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Blood. 1999 Nov 15;94(10):3349-57.

Improved expression in hematopoietic and lymphoid cells in mice after transplantation of bone marrow transduced with a modified retroviral vector.

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Division of Research Immunology/Bone Marrow Transplantation, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA.


Retroviral vectors based on the Moloney murine leukemia virus (MoMuLV) are currently the most commonly used vehicles for stable gene transfer into mammalian hematopoietic cells. But, even with reasonable transduction efficiency, expression only occurs in a low percentage of transduced cells and decreases to undetectable levels over time. We have previously reported the modified MND LTR (myeloproliferative sarcoma virus enhancer, negative control region deleted, dl587rev primer-binding site substituted) to show increased expression frequency and decreased methylation in transduced murine embryonic stem cells and hematopoietic stem cells. We have now compared expression of the enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) from a vector using the MoMuLV LTR (LeGFPSN) with that from the modified vector (MNDeGFPSN) in mature hematopoietic and lymphoid cells in the mouse bone marrow transplant (BMT) model. In primary BMT recipients, we observed a higher frequency of expression from the MND LTR (20% to 80%) in hematopoietic cells of all lineages in spleen, bone marrow, thymus, and blood compared with expression from the MoMuLV LTR (5% to 10%). Expression from the MND LTR reached 88% in thymic T lymphocytes and 54% in splenic B lymphocytes for up to 8 months after BMT. The mean fluorescence intensity of the individual cells, indicating the amount of protein synthesized, was 6- to 10-fold higher in cells expressing MNDeGFPSN compared with cells expressing LeGFPSN. Transduction efficiencies determined by DNA polymerase chain reaction of vector copy number were comparable for the 2 vectors. Therefore, the MND vector offers an improved vehicle for reliable gene expression in hematopoietic cells.

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