Vers une thérapie génique ex vivo de la dystrophie musculaire de Duchenne : approches lentivirale et intégrase PhiC31

Authors: Quenneville, Simon
Advisor: Tremblay, Jacques-P.
Abstract: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe X-linked muscle genetic illness that afflicts one boy per 3 500. Cell therapy is a possible cure for this illness that usually kills patients around age 25. Transplantation of the heterologus myogenic cells is, however, restricted by the immune rejection by the patient. Ex vivo gene therapy offers an evasion to this problem. Introduction of the therapeutic gene into the patient’s own myogenic precursor cells, followed by transplantation is the base of this therapeutic. Four years ago, no efficient procedure to stably modify myogenic cells was available. New gene introduction techniques were thus tested in the present thesis. The first one is a non-viral method. We used a new transfection technology (Nucleofection) to introduce plasmid DNA coding for dystrophin with success. To stabilize the expression, human myogenic cells were co-nucleofected with a PhiC31 expressing plasmid. This integrase was capable of stabilising expression plasmids ranging from 7 kb to 21 kb. This very large sequence was the largest plasmid ever stabilised into human primary cultured cells. The presence of full-length dystrophin protein was detected in vitro and confirmed in vivo, after the transplantation of the myogenic precursor. Another technique was used: the lentiviral vectors. These viral vectors were designed to deliver an expression cassette for a truncated version of the dystrophin gene. The viral vector was efficient at modifying the cells. The expression was shown in vitro and in vivo after the transplantation of the modified cells. The lentiviral vectors were also essayed to deliver a U7 exon skipping cassette into DMD cells. It was then possible to demonstrate that this introduction led to the expression of a quasi normal dystrophin protein in vitro. The expression was also shown in vivo after the transplantation into SCID mice model. A non-viral approach combining nucleofection and the PhiC31 integrase may eventually permit safe auto-transplantation of genetically modified cells. The utilisation of lentiviral vectors also provided evidences that an ex vivo gene therapy is possible for DMD. We believe these results are paving the way to an eventual clinical trial for ex vivo gene therapy.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2007
Open Access Date: 13 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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