[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Translocations resulting in ectopic expression of the TLX1 homeobox gene (previously known as HOX11) are recurrent events in human T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). Transduction of primary murine hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells with retroviral vectors expressing TLX1 readily yields immortalized hematopoietic progenitor cell lines. Understanding the processes involved in TLX1-mediated cellular immortalization should yield insights into the growth and differentiation pathways altered by TLX1 during the development of T-ALL. In recent clinical gene therapy trials, hematopoietic clonal dominance or T-ALL-like diseases have occurred as a direct consequence of insertional activation of the EVI1, PRDM16 or LMO2 proto-oncogenes by the retroviral vectors used to deliver the therapeutic genes. Additionally, the generation of murine hematopoietic progenitor cell lines due to retroviral integrations into Evi1 or Prdm16 has also been recently reported. Here, we determined by linker-mediated nested polymerase chain reaction the integration sites in eight TLX1-immortalized hematopoietic cell lines. Notably, no common integration site was observed among the cell lines. Moreover, no insertions into the Evi1 or Prdm16 genes were identified although insertion near Lmo2 was observed in one instance. However, neither Lmo2 nor any of the other genes examined surrounding the integration sites showed differential vector-influenced expression compared to the cell lines lacking such insertions. While we cannot exclude the possibility that insertional side effects transiently provided a selective growth/survival advantage to the hematopoietic progenitor populations, our results unequivocally rule out insertions into Evi1 and Prdm16 as being integral to the TLX1-initiated immortalization process.
Genes Chromosomes and Cancer 10/2009; 49(2):119-31. · 3.55 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic mutations involving the cellular components of the hematopoietic system--red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets--manifest clinically as anemia, infection, and bleeding. Although gene targeting has recapitulated many of these diseases in mice, these murine homologues are limited as translational models by their small size and brief life span as well as the fact that mutations induced by gene targeting do not always faithfully reflect the clinical manifestations of such mutations in humans. Many of these limitations can be overcome by identifying large animals with genetic diseases of the hematopoietic system corresponding to their human disease counterparts. In this article, we describe human diseases of the cellular components of the hematopoietic system that have counterparts in large animal species, in most cases carrying mutations in the same gene (CD18 in leukocyte adhesion deficiency) or genes in interacting proteins (DNA cross-link repair 1C protein and protein kinase, DNA-activated catalytic polypeptide in radiation-sensitive severe combined immunodeficiency). Furthermore, we describe the potential of these animal models to serve as disease-specific preclinical models for testing the efficacy and safety of clinical interventions such as hematopoietic stem cell transplantation or gene therapy before their use in humans with the corresponding disease.
ILAR journal / National Research Council, Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources 02/2009; 50(2):168-86. · 1.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent successes in treating genetic immunodeficiencies have demonstrated the therapeutic potential of stem cell gene therapy. However, the use of gammaretroviral vectors in these trials led to insertional activation of nearby oncogenes and leukemias in some study subjects, prompting studies of modified or alternative vector systems. Here we describe the use of foamy virus vectors to treat canine leukocyte adhesion deficiency (CLAD). Four of five dogs with CLAD that received nonmyeloablative conditioning and infusion of autologous, CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells transduced by a foamy virus vector expressing canine CD18 had complete reversal of the CLAD phenotype, which was sustained more than 2 years after infusion. In vitro assays showed correction of the lymphocyte proliferation and neutrophil adhesion defects that characterize CLAD. There were no genotoxic complications, and integration site analysis showed polyclonality of transduced cells and a decreased risk of integration near oncogenes as compared to gammaretroviral vectors. These results represent the first successful use of a foamy virus vector to treat a genetic disease, to our knowledge, and suggest that foamy virus vectors will be effective in treating human hematopoietic diseases.
Nature medicine 02/2008; 14(1):93-7. · 27.14 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report, for the first time, a replication-defective retroviral vector-associated neoplasia in a nonhuman primate. Five years after transplantation with CD34+ cells transduced with a retroviral vector expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) and a drug-resistant variant of the dihydrofolate reductase gene (L22Y), a rhesus macaque developed a fatal myeloid sarcoma, a type of acute myeloid leukemia. Tumor cells contained 2 clonal vector insertions. One insertion was found in BCL2-A1, an antiapoptotic gene. This event suggests that currently available retroviral vectors may have long-term side effects, particularly in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells.