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Gene Ther. 2004 May;11(10):819-28.

Sea urchin insulator protects lentiviral vector from silencing by maintaining active chromatin structure.

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  • 1Laboratory of Virus Immunology, Institute for Virus Research, Kyoto University, 53 Shogoin-Kawahara-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.


Suppressed expression of transgenes in vivo is the major obstacle in the gene therapy. For the long-term expression, we utilized a chromatin insulator from sea urchin arylsulfatase (Ars) gene locus (Ars insulator, ArsI), which has been shown to epigenetically regulate gene expression across species. ArsI was able to prevent silencing of the transgene in a myeloid cell line, HL-60, and a murine embryonic stem cell line, CCE, in an orientation-dependent manner, but not in Huh-7, K562 and MCF-7 cells, indicating that the effect of ArsI on gene silencing was cell type dependent. Although anti-silencing effect of ArsI was almost equivalent to that of chicken beta-globin insulator, incorporation of ArsI into lentiviral vector had little effect on the virus titer compared with chicken beta-globin insulator. Clonal analysis of transduced HL-60 cells revealed that ArsI protects the lentiviral vector from position effects regardless of its orientation. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed that a high acetylation level was observed in the promoter of the insulated vector, whereas that of ArsI was independent of its anti-silencing capacity. In addition to it having little deteriorative effect on the virus titer, the identified anti-silencing effect of ArsI suggested its possibility for application in gene therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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