Indexed on: 18 Feb '99Published on: 18 Feb '99Published in: Human gene therapy
The success of gene therapy strategies for congenital and acquired blood disorders requires high levels of gene transfer into hematopoietic cells. Retroviral vectors have been extensively used to deliver foreign genes to mammalian cells and improvement of transduction protocols remains dependent on markers that can be rapidly monitored and used for efficient selection of transduced cells. The enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) is a suitable reporter molecule for gene expression because of its lack of cytotoxicity and stable fluorescence signal that can be readily detected by flow cytometry. However, attempts to adapt the GFP system to stable transduction of human lymphocytes have not been satisfactory. In this article, transductions of primary human T lymphocytes were performed using cell-free supernatants from a PG13 packaging cell line in which a retroviral vector expressing EGFP was pseudotyped with the gibbon ape leukemia virus (GALV) envelope. Using this system combined with a fibronectin-facilitated protocol, primary lymphocytes were transduced with a mean gene transfer efficiency of 27.5% following a 2-day stimulation with either PHA or anti-CD3/CD28 antibodies. Conditions that increased the entry of lymphocytes into cell cycle did not consistently correlate with enhanced gene transfer, indicating that factors other than proliferation are important for optimal retroviral gene transfer. These results demonstrate the utility of EGFP as a marker for human T cell transduction and will enable further optimization of T cell gene therapy protocols.