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© Research
Publication : Nature

Transfusion independence and HMGA2 activation after gene therapy of human β-thalassaemia.

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Nature - 16 Sep 2010

Cavazzana-Calvo M, Payen E, Negre O, Wang G, Hehir K, Fusil F, Down J, Denaro M, Brady T, Westerman K, Cavallesco R, Gillet-Legrand B, Caccavelli L, Sgarra R, Maouche-Chrétien L, Bernaudin F, Girot R, Dorazio R, Mulder GJ, Polack A, Bank A, Soulier J, Larghero J, Kabbara N, Dalle B, Gourmel B, Socie G, Chrétien S, Cartier N, Aubourg P, Fischer A, Cornetta K, Galacteros F, Beuzard Y, Gluckman E, Bushman F, Hacein-Bey-Abina S, Leboulch P,

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 20844535

Link to DOI – 10.1038/nature09328

Nature 2010 Sep; 467(7313): 318-22

The β-haemoglobinopathies are the most prevalent inherited disorders worldwide. Gene therapy of β-thalassaemia is particularly challenging given the requirement for massive haemoglobin production in a lineage-specific manner and the lack of selective advantage for corrected haematopoietic stem cells. Compound β(E)/β(0)-thalassaemia is the most common form of severe thalassaemia in southeast Asian countries and their diasporas. The β(E)-globin allele bears a point mutation that causes alternative splicing. The abnormally spliced form is non-coding, whereas the correctly spliced messenger RNA expresses a mutated β(E)-globin with partial instability. When this is compounded with a non-functional β(0) allele, a profound decrease in β-globin synthesis results, and approximately half of β(E)/β(0)-thalassaemia patients are transfusion-dependent. The only available curative therapy is allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, although most patients do not have a human-leukocyte-antigen-matched, geno-identical donor, and those who do still risk rejection or graft-versus-host disease. Here we show that, 33 months after lentiviral β-globin gene transfer, an adult patient with severe β(E)/β(0)-thalassaemia dependent on monthly transfusions since early childhood has become transfusion independent for the past 21 months. Blood haemoglobin is maintained between 9 and 10 g dl(-1), of which one-third contains vector-encoded β-globin. Most of the therapeutic benefit results from a dominant, myeloid-biased cell clone, in which the integrated vector causes transcriptional activation of HMGA2 in erythroid cells with further increased expression of a truncated HMGA2 mRNA insensitive to degradation by let-7 microRNAs. The clonal dominance that accompanies therapeutic efficacy may be coincidental and stochastic or result from a hitherto benign cell expansion caused by dysregulation of the HMGA2 gene in stem/progenitor cells.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20844535