- lentiviral vector (1) (remove)
- Development of SIVsmmPBj- and HIV-2-derived lentiviral vector systems to correct gp91phox gene defects in monocytes (2009)
- SIVsmmPBj-derived lentiviral vectors are capable of efficient primary human monocyte transduction, a capacity which is linked to the viral accessory protein Vpx. To enable novel gene therapy approaches targeting monocytes, in this thesis it was aimed to generate enhanced lentiviral vectors that meet the required standards for clinical applications with respect to gene transfer efficiency and safety. The vectors were tested for their suitability in a relevant therapeutic gene transfer approach. At first, it was investigated whether vectors derived from another Vpx-carrying lentivirus reveal the same capacity for monocyte transduction as SIVsmmPBj-derived vectors. A transduction experiment using HIV-2-derived vectors in comparison to PBj-derived vectors revealed a comparable transduction capacity, thus disproving the assumed uniqueness of the PBj vectors. The further generation and analysis of expression constructs for the vpx genes of HIV-2 and SIVmac demonstrated a similar functionality in monocyte transduction as the Vpx of PBj. As VpxPBj, both Vpx proteins facilitated monocyte transduction of a vpx-deficient PBj-derived vector system. For the generation of enhanced SIVsmmPBj and HIV-2 vector systems, only the transfer vectors were optimized, since the packaging vectors available already meet current standards. At first, several modifications were introduced into an available preliminary PBj-derived transfer vector by conventional cloning. The modifications included insertions of cPPT/CTS and WPRE as well as the deletions of the remaining pol sequence, the second exons of tat end rev, and the U3-region within the 3’LTR to generate a SIN vector. Thus, beside safety enhancement, the vector titers were also increased from 9.1x105 TU/ml achieved after concentration with the initial transfer vector up to 1.1x107 TU/ml with the final transfer vector. The PBj vector retained its capability of monocyte transduction when supplemented with Vpx. This conventional method of vector enhancement is time-consuming and may result in only sub-optimal vectors, since it depends on the presence of restriction sites which may not allow deletion of all needless sequences. Moreover, mutations may accumulate during the high number of cloning and amplification steps. Therefore, a new and easier method for lentiviral transfer vector generation was conceived. Three essential segments of the viral genome (5‘ LTR, RRE, ΔU3-3’ LTR) are amplified on the template of the lentiviral wild-type genome and fused by Fusion-PCR. Further necessary elements namely the cPPT/CTS-element, MCS, and PPT are included into the resulting vector by extension of the nucleotide primers used for the PCRs. The amplified and fused vector-scaffold can easily be integrated into a plasmid backbone, followed by insertion of the expression cassette of choice. By applying this approach, two novel lentiviral transfer vectors, based on the non-human SIVsmmPBj and the human HIV-2, were derived. Vector titers achieved for PBj and HIV-2 vectors supplemented with Vpx reached up to 4.0x108 TU/ml and 5.4x108 TU/ml, respectively. The capacity for monocyte transduction was maintained. Thus, safe and efficient, state of the art HIV-2- and PBj-derived vector systems are now available for future gene therapy strategies. Finally, the new vectors were used to set up an approach for gene correction of gp91phox-deficient monocytes for the treatment of X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (xCGD). The administration of autologous, gene-corrected monocytes to counteract systemic and acute infections could lead to a decreased infection load, dissolve granulomas and therefore improve the survival rate of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) which is the current treatment of choice for this disease. First, methods for analysis of gp91phox function were established. Next, they were employed to demonstrate the capacity of monocytes, obtained from healthy humans or mice, for phagocytosis, oxidative burst, and Staphylococcus aureus killing. The in vivo half-life of murine monocytes in the bloodstream and their distribution to specific tissues was determined. Lastly, HIV-1 vectors were used to transfer the gp91phox gene into monocytes from gp91phox-deficient mice. This resulted in the successful restoration of the oxidative burst ability in the cells. In summary, the general suitability of the new vectors for treatment of CGD by monocyte transduction was demonstrated. The results of the mouse experiments provide the foundation for future challenge experiments to evaluate the capability of gene-corrected monocytes to kill off microbes in vivo.