- Measles virus glycoprotein-based lentiviral targeting vectors that avoid neutralizing antibodies (2012)
- Lentiviral vectors (LVs) are potent gene transfer vehicles frequently applied in research and recently also in clinical trials. Retargeting LV entry to cell types of interest is a key issue to improve gene transfer safety and efficacy. Recently, we have developed a targeting method for LVs by incorporating engineered measles virus (MV) glycoproteins, the hemagglutinin (H), responsible for receptor recognition, and the fusion protein into their envelope. The H protein displays a single-chain antibody (scFv) specific for the target receptor and is ablated for recognition of the MV receptors CD46 and SLAM by point mutations in its ectodomain. A potential hindrance to systemic administration in humans is pre-existing MV-specific immunity due to vaccination or natural infection. We compared transduction of targeting vectors and non-targeting vectors pseudotyped with MV glycoproteins unmodified in their ectodomains (MV-LV) in presence of α-MV antibody-positive human plasma. At plasma dilution 1:160 MV-LV was almost completely neutralized, whereas targeting vectors showed relative transduction efficiencies from 60% to 90%. Furthermore, at plasma dilution 1:80 an at least 4-times higher multiplicity of infection (MOI) of MV-LV had to be applied to obtain similar transduction efficiencies as with targeting vectors. Also when the vectors were normalized to their p24 values, targeting vectors showed partial protection against α-MV antibodies in human plasma. Furthermore, the monoclonal neutralizing antibody K71 with a putative epitope close to the receptor binding sites of H, did not neutralize the targeting vectors, but did neutralize MV-LV. The observed escape from neutralization may be due to the point mutations in the H ectodomain that might have destroyed antibody binding sites. Furthermore, scFv mediated cell entry via the target receptor may proceed in presence of α-MV antibodies interfering with entry via the natural MV receptors. These results are promising for in vivo applications of targeting vectors in humans.
- CD20 and CD19 targeted vectors induce minimal activation of resting B lymphocytes (2013)
- B lymphocytes are an important cell population of the immune system. However, until recently it was not possible to transduce resting B lymphocytes with retro- or lentiviral vectors, making them unsusceptible for genetic manipulations by these vectors. Lately, we demonstrated that lentiviral vectors pseudotyped with modified measles virus (MV) glycoproteins hemagglutinin, responsible for receptor recognition, and fusion protein were able to overcome this transduction block. They use either the natural MV receptors, CD46 and signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM), for cell entry (MV-LV) or the vector particles were further modified to selectively enter via the CD20 molecule, which is exclusively expressed on B lymphocytes (CD20-LV). It has been shown previously that transduction by MV-LV does not induce B lymphocyte activation. However, if this is also true for CD20-LV is still unknown. Here, we generated a vector specific for another B lymphocyte marker, CD19, and compared its ability to transduce resting B lymphocytes with CD20-LV. The vector (CD19ds-LV) was able to stably transduce unstimulated B lymphocytes, albeit with a reduced efficiency of about 10% compared to CD20-LV, which transduced about 30% of the cells. Since CD20 as well as CD19 are closely linked to the B lymphocyte activation pathway, we investigated if engagement of CD20 or CD19 molecules by the vector particles induces activating stimuli in resting B lymphocytes. Although, activation of B lymphocytes often involves calcium influx, we did not detect elevated calcium levels. However, the activation marker CD71 was substantially up-regulated upon CD20-LV transduction and most importantly, B lymphocytes transduced with CD20-LV or CD19ds-LV entered the G1b phase of cell cycle, whereas untransduced or MV-LV transduced B lymphocytes remained in G0. Hence, CD20 and CD19 targeting vectors induce activating stimuli in resting B lymphocytes, which most likely renders them susceptible for lentiviral vector transduction.
- Selection of functional human antibodies from retroviral display libraries (2005)
- Antibody library technology represents a powerful tool for the discovery and design of antibodies with high affinity and specificity for their targets. To extend the technique to the expression and selection of antibody libraries in an eukaryotic environment, we provide here a proof of concept that retroviruses can be engineered for the display and selection of variable single-chain fragment (scFv) libraries. A retroviral library displaying the repertoire obtained after a single round of selection of a human synthetic scFv phage display library on laminin was generated. For selection, antigen-bound virus was efficiently recovered by an overlay with cells permissive for infection. This approach allowed more than 10(3)-fold enrichment of antigen binders in a single selection cycle. After three selection cycles, several scFvs were recovered showing similar laminin-binding activities but improved expression levels in mammalian cells as compared with a laminin-specific scFv selected by the conventional phage display approach. Thus, translational problems that occur when phage-selected antibodies have to be transferred onto mammalian expression systems to exert their therapeutic potential can be avoided by the use of retroviral display libraries.
- Immunization of Mice with Lentiviral Vectors Targeted to MHC Class II+ Cells Is Due to Preferential Transduction of Dendritic Cells In Vivo (2014)
- Gene transfer vectors such as lentiviral vectors offer versatile possibilities to express transgenic antigens for vaccination purposes. However, viral vaccines leading to broad transduction and transgene expression in vivo, are undesirable. Therefore, strategies capable of directing gene transfer only to professional antigen-presenting cells would increase the specific activity and safety of genetic vaccines. A lentiviral vector pseudotype specific for murine major histocompatibilty complex class II (LV-MHCII) was recently developed and the present study aims to characterize the in vivo biodistribution profile and immunization potential of this vector in mice. Whereas the systemic administration of a vector pseudotyped with a ubiquitously-interacting envelope led to prominent detection of vector copies in the liver of animals, the injection of an equivalent amount of LV-MHCII resulted in a more specific biodistribution of vector and transgene. Copies of LV-MHCII were found only in secondary lymphoid organs, essentially in CD11c+ dendritic cells expressing the transgene whereas B cells were not efficiently targeted in vivo, contrary to expectations based on in vitro testing. Upon a single injection of LV-MHCII, naive mice mounted specific effector CD4 and CD8 T cell responses against the intracelllular transgene product with the generation of Th1 cytokines, development of in vivo cytotoxic activity and establishment of T cell immune memory. The targeting of dendritic cells by recombinant viral vaccines must therefore be assessed in vivo but this strategy is feasible, effective for immunization and cross-presentation and constitutes a potentially safe alternative to limit off-target gene expression in gene-based vaccination strategies with integrative vectors.