Sustained high-level polyclonal hematopoietic marking and transgene expression 4 years after autologous transplantation of rhesus macaques with SIV lentiviral vector-transduced CD34+ cells.
ABSTRACT: We previously reported that lentiviral vectors derived from the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) were efficient at transducing rhesus hematopoietic repopulating cells. To evaluate the persistence of vector-containing and -expressing cells long term, and the safety implications of SIV lentiviral vector-mediated gene transfer, we followed 3 rhesus macaques for more than 4 years after transplantation with transduced CD34+ cells. All 3 animals demonstrated significant vector marking and expression of the GFP transgene in T cells, B cells, and granulocytes, with mean GFP+ levels of 6.7% (range, 3.3%-13.0%), 7.4% (4.2%-13.4%), and 5.6% (3.1%-10.5%), respectively. There was no vector silencing in hematopoietic cells over time. Vector insertion site analysis of granulocytes demonstrated sustained highly polyclonal reconstitution, with no evidence for progression to oligoclonality. A significant number of clones were found to contribute at both 1-year and 3- or 4-year time points. No vector integrations were detected in the MDS1/EVI1 region, in contrast to our previous findings with a gamma-retroviral vector. These data show that lentiviral vectors can mediate stable and efficient long-term expression in the progeny of transduced hematopoietic stem cells, with an integration profile that may be safer than that of standard Moloney murine leukemia virus (MLV)-derived retroviral vectors.
Project description:Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV1) vectors poorly transduce rhesus hematopoietic cells due to species-specific restriction factors, including the tripartite motif-containing 5 isoform? (TRIM5?) which targets the HIV1 capsid. We previously developed a chimeric HIV1 (?HIV) vector system wherein the vector genome is packaged with the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) capsid for efficient transduction of both rhesus and human CD34(+) cells. To evaluate whether ?HIV vectors could efficiently transduce rhesus hematopoietic repopulating cells, we performed a competitive repopulation assay in rhesus macaques, in which half of the CD34(+) cells were transduced with standard SIV vectors and the other half with ?HIV vectors. As compared with SIV vectors, ?HIV vectors achieved higher vector integration, and the transgene expression rates were two- to threefold higher in granulocytes and red blood cells and equivalent in lymphocytes and platelets for 2 years. A recipient of ?HIV vector-only transduced cells reached up to 40% of transgene expression rates in granulocytes and lymphocytes and 20% in red blood cells. Similar to HIV1 and SIV vectors, ?HIV vector frequently integrated into gene regions, especially into introns. In summary, our ?HIV vector demonstrated efficient transduction for rhesus long-term repopulating cells, comparable with SIV vectors. This ?HIV vector should allow preclinical testing of HIV1-based therapeutic vectors in large animal models.
Project description:Activation of proto-oncogenes by retroviral insertion is an important issue delaying clinical development of gene therapy. We have reported the nonrandom persistence of hematopoietic clones with vector insertions within the MDS1/EVI1 locus following transplantation of rhesus macaques. We now ask whether prolonged culture of transduced CD34(+) cells before transplantation selects for clones with insertions in the MDS1/EVI11 or other proto-oncogene loci. CD34(+) cells were transduced with standard retroviral vectors for 4 days and then continued in culture for an additional 6 days before transplantation. A 15% of insertions identified in granulocytes 6 months post-transplant were in MDS1/EVI11, significantly increased compared to the frequency in animals transplanted with cells immediately following transduction. MDS1/EVI1 clones became more dominant over time post-transplantation in one animal that was followed long term, accompanied by an increased overall copy number of vector-containing granulocytes, with one MDS1/EVI1 clone eventually accounting for 100% of transduced granulocytes and marrow colony-forming unit (CFU). This vector insertion increased the expression of Evi1 mRNA. There was no overrepresentation of MDS1/EVI1 insertions contributing to lymphoid lineages. Strategies involving prolonged ex vivo expansion of transduced cells may increase the risk of genotoxicity.
Project description:Murine leukemia virus (MLV)-derived vectors are widely used for hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) gene transfer, but lentiviral vectors such as the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) may allow higher efficiency transfer and better expression. Recent studies in cell lines have challenged the notion that retroviruses and retroviral vectors integrate randomly into their host genome. Medical applications using these vectors are aimed at HSCs, and thus large-scale comprehensive analysis of MLV and SIV integration in long-term repopulating HSCs is crucial to help develop improved integrating vectors. We studied integration sites in HSCs of rhesus monkeys that had been transplanted 6 mo to 6 y prior with MLV- or SIV-transduced CD34(+)cells. Unique MLV (491) and SIV (501) insertions were compared to a set of in silico-generated random integration sites. While MLV integrants were located predominantly around transcription start sites, SIV integrants strongly favored transcription units and gene-dense regions of the genome. These integration patterns suggest different mechanisms for integration as well as distinct safety implications for MLV versus SIV vectors.
Project description:Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vectors transduce rhesus blood cells poorly due to a species-specific block by TRIM5alpha and APOBEC3G, which target HIV-1 capsid and viral infectivity factor (Vif), respectively. We sought to develop a lentiviral vector capable of transducing both human and rhesus blood cells by combining components of both HIV-1 and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), including SIV capsid (sCA) and SIV Vif. A chimeric HIV-1 vector including sCA (chiHIV) was superior to the conventional SIV in transducing a human blood cell line and superior to the conventional HIV-1 vector in transducing a rhesus blood cell line. Among human CD34(+) hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), the chiHIV and HIV-1 vectors showed similar transduction efficiencies; in rhesus CD34(+) HSCs, the chiHIV vector yielded superior transduction rates. In in vivo competitive repopulation experiments with two rhesus macaques, the chiHIV vector demonstrated superior marking levels over the conventional HIV-1 vector in all blood lineages (first rhesus, 15 to 30% versus 1 to 5%; second rhesus, 7 to 15% versus 0.5 to 2%, respectively) 3 to 7 months postinfusion. In summary, we have developed an HIV-1-based lentiviral vector system that should allow comprehensive preclinical testing of HIV-1-based therapeutic vectors in the rhesus macaque model with eventual clinical application.
Project description:Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) gene therapy using integrating vectors has a potential leukemogenic risk due to insertional mutagenesis. To reduce this risk, a limitation of ?2 average vector copy number (VCN) per cell is generally accepted. We developed an assay for VCN among transduced CD34(+) cells that reliably predicts in vivo VCN in 16 rhesus recipients of CD34(+) cells transduced with a green fluorescent protein (GFP) (or yellow fluorescent protein (YFP))-encoding lentiviral vector. Using GFP (or YFP)-specific probe/primers by real-time PCR, VCN among transduced CD34(+) cells had no correlation with VCN among granulocytes or lymphocytes in vivo assayed 6 months post-transplantation. This was a likely result of residual plasmids present in the vector preparation. We then designed self-inactivating long terminal repeat (SIN-LTR)-specific probe/primers, which detect only integrated provirus. Evaluation with SIN-LTR probe/primers resulted in a positive correlation of VCN among transduced CD34(+) cells with granulocytes and lymphocytes in vivo. The transduced CD34(+) cells had higher VCN (25.1?±?5.6) as compared with granulocytes (2.8?±?1) and lymphocytes (2.4?±?0.7). In summary, an integrated provirus-specific real-time PCR system demonstrated nine- to tenfold higher VCN in transduced CD34(+) cells in vitro, as compared with VCN in vivo. Therefore, the restriction of ?2 VCN before infusion might unnecessarily limit gene transfer efficacy.Molecular Therapy-Nucleic Acids (2013) 2, e122; doi:10.1038/mtna.2013.49; published online 17 September 2013.
Project description:Lentiviral vectors are useful for transducing primitive hematopoietic cells. We examined four envelope proteins for their ability to mediate lentiviral transduction of mobilized human CD34(+) peripheral blood cells. Lentiviral particles encoding green fluorescent protein (GFP) were pseudotyped with the vesicular stomatitis virus envelope glycoprotein (VSV-G), the amphotropic (AMPHO) murine leukemia virus envelope protein, the endogenous feline leukemia viral envelope protein or the feline leukemia virus type C envelope protein. Because the relative amount of genome RNA per ml was similar for each pseudotype, we transduced CD34(+) cells with a fixed volume of each vector preparation. Following an overnight transduction, CD34(+) cells were transplanted into immunodeficient mice which were sacrificed 12 weeks later. The average percentages of engrafted human CD45(+) cells in total bone marrow were comparable to that of the control, mock-transduced group (37-45%). Lenti-particles pseudotyped with the VSV-G envelope protein transduced engrafting cells two- to tenfold better than particles pseudotyped with any of the gamma-retroviral envelope proteins. There was no correlation between receptor mRNA levels for the gamma-retroviral vectors and transduction efficiency of primitive hematopoietic cells. These results support the use of the VSV-G envelope protein for the development of lentiviral producer cell lines for manufacture of clinical-grade vector.
Project description: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.
Project description:Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vectors can transduce human hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), but transduction efficiency varies among individuals. The innate immune factor tripartite motif-containing protein 5? (TRIM5?) plays an important role for restriction of retroviral infection. In this study, we examined whether TRIM5? could account for variations in transduction efficiency using both an established rhesus gene therapy model and human CD34(+) cell culture. Evaluation of TRIM5? genotypes (Mamu-1, -2, -3, -4, -5, and TrimCyp) in 16 rhesus macaques that were transplanted with transduced CD34(+) cells showed a significant correlation between TRIM5? Mamu-4 and high gene marking in both lymphocytes and granulocytes 6 months after transplantation. Since significant human TRIM5? coding polymorphisms were not known, we evaluated TRIM5? expression levels in human CD34(+) cells from 14 donors. Three days after HIV-1 vector transduction, measured transduction efficiency varied significantly among donors and was negatively correlated with TRIM5? expression levels. In summary, transduction efficiency in both rhesus and human CD34(+) cells was influenced by TRIM5? variations (genotypes and expression levels). Our findings are important for both understanding and mitigating the variability of transduction efficiency for rhesus and human CD34(+) cells.
Project description:The risk of genotoxicity of retroviral vector-delivered gene therapy targeting hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) has been highlighted by the development of clonal dominance and malignancies in human and animal gene therapy trials. Large-animal models have proven invaluable to test the safety of retroviral vectors, but the detection of clonal dominance may require years of follow-up. We hypothesized that hematopoietic stress may accelerate the proliferation and therefore the detection of abnormal clones in these models. We administered four monthly busulfan (Bu) infusions to induce hematopoietic stress in a healthy rhesus macaque previously transplanted with CD34+ cells transduced with retroviral vectors carrying a simple marker gene. Busulfan administration resulted in significant cytopenias with each cycle, and prolonged pancytopenia after the final cycle with eventual recovery. Before busulfan treatment there was highly polyclonal marking in all lineages. After Bu administration clonal diversity was markedly decreased in all lineages. Unexpectedly, we found no evidence of selection of the MDS1/EVI1 clones present before Bu administration, but a clone with a vector integration in intron 1 of the histone deacetylase-7 (HDAC7) gene became dominant in granulocytes over time after Bu administration. The overall marking level in the animal was increased significantly after Bu treatment and coincident with expansion of the HDAC7 clone, suggesting an in vivo advantage for this clone under stress. HDAC7 expression was upregulated in marrow progenitors containing the vector. Almost 5 years after Bu administration, the animal developed progressive cytopenias, and at autopsy the marrow showed complete lack of neutrophil or platelet maturation, with a new population of approximately 20% undifferentiated blasts. These data suggest that chemotherapeutic stress may accelerate vector-related clonal dominance, even in the absence of drug resistance genes expressed by the vector. This model may both accelerate the detection of abnormal clones to facilitate analysis of genotoxicity for human gene therapy, and help assess the safety of administering myelotoxic chemotherapeutic agents in patients previously engrafted with vector-containing cells.
Project description:Serious adverse events in some human gene therapy clinical trials have raised safety concerns when retroviral or lentiviral vectors are used for gene transfer. We evaluated the potential for generating replication-competent retrovirus (RCR) and assessed the risk of occurrence of adverse events in an in vivo system. Human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSCs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) transduced with two different Moloney murine leukemia virus (MoMuLV)-based vectors were cotransplanted into a total of 481 immune-deficient mice (that are unable to reject cells that become transformed), and the animals were monitored for 18 months. Animals with any signs of illness were immediately killed, autopsied, and subjected to a range of biosafety studies. There was no detectable evidence of insertional mutagenesis leading to human leukemias or solid tumors in the 18 months during which the animals were studied. In 117 serum samples analyzed by vector rescue assay there was no detectable RCR. An additional 149 mice received HSCs transduced with lentiviral vectors, and were followed for 2-6 months. No vector-associated adverse events were observed, and none of the mice had detectable human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) p24 antigen in their sera. Our in vivo system, therefore, helps to provide an assessment of the risks involved when retroviral or lentiviral vectors are considered for use in clinical gene therapy applications.