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Gene Ther. 2014 Sep;21(9):820-7. doi: 10.1038/gt.2014.60. Epub 2014 Jul 3.

One-year follow-up of transgene expression by integrase-defective lentiviral vectors and their therapeutic potential in spinocerebellar ataxia model mice.

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Department of Neurophysiology, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Maebashi, Gunma, Japan.
Laboratory of Molecular Biochemistry, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, Tokyo, Japan.


We examined integrase-defective lentiviral vectors (IDLVs) with a mutant (D64V) integrase in terms of their residual integration capability, the levels and duration of transgene expression and their therapeutic potential in comparison to wild-type lentiviral vectors (WTLVs) with a wild-type integrase gene. Compared with WTLVs, the IDLV-mediated proviral integration into host-cell chromosomes was approximately 1/3850 in HeLa cells and approximately 1/111 in mouse cerebellar neurons in vivo. At 2 months, transgene expression by IDLVs in the mouse cerebellum was comparable to that by WTLVs, but then significantly decreased. The mRNA levels at 6 and 12 months after injection in IDLV-infected cerebella were approximately 26% and 5%, respectively, of the mRNA levels in WTLV-injected cerebella. To examine the therapeutic potential, IDLVs or WTLVs expressing a molecule that enhances the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway were injected into the cerebella of spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 model mice (SCA3 mice). IDLV-injected SCA3 mice showed a significantly improved rotarod performance even at 1 year after-injection. Immunohistochemistry at 1 year after injection showed a drastic reduction of mutant aggregates in Purkinje cellsfrom IDLV-injected, as well as WTLV-injected, SCA3 mice. Our results suggest that because of the substantially reduced risk of insertional mutagenesis, IDLVs are safer and potentially effective as gene therapy vectors.

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