• Concise review: cell therapies for hereditary metabolic liver diseases-concepts, clinical results, and future developments.

      Cantz, Tobias; Sharma, Amar Deep; Ott, Michael; TWINCORE, Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research, Feodor-Lynen Str. 7, 30625, Hannover, Germany. (2015-04)
      The concept of cell-based therapies for inherited metabolic liver diseases has been introduced for now more than 40 years in animal experiments, but controlled clinical data in humans are still not available. In the era of dynamic developments in stem cell science, the "right" cell for transplantation is considered as an important key for successful treatment. Do we aim to transplant mature hepatocytes or do we consider the liver as a stem/progenitor-driven organ and replenish the diseased liver with genetically normal stem/progenitor cells? Although conflicting results from cell tracing and transplantation experiments have recently emerged about the existence and role of stem/progenitor cells in the liver, their overall contribution to parenchymal cell homeostasis and tissue repair is limited. Accordingly, engraftment and repopulation efficacies of extrahepatic and liver-derived stem/progenitor cell types are considered to be lower compared to mature hepatocytes. On the basis of these results, we will discuss the current clinical cell transplantation programs for inherited metabolic liver diseases and future developments in liver cell therapy. Stem Cells 2015;33:1055-1062.
    • Generation of healthy mice from gene-corrected disease-specific induced pluripotent stem cells.

      Wu, Guangming; Liu, Na; Rittelmeyer, Ina; Sharma, Amar Deep; Sgodda, Malte; Zaehres, Holm; Bleidissel, Martina; Greber, Boris; Gentile, Luca; Han, Dong Wook; et al. (2011-07)
      Using the murine model of tyrosinemia type 1 (fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase [FAH] deficiency; FAH⁻/⁻ mice) as a paradigm for orphan disorders, such as hereditary metabolic liver diseases, we evaluated fibroblast-derived FAH⁻/⁻-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) as targets for gene correction in combination with the tetraploid embryo complementation method. First, after characterizing the FAH⁻/⁻ iPS cell lines, we aggregated FAH⁻/⁻-iPS cells with tetraploid embryos and obtained entirely FAH⁻/⁻-iPS cell-derived mice that were viable and exhibited the phenotype of the founding FAH⁻/⁻ mice. Then, we transduced FAH cDNA into the FAH⁻/⁻-iPS cells using a third-generation lentiviral vector to generate gene-corrected iPS cells. We could not detect any chromosomal alterations in these cells by high-resolution array CGH analysis, and after their aggregation with tetraploid embryos, we obtained fully iPS cell-derived healthy mice with an astonishing high efficiency for full-term development of up to 63.3%. The gene correction was validated functionally by the long-term survival and expansion of FAH-positive cells of these mice after withdrawal of the rescuing drug NTBC (2-(2-nitro-4-fluoromethylbenzoyl)-1,3-cyclohexanedione). Furthermore, our results demonstrate that both a liver-specific promoter (transthyretin, TTR)-driven FAH transgene and a strong viral promoter (from spleen focus-forming virus, SFFV)-driven FAH transgene rescued the FAH-deficiency phenotypes in the mice derived from the respective gene-corrected iPS cells. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that a lentiviral gene repair strategy does not abrogate the full pluripotent potential of fibroblast-derived iPS cells, and genetic manipulation of iPS cells in combination with tetraploid embryo aggregation provides a practical and rapid approach to evaluate the efficacy of gene correction of human diseases in mouse models.
    • MicroRNA-125b-5p mimic inhibits acute liver failure.

      Yang, Dakai; Yuan, Qinggong; Balakrishnan, Asha; Bantel, Heike; Klusmann, Jan-Henning; Manns, Michael P; Ott, Michael; Cantz, Tobias; Sharma, Amar Deep; Twincore Centre of Experimental and Clinical Infection Research; a joint venture between the Hannover Medical School and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Hannover 30625, Germany. (2016)
      The lack of broad-spectrum anti-acute liver failure (ALF) therapeutic agents contributes to ALF-related mortality. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are suggested to be potent serum biomarkers for ALF, but their functional and therapeutic relevance in ALF are unclear. Here we show an unbiased approach, using two complementary miRNA screens, to identify miRNAs that can attenuate ALF. We identify miR-125b-5p as a regulator of cell death that attenuates paracetamol-induced and FAS-induced toxicity in mouse and human hepatocytes. Importantly, administration of miR-125b-5p mimic in mouse liver prevents injury and improves survival in models of ALF. Functional studies show that miR-125b-5p ameliorates ALF by directly regulating kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1, in turn elevating expression of nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2, a known regulator in ALF. Collectively, our findings establish miR-125b-5p as an important regulator of paracetamol-induced and FAS-induced cell death. Thus, miR-125b-5p mimic may serve as a broad-spectrum therapeutic attenuator of cell death during ALF.