The cellular receptors that mediate binding and internalization of retroviruses have recently been identified. The concentration and accessibility of these receptors are critical determinants in accomplishing successful gene transfer with retrovirus-based vectors. Murine retroviruses containing ecotropic glycoproteins do not infect human cells since human cells do not express the receptor that binds the ecotropic glycoproteins. To enable human cells to become permissive for ecotropic retrovirus-mediated gene transfer, we have developed a recombinant adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV) vector containing ecotropic retroviral receptor (ecoR) cDNA under the control of the Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) long terminal repeat (LTR) promoter (vRSVp-ecoR). Established human cell lines, such as HeLa and KB, known to be nonpermissive for murine ecotropic retroviruses, became permissive for infection by a retroviral vector containing a bacterial gene for resistance to neomycin (RV-Neo(r)), with a transduction efficiency of up to 47%, following transduction with vRSVp-ecoR, as determined by the development of colonies that were resistant to the drug G418, a neomycin analog. No G418- resistant colonies were present in cultures infected with either vRSVp-ecoR or RV-Neo(r) alone. Southern and Northern blot analyses revealed stable integration and long-term expression, respectively, of the transduced murine ecoR gene in clonal isolates of HeLa and KB cells. Similarly, ecotropic retrovirus-mediated Neo(r) transduction of primary human CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells from normal bone marrow was also documented, but only following infection with vRSVp-ecoR. The retroviral transduction efficiency was approximately 7% without prestimulation and approximately 14% with prestimulation of CD34+ cells with cytokines, as determined by hematopoietic clonogenic assays. No G418-resistant progenitor cell colonies were present in cultures infected with either vRSVp-ecoR or RV-Neo(r) alone. These results suggest that sequential transduction of primary human cells with two different viral vectors may overcome limitations encountered with a single vector. Thus, the combined use of AAV- and retrovirus-based vectors may have important clinical implications for ex vivo and in vivo human gene therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science