Redirecting human T lymphocytes toward renal cell carcinoma specificity by retroviral transfer of T cell receptor genes.

Research paper by Boris B Engels, Elfriede E Noessner, Bernhard B Frankenberger, Thomas T Blankenstein, Dolores J DJ Schendel, Wolfgang W Uckert

Indexed on: 08 Jul '05Published on: 08 Jul '05Published in: Human gene therapy


Adoptive T cell therapy of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is limited by the difficulty in generating sufficient numbers of RCC-reactive T cells in vitro. To circumvent this problem, we cloned T cell receptor (TCR) alpha and beta chains from a tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte clone specific for an RCC tumor antigen and transferred the TCR into human T cell lines and primary T lymphocytes. Efficient TCR expression in primary T lymphocytes was obtained only with a mouse myeloproliferative sarcoma virus (MPSV)-based retroviral vector, not with a Moloney murine leukemia virus (MLV)-based vector, although both viral supernatants were similar in titer, as shown by analysis of copy number integration in transduced T cells. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed a higher amount of TCR-encoding transcripts when T cells were transduced with the MPSV vector in comparison with the MLV vector, indicating that high TCR expression levels can be achieved by appropriate cis-regulatory vector elements. The biological activity of the transferred TCR was shown by specific lysis of RCC cells ((51)Cr release assay) and by interferon gamma and tumor necrosis factor alpha release (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) in an antigen-specific and HLA-A*0201-restricted fashion. Comparison of the redirected T lymphocytes with the original tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte clone revealed similar killing and cytokine secretion capabilities. The functional activity of TCR-redirected T lymphocytes was stable over time. The results demonstrate that use of an optimized retroviral vector yielded a high TCR transduction efficiency and stable and high TCR expression in primary human T lymphocytes and redirected their specificity toward RCC cells.