Successful AAV8 readministration: Suppression of capsid-specific neutralizing antibodies by a combination treatment of bortezomib and CD20 mAb in a mouse model of Pompe disease.



A major challenge to adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene therapy is the presence of anti-AAV capsid neutralizing antibodies (NAbs), which can block viral vector transduction even at very low titers. In the present study, we examined the ability of a combination immunosuppression (IS) treatment with bortezomib and a mouse-specific CD20 monoclonal antibody to suppress anti-AAV NAbs and enable readministration of AAV vectors of the same capsid in mice.


An AAV8 vector (AAV8-CB-hGAA) that ubiquitously expresses human α-glucosidase was used for initial gene therapy and a second AAV8 vector (AAV8-LSP-hSEAP) that contains a liver-specific promoter to express human secreted embryonic alkaline phosphatase (hSEAP) was used for AAV readministration. Plasma samples were used for determination of anti-AAV8 NAb titers. Cells isolated from whole blood, spleen, and bone marrow were analyzed for B-cell depletion by flow cytometry. The efficiency of AAV readministration was determined by the secretion of hSEAP in blood.


In näive mice, an 8-week IS treatment along with AAV8-CB-hGAA injection effectively depleted CD19+ B220+ B cells from blood, spleen, and bone marrow and prevented the formation of anti-AAV8 NAbs. Following administration of AAV8-LSP-hSEAP, increasing levels of hSEAP were detected in blood for up to 6 weeks, indicating successful AAV readministration. In mice pre-immunized with AAV8-CB-hGAA, comparison of IS treatment for 8, 12, 16, and 20 weeks revealed that the 16-week IS treatment demonstrated the highest plasma hSEAP level following AAV8-LSP-hSEAP readministration.


Our data suggest that this combination treatment is an effective IS approach that will allow retreatment of patients with AAV-mediated gene therapy. A combination IS treatment with bortezomib and a mouse-specific CD20 monoclonal antibody effectively suppressed anti-AAV NAbs in naïve mice and in mice with pre-existing antibodies, allowing successful readministration of the same AAV capsid vector.





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Publication Info

Choi, Su Jin, John S Yi, Jeong-A Lim, Thomas F Tedder, Dwight D Koeberl, William Jeck, Ankit K Desai, Amy Rosenberg, et al. (2023). Successful AAV8 readministration: Suppression of capsid-specific neutralizing antibodies by a combination treatment of bortezomib and CD20 mAb in a mouse model of Pompe disease. The journal of gene medicine. p. e3509. 10.1002/jgm.3509 Retrieved from

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John S Yi

Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery

I am an immunologist, with a focus to characterize the immune system in response to infectious and non-infectious diseases including cancer, HIV, autoimmune disease, and transplantation. My goals are to identify novel biomarkers/immune signatures that clinicians can utilize to diagnosis, predict disease outcomes, and determine patients' response to treatment. 


Dwight D. Koeberl

Professor of Pediatrics

As a physician-scientist practicing clinical and biochemical genetics, I am highly motivated to seek improved therapy for my patients with inherited disorders of metabolism. The focus of our research has been the development of gene therapy with adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors, most recently by genome editing with CRISPR/Cas9. We have developed gene therapy for inherited disorders of metabolism, especially glycogen storage disease (GSD) and phenylketonuria (PKU). 
1) GSD Ia: Glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) deficient animals provide models for developing new therapy for GSD Ia, although early mortality complicates research with both the murine and canine models of GSD Ia. We have prolonged the survival and reversed the biochemical abnormalities in G6Pase-knockout mice and dogs with GSD type Ia, following the administration of AAV8-pseudotyped AAV vectors encoding human G6Pase. More recently, we have performed genome editing to integrate a therapeutic transgene in a safe harbor locus for mice with GSD Ia, permanently correcting G6Pase deficiency in the GSD Ia liver. Finally, we have identified reduced autophagy as an underlying hepatocellular defect that might be treated with pro-autophagic drugs in GSD Ia.
2) GSD II/Pompe disease: Pompe disease is caused by the deficiency of acid-alpha-glucosidase (GAA) in muscle, resulting in the massive accumulation of lysosomal glycogen in striated muscle with accompanying weakness. While enzyme replacement has shown promise in infantile-onset Pompe disease patients, no curative therapy is available. We demonstrated that AAV vector-mediated gene therapy will likely overcome limitations of enzyme replacement therapy, including formation of anti-GAA antibodies and the need for frequent infusions. We demonstrated that liver-restricted expression with an AAV vector prevented antibody responses in GAA-knockout mice by inducing immune tolerance to human GAA. Antibody responses have complicated enzyme replacement therapy for Pompe disease and emphasized a potential advantage of gene therapy for this disorder. The strategy of administering low-dose gene therapy prior to initiation of enzyme replacement therapy, termed immunomodulatory gene therapy, prevented antibody formation and increased efficacy in Pompe disease mice. We are currently conducting a Phase I clinical trial of immunomodulatory gene therapy in adult patients with Pompe disease. Furthermore, we have developed drug therapy to increase the receptor-mediated uptake of GAA in muscle cells, which provides adjunctive therapy to more definitively treat Pompe disease.
3) PKU: In collaboration with researchers at OHSU, we performed an early gene therapy experiment that demonstrated long-term biochemical correction of PKU in mice with an AAV8 vector. PKU is a very significant disorder detected by newborn screening and currently inadequately treated by dietary therapy. Phenylalanine levels in mice were corrected in the blood, and elevated phenylalanine causes mental retardation and birth defects in children born to affected women, and gene therapy for PKU would address an unmet need for therapy in this disorder.

Currently we are developing methods for genome editing that will stably correct the enzyme  deficiency in GSD Ia and in Pompe disease.  Our long-term goal is to develop efficacious genome editing for glycogen storage diseases, which will allow us to treat these conditions early in life with long-term benefits. 


William Richard Jeck

Assistant Professor of Pathology

Baodong Sun

Associate Professor in Pediatrics

My overall research interests are finding effective treatment for human glycogen storage diseases (GSDs) and other inherited metabolic disorders. My current research focuses on identification of novel therapeutic targets and development of effective therapies for GSD II (Pompe disease), GSD III (Cori disease), and GSD IV (Andersen disease) using cellular and animal disease models. The main therapeutic approaches we are using in our pre-clinical studies include protein/enzyme therapy, AAV-mediated gene therapy, and substrate reduction therapy with small molecule drugs.

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