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Gene Ther. 2000 Feb;7(4):348-58.

Drug selection of MDR1-transduced hematopoietic cells ex vivo increases transgene expression and chemoresistance in reconstituted bone marrow in mice.

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Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-4255, USA.


The MDR1 (multidrug resistance) gene, transferred to hematopoietic cells, is expected to protect them from anticancer chemotherapy and may serve as a selectable marker, restoring gene expression in vivo. Appropriate selection strategies, however, need to be established. To investigate whether preselection ex vivo affects chemoresistance, murine bone marrow cells were retrovirally transduced with high-titer or, as a model for suboptimal gene expression, low-titer retroviruses and exposed to daunomycin or colchicine for 48-96 h. Selection significantly increased chemoresistance of clonogenic progenitor cells. In tissue culture, the entire target population was rendered highly drug resistant after MDR1 transfer with high-titer viruses. If transduction was performed under suboptimal conditions, drug selection increased the frequency of chemoresistant colonies up to 40% over the number of unselected cells. Colchicine and daunomycin were equally efficient in increasing drug resistance ex vivo, but colchicine-preselected cells rescued lethally irradiated mice under conditions where daunomycin-selected bone marrow cells failed to do so. Hence, while hematopoietic cells can be protected by MDR1, the selection strategy is critical for repopulation of bone marrow with transduced cells. Preselection in culture before transplantation significantly increased P-gp expression and chemoresistance in vivo in mice reconstituted with transduced bone marrow cells. This study may help to facilitate the use of MDR1 as a selectable marker in gene therapy of the hematopoietic system. Gene Therapy (2000) 7, 348-358.

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