Institut for Biomedicin

Lars Bolund

Correction of steroid sulfatase deficiency by gene transfer into basal cells of tissue-cultured epidermis from patients with recessive X-linked ichthyosis

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  • Institut for Human Genetik
  • Klinisk Genetisk Afdeling
  • Afdeling for Almen Medicin
To develop an experimental model for somatic gene therapy we have tried to correct the steroid sulfatase (STS) deficiency in tissue-cultured primary epidermal keratinocytes from patients suffering from recessive X-linked ichthyosis. An efficient Epstein-Barr virus-based vector was constructed, in which full-length steroid sulfatase cDNA is located between an SV40 early promotor and processing signals. After STS gene transfer into cultured basal cells from ichthyotic skin, the cells produce large amounts of enzymatically active steroid sulfatase protein. The subpopulation of transfected cells can be made to produce approximately 100 times more STS activity than normal keratinocytes. Keratinocytes from patients suffering from recessive X-linked ichthyosis display an abnormal phenotype when developing a multilayered tissue in culture: Initially an extensive burst of keratinization is observed, followed by rapid, premature shedding and degradation of most suprabasal cell layers, leaving a culture with hyperproliferative relatively immature keratinocytes. Transfection of these immature ichthyotic cells with the functional STS construct led to an increase in the amount of retained cell material in the culture medium, indicating an increased cell maturation. It is possible to genetically label individual transfected epidermal cells with a reporter gene. Cotransfection experiments with STS and reporter gene vectors show that the cohort of transfected cells had a tendency to develop less rapidly since they became overrepresented in the smaller size classes at the same time the total population was somewhat shifted toward higher cell sizes. We interpret these results as an indication that restoration of the enzymatic activity induces a more normal maturation of the transfected keratinocytes.
TidsskriftExperimental Cell Research
Sider (fra-til)392-7
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - 1 dec. 1993

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