Correction of enzymatic and lysosomal storage defects in Fabry mice by adenovirus-mediated gene transfer

Hum Gene Ther. 1999 Jul 1;10(10):1667-82. doi: 10.1089/10430349950017671.


Fabry disease is a recessive, X-linked disorder caused by a deficiency of the lysosomal hydrolase alpha-galactosidase A. Deficiency of this enzyme results in progressive deposition of the glycosphingolipid globotriaosylceramide (GL-3) in the vascular lysosomes, with resultant distension of the organelle. The demonstration of a secretory pathway for lysosomal enzymes and their subsequent recapture by distant cells through the mannose 6-phosphate receptor pathway has provided a rationale for somatic gene therapy of lysosomal storage disorders. Toward this end, recombinant adenoviral vectors encoding human alpha-galactosidase A (Ad2/CEHalpha-Gal, Ad2/CMVHIalpha-Gal) were constructed and injected intravenously into Fabry knockout mice. Administration of Ad2/CEHalpha-Gal to the Fabry mice resulted in an elevation of alpha-galactosidase A activity in all tissues, including the liver, lung, kidney, heart, spleen, and muscle, to levels above those observed in normal animals. However, enzymatic expression declined rapidly such that by 12 weeks, only 10% of the activity observed on day 3 remained. Alpha-galactosidase A detected in the plasma of injected animals was in a form that was internalized by Fabry fibroblasts grown in culture. Such internalization occurred via the mannose 6-phosphate receptors. Importantly, concomitant with the increase in enzyme activity was a significant reduction in GL-3 content in all tissues to near normal levels for up to 6 months posttreatment. However, as expression of alpha-galactosidase A declined, low levels of GL-3 reaccumulated in some of the tissues at 6 months. For protracted treatment, we showed that readministration of recombinant adenovirus vectors could be facilitated by transient immunosuppression using a monoclonal antibody against CD40 ligand (MR1). Together, these data demonstrate that the defects in alpha-galactosidase A activity and lysosomal storage of GL-3 in Fabry mice can be corrected by adenovirus-mediated gene transfer. This suggests that gene replacement therapy represents a viable approach for the treatment of Fabry disease and potentially other lysosomal storage disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviruses, Human*
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Fabry Disease / therapy*
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Genetic Vectors*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression Therapy
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Time Factors
  • Trihexosylceramides / metabolism
  • alpha-Galactosidase / genetics*
  • alpha-Galactosidase / metabolism


  • Trihexosylceramides
  • globotriaosylceramide
  • alpha-Galactosidase