Development of tools to modify globin gene expression in stem cells
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Development of tools to modify globin gene expression in stem cells The objective of this proposal is to develop a treatment for patients with sickle cell disease. The development of methods for treating common geneticdiseases, such as sickle cell disease remains an elusive goal. Gene therapy is a technology which has the potential to overcome several of the problems in the development of a therapy for sickle cell disease. Hemoglobinopathies offer a major advantage forresearchers in that their stem cells reside in the bone marrow. They are easy to access, manipulate in the laboratory and can be given back to the patient. This proposal intends to create optimized gene expression vectors that reduce mutant sickle beta-globin protein levels while increasing the expression of another normal globin gene, thus maintaining the balance of hemoglobin protein expression that is critical to the formation of normal red blood cells. These vectors will be tested in human bone marrow stem cells to determine their potential to improve hemoglobin expression. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Patients with Sickle Cell Disease suffer from a range of many symptoms including painful sickle crises, damage to organs such as the lungs, kidneys, liver and spleen and stroke, which shorten life expectancy to the mid-40's. At present there is no curative treatment for majority of patients with this common genetic disease. Although there are a number of possible treatments currently under investigationwhich may reduce the disease complications or offer the potential of a cure, this proposal seeks to develop a new therapeutic approach that has demonstrated potential in models of other genetic diseases.
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