Characterization of Adeno-Associated Viral Vector-Mediated Human Factor VIII Gene Therapy in Hemophilia A Mice

Hum Gene Ther. 2017 May;28(5):392-402. doi: 10.1089/hum.2016.128. Epub 2017 Jan 5.


Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors are promising vehicles for hemophilia gene therapy, with favorable clinical trial data seen in the treatment of hemophilia B. In an effort to optimize the expression of human coagulation factor VIII (hFVIII) for the treatment of hemophilia A, an extensive study was performed with numerous combinations of liver-specific promoter and enhancer elements with a codon-optimized hFVIII transgene. After generating 42 variants of three reduced-size promoters and three small enhancers, transgene cassettes were packaged within a single AAV capsid, AAVrh10, to eliminate performance differences due to the capsid type. Each hFVIII vector was administered to FVIII knockout (KO) mice at a dose of 1010 genome copies (GC) per mouse. Criteria for distinguishing the performance of the different enhancer/promoter combinations were established prior to the initiation of the studies. These criteria included prominently the level of hFVIII activity (0.12-2.12 IU/mL) and the pattern of development of anti-hFVIII antibodies. In order to evaluate the impact of capsid on hFVIII expression and antibody formation, one of the enhancer and promoter combinations that exhibited high hFVIII immunogenicity was evaluated using AAV8, AAV9, AAVrh10, AAVhu37, and AAVrh64R1 capsids. The capsids subdivided into two groups: those that generated anti-hFVIII antibodies in ≤20% of mice (AAV8 and AAV9), and those that generated anti-hFVIII antibodies in >20% of mice (AAVrh10, AAVhu37, and AAVrh64R1). The results of this study, which entailed extensive vector optimization and in vivo testing, demonstrate the significant impact that transcriptional control elements and capsid can have on vector performance.

Keywords: AAV; gene therapy; hemophilia A; human coagulation factor VIII.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Capsid Proteins / genetics
  • Capsid Proteins / immunology
  • Dependovirus / genetics
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Factor VIII / genetics*
  • Factor VIII / therapeutic use
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genetic Therapy*
  • Genetic Vectors / therapeutic use*
  • Hemophilia A / genetics
  • Hemophilia A / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance / genetics
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Transgenes / immunology


  • Capsid Proteins
  • Factor VIII