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Blood. 2002 Aug 15;100(4):1248-56.

Reconstitution of lymphoid development and function in ZAP-70-deficient mice following gene transfer into bone marrow cells.

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  • 1Genetics and Molecular Biology Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Mutations in the ZAP-70 protein tyrosine kinase gene result in a severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) characterized by a selective inability to produce CD8(+) T cells and a signal transduction defect in peripheral CD4(+) cells. Transplantation of genetically modified hematopoietic progenitor cells that express the wild-type ZAP-70 gene may provide significant benefit to some of these infants. The feasibility of stem cell gene correction for human ZAP-70 deficiency was assessed using a ZAP-70 knock-out model. ZAP-70-deficient murine bone marrow progenitor cells were transduced with a retroviral vector expressing the human ZAP-70 gene. Engraftment of these cells in irradiated ZAP-70-deficient animals resulted in the development of mature CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. In marked contrast, both populations were absent in ZAP-70(-/-) mice undergoing transplantation with bone marrow progenitor cells transduced with a control vector. Importantly, ZAP-70-reconstituted T cells proliferated in response to T-cell receptor stimulation. Moreover, these ZAP-70-expressing T cells demonstrated a diverse T-cell receptor repertoire as monitored by the relative usage of each T-cell receptor beta chain hypervariable region subfamily. The presence of ZAP-70 in B cells did not affect either lipopolysaccharide- or lipopolysaccharide/interleukin-4-mediated immunoglobulin isotype switching. Altogether, these data indicate that retroviral-mediated gene transfer of the ZAP-70 gene may prove to have a therapeutic benefit for patients with ZAP-70-SCID.

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