Enrico Maria Surace

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Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA) is a group of inherited blinding diseases with onset during childhood. One form of the disease, LCA2, is caused by mutations in the retinal pigment epithelium-specific 65-kDa protein gene (RPE65). We investigated the safety of subretinal delivery of a recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) carrying RPE65 complementary(More)
The safety and efficacy of gene therapy for inherited retinal diseases is being tested in humans affected with Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA), an autosomal recessive blinding disease. Three independent studies have provided evidence that the subretinal administration of adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors encoding RPE65 in patients affected with LCA2(More)
Gene therapy represents a promising therapeutic option for many inherited and acquired retinal diseases. Recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV) are the most efficient tools to transfer genes in vivo to the retina. The recent identification of dozens of novel AAV serotypes enormously expands on the versatility of AAV as vector system for in vivo(More)
Severe inherited retinal diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa and Leber congenital amaurosis, are caused by mutations in genes preferentially expressed in photoreceptors. While adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene transfer can correct retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) defects in animal models, approaches for the correction of photoreceptor-specific(More)
The congenital retinal blindness known as Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) can be caused by mutations in the RPE65 gene. RPE65 plays a critical role in the visual cycle that produces the photosensitive pigment rhodopsin. Recent evidence from human studies of LCA indicates that earlier rather than later intervention may be more likely to restore vision. We(More)
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as regulators of many basic cellular pathways. Several lncRNAs are selectively expressed in the developing retina, although little is known about their functional role in this tissue. Vax2os1 is a retina-specific lncRNA whose expression is restricted to the mouse ventral retina. Here we demonstrate that(More)
Molecules with neurotrophic activity are being evaluated for treatment of retinitis pigmentosa in animal models. In particular, great interest has been focused recently on erythropoietin (Epo). Evidence of its neurotrophic activity comes mainly from data demonstrating photoreceptor protection in a rodent light-damage model through systemic administration of(More)
BACKGROUND Gene transfer using adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors has been successfully applied in the retina for the treatment of inherited retinal dystrophies. Recently, microRNAs have been exploited to fine-tune transgene expression improving therapeutic outcomes. Here we evaluated the ability of retinal-expressed microRNAs to restrict AAV-mediated(More)
BACKGROUND Gene therapy has the potential to reverse disease or prevent further deterioration of vision in patients with incurable inherited retinal degeneration. We therefore did a phase 1 trial to assess the effect of gene therapy on retinal and visual function in children and adults with Leber's congenital amaurosis. METHODS We assessed the retinal and(More)
PURPOSE Pigment Epithelium-Derived Factor (PEDF) is a 50 kDa secretable protein with neuroprotective, neurotrophic, and antiangiogenic properties. Expression patterns in the human eye suggest that modulation of this protein over time and place may play a role in development of normal ocular vasculature. Because of the potential importance of normal PEDF(More)