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Gene Ther. 1995 Aug;2(6):369-76.

A new reporter system for detection of retroviral infection.

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Department of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, USA.


We describe a novel reporter molecule, the murine surface antigen Thy-1, useful for immunoselection and detection of retrovirus-mediated transduction by flow cytometry. A cDNA encoding the murine thy-1 gene was isolated, and cell surface expression of its gene product was demonstrated. The Thy-1 glycoprotein was tested as a cell surface reporter molecule in the context of replication-defective and -competent retroviruses. Cells transduced via murine retroviral vectors carrying the thy-1 and the neomycin phosphotransferase genes express Thy-1 glycoprotein on their surfaces. The Thy-1 marker is potentially useful in gene transfer protocols because selection of transduced cells can be achieved by immunoselection with anti-Thy-1 antibodies shortly after infection with the retroviral vector. In addition, a human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) recombinant expressing Thy-1 is described, which is replication-competent and syncytium-inducing in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and immortalized CD4-positive cell lines. Cells infected with this HIV-1 recombinant express Thy-1 on their surfaces and can be detected and purified by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). Because of these properties, retroviruses expressing this genetic marker can be useful for studies in gene therapy and of the retroviral life-cycle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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