heterogeneous group of diseases resulting in serious visual disability in children. A significant number of EOSRD cases, often diagnosed as Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA13), are associated with mutations in the gene encoding retinol dehydrogenase 12 (RDH12). RDH12 is a member of the enzyme family of short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases. In the retina, RDH12 plays a critical role in reducing toxic retinaldehydes generated by visual cycle activity that is required for the light response of the photoreceptor cells. Individuals with RDH12 deficiency exhibit widespread retinal degeneration impacting both rods and cones. Although Rdh12-deficient (Rdh12−/−) mice do not exhibit retinal degeneration, functional deficits relevant to visual cycle function can be demonstrated. In the present study, we describe the development and preclinical testing of a recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vector that has the potential for use in treating EOSRD due to RDH12 mutations. Wild-type and Rdh12−/− mice that received a subretinal injection of rAAV2/5 carrying a human RDH12 cDNA driven by a human rhodopsin-kinase promoter exhibited transgene expression that was stable, correctly localized, and did not cause retinal toxicity. In addition, administration of the vector reconstituted retinal reductase activity in the retinas of Rdh12−/− mice and decreased susceptibility to light damage associated with Rdh12 deficiency, thus demonstrating potential therapeutic efficacy in an animal model that does not exhibit a retinal degeneration phenotype. These findings support further efforts to develop gene replacement therapy for individuals with RDH12 mutations.

Type: Article
Title: Development of a Gene Therapy Vector for RDH12-Associated Retinal Dystrophy
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1089/hum.2019.017
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1089/hum.2019.017
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: retinal dystrophy, visual cycle, RDH12, gene therapy, adeno-associated viral vectors
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10077371
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