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Étude du potentiel des pFAR4, miniplasmides dépourvus de gène de résistance à un antibiotique, comme vecteurs pour la thérapie génique

Abstract : One of the main challenges in gene therapy is to identify safe vectors that promote an efficient gene delivery and a sustained therapeutic transgene expression level in targeted cells. The development of novel plasmid vectors allowed to reach these objectives and to consider non-viral gene therapy approaches as attractive alternatives to treat genetic and acquired disorders. The pFAR4 vector is a novel antibiotic-free mini-plasmid. In Escherichia coli, its propagation is based on the suppression of an amber nonsense mutation introduced into an essential gene, thus eliminating safety concerns classically attributed to antibiotic resistance markers present on conventional plasmid DNA vectors and allowing a reduction in plasmid size. The aim of this work was to investigate the potential of pFAR4 as a gene vector in two different non-viral gene therapy approaches. In a first approach, the potential of the pFAR4 vector was assessed for the expression of a therapeutic gene in mouse liver. To this end, a pFAR4 derivative expressing the Sgsh gene from a liver-specific promoter and coding the sulfamidase, an enzyme deficient in patients suffering from the Sanfilippo A disease, was tail vein hydrodynamically injected into mouse liver. We showed that the pFAR4 derivative promoted a high and prolonged sulfamidase expression which rapidly declined when the same expression cassette was delivered by a conventional plasmid containing a kanamycin resistance marker. It was established that the superior expression profile obtained with the pFAR4 derivative did not result from its integration in host genome but seemed to benefit from protection against transcriptional silencing. In a second approach, the pFAR4 vector was combined to the Sleeping Beauty transposon system that mediates transgene integration into host genomes, after its excision from a plasmid donor by the hyperactive SB100X transposase, in order to obtain a long-term expression in dividing cells. This combination was studied in vitro, delivering either the neomycin resistance gene or the fluorescent Venus protein-encoding gene into HeLa cells. We showed that the combination pFAR4/SB led to an increased transgenesis rate in comparison to the association of SB with conventional plasmids. The pFAR4/SB combination seemed to benefit from an elevated transfection efficiency and a higher excision rate, resulting from the reduced size of the pFAR4 vector. The two technologies should be soon used for the delivery of the anti-angiogenic pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) gene into autologous primary pigment epithelial cells, in the context of two PhaseI/II clinical trials based on an ex vivo gene therapeutic approach for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD).
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Marie Pastor. Étude du potentiel des pFAR4, miniplasmides dépourvus de gène de résistance à un antibiotique, comme vecteurs pour la thérapie génique. Biotechnologie. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016USPCB043⟩. ⟨tel-02562452⟩

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