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American Society of Hematology, Blood, 23(143), p. 2373-2385, 2024

DOI: 10.1182/blood.2023022589



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Vector integration and fate in the hemophilia dog liver multiple years after AAV-FVIII gene transfer

Distributing this paper is prohibited by the publisher
Distributing this paper is prohibited by the publisher

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Abstract Gene therapy using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors is a promising approach for the treatment of monogenic disorders. Long-term multiyear transgene expression has been demonstrated in animal models and clinical studies. Nevertheless, uncertainties remain concerning the nature of AAV vector persistence and whether there is a potential for genotoxicity. Here, we describe the mechanisms of AAV vector persistence in the liver of a severe hemophilia A dog model (male = 4, hemizygous; and female = 4, homozygous), more than a decade after portal vein delivery. The predominant vector form was nonintegrated episomal structures with levels correlating with long-term transgene expression. Random integration was seen in all samples (median frequency, 9.3e−4 sites per cell), with small numbers of nonrandom common integration sites associated with open chromatin. No full-length integrated vectors were found, supporting predominant episomal vector-mediated long-term transgene expression. Despite integration, this was not associated with oncogene upregulation or histopathological evidence of tumorigenesis. These findings support the long-term safety of this therapeutic modality.