Adenovirus-mediated transfer of type IV collagen alpha5 chain cDNA into swine kidney in vivo: deposition of the protein into the glomerular basement membrane

Gene Ther. 2001 Jun;8(11):882-90. doi: 10.1038/


Gene therapy of Alport syndrome (hereditary nephritis) aims at the transfer of a corrected type IV collagen alpha chain gene into renal glomerular cells responsible for production of the glomerular basement membrane (GBM). A GBM network composed of type IV collagen molecules is abnormal in Alport syndrome which leads progressively to kidney failure. The most common X-linked form of the disease is caused by mutations in the gene for the alpha5(IV) chain, the alpha5 chain of type IV collagen. Full-length human alpha5(IV) cDNA was expressed in HT1080 cells with an adenovirus vector, and the recombinant alpha5(IV) chain was shown to assemble into heterotrimers consisting of alpha3(IV) and alpha4(IV) chains, utilizing a FLAG epitope in the recombinant alpha5(IV) chain. The results indicate that correction of the molecular defect in Alport syndrome is possible. Previously, we had developed an organ perfusion method for effective in vivo gene transfer into glomerular cells. In vivo perfusion of pig kidneys with the recombinant adenovirus resulted in expression of the alpha5(IV) chain in kidney glomeruli as shown by in situ hybridization and its deposition into the GBM was shown by immunohistochemistry. The results strongly suggest future possibilities for gene therapy of Alport syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Basement Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Collagen / analysis
  • Collagen / genetics*
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Genetic Vectors / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Glomerulus / metabolism*
  • Models, Animal
  • Nephritis, Hereditary / therapy*
  • Perfusion
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Swine


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Collagen