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Title: Lentiviral vector mediated gene therapy for X-linked lymphoproliferative disease
Author: Booth, C. A.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP) is a rare primary immunodeficiency characterised by severe immune dysregulation and is caused by mutations in the SH2D1A gene. Clinical manifestations vary and include haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), lymphoma and dysgammaglobulinaemia, often triggered by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. SLAM-associated protein (SAP) is a key regulator of immune function in T, NK, and NKT cells and defects in this protein lead to the cellular and humoral immune defects described in patients. Treatment options for XLP are limited and currently haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) is the only curative option. Results are variable and dependent on a good donor match and absence of active infection at transplant. Somatic gene therapy is now successfully used to correct certain severe immunodeficiencies and offers a potential cure in XLP. The use of self-inactivating (SIN) lentiviral vectors with transgene expression driven by non-viral promoters has improved the biosafety profile of haematopoietic stem cell gene therapy procedures. In this study we have successfully corrected both cellular and humoral defects in a SAP deficient murine model using a SIN lentiviral vector with a codon optimised SAP transgene under the transcriptional control of the elongation factor 1α short form (EFS) promoter. Initial attempts with a non-codon optimised version of SAP led to insufficient protein expression levels to restore immune function. We also assessed the CD2 locus control region (LCR) to evaluate any lymphoid specificity to permit more regulated SAP expression but were unable to demonstrate any benefit with this regulatory element. The results presented here provide proof of concept for the development of gene therapy for XLP and further work is warranted to improve the efficiency of gene transfer, secure engraftment of long term repopulating haematopoietic stem cell progenitors and additional characterisation of immune reconstitution after gene therapy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available