Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Ther. 2012 Jan;20(1):84-90. doi: 10.1038/mt.2011.204. Epub 2011 Oct 18.

Evaluation of residual promoter activity in γ-retroviral self-inactivating (SIN) vectors.

Author information

Section on Directed Gene Transfer, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Regulation, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Therapeutic gene delivery mediated by retroviral vectors has the advantage of stable integration into the host genome. A major safety concern for gene delivery achieved by murine leukemia virus (MLV)-based retroviral vectors is the activation of adjacent cellular genes including oncogenes following integration into the host genome. Self-inactivating (SIN) vectors lacking viral enhancers/promoters in their 3' long terminal repeat (LTR) have been proposed as a means of overcoming this safety concern. However the MLV-based SIN vectors currently used by laboratories to assess insertional mutagenesis, integration site selection, and the potency of transgene expression are not uniform in the composition of their 3' LTRs. We constructed a series of SIN vectors representative of the currently employed vectors, but lacking an internal promoter. Green fluorescent protein (GFP) was used as a reporter gene. Target cells exposed to these vectors were evaluated for number of integrants and GFP expression at the messenger RNA (mRNA) level and protein level. We found that viral promoter activity in the 3' LTR is not attenuated in many currently employed SIN vectors. These results suggest that the influence of strong residual promoter activity should be taken into consideration when interpreting experimental results obtained using SIN vectors in gene therapy research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center