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  • 1
  • 2
    Keywords: IN-VIVO ; GENE-THERAPY VECTORS ; Capsid Proteins ; INNATE IMMUNE-RESPONSE ; NONHUMAN-PRIMATES ; VIRAL-VECTORS ; LIVER TRANSDUCTION ; AAV-FACTOR-IX ; HEPATIC EXPRESSION ; VISCERAL ORGANS
    Abstract: Adeno-associated virus (AAV) has attracted considerable interest as a vector for gene therapy owing its lack of pathogenicity and the wealth of available serotypes with distinct tissue tropisms. One of the most promising isolates for vector development, based on its superior gene transfer efficiency to the liver in small animals compared to AAV type 2 (AAV2), is AAV8. Comparison of the in vivo gene transduction of rAAV2 and rAAV8 in mice showed that single amino acid exchanges in the 3-fold protrusions of AAV8 in the surface loops comprised of residues 581 to 584 and 589 to 592 to the corresponding amino acids of AAV2 and vice versa had a strong influence on transduction efficiency and tissue tropism. Surprisingly, not only did conversion of AAV8 to AAV2 cap sequences increase the transduction efficiency and change tissue tropism but so did the reciprocal conversion of AAV2 to AAV8. Insertion of new peptide motifs at position 590 in AAV8 also enabled retargeting of AAV8 capsids to specific tissues, suggesting that these sequences can interact with receptors on the cell surface. However, a neutralizing monoclonal antibody that binds to amino acids (588)QQNTA(592) of AAV8 does not prevent cell binding and virus uptake, indicating that this region is not necessary for receptor binding but rather that the antibody interferes with an essential step of postattachment processing in which the 3-fold protrusion is also involved. This study supports a multifunctional role of the 3-fold region of AAV capsids in the infection process.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 22718833
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  • 3
    Keywords: CELLS ; IN-VIVO ; GENE ; TRANSDUCTION ; BIOLOGY ; NEUTRALIZING ANTIBODIES ; genetics ; DELIVERY ; EVOLUTION ; PEPTIDES ; VIRAL VECTORS ; adeno-associated virus ; HEPARAN-SULFATE PROTEOGLYCAN ; endothelial cell ; ADENOASSOCIATED VIRUS TYPE-2 ; TROPISM ; vector targeting ; cardiovascular system ; random peptide display library ; THERAPY VECTORS
    Abstract: We have demonstrated the potential of random peptide libraries displayed on adeno-associated virus (AAV) 2 to select for AAV2 vectors with improved efficiency for cell type-directed gene transfer. AAV9, however, may have advantages over AAV2 because of a lower prevalence of neutralizing antibodies in humans and more efficient gene transfer in vivo. Here we provide evidence that random peptide libraries can be displayed on AAV9 and can be utilized to select for AAV9 capsids redirected to the cell type of interest. We generated an AAV9 peptide display library, which ensures that the displayed peptides correspond to the packaged genomes and performed four consecutive selection rounds on human coronary artery endothelial cells in vitro. This screening yielded AAV9 library capsids with distinct peptide motifs enabling up to 40-fold improved transduction efficiencies compared with wild-type (wt) AAV9 vectors. Incorporating sequences selected from AAV9 libraries into AAV2 capsids could not increase transduction as efficiently as in the AAV9 context. To analyze the potential on endothelial cells in the intact natural vascular context, human umbilical veins were incubated with the selected AAV in situ and endothelial cells were isolated. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis revealed a 200-fold improved transduction efficiency compared with wt AAV9 vectors. Furthermore, AAV9 vectors with targeting sequences selected from AAV9 libraries revealed an increased transduction efficiency in the presence of human intravenous immunoglobulins, suggesting a reduced immunogenicity. We conclude that our novel AAV9 peptide library is functional and can be used to select for vectors for future preclinical and clinical gene transfer applications
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 21956692
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  • 4
    Keywords: TRANSDUCTION ; IDENTIFICATION ; VECTORS ; MONOCLONAL-ANTIBODIES ; AAV SEROTYPES ; ADENOVIRUS ; nucleolus ; ELECTRON CRYOMICROSCOPY ; HUMAN GENE-THERAPY ; TYPE-5 RNA
    Abstract: Adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2) capsid assembly requires the expression of a virally encoded assembly-activating protein (AAP). By providing AAP together with the capsid protein VP3, capsids are formed that are composed of VP3 only. Electron cryomicroscopy analysis of assembled VP3-only capsids revealed all characteristics of the wild-type AAV2 capsids. However, in contrast to capsids assembled from VP1, VP2, and VP3, the pores of VP3-only capsids were more restricted at the inside of the 5-fold symmetry axes, and globules could not be detected below the 2-fold symmetry axes. By comparing the capsid assembly of several AAV serotypes with AAP protein from AAV2 (AAP-2), we show that AAP-2 is able to efficiently stimulate capsid formation of VP3 derived from several serotypes, as demonstrated for AAV1, AAV2, AAV8, and AAV9. Capsid formation, by coexpressing AAV1-, AAV2-, or AAV5-VP3 with AAP-1, AAP-2, or AAP-5 revealed the ability of AAP-1 and AAP-2 to complement each other in AAV1 and AAV2 assembly, whereas for AAV5 assembly more specific conditions are required. Sequence alignment of predicted AAP proteins from the known AAV serotypes indicates a high degree of homology of all serotypes to AAP-2 with some divergence for AAP-4, AAP-5, AAP-11, and AAP-12. Immunolocalization of assembled capsids from different serotypes confirmed the preferred nucleolar localization of capsids, as observed for AAV2; however, AAV8 and AAV9 capsids could also be detected throughout the nucleus. Taken together, the data show that AAV capsid assembly of different AAV serotypes also requires the assistance of AAP proteins.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 21917944
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  • 5
    Keywords: IN-VIVO ; TRANSGENIC MICE ; DILATED CARDIOMYOPATHY ; ISCHEMIA-REPERFUSION INJURY ; DEPENDENT PROTEIN-KINASE ; HEART-FAILURE ; CARDIAC-HYPERTROPHY ; PRESSURE-OVERLOAD ; INDEPENDENT ACTIVATION ; INHIBITION PROTECTS
    Abstract: CaMKII was suggested to mediate ischemic myocardial injury and adverse cardiac remodeling. Here, we investigated the roles of different CaMKII isoforms and splice variants in ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury by the use of new genetic CaMKII mouse models. Although CaMKIIdeltaC was upregulated 1 day after I/R injury, cardiac damage 1 day after I/R was neither affected in CaMKIIdelta-deficient mice, CaMKIIdelta-deficient mice in which the splice variants CaMKIIdeltaB and C were re-expressed, nor in cardiomyocyte-specific CaMKIIdelta/gamma double knockout mice (DKO). In contrast, 5 weeks after I/R, DKO mice were protected against extensive scar formation and cardiac dysfunction, which was associated with reduced leukocyte infiltration and attenuated expression of members of the chemokine (C-C motif) ligand family, in particular CCL3 (macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha, MIP-1alpha). Intriguingly, CaMKII was sufficient and required to induce CCL3 expression in isolated cardiomyocytes, indicating a cardiomyocyte autonomous effect. We propose that CaMKII-dependent chemoattractant signaling explains the effects on post-I/R remodeling. Taken together, we demonstrate that CaMKII is not critically involved in acute I/R-induced damage but in the process of post-infarct remodeling and inflammatory processes.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25193973
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  • 6
    Keywords: IN-VIVO ; HEART ; TRANSDUCTION ; MOUSE ; TRANSGENIC MICE ; MUSCLE ; ADENOASSOCIATED VIRUS VECTORS ; SERUM RESPONSE FACTOR ; TROPONIN-T-GENE ; SYSTEMIC INJECTION
    Abstract: AIMS: Inducible gene targeting in mice using the Cre/LoxP system has become a valuable tool to analyse the roles of specific genes in the adult heart. However, the commonly used Myh6-MerCreMer system requires time-consuming breeding schedules and is potentially associated with cardiac side effects, which may result in transient cardiac dysfunction. The aim of our study was to establish a rapid and simple system for cardiac gene inactivation in conditional knockout mice by gene transfer of a Cre recombinase gene using adeno-associated viral vectors of serotype 9 (AAV9). METHODS AND RESULTS: AAV9 vectors expressing Cre under the control of a human cardiac troponin T promoter (AAV-TnT-Cre) enabled a highly efficient Cre/LoxP switching in cardiomyocytes 2 weeks after injection into 5- to 6-week-old ROSA26-LacZ reporter mice. Recombination efficiency was at least as high as observed with the Myh6-MerCreMer system. No adverse side effects were detected upon application of AAV-TnT-Cre. As proof of principle, we studied AAV-TnT-Cre in a conditional knockout model (Srf-flex1 mice) to deplete the myocardium of the transcription factor serum response factor (SRF). Four weeks after AAV-TnT-Cre injection, a strong decrease in the cardiac expression of SRF mRNA and protein was observed. Furthermore, mice developed a severe cardiac dysfunction with increased interstitial fibrosis in accordance with the central role of SRF for the expression of contractile and calcium trafficking proteins in the heart. CONCLUSIONS: AAV9-mediated expression of Cre is a promising approach for rapid and efficient conditional cardiac gene knockout in adult mice.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25082846
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  • 7
    Keywords: IN-VIVO ; MODEL ; TISSUE ; antibodies ; MOUSE ; IDENTIFICATION ; GENE-THERAPY ; TROPISM ; DISPLAY PEPTIDE LIBRARIES ; VIRUS TYPE-2
    Abstract: Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors yield high potential for clinical gene therapy but, like for other vectors systems, they frequently do not sufficiently transduce the target tissue and their unspecific tropism prevents their application for multifocal diseases such as disseminated cancer. Targeted AAV vectors have been obtained from random AAV display peptide libraries but so far, all vector variants selected from AAV libraries upon systemic administration in vivo retained some collateral tropism, frequently the heart. Here we explored, if this impediment can be overcome by microRNA-regulated transgene cassettes as the combination of library-derived capsid targeting and micro-RNA control has not been evaluated so far. We used a tumor-targeted AAV capsid variant (ESGLSQS) selected from random AAV-display peptide libraries in vivo with remaining off-target tropism toward the heart and regulated targeted transgene expression in vivo by complementary target elements for heart-specific microRNA (miRT-1d). Although this vector still maintained its strong transduction capacity for tumor target tissue after intravenous injection, transgene expression in the heart was almost completely abrogated. This strong and completely tumor-specific transgene expression was used for therapeutic gene transfer in an aggressive multifocal, transgenic, polyoma middle T-induced, murine breast cancer model. A therapeutic suicide gene, delivered systemically by this dual-targeted AAV vector to multifocal breast cancer, significantly inhibited tumor growth after one single vector administration while avoiding side effects compared with untargeted vectors.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26446851
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  • 8
    Keywords: IN-VIVO ; MODEL ; TISSUE ; antibodies ; MOUSE ; IDENTIFICATION ; GENE-THERAPY ; TROPISM ; DISPLAY PEPTIDE LIBRARIES ; VIRUS TYPE-2
    Abstract: Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors yield high potential for clinical gene therapy but, like for other vectors systems, they frequently do not sufficiently transduce the target tissue and their unspecific tropism prevents their application for multifocal diseases such as disseminated cancer. Targeted AAV vectors have been obtained from random AAV display peptide libraries but so far, all vector variants selected from AAV libraries upon systemic administration in vivo retained some collateral tropism, frequently the heart. Here we explored, if this impediment can be overcome by microRNA-regulated transgene cassettes as the combination of library-derived capsid targeting and micro-RNA control has not been evaluated so far. We used a tumor-targeted AAV capsid variant (ESGLSQS) selected from random AAV-display peptide libraries in vivo with remaining off-target tropism toward the heart and regulated targeted transgene expression in vivo by complementary target elements for heart-specific microRNA (miRT-1d). Although this vector still maintained its strong transduction capacity for tumor target tissue after intravenous injection, transgene expression in the heart was almost completely abrogated. This strong and completely tumor-specific transgene expression was used for therapeutic gene transfer in an aggressive multifocal, transgenic, polyoma middle T-induced, murine breast cancer model. A therapeutic suicide gene, delivered systemically by this dual-targeted AAV vector to multifocal breast cancer, significantly inhibited tumor growth after one single vector administration while avoiding side effects compared with untargeted vectors.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26034897
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  • 9
    Abstract: CaM kinase II (CaMKII) has been suggested to drive pathological cardiac remodeling and heart failure. However, the evidence provided so far is based on inhibitory strategies using chemical compounds and peptides that also exert off-target effects and followed exclusively preventive strategies. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate whether specific CaMKII inhibition after the onset of cardiac stress delays or reverses maladaptive cardiac remodeling and dysfunction. Combined genetic deletion of the two redundant CaMKII genes delta and gamma was induced after the onset of overt heart failure as the result of pathological pressure overload induced by transverse aortic constriction (TAC). We used two different strategies to engineer an inducible cardiomyocyte-specific CaMKIIdelta/CaMKIIgamma double knockout mouse model (DKO): one model bases on tamoxifen-inducible mER/Cre/mER expression under control of the cardiac-specific alphaMHC promoter; the other strategy bases on overexpression of Cre recombinase via cardiac-specific gene transfer through adeno-associated virus (AAV9) under control of the cardiac-specific myosin light chain promoter. Both models led to a substantial deletion of CaMKII in failing hearts. To approximate the clinical situation, CaMKII deletion was induced 3 weeks after TAC surgery. In both models of DKO, the progression of cardiac dysfunction and interstitial fibrosis could be slowed down as compared to control animals. Taken together, we show for the first time that "therapeutic" CaMKII deletion after cardiac damage is sufficient to attenuate maladaptive cardiac remodeling and to reverse signs of heart failure. These data suggest that CaMKII inhibition is a promising therapeutic approach to combat heart failure.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 27683174
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  • 10
    Abstract: A disturbed inflammatory response following myocardial infarction (MI) is associated with poor prognosis and increased tissue damage. Monocytes are key players in healing after MI, but little is known about the role of the cardiac niche in monocyte activation. This study investigated microenvironment-dependent changes in inflammatory monocytes after MI RNA sequencing analysis of murine Ly6Chigh monocytes on day 3 after MI revealed differential regulation depending on location. Notably, the local environment strongly impacted components of the WNT signaling cascade. Analysis of WNT modulators revealed a strong upregulation of WNT Inhibitory Factor 1 (WIF1) in cardiomyocytes-but not fibroblasts or endothelial cells-upon hypoxia. Compared to wild-type (WT) littermates, WIF1 knockout mice showed severe adverse remodeling marked by increased scar size and reduced ejection fraction 4 weeks after MI While FACS analysis on day 1 after MI revealed no differences in neutrophil numbers, the hearts of WIF1 knockouts contained significantly more inflammatory monocytes than hearts from WT animals. Next, we induced AAV-mediated cardiomyocyte-specific WIF1 overexpression, which attenuated the monocyte response and improved cardiac function after MI, as compared to control-AAV-treated animals. Finally, WIF1 overexpression in isolated cardiomyocytes limited the activation of non-canonical WNT signaling and led to reduced IL-1beta and IL-6 expression in monocytes/macrophages. Taken together, we investigated the cardiac microenvironment's interaction with recruited monocytes after MI and identified a novel mechanism of monocyte activation. The local initiation of non-canonical WNT signaling shifts the accumulating myeloid cells toward a pro-inflammatory state and impacts healing after myocardial infarction.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 28774883
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