Perspective on Adeno-Associated Virus Capsid Modification for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Gene Therapy.

Human gene therapy

PubMedID: 26414293

Nance ME, Duan D. Perspective on Adeno-Associated Virus Capsid Modification for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Gene Therapy. Hum Gene Ther. 2015;.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a X-linked, progressive childhood myopathy caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene, one of the largest genes in the genome. It is characterized by skeletal and cardiac muscle degeneration and dysfunction leading to cardiac and/or respiratory failure. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) is a highly promising gene therapy vector. AAV gene therapy has resulted in unprecedented clinical success for treating several inherited diseases. However, AAV gene therapy for DMD remains a significant challenge. Hurdles for AAV-mediated DMD gene therapy include the difficulty to package the full-length dystrophin coding sequence in an AAV vector, the necessity for whole-body gene delivery, the immune response to dystrophin and AAV capsid, and the species-specific barriers to translate from animal models to human patients. Capsid engineering aims at improving viral vector properties by rational design and/or forced evolution. In this review, we discuss how to use the state-of-the-art AAV capsid engineering technologies to overcome hurdles in AAV-based DMD gene therapy.