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Gene Therapy Corrects Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells and Fibroblasts from <i>Coq9R239X</i> Mice

24 Jun 2016

by Eliana Barriocanal-Casado, Cristina Cueto-Ureña, Karim Benabdellah, Alejandra Gutiérrez-Guerrero, Marién Cobo, Agustín Hidalgo-Gutiérrez, Juan José Rodríguez-Sevilla, Francisco Martín, Luis C. López

Recent clinical trials have shown that in vivo and ex vivo gene therapy strategies can be an option for the treatment of several neurological disorders. Both strategies require efficient and safe vectors to 1) deliver the therapeutic gene directly into the CNS or 2) to genetically modify stem cells that will be used as Trojan horses for the systemic delivery of the therapeutic protein. A group of target diseases for these therapeutic strategies are mitochondrial encephalopathies due to mutations in nuclear DNA genes. In this study, we have developed a lentiviral vector (CCoq9WP) able to overexpress Coq9 mRNA and COQ9 protein in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) from Coq9R239X mice, an animal model of mitochondrial encephalopathy due to primary Coenzyme Q (CoQ) deficiency. Ectopic over-expression of Coq9 in both cell types restored the CoQ biosynthetic pathway and mitochondrial function, improving the fitness of the transduced cells. These results show the potential of the CCoq9WP lentiviral vector as a tool for gene therapy to treat mitochondrial encephalopathies.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in PLOS ONE