Research ArticleDISEASES AND DISORDERS

Gene therapy for tuberous sclerosis complex type 2 in a mouse model by delivery of AAV9 encoding a condensed form of tuberin

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Science Advances  08 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 2, eabb1703
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb1703

Abstract

Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) results from loss of a tumor suppressor gene - TSC1 or TSC2, encoding hamartin and tuberin, respectively. These proteins formed a complex to inhibit mTORC1-mediated cell growth and proliferation. Loss of either protein leads to overgrowth lesions in many vital organs. Gene therapy was evaluated in a mouse model of TSC2 using an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector carrying the complementary for a “condensed” form of human tuberin (cTuberin). Functionality of cTuberin was verified in culture. A mouse model of TSC2 was generated by AAV-Cre recombinase disruption of Tsc2-floxed alleles at birth, leading to a shortened lifespan (mean 58 days) and brain pathology consistent with TSC. When these mice were injected intravenously on day 21 with AAV9-cTuberin, the mean survival was extended to 462 days with reduction in brain pathology. This demonstrates the potential of treating life-threatening TSC2 lesions with a single intravenous injection of AAV9-cTuberin.

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