[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs) are latent cytoplasmic transcription factors linking extracellular signals to target gene transcription. Hematopoietic cells express two highly conserved STAT5-isoforms (STAT5A/STAT5B), and STAT5 is directly activated by JAK2 downstream of several cytokine receptors and the oncogenic BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase. Using an IL-3-dependent cell line with inducible BCR-ABL-expression we compared STAT5-activation by IL-3 and BCR-ABL in a STAT5-isoform specific manner. RNAi targeting of STAT5B strongly inhibits BCR-ABL-dependent cell proliferation, and STAT5B but not STAT5A is essential for BCL-XL-expression in the presence of BCR-ABL. Although BCR-ABL induces STAT5-tyrosine phosphorylation independent of JAK2-kinase activity, BCR-ABL is less efficient in inducing active STAT5A:STAT5B-heterodimerization than IL-3, leaving constitutive STAT5A and STAT5B-homodimerization unaffected. In comparison to IL-3, nuclear accumulation of a STAT5A-eGFP fusion protein is reduced by BCR-ABL, and BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase activity induces STAT5A-eGFP translocation to the cell membrane and co-localization with the IL-3 receptor. Furthermore, BCR-ABL-dependent phosphorylation of Y682 in STAT5A was detected by mass-spectrometry. Finally, RNAi targeting STAT5B but not STAT5A sensitizes human BCR-ABL-positive cell lines to imatinib-treatment. These data demonstrate differences between IL-3 and BCR-ABL-mediated STAT5-activation and isoform-specific effects, indicating therapeutic options for isoform-specific STAT5-inhibition in BCR-ABL-positive leukemia.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(5):e97243. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite advances in allogeneic stem cell transplantation, BCR-ABL positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) remains a high-risk disease, necessitating the development of novel treatment strategies. As the known oncomir, mir-17~92, is regulated by BCR-ABL fusion in chronic myeloid leukaemia, we investigated its role in BCR-ABL translocated ALL. miR-17~92-encoded miRNAs were significantly less abundant in BCR-ABL-positive as compared to -negative ALL-cells and over-expression of miR-17~19b triggered apoptosis in a BCR-ABL-dependent manner. Stable isotope labeling of amino acids in culture (SILAC) followed by liquid chromatography and mass spectroscopy (LC-MS) identified several apoptosis-related proteins including Bcl2 as potential targets of miR-17~19b. We validated Bcl2 as a direct target of this miRNA cluster in mice and humans, and, similar to miR-17~19b over-expression, Bcl2 specific RNAi strongly induced apoptosis in BCR-ABL-positive cells. Furthermore, BCR-ABL- positive human ALL-cell lines were more sensitive to pharmacological BCL2-inhibition than negative ones. Finally, in a xenograft model using patient-derived leukaemic blasts, real time, in vivo imaging confirmed pharmacological inhibition of BCL2 as a new therapeutic strategy in BCR-ABL-positive ALL. These data demonstrate the role of miR-17~92 in regulation of apoptosis, and identify BCL2 as a therapeutic target of particular relevance in BCR-ABL positive ALL.Leukemia accepted article preview online, 27 November 2013. doi:10.1038/leu.2013.361.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 11/2013; · 10.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Homeodomain proteins control fundamental cellular processes in development and in cancer if deregulated. Three members of the NK-like subfamily of homeobox genes (NKLs), TLX1, TLX3 and NKX2-5, are implicated in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). They are activated by particular chromosomal aberrations. However, their precise function in leukemogenesis is still unclear. Here we screened further NKLs in 24 T-ALL cell lines and identified the common expression of MSX2. The subsequent aim of this study was to analyze the role of MSX2 in T-cell differentiation which may be disturbed by oncogenic NKLs.
Specific gene activity was examined by quantitative real-time PCR, and globally by expression profiling. Proteins were analyzed by western blot, immuno-cytology and immuno-precipitation. For overexpression studies cell lines were transduced by lentiviruses.
Quantification of MSX2 mRNA in primary hematopoietic cells demonstrated higher levels in CD34+ stem cells as compared to peripheral blood cells and mature CD3+ T-cells. Furthermore, analysis of MSX2 expression levels in T-cell lines after treatment with core thymic factors confirmed their involvement in regulation. These results indicated that MSX2 represents an hematopoietic NKL family member which is downregulated during T-cell development and may functionally substituted by oncogenic NKLs. For functional analysis JURKAT cells were lentivirally transduced, overexpressing either MSX2 or oncogenic TLX1 and NKX2-5, respectively. These cells displayed transcriptional activation of NOTCH3-signaling, including NOTCH3 and HEY1 as analyzed by gene expression profiling and quantitative RT-PCR, and consistently attenuated sensitivity to gamma-secretase inhibitor as analyzed by MTT-assays. Furthermore, in addition to MSX2, both TLX1 and NKX2-5 proteins interacted with NOTCH-pathway repressors, SPEN/MINT/SHARP and TLE1/GRG1, representing a potential mechanism for (de)regulation. Finally, elevated expression of NOTCH3 and HEY1 was detected in primary TLX1/3 positive T-ALL cells corresponding to the cell line data.
Identification and analysis of MSX2 in hematopoietic cells implicates a modulatory role via NOTCH3-signaling in early T-cell differentiation. Our data suggest that reduction of NOTCH3-signaling by physiological downregulation of MSX2 expression during T-cell development is abrogated by ectopic expression of oncogenic NKLs, substituting MSX2 function.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Receptor tyrosine kinase-mediated signaling is tightly regulated by a number of cytoplasmic signaling molecules. In this report, we show that Bcr-Abl transformed chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) cell lines, K562 and Meg-01, express the receptor for nerve growth factor (NGF), TrkA, on the cell surface; however, the NGF-mediated signal is not particularly strong. Treatment with imatinib, a potent inhibitor of Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase, downmodulates phosphorylation of downstream molecules. Upon stimulation with NGF, Erk and Akt are phosphorylated to a much greater degree in imatinib-treated cells than in untreated cells. Knockdown of expression of Bcr-Abl using small interfering RNA technique also enhanced NGF-mediated Akt phosphorylation, indicating that Bcr-Abl kinase modifies NGF signaling directly. Imatinib treatment also enhanced NGF signaling in rat adrenal pheochromocytoma cell line PC12 that expresses TrkA and c-Abl, suggesting that it is not only restoration of responsiveness to NGF after blocking oncoprotein activity, but also c-Abl tyrosine kinase per se may be a negative regulator of growth factor signaling. Furthermore, inhibition of Abl tyrosine kinase enhanced clearance of surface TrkA after NGF treatment and simultaneously enhanced NGF-mediated signaling, suggesting that as in neuronal cells 'signaling endosomes' are formed in hematopoietic cells. To examine the role of TrkA in CML cells, we studied cell growth or colony formation in the presence or absence of imatinib with or without NGF. We found that NGF treatment induces cell survival in imatinib-treated CML cell lines, as well as colony formation of primary CD34+ CML cells, strongly suggesting that NGF/TrkA signaling contributes to aberrant signaling in CML.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aberrant micro RNA (miRNA) expression has been described in human malignancies including B-cell lymphomas. We here report BCR-ABL- and c-MYC-dependent regulation of miRNA expression in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) using microarray analysis (miCHIP) and miRNA-specific quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (miR-qRT-PCR). In 3 bcr-abl-positive cell lines, expression of miRNAs encoded within the polycistronic miR-17-92 cluster is specifically down-regulated (2- to 5-fold) by both imatinib treatment and anti-BCR-ABL RNA interference (RNAi). In addition, anti-c-MYC RNAi reduces miR-17-92 expression in K562 cells in which miRNAs can specifically repress reporter gene expression, as demonstrated by specific miRNA inhibition with antagomirs. Furthermore, lentivirus-mediated overexpression of polycistronic miRNAs in K562 cells confers increased proliferation, partial resistance against anti-c-MYC RNAi, and enhanced sensitivity to imatinib-induced cell death. Finally, we determined miR-17-92 expression in purified normal (n = 4), early chronic-phase (CP) (n = 24), and blast-crisis (BC) (n = 7) CML CD34(+) cells and found up-regulation of polycistronic pri-miRNA transcripts in CML and mature miRNAs in CP but not in BC CML. These data are in accordance with a BCR-ABL-c-MYC-miR-17-92 pathway that mediates enhanced miRNA expression in CP but not BC CML CD34(+) cells. Altered miRNA expression may contribute to the pathophysiology of the disease and may provide potential targets for therapeutic intervention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accumulating knowledge about the molecular mechanisms causing human diseases can support the development of targeted therapies such as imatinib, a BCR-ABL-specific tyrosine kinase inhibitor to treat chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Here, we use lentivirus-mediated RNA interference (RNAi) targeting BCR-ABL and the downstream signaling molecules SHP2, STAT5, and Gab2 to compare the efficacy and specificity of molecularly defined therapeutics with that of conventional cytotoxic drugs (cytarabine, doxorubicin, etoposide) in a conditional BCR-ABL cell culture model. IC(50) values were determined for each drug in TonB cells cultured either with interleukin-3 (IL-3) or BCR-ABL, and molecularly defined therapies were studied using lentivirally expressed shRNAs. We demonstrate that conventional anti-leukemic drugs have small or no differential effects under different cell culture conditions, whereas both imatinib and specific RNAi significantly inhibit proliferation of TonB cells in the presence of BCR-ABL but not IL-3. To study molecularly defined combination therapy, we evaluated either imatinib in TonB cells with target-specific RNAi or we used lentiviral vectors to induce combinatorial RNAi through simultaneous expression of two shRNAs. These combination therapies result in increased efficacy without loss in specificity. Interestingly, combinatorial RNAi can specifically deplete TonB cell cultures in the presence of BCR-ABL, even without targeting the oncogene itself. This model provides a tool to evaluate potential therapeutic targets and to quantify efficacy and specificity preclinically of new combination therapies in BCR-ABL-positive cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Micro RNAs (miRNA) regulate gene expression by hybridization and recruitment of multi-protein complexes to complementary mRNA target sequences. miRNA function can transiently be antagonized by antagomirs-chemically modified oligonucleotides complementary to individual miRNAs. Here, we describe the induction of stable loss-of-function phenotypes for specific miRNAs by lentivirus-mediated antagomir expression. Lentivirally expressed antagomirs are transcribed from a H1-promoter located within the lentiviral 3'LTR and were directed against miRNAs encoded on the polycistronic miR17-92 transcript. Functional silencing of miR-18a, miR-19b and miR-20a by the corresponding antagomirs specifically relieves miRNA-mediated reporter gene repression. Inhibition of miRNA function correlates to reduction of 'miRNA' amplification by miRNA-specific quantitative RT-PCR. Furthermore, protein expression of E2F-1, a known miR-20 target, is enhanced by lentivirally expressed anti-miR-20 antagomirs in a dose-dependent manner, whereas over-expression of miR-20a reduces E2F-1 levels. Finally, combined over-expression of specific miRNAs and antagomirs reveals individual and complementary functions of miR-18a and miR-20a and demonstrates specific miRNA impact on cell proliferation in a cell culture model.
Nucleic Acids Research 02/2007; 35(22):e149. · 8.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We demonstrate here that lymphoid enhancer-binding factor 1 (LEF-1) mediates the proliferation, survival and differentiation of granulocyte progenitor cells. We initially documented the importance of this transcription factor in the bone marrow of individuals with severe congenital neutropenia (CN) with a 'differentiation block' at the promyelocytic stage of myelopoiesis. LEF-1 expression was greatly reduced or even absent in CN arrested promyelocytes, resulting in defective expression of the LEF-1 target genes CCND1, MYC and BIRC5, encoding cyclin D1 (ref. 2), c-Myc and survivin, respectively. In contrast, healthy individuals showed highest LEF-1 expression in promyelocytes. Reconstitution of LEF-1 in early hematopoietic progenitors of two individuals with CN corrected the defective myelopoiesis and resulted in the differentiation of these progenitors into mature granulocytes. Repression of endogenous LEF-1 by specific short hairpin RNA inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis of CD34(+) progenitors from healthy individuals and of cells from two myeloid lines (HL-60 and K562). C/EBPalpha, a key transcription factor in granulopoiesis, was directly regulated by LEF-1. These observations indicate that LEF-1 is an instructive factor regulating neutrophilic granulopoiesis whose absence plays a critical role in the defective maturation program of myeloid progenitors in individuals with CN.
Nature Medicine 11/2006; 12(10):1191-7. · 22.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although targeting the BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase activity by imatinib mesylate has rapidly become first-line therapy in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), drug resistance suggests that combination therapy directed to a complementing target may significantly improve treatment results. To identify such potential targets, we used lentivirus-mediated RNA interference (RNAi) as a tool for functional genomics in cell lines as well as primary normal and CML CD34+ cells. In a conditional cell culture model, we demonstrate that RNAi-mediated reduction of SHP2, STAT5, and Gab2 protein expression inhibits BCR-ABL-dependent but not cytokine-dependent proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. Similarly, colony formation of purified primary CML but not of normal CD34+ colony-forming cells is specifically reduced by inhibition of SHP2, STAT5, and Gab2 expression, respectively. In addition, coexpression of both anti-BCR-ABL and anti-SHP2 shRNAs from a single lentiviral vector induces stronger inhibition of colony formation as compared to either shRNA alone. The data indicate that BCR-ABL expression may affect the function of normal signaling molecules. Targeting these molecules may harbor significant therapeutic potential for the treatment of patients with CML.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The analysis of molecular events sufficient and/or necessary to transform hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells is hampered by the lack of suitable models which allow the stepwise analysis oftransforming events. In an effort to generate such models we isolated lineage negative (lin-) murine bone marrow cells and expressed either AML1-ETO or HoxB4 along with EGFP as a quantitative reporter by retroviral gene transfer. Retrovirally transduced cells were initially cultured in the presence of SCF+IL-3+IL-6 in serum free medium, and EGFP+ cells were sorted 3 days after transduction to start long- term cultures with a ratio of about 50% EGFP + cells. Interestingly, long-term cultures for AML1-ETO remain strictly SCF-dependent wheras HOXB4 cultures only require IL-3 for cell survival and proliferation. Beside cytokine stimulation, cell survival requires expression of AML1-ETO and HoxB4, respectively, as demonstrated by RNA interference targeting EGFP which is encoded along with the respective transgene on bicistronic transcripts. Although AML1- ETO and HoxB4 cultures display similar proliferation kinetics and blast like morphology (with some degree of granulocytic maturation in HoxB4 cultures), the immunophenotype of immortalized cells differ with more than 90% of AML1-ETO cells being c-Kit and Sca-1 positive whereas HoxB4 cells are c-Kit and Sca-1 negative. Interestingly, AML1-ETO cells form only blast like colonies with very low plating efficiency (<10-4), whereas HoxB4 cultures give rise to large colonies of all lineages with mature cells at a plating efficiency of more than 10%. Molecular genetic analysis reveals poly- or oligoclonal proliferation at least for the six months for both cultures, whereas at later time points, the HoxB4 cells were found to turn to a mono- or biclonal pattern. Both cell lines can be transduced for a second time by retro- or lentiviral gene transfer with high efficacy. We generated shRNAs targeting both the human and murine transcription factor PU.1, and cloned lentiviral plasmids encoding anti-PU.1 shRNA (small hairpin RNA) along with red fluorescence protein (RFP). High-titer VSV.G pseudotyped lentiviruses were generated and used to transduce K562 and 32D cells. Anti-PU.1 shRNAs strongly reduce both PU-1 mRNA and protein levels as determined by real-time RT-PCR and immunoblotting, respectively, as well as surface expression of CD11b, a known transcriptional target of PU.1. Lentiviral transduction of HoxB4 immortalized cells results in more than 95% RFP+ cells, accompanied by a reduction in colony numbers in PU.1 shRNA expressing cells. Interestingly, almost no mature granulocytes are found in PU.1 shRNA expressing cells as compared to non-specific shRNA controls. This data demonstrates that murine lin- bone marrow cells can be immortalized by different molecular mechanisms leading to cell lines with different phenotypes. These cells are useful to further analyze cooperative molecular events required for malignant transformation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi) has recently been used for sequence-specific gene silencing of disease-related genes including oncogenes in hematopoietic cells. To characterize its potential therapeutic value, we analyzed different modes to activate RNAi as well as some pharmacokinetic aspects of gene silencing in bcr-abl+ cells. Using lentiviral gene transfer of transcription cassettes for anti-bcr-abl shRNAs and red fluorescence protein (RFP) as a quantitative reporter, we demonstrate that stable but not transient RNAi can efficiently deplete bcr-abl+ K562 and murine TonB cells from suspension cultures. Importantly, depletion of bcr-abl+ cells depends on the dose of lentivirus used for transduction and correlates with the RFP-expression level of transduced target cells: RFP-high K562 cells are eradicated, whereas RFP-low or -intermediate cells may recover after prolonged cell culture. Interestingly, these cells still show reduced bcr-abl mRNA levels, aberrant proliferation kinetics, and enhanced sensitivity to the Bcr-Abl-kinase inhibitor STI571. Quantitative PCR from genomic DNA suggests that more than three lentiviral integrations are required for effective depletion of K562 cells. Finally, we demonstrate that lentivirus-mediated anti-bcr-abl RNAi can inhibit colony formation of primary CD34+ cells from chronic myeloid leukemia patients. These data demonstrate dose-dependent gene silencing by lentivirus-mediated RNAi in bcr-abl+ cells and suggest that stable RNAi may indeed be therapeutically useful in primary hematopoietic cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA interference has rapidly become an efficient tool for functional genomics in a variety of organisms. Stable expression of shRNA driven by pol III promoters upon lentiviral gene transfer can induce long-term gene silencing in mammalian cells. We recently demonstrated that lentivirus-mediated anti bcr-abl RNAi can specifically silence bcr-abl gene expression, inhibit oncogene driven cell proliferation, and eradicate leukemic cells depending on the dose of lentivirus-mediated shRNA expression. However, since effective depletion requires a threshold of lentiviral integrations into target cell genomes, the risk of insertional mutagenesis may limit the therapeutic value of this approach. To search for new potential therapeutic targets in CML, we studied the function of several signaling molecules in purified normal and CML CD34+cells from chronic phase CML patients harvested at initial diagnosis. We selected SHP2, Gab2, and Stat5 based on their constitutive tyrosine phosphorylation in bcr-abl+ cell lines. Several shRNAs for each target gene were evaluated using a bicistronic EGFP-encoding reporter plasmid system as described earlier. Effective shRNA expression cassettes were cloned into lentiviral plasmids encoding RFP to track lentiviral transduction. Lentivirus-mediated RNAi targeting SHP2, Gab2, or Stat5 results in a reduction of mRNA and protein by more than 90 % and induces a rapid depletion of transduced bcr-abl+ and negative cell lines. In addition, RNAi against all three targets enhances imatinib induced depletion of bcr-abl+K562 cells. We next transduced normal and CML-derived primary CD34+cells with control and anti-SHP2, Gab2, and Stat5 lentiviruses, and analysed colony-formation of transduced, i.e. RFP+progenitor cells in methylcellulose cultures. To eliminate effects of different transduction rates we plated CD34+cells for each transfection in the presence of high (GM-CSF: 20 ng/ml; IL-3: 10 ng/ml) or low (GM-CSF: 0.2 ng/ml; IL-3: 0.1 ng/ml) cytokine concentrations indicating the functional relevance of the respective RNAi-target for CFU-colony formation. Whereas anti-SHP2, Gab2, and Stat5 RNAi did not reduce the proliferation of normal transduced CFU (n=5), proliferation of transduced CFU from CML patients was specifically reduced between 50 to 85 % under low cytokine concentration (n=9-13). Furthermore, co-expression of both anti-bcr-abl and anti-SHP2 shRNA from a single lentiviral vector strongly cooperates to inhibit colony formation of CML-progenitors. This study establishes lentivirus-mediated RNAi as a valuable tool for functional genomics in primary hematopoietic cells and demonstrates that normal CFUs are more resistant to inhibition of SHP2, Gab2, and Stat5 gene expression than CML-progenitors. Furthermore, the cooperative effects of RNAi targeting different genes simultaneously and the combined effects of protein and gene expression antagonists suggest that co-treatment with a leukemia-specific and a non-specific inhibitor may harbor significant therapeutic potential in CML.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi) describes a process of double-stranded RNA-dependent post-transcriptional gene silencing. This gene silencing is mediated by 21–23 nt small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) which induce sequence-specific mRNA degradation. Fusion-transcripts encoding oncogenic proteins may represent potential targets for a tumor-specific RNAi-approach. Recently, siRNAs have been shown to specifically inhibit expression of the bcr-abl oncogene essential for chronic myeloid and bcr-abl positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (CML, ALL) in hematopoietic cell lines. Since RNAi triggered by a single siRNA application is only transient in mammalian cells potential anti-tumor effects are limited in the models studied so far. Gene transfer of transcription cassettes for suitable RNAi-triggers, however, can induce long-term gene silencing even in primary hematopoietic cells. Using lentiviral gene transfer to transcribe different shRNAs targeting the bcr-abl oncogene and to express red fluorescence protein (RFP) as a quantitative reporter to track cellular transduction we demonstrate that stable but not transient RNAi can efficiently deplete bcr-abl+human K562 and murine TonB cells. Importantly, killing of bcr-abl+cells depends on the dose of lentivirus used for transduction and correlates with the RFP-expression level of transduced cells. Furthermore, we show that lentiviral transduction of homogenous cell lines results in heterogenous cell populations in terms of lentiviral integrations, RFP-and siRNA expression, target gene silencing, and functional phenotype. Whereas transduced K562 cells with high RFP-expression are eradicated, a limited number of cells with lower RFP-expression and smaller number of lentiviral integrations may outgrow after longer periods of cell culture. Interestingly, these cells still show some reduction in bcr-abl mRNA levels, aberrant proliferation kinetics, and higher sensitivity to the Bcr-Abl kinase inhibitor STI571 as compared to controls. Furthermore, lentiviral gene transfer of anti bcr-abl shRNA into primary CML cells can inhibit colony formation of transduced CD34+progenitor cells by about 50%. These data demonstrate that lentivirus-mediated RNAi can induce high efficient and stable gene silencing depending on the number of lentiviral integrations in cell lines and in primary cells. Selection processes of gene modified cells, however, have implications for any potential therapeutic application and for functional genomic analysis based on gene transfer strategies to induce stable RNAi in mammalian cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autologous transplantation of gene-modified hematopoietic stem cells may provide a therapeutic strategy for several monogeneic disorders. In previous studies, retroviral gene transfer of coagulation factor VIII (FVIII) into FVIII(-/-) mouse bone marrow (BM) cells did not result in detectable plasma FVIII levels. However, specific immune tolerance was achieved against neo-antigenic FVIII. Here, we used lentiviral vectors to study the ability of various hematopoietic cell types to synthesize and secrete recombinant FVIII. Several myeloid, monocytic and megakaryocytic cell lines (K-562, TF-1, Monomac-1, Mutz-3, Meg-01) expressed FVIII at 2-12 mU/10(4) cells. In contrast, two lymphatic cell lines, BV-173 and Molt-4, were less-efficiently transduced and did not express detectable FVIII. Similarly, peripheral blood-derived primary monocytes were transduced efficiently and expressed up to 20 mU/10(4) cells, whereas primary lymphocytes did not express FVIII. Although human and canine CD34(+) cells were transduced efficiently, the cells expressed very low levels of FVIII (up to 0.8 mU/10(4) cells). Following xenotransplantation of transduced CD34(+) into NOD/SCID mice, ELISA failed to detect FVIII in the plasma of engrafted mice. However, NOD/SCID repopulating cell (SRC)-derived human monocytes isolated from BM of these mice secreted functional recombinant FVIII after culture ex vivo. Again, SRC-derived human lymphocytes did not secrete FVIII. Therefore, certain hematopoietic cell types are able to synthesize and secrete functional recombinant FVIII. Our results show for the first time that transplantation of transduced CD34(+) progenitors may give rise to differentiated hematopoietic cells secreting a nonhematopoietic recombinant protein.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi) mediates sequence-specific posttranscriptional gene silencing triggered by double-stranded RNA. RNAi is an effective tool for functional genomics in C. elegans, whereas biochemical characteristics of RNAi hamper its use in mammalian cells. We here analyze kinetic and quantitative aspects of mammalian RNAi in different cell lines using novel lentiviral constructs with double H1-shRNA expression cassettes located in the U3 region of the LTR. Using enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) as a target gene for RNAi and red fluorescence protein (RFP) as surrogate marker for intracellular siRNA expression, we show that long-term siRNA expression mediates stable RNAi. Furthermore, RNAi-induced gene silencing varies from minimal to complete loss-of-function phenotypes within homogeneous and between different cell populations. Interestingly, the extent of gene silencing correlates to lentiviral integrations as well as siRNA expression levels in target cells. Finally, we demonstrate functional gene silencing of a cytokine receptor gene in normal CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells. These data suggest that the use of suitable lentiviral constructs to quantify siRNA expression in living cells may allow analysis of loss-of-function phenotypes in a dose-dependent manner in a wide variety of target cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) were designed to target the bcr-abl oncogene, which causes chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and bcr-abl-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Chemically synthesized anti-bcr-abl siRNAs were selected using reporter gene constructs and were found to reduce bcr-abl mRNA up to 87% in bcr-abl-positive cell lines and in primary cells from CML patients. This mRNA reduction was specific for bcr-abl because c-abl and c-bcr mRNA levels remained unaffected. Furthermore, protein expression of BCR-ABL and of laminA/C was reduced by specific siRNAs up to 80% in bcr-abl-positive and normal CD34(+) cells, respectively. Finally, anti-bcr-abl siRNA inhibited BCR-ABL-dependent, but not cytokine-dependent, proliferation in a bcr-abl-positive cell line. These data demonstrate that siRNA can specifically and efficiently interfere with the expression of an oncogenic fusion gene in hematopoietic cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi) describes a highly conserved mechanism of sequence-specific posttranscriptional gene silencing triggered by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Whereas RNAi is applied to study gene function in different organisms and in variant cell types, little is known about RNAi in human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and their myeloid progeny. To address this issue, short hairpin RNAs (shRNA) were designed to target the common beta-chain of the human receptors for granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin-3 (IL-3), and IL-5 (betaGMR). These receptors regulate proliferation, survival, differentiation, and functional activity of hematopoietic cells. In addition to markedly inhibiting mRNA and protein expression, anti-beta-GMR shRNAs were also found to inhibit receptor function in a cell culture model. Furthermore, lentiviral gene transfer of shRNA expression cassettes into primary normal CD34+ cells selectively inhibited colony formation of transduced progenitors when stimulated with GM-CSF/IL-3 but not when stimulated with cytokines that do not signal via beta-GMR. Finally, anti-beta-GMR shRNAs had no detectable effect on engraftment or lineage composition of lentivirally transduced human CD34+ cells transplanted into NOD/SCID mice. However, the growth defect of transduced colony-forming cells under stimulation with GM-CSF/IL-3 remains unchanged in bone marrow cells harvested from individual NOD/SCID mice 6 weeks after transplantation. These data indicate that lentiviral gene transfer of shRNA expression cassettes may be used to induce long-term RNAi in human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells for functional genetics and potential therapeutic intervention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lentiviral vectors have been shown to stably transduce dividing and non-dividing target cells in vitro and in vivo. However, in vivo gene transfer applications with viral vectors in the central nervous system require highly efficient vector preparations, because only very small volumes can be injected stereotactically without damage to the brain tissue. Since lentiviral vectors are generated in transient co-transfection systems, viral preparations need to be purified and efficiently concentrated before injection into the brain. We describe an alternative procedure to concentrate lentiviral preparations by binding viral particles to an anion exchange column. Viral particles are eluted with sodium chloride, desalted and further concentrated by ultrafiltration. These vector preparations allowed high levels of gene transfer into terminally differentiated neuronal and glial cells and long-term transgene expression without any signs of acute and long-term toxicity or inflammation. The purification of lentiviral vectors from large-scale preparations by anion exchange chromatography allowed us to concentrate the virus to small volumes and to use these preparations to genetically modified target cells in vivo without signs of acute inflammatory responses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prolonged exposure of human hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) to growth factors for efficient transduction by murine oncoretroviral vectors has major detrimental effects on repopulating activity. In this study, we have used a vesicular stomatitis virus G envelope protein (VSV-G)-pseudotyped human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) lentiviral-based vector system to transduce cord blood (CB) CD34+ cells over a limited time period (< or =24 hours). Under these conditions, significant gene marking was observed in engrafted human lymphoid, myeloid, and progenitor cells in all transplanted Severe Combined Immunodeficient (SCID) mice. To enhance the level of gene expression in hematopoietic cells, we also generated a series of lentiviral vectors incorporating the spleen focus forming virus (SFFV) long terminal repeat (LTR) sequences, and the Woodchuck hepatitis virus posttranscriptional regulatory element (WPRE). By including the central polypurine tract (cPPT) sequence of HIV-1 we were then able to achieve high levels of transduction (over 80%) and gene expression in vivo after a single exposure to viral supernatant. These results demonstrate that lentiviral vectors are highly effective for gene transfer to human HSC, and that SFFV regulatory sequences can be successfully incorporated to enhance the long-term expression of a transgene in primary human hematopoietic cells in vivo.
Human Gene Therapy 05/2002; 13(7):803-13. · 4.02 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study reports a lentiviral gene transfer protocol for efficient transduction of adult human peripheral blood (PB)-derived CD34+ NOD/SCID-repopulating cells (SRCs) using vesicular stomatitis virus-G protein (VSV-G)-pseudotyped lentiviruses encoding for enhanced green fluorescence protein (eGFP). Lentiviral stocks were concentrated by anion exchange chromatography, and transduction was performed under serum-free conditions at a multiplicity of infection (MOI) between 3 and 50. Similar transduction efficiencies were achieved in the presence and absence of cytokines. Transduction of PB-derived CD34+ cells at a MOI of 3 resulted in gene transfer efficiencies into SRCs of 9.2% and 12.0% in the absence and presence of cytokines, respectively. Using improved lentiviral vectors, transduction frequency varied between 42.0% (MOI 10) and 36.0% (MOI 50) with multilineage transgene expression within SRC-derived myeloid and lymphoid cells. The protocol described can be adapted for clinical application of lentiviral gene transfer into PB-derived CD34+ cells from adult patients.