Sustained expression of Epstein–Barr virus episomal vector mediated factor VIII in vivo following muscle electroporation

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Haemophilia A treatment is an attractive candidate for gene therapy. The aim of haemophilia gene therapy is to obtain long-term therapeutic level of factor VIII (FVIII). We investigated Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-based episomal vector combined with in vivo electroporation of naked DNA as a safe, efficient and simple method for correcting FVIII deficiency. A combinant FVIII expression EBV-based episomal vector pcDNA3-FVIII-EBVR was constructed and expressed in COS-7 cells. Then the naked plasmid DNA was injected into the quadriceps of mice following the electric pulse stimulation. Our data showed that pcDNA3-FVIII-EBVR expression in transfected COS-7 can maintain stably for at least 60 days and the hFVIII:Ag in plasma in two pcDNA3-FVIII-EBVR groups mice was higher than that in pcDNA-FVIII groups no matter with or without electric pulse stimulation. With the stimulating of electric pulse, the FVIII expression in plasma of recipient mice was increased two- to fourfolds and can be lasted for at least 90 days. No severe muscle damage was detected. So this novel strategy that FVIII expression mediated by EBV episomal vector following muscle electroporation is efficient, safe, simple and economic and may be applicable to clinical usage.

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