Gene therapy approach to FAP: In vivo influence of T119M in TTR deposition in a transgenic V30M mouse model

A. R. Batista, D. Gianni, M. Ventosa, A. V. Coelho, M. R. Almeida, M. Sena-Esteves, M. J. Saraiva

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy (FAP) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by extracellular deposition of amyloid fibrils composed by mutated transthyretin (TTR) mainly in the peripheral nervous system. At present, liver transplantation is still the standard treatment to halt the progression of clinical symptoms in FAP, but new therapeutic strategies are emerging, including the use of TTR stabilizers. Here we propose to establish a new gene therapy approach using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors to deliver the trans-suppressor TTR T119M variant to the liver of transgenic TTR V30M mice at different ages. This TTR variant is known for its ability to stabilize the tetrameric protein. Analysis of the gastrointestinal tract of AAV-treated animals revealed a significant reduction in deposition of TTR non-fibrillar aggregates in as much as 34% in stomach and 30% in colon, as well as decreased levels of biomarkers associated with TTR deposition, namely the endoplasmic reticulum stress marker BiP and the extracellular matrix protein MMP-9. Moreover, we showed with different studies that our approach leads to an increase in tetrameric and more stable forms of TTR, in favor of destabilized monomers. Altogether our data suggest the possibility to use this gene therapy approach in a prophylactic manner to prevent FAP pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1050
Number of pages10
JournalGene Therapy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2014


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