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  • 1
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Donor availability and transplantation-related risks limit the broad use of allogeneic hematopoietic-cell transplantation in patients with transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia. After previously establishing that lentiviral transfer of a marked beta-globin (beta(A-T87Q)) gene could substitute for long-term red-cell transfusions in a patient with beta-thalassemia, we wanted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of such gene therapy in patients with transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia. METHODS: In two phase 1-2 studies, we obtained mobilized autologous CD34+ cells from 22 patients (12 to 35 years of age) with transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia and transduced the cells ex vivo with LentiGlobin BB305 vector, which encodes adult hemoglobin (HbA) with a T87Q amino acid substitution (HbA(T87Q)). The cells were then reinfused after the patients had undergone myeloablative busulfan conditioning. We subsequently monitored adverse events, vector integration, and levels of replication-competent lentivirus. Efficacy assessments included levels of total hemoglobin and HbA(T87Q), transfusion requirements, and average vector copy number. RESULTS: At a median of 26 months (range, 15 to 42) after infusion of the gene-modified cells, all but 1 of the 13 patients who had a non-beta(0)/beta(0) genotype had stopped receiving red-cell transfusions; the levels of HbA(T87Q) ranged from 3.4 to 10.0 g per deciliter, and the levels of total hemoglobin ranged from 8.2 to 13.7 g per deciliter. Correction of biologic markers of dyserythropoiesis was achieved in evaluated patients with hemoglobin levels near normal ranges. In 9 patients with a beta(0)/beta(0) genotype or two copies of the IVS1-110 mutation, the median annualized transfusion volume was decreased by 73%, and red-cell transfusions were discontinued in 3 patients. Treatment-related adverse events were typical of those associated with autologous stem-cell transplantation. No clonal dominance related to vector integration was observed. CONCLUSIONS: Gene therapy with autologous CD34+ cells transduced with the BB305 vector reduced or eliminated the need for long-term red-cell transfusions in 22 patients with severe beta-thalassemia without serious adverse events related to the drug product. (Funded by Bluebird Bio and others; HGB-204 and HGB-205 numbers, NCT01745120 and NCT02151526 .).
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 29669226
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  • 2
    Abstract: Mitochondria supply cells with ATP, heme, and iron sulfur clusters (ISC), and mitochondrial energy metabolism involves both heme- and ISC-dependent enzymes. Here, we show that mitochondrial iron supply and function require iron regulatory proteins (IRP), cytosolic RNA-binding proteins that control mRNA translation and stability. Mice lacking both IRP1 and IRP2 in their hepatocytes suffer from mitochondrial iron deficiency and dysfunction associated with alterations of the ISC and heme biosynthetic pathways, leading to liver failure and death. These results uncover a major role of the IRPs in cell biology: to ensure adequate iron supply to the mitochondrion for proper function of this critical organelle
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 20674864
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1432-1203
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract. Acute intermittent porphyria (AIP), the most common acute hepatic porphyria, is a low-penetrant autosomal dominant disorder caused by mutations in the porphobilinogen deaminase (PBGD) or hydroxymethylbilane synthase (HMBS) gene. Although AIP has been identified in all the main ethnic groups, little is known about PBGD gene defects in Africans, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Americans. We have carried out PBGD gene screening among seven unrelated AIP families and 98 controls belonging to the Afro-Caribbean (French West Indies) and the sub-Saharan African (Morocco, Algeria, Cameroon, Mali, and Burkina Faso) populations. Using denaturing-gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and direct sequencing we characterized six different mutations, including four novel, from the seven AIP families: three splicing defects (IVS 5+2 Ins G; IVS 7+1 G to A in two families; IVS 10–1 G to T); a small deletion (1004 Del G); and two missense mutations (R116 W; A270G). The allele frequencies of the 14 polymorphic sites, previously known in the normal Caucasian population, were similar in Africans and Afro-Caribbean control populations. Interestingly, two common new intragenic polymorphic sites, close to intron/junction boundaries, were identified only in blacks: 1) in intron 2, a single base-pair G deletion at position 3167 (G:0.88; delG:0.12); 2) in intron 10, a A/G dimorphism at position 7052 (A:0.56; G:0.44). These two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were never encountered in 750 unrelated Caucasian subjects. The allele frequency distributions of populations within black ethnic groups (Africans and Afro-Caribbean) are similar. This study highlights differences both in PBGD gene mutations causing AIP and in SNPs between white and black peoples; the allele frequencies provided contribute to a better knowledge of the variability of these markers among the major population groups, especially in sub-Saharan West African and Afro-Caribbean populations.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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