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Gene Ther. 1998 Dec;5(12):1593-603.

Deletion of multiple immediate-early genes from herpes simplex virus reduces cytotoxicity and permits long-term gene expression in neurons.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA 15261, USA.

Abstract

Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) has many attractive features that suggest its utility for gene transfer to neurons. However, viral cytotoxicity and transient transgene expression limit practical applications even in the absence of viral replication. Mutant viruses deleted for the immediate early (IE) gene, ICP4, an essential transcriptional transactivator, are toxic to many cell types in culture in which only the remaining IE genes are expressed. In order to test directly the toxicity of other IE gene products in neurons and develop a mutant background capable of longterm transgene expression, we generated mutants deleted for multiple IE genes in various combinations and tested their relative cytotoxicity in 9L rat gliosarcoma cells, Vero monkey kidney cells, and primary rat cortical and dorsal root neurons in culture. Viral mutants deleted simultaneously for the IE genes encoding ICP4, ICP22 and ICP27 showed substantially reduced cytotoxicity compared with viruses deleted for ICP4 alone or ICP4 in combination with either ICP22, ICP27 or ICP47. Infection of neurons in culture with these triple IE deletion mutants substantially enhanced cell survival and permitted transgene expression for over 21 days. Such mutants may prove useful for efficient gene transfer and extended transgene expression in neurons in vitro and in vivo.

PMID:
10023438
DOI:
10.1038/sj.gt.3300766
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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