FVIII expression by its native promoter sustains long-term correction avoiding immune response in hemophilic mice

Simone Merlin, Rosella Famà, Ester Borroni, Diego Zanolini, Valentina Bruscaggin, Silvia Zucchelli and Antonia Follenzi

Data supplements

Article Figures & Data


  • Figure 1.

    Identification of putative and alternative TSSs in human F8 gene. (A) Zenbu Genome Browser view of human F8 gene locus. Genomic coordinates in hg19 chromosome X are shown on top. Genes and transcripts are color-coded according to their orientation in the genome (positive strand, green; negative strand, purple). A track with annotated reference sequence for each gene at this locus is included (RefSeq). Expression across the whole collection of FANTOM5 human libraries is shown (F5 human Cap Analysis of Gene Expression, N = 1829). Green and purple arrowheads indicated transcription initiation in sense and antisense orientation, respectively. (B) TSS1-driven expression of F8 in human tissues (fetal, adult) measured by F5 Cap Analysis of Gene Expression analysis. (C) In silico analysis of pF8 sequence predicts the presence of several TFBS belonging to TFs expressed in hepatocytes and hematopoietic and endothelial cells. In parentheses are the numbers of nucleotides (nt) recognized.

  • Figure 2.

    pF8 differentially drives GFP expression in liver and spleen. Representative immunofluorescence analysis of mouse liver (A) and spleen (B) of C57BL/6 HA, 1 and 6 months after LV.pF8.GFP injection. Scale bars, 50 μm. (C) Flow cytometry analysis showing GFP expression pattern in liver NPCs and hepatocytes isolated from C57BL/6 mice 1 month after LV.pF8.GFP delivery. (D) Evaluation of LSEC markers Tie-2, CD146, and CD-31 on GFP+ cells of the NPC fraction.

  • Figure 3.

    In vivo gene therapy with LVs expressing FVIII and FVIII-modified forms under the control of pF8. (A) aPTT assay on plasma of C57BL/6-HA mice up to 52 weeks after LV delivery. Compared with pF8.FVIII, the injection of pF8.RH (n = 3) and pF8.N6 (n = 5) significantly improves FVIII activity 1.4-fold (∼11%) and 1.3-fold (∼10%), respectively (*P ≤ .0001). (B) ELISA assay showing no anti-FVIII antibodies over time among treated mice. Bleeding assay (C) and bleeding time (D) highlighting hemophilic phenotype correction in all FVIII-injected mice compared with HA control mice (*P ≤ .0001). Saline-injected HA mice are used as control (n = 6).

  • Figure 4.

    hFVIII activity after LV.pF8.FVIII delivery in HA mice previously immunized with hFVIII. (A) Graphic representation of hFVIII activity (red line) and anti-FVIII antibody (Ab) titer (blue line) trend of C57BL/6 HA injected with LV.pF8.FVIII after immunization (n = 4). (B) Bethesda assay showing formation of high titer inhibitors (≥20 BU) in all immunized mice. (C) Graph showing quantification of anti-FVIII isotypes IgG1, IgG2a, and IgG2b in plasma of FVIII-immunized and subsequently injected with LV.pF8.FVIII. High titer of IgG1 and IgG2a were predominantly detectable in all mice. Bleeding assay (D) and bleeding time (E) showing a significant phenotypic correction of HA treated mice. *P ≤ .0001.

  • Figure 5.

    Long-term bleeding correction of B6/129-HA mice after FVIII gene transfer and effects of Tregs depletion after LV.pF8.FVIII delivery. (A) aPTT assay on plasma of LV.pF8.FVIII (n = 8) and injected mice (n = 7) up to 68 weeks. (B) ELISA assay showing the absence of anti-FVIII antibodies after LV treatment. Bleeding assay (C) and bleeding time (D) demonstrating bleeding correction in all HA injected mice (P < .001), with a significant improvement of the HA phenotype mediated by form (P < .001). (E) hFVIII activity trend in plasma of B6/129-HA mice injected with LV.pF8.hFVIII (n = 10) and underwent Tregs depletion 11 weeks later (n = 5). Bethesda assay showing low titer inhibitors (F) and FVIII-specific isotypes IgG1, IgG2a, and IgG2b (G) in plasma of Tregs depleted mice. (H) Percentage of Tregs (CD4+ CD25+ Foxp3+) in PB of mice from both groups. *P ≤ .0001.

  • Figure 6.

    GFP expression in liver and spleen of pF8-Lin transplanted mice. Immunofluorescence analysis of liver sections from pF8-Lin (A-B) and PGK-Lin C57Bl/6 transplanted mice (C-D). Immunofluorescence analysis of the spleens of pF8-Lin (E-F) and PGK-Lin transplanted mice (G-H). Scale bars, 50 μm.

  • Figure 7.

    Ex vivo gene therapy using LV.pF8.FVIII. (A) FACS analysis for hD45 showing human chimerism after LV.pF8.FVIII-CD34+ transplant in NSG-HA mice for up to 3 months. aPTT (B) and bleeding (C) assays confirm therapeutic activity of FVIII and phenotypic correction in mice transplanted with LV.pF8.FVIII-hCD34+. (D) aPTT showing FVIII activity rescue after Lin transduced cell transplantation. (E) ELISA assay demonstrates the absence of anti-FVIII antibodies in Lin transplanted mice. (F) Bleeding assay in mice transplanted with transduced hCD34+ or murine Lin cells demonstrate the achievement of phenotypic correction in all treated mice. *P ≤ .0001.