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Enhancement of liver-directed transgene expression at initial and repeat doses of AAV vectors admixed with ImmTOR nanoparticles

Authors: Ilyinskii, Petr O.; Michaud, Alicia M.; Roy, Christopher J.; Rizzo, Gina L.; Elkins, Stephanie L.; Capela, Teresa; Chowdhury, Aparajita C.; Leung, Sheldon S.; Kishimoto, Takashi K.

Online: https://advances.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abd0321

Issue: Sci Adv . 2021 Feb 24;7(9):eabd0321.


Systemic AAV (adeno-associated virus) gene therapy is a promising approach for the treatment of inborn errors of metabolism, but questions remain regarding its potency and durability. Tolerogenic ImmTOR nanoparticles encapsulating rapamycin have been shown to block the formation of neutralizing anti-capsid antibodies, thereby enabling vector re-administration. Here, we further demonstrate that ImmTOR admixed with AAV vectors also enhances hepatic transgene expression at the initial dose of AAV vector, independent of its effects on adaptive immunity. ImmTOR enhances AAV trafficking to the liver, resulting in increased hepatic vector copy numbers and transgene mRNA expression. Enhanced transgene expression occurs through a mechanism independent of the AAV receptor and cannot be replicated in vivo with free rapamycin or empty nanoparticles. The multipronged mechanism of ImmTOR action makes it an attractive candidate to enable more efficient transgene expression at first dose while simultaneously inhibiting adaptive responses against AAV to enable repeat dosing.