Cone-Specific Promoters for Gene Therapy of Achromatopsia and Other Retinal Diseases.

Michael Nork // Publications // Sheibani Lab // Jan 01 2016

PubMed ID: 26603570

Author(s): Ye GJ, Budzynski E, Sonnentag P, Nork TM, Sheibani N, Gurel Z, Boye SL, Peterson JJ, Boye SE, Hauswirth WW, Chulay JD. Cone-specific promoters for gene therapy of achromatopsia and other retinal diseases. Hum Gene Ther. 2016 Jan;27(1):72-82. doi: 10.1089/hum.2015.130. PMID 26603570

Journal: Human Gene Therapy, Volume 27, Issue 1, Jan 2016

Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors containing cone-specific promoters have rescued cone photoreceptor function in mouse and dog models of achromatopsia, but cone-specific promoters have not been optimized for use in primates. Using AAV vectors administered by subretinal injection, we evaluated a series of promoters based on the human L-opsin promoter, or a chimeric human cone transducin promoter, for their ability to drive gene expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) in mice and nonhuman primates. Each of these promoters directed high-level GFP expression in mouse photoreceptors. In primates, subretinal injection of an AAV-GFP vector containing a 1.7-kb L-opsin promoter (PR1.7) achieved strong and specific GFP expression in all cone photoreceptors and was more efficient than a vector containing the 2.1-kb L-opsin promoter that was used in AAV vectors that rescued cone function in mouse and dog models of achromatopsia. A chimeric cone transducin promoter that directed strong GFP expression in mouse and dog cone photoreceptors was unable to drive GFP expression in primate cones. An AAV vector expressing a human CNGB3 gene driven by the PR1.7 promoter rescued cone function in the mouse model of achromatopsia. These results have informed the design of an AAV vector for treatment of patients with achromatopsia.