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J Stem Cell Res Ther. 2013 Sep 1;2013(Suppl 3). doi: 10.4172/2157-7633.S3-004.

Identification of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Engraftment Genes in Gene Therapy Studies.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA ; School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA.


Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) therapy using replication-incompetent retroviral vectors is a promising approach to provide life-long correction for genetic defects. HSC gene therapy clinical studies have resulted in functional cures for several diseases, but in some studies clonal expansion or leukemia has occurred. This is due to the dyregulation of endogenous host gene expression from vector provirus insertional mutagenesis. Insertional mutagenesis screens using replicating retroviruses have been used extensively to identify genes that influence oncogenesis. However, retroviral mutagenesis screens can also be used to determine the role of genes in biological processes such as stem cell engraftment. The aim of this review is to describe the potential for vector insertion site data from gene therapy studies to provide novel insights into mechanisms of HSC engraftment. In HSC gene therapy studies dysregulation of host genes by replication-incompetent vector proviruses may lead to enrichment of repopulating clones with vector integrants near genes that influence engraftment. Thus, data from HSC gene therapy studies can be used to identify novel candidate engraftment genes. As HSC gene therapy use continues to expand, the vector insertion site data collected will be of great interest to help identify novel engraftment genes and may ultimately lead to new therapies to improve engraftment.


Engraftment; Gene therapy; Hematopoietic stem cell; Insertional mutagenesis; Viral vector

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