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  • 1
    Keywords: CELLS ; EXPRESSION ; THERAPY ; GENE ; PROTEIN ; gene therapy ; TRANSDUCTION ; GENE-TRANSFER ; DNA ; IDENTIFICATION ; VECTORS ; AAV SEROTYPES ; adeno-associated virus ; ADENOASSOCIATED VIRUS ; HIGH-LEVEL EXPRESSION ; REP ; serotypes ; TYPE-2 ; vector production
    Abstract: We present a simple and safe strategy for producing high-titer adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors derived from six different AAV serotypes (AAV-1 to AAV-6). The method, referred to as "HOT," is helper virus free, optically controllable, and based on transfection of only two plasmids, i.e., an AAV vector construct and one of six novel AAV helper plasmids. The latter were engineered to carry AAV serotype rep and cap genes together with adenoviral helper functions, as well as unique fluorescent protein expression cassettes, allowing confirmation of successful transfection and identification of the transfected plasmid. Cross-packaging of vector DNA derived from AAV-2, -3, or -6 was up to 10-fold more efficient using our novel plasmids, compared to a conservative adenovirus-dependent method. We also identified a variety of useful antibodies, allowing detection of Rep or VP proteins, or assembled capsids, of all six AAV serotypes. Finally, we describe unique cell tropisms and kinetics of transgene expression for AAV serotype vectors in primary or transformed cells from four different species. In sum, the HOT strategy and the antibodies presented here, together with the reported findings, should facilitate and support the further development of AAV serotype vectors as powerful new tools for human gene therapy
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 12788658
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  • 2
    Keywords: CELLS ; EXPRESSION ; BLOOD ; CELL ; Germany ; human ; KINASE ; THERAPY ; COMMON ; SITE ; SITES ; GENE ; GENE-EXPRESSION ; GENES ; GENOME ; PROTEIN ; PROTEINS ; transcription ; gene therapy ; LINES ; MICE ; TIME ; TRANSDUCTION ; PATIENT ; ACTIVATION ; TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR ; cell cycle ; CELL-CYCLE ; CYCLE ; FREQUENCY ; FREQUENCIES ; bone marrow ; BONE-MARROW ; MOUSE ; TRANSCRIPTION FACTORS ; gene expression ; VECTORS ; VECTOR ; IMMUNODEFICIENT MICE ; PCR ; HUMAN GENOME ; REGION ; REGIONS ; PROGENITOR CELLS ; SAFETY ; SELECTION ; HEMATOPOIETIC-CELLS ; PERIPHERAL-BLOOD ; GENE-THERAPY ; INTEGRATION SITE ; RETROVIRAL VECTORS ; peripheral blood progenitor cells ; ORIENTATION ; insertional mutagenesis ; N-MYC ; signaling ; INTEGRATION ; PROGRAM ; DETERMINANTS ; INTERFERENCE ; THERAPIES ; MYELOID-LEUKEMIA ; BLOOD PROGENITOR CELLS ; CPG ISLANDS ; favored integration ; ligation-mediated PCR ; NOD/SCID mouse assay ; retroviral vector transduction ; ZINC-FINGER PROTEIN
    Abstract: Reports on insertional "genotoxicity" in patients have created intense interest in characterizing retroviral vector integrations on the genomic level. The retroviral vector SF91m3 was used for transduction of human peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPC). These PBPC were transplanted into nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient mice. A total of 186 retroviral vector integration sites were isolated by ligation-mediated PCR from chimeric mouse bone marrow of five PBPC donors, sequenced, and blasted against the human genome. Preferred integration near the transcription start regions, within CpG islands, and within Alu regions was observed. Detailed analysis of targeted RefSeq genes showed a favored integration within the first intron. Integrations were most common in genes coding for signaling proteins, transcription factors, and kinases. In all genes targeted independently multiple times the respective orientation of the provirus within the gene was identical, indicating integration hot spot regions and similar steric determinants for integration sites. Possible explanations for these findings could be nonrandom vector integration, clonal selection due to gene expression interference, or engraftment issues related to gene insertion in signaling and cell cycle genes. The low frequency of integrations in exons may be reassuring as to the safety of retroviral gene therapy with normal human PBPC
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 15509505
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  • 3
    Keywords: CELLS ; EXPRESSION ; CELL ; PATHWAY ; THERAPY ; SYSTEM ; GENE ; GENES ; TRANSDUCTION ; DNA ; SEQUENCE ; ENTRY ; TARGET ; MOUSE ; DISRUPTION ; VECTORS ; VECTOR ; genetics ; HUMAN GENOME ; mutagenesis ; TRANSPOSABLE ELEMENTS ; CHROMOSOMES ; LENTIVIRAL VECTOR ; SUBSTRATE ; LONG ; USA ; HUMAN-CELLS ; lentiviral vectors ; VECTOR INTEGRATION ; biotechnology ; EXPRESSION IN-VIVO ; Genetic ; TRANSIENT ; EXPRESSION CASSETTES ; STABLE GENE-TRANSFER
    Abstract: Lentiviral vectors enter cells with high efficiency and deliver stable transduction through integration into host chromosomes, but their preference for integration within actively transcribing genes means that insertional mutagenesis following disruption of host proto-oncogenes is a recognized concern. We have addressed this problem by combining the efficient cell and nuclear entry properties of HIV-1-derived lentiviral vectors with the integration profile benefits of Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposase. Importantly, this integration enzyme does not exhibit a preference for integration within active genes. We generated integrase-deficient lentiviral vectors (IDLVs) to carry SB transposon and transposase expression cassettes. IDLVs were able to deliver transient transposase expression to target cells, and episomal lentiviral DNA was found to be a suitable substrate for integration via the SB pathway. The hybrid vector system allows genomic integration of a minimal promoter-transgene cassette flanked by short SB inverted repeats (IRs) but devoid of HIV-1 long terminal repeats (LTRs) or other virus-derived sequences. Importantly, integration site analysis revealed redirection toward a profile mimicking SB-plasmid integration and away from integration within transcriptionally active genes favored by integrase-proficient lentiviral vectors (ILVs)
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 19417741
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  • 4
    Keywords: APOPTOSIS ; EXPRESSION ; GROWTH ; DIFFERENTIATION ; NF-KAPPA-B ; chemotherapy ; CARCINOMA-CELLS ; CYCLE ARREST ; TUMOR-INITIATING CELLS ; ISOTHIOCYANATE SULFORAPHANE ; PC-3 XENOGRAFTS
    Abstract: Despite intense efforts to develop treatments against pancreatic cancer, agents that cure this highly resistant and metastasizing disease are not available. Considerable attention has focused on broccoli compound sulforaphane (SF), which is suggested as combination therapy for targeting of pancreatic cancer stem cells (CSCs). However, there are concerns that antioxidative properties of SF may interfere with cytotoxic drugs-as suggested, e. g., for vitamins. Therefore we investigated a combination therapy using established pancreatic CSCs. Although cisplatin (CIS), gemcitabine (GEM), doxorubicin, 5-flurouracil, or SF effectively induced apoptosis and prevented viability, combination of a drug with SF increased toxicity. Similarly, SF potentiated the drug effect in established prostate CSCs revealing that SF enhances drug cytotoxicity also in other tumor entities. Most importantly, combined treatment intensified inhibition of clonogenicity and spheroid formation and aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) activity along with Notch-1 and c-Rel expression indicating that CSC characteristics are targeted. In vivo, combination treatment was most effective and totally abolished growth of CSC xenografts and tumor-initiating potential. No pronounced side effects were observed in normal cells or mice. Our data suggest that SF increases the effectiveness of various cytotoxic drugs against CSCs without inducing additional toxicity in mice
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
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  • 5
    Keywords: brain ; EXPRESSION ; CLINICAL-TRIAL ; PROTEIN ; IMMUNE-RESPONSES ; OVARIAN-CANCER ; EFFICACY ; PROSTATE-CANCER ; CARCINOEMBRYONIC ANTIGEN ; GREEN FLUORESCENT PROTEIN ; SODIUM-IODIDE SYMPORTER ; GROWTH-FACTOR-RECEPTOR ; ALPHA-SYNUCLEIN EXPRESSION ; RHESUS-MONKEYS
    Abstract: Oncolytic measles viruses (MV) derived from the live attenuated vaccine strain have been engineered for increased tumor-cell specificity, and are currently under investigation in clinical trials including a phase I study for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Recent preclinical studies have shown that the cellular tropism of several viruses can be controlled by inserting microRNA-target sequences into their genomes, thereby inhibiting spread in tissues expressing cognate microRNAs. Since neuron-specific microRNA-7 is downregulated in gliomas but highly expressed in normal brain tissue, we engineered a microRNA-sensitive virus containing target sites for microRNA-7 in the 3'-untranslated region of the viral fusion gene. In presence of microRNA-7 this modification inhibits translation of envelope proteins, restricts viral spread, and progeny production. Even though highly attenuated in presence of microRNA-7, this virus retained full efficacy against glioblastoma xenografts. Furthermore, microRNA-mediated inhibition protected genetically modified mice susceptible to MV infection from a potentially lethal intracerebral challenge. Importantly, endogenous microRNA-7 expression in primary human brain resections tightly restricted replication and spread of microRNA-sensitive virus. This is proof-of-concept that tropism restriction by tissue-specific microRNAs can be adapted to oncolytic MV to regulate viral replication and gene expression to maximize tumor specificity without compromising oncolytic efficacy
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 21468006
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  • 6
    Keywords: THERAPY ; KERATINOCYTES ; TARGET ; VECTORS ; DESIGN ; MAMMALIAN-CELLS ; STEM-CELLS ; DOUBLE-STRAND BREAKS ; EFFECTORS ; ZINC-FINGER NUCLEASES
    Abstract: Recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) is characterized by a functional deficit of type VII collagen protein due to gene defects in the type VII collagen gene (COL7A1). Gene augmentation therapies are promising, but run the risk of insertional mutagenesis. To abrogate this risk, we explored the possibility of using engineered transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALEN) for precise genome editing. We report the ability of TALEN to induce site-specific double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs) leading to homology-directed repair (HDR) from an exogenous donor template. This process resulted in COL7A1 gene mutation correction in primary fibroblasts that were subsequently reprogrammed into inducible pluripotent stem cells and showed normal protein expression and deposition in a teratoma-based skin model in vivo. Deep sequencing-based genome-wide screening established a safety profile showing on-target activity and three off-target (OT) loci that, importantly, were at least 10 kb from a coding sequence. This study provides proof-of-concept for TALEN-mediated in situ correction of an endogenous patient-specific gene mutation and used an unbiased screen for comprehensive TALEN target mapping that will cooperatively facilitate translational application.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23546300
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  • 7
    Keywords: HIGH-RISK ; CONTRAST AGENTS ; DOUBLE-BLIND ; MULTICENTER ; DIAGNOSTIC-ACCURACY ; BRAIN-TUMORS ; image interpretation ; 3 TESLA ; LESION DETECTION ; MAGNETIC-RESONANCE-MAMMOGRAPHY
    Abstract: Self-inactivating (SIN) lentiviral vectors (LV) have an excellent therapeutic potential as demonstrated in preclinical studies and clinical trials. However, weaker mechanisms of insertional mutagenesis could still pose a significant risk in clinical applications. Taking advantage of novel in vivo genotoxicity assays, we tested a battery of LV constructs, including some with clinically relevant designs, and found that oncogene activation by promoter insertion is the most powerful mechanism of early vector-induced oncogenesis. SIN LVs disabled in their capacity to activate oncogenes by promoter insertion were less genotoxic and induced tumors by enhancer-mediated activation of oncogenes with efficiency that was proportional to the strength of the promoter used. On the other hand, when enhancer activity was reduced by using moderate promoters, oncogenesis by inactivation of tumor suppressor gene was revealed. This mechanism becomes predominant when the enhancer activity of the internal promoter is shielded by the presence of a synthetic chromatin insulator cassette. Our data provide both mechanistic insights and quantitative readouts of vector-mediated genotoxicity, allowing a relative ranking of different vectors according to these features, and inform current and future choices of vector design with increasing biosafety.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24441399
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  • 8
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; COMBINATION ; antibody ; MELANOMA ; SAFETY ; CANCER-IMMUNOTHERAPY ; RESCUE ; IPILIMUMAB ; CHEMOVIROTHERAPY
    Abstract: We hypothesized that the combination of oncolytic virotherapy with immune checkpoint modulators would reduce tumor burden by direct cell lysis and stimulate antitumor immunity. In this study, we have generated attenuated Measles virus (MV) vectors encoding antibodies against CTLA-4 and PD-L1 (MV-aCTLA-4 and MV-aPD-L1). We characterized the vectors in terms of growth kinetics, antibody expression, and cytotoxicity in vitro. Immunotherapeutic effects were assessed in a newly established, fully immunocompetent murine model of malignant melanoma, B16-CD20. Analyses of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and restimulation experiments indicated a favorable immune profile after MV-mediated checkpoint modulation. Therapeutic benefits in terms of delayed tumor progression and prolonged median overall survival were observed for animals treated with vectors encoding anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-L1, respectively. Combining systemic administration of antibodies with MV treatment also improved therapeutic outcome. In vivo oncolytic efficacy against human tumors was studied in melanoma xenografts. MV-aCTLA-4 and MV-aPD-L1 were equally efficient as parental MV in this model, with high rates of complete tumor remission (〉 80%). Furthermore, we could demonstrate lysis of tumor cells and transgene expression in primary tissue from melanoma patients. The current results suggest rapid translation of combining immune checkpoint modulation with oncolytic viruses into clinical application.Molecular Therapy (2014); doi:10.1038/mt.2014.160.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25156126
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  • 9
    Abstract: Gene transfer to hematopoietic stem cells with integrating vectors not only allows sustained correction of monogenic diseases but also tracking of individual clones in vivo. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) has been shown to be an accurate method to quantify individual stem cell clones, yet due to frequently limited amounts of target material (especially in clinical studies), it is not useful for large-scale analyses. To explore whether vector integration site (IS) recovery techniques may be suitable to describe clonal contributions if combined with next-generation sequencing techniques, we designed artificial ISs of different sizes which were mixed to simulate defined clonal situations in clinical settings. We subjected all mixes to either linear amplification-mediated PCR (LAM-PCR) or nonrestrictive LAM-PCR (nrLAM-PCR), both combined with 454 sequencing. We showed that nrLAM-PCR/454-detected clonality allows estimating qPCR-detected clonality in vitro. We then followed the kinetics of two clones detected in a patient enrolled in a clinical gene therapy trial using both, nrLAM-PCR/454 and qPCR and also saw nrLAM-PCR/454 to correlate to qPCR-measured clonal contributions. The method presented here displays a feasible high-throughput strategy to monitor clonality in clinical gene therapy trials is at hand.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26052530
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  • 10
    Abstract: Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) harmfully impacts survival after peripheral blood hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (PB-HSCT). Delayed immune reconstitution after cord blood (CB)-HSCT leads to even higher HCMV-related morbidity and mortality. Towards a feasible dendritic cell therapy to accelerate de novo immunity against HCMV, we validated a tricistronic integrase-defective lentiviral vector (coexpressing GM-CSF, IFN-alpha, and HCMV pp65 antigen) capable to directly induce self-differentiation of PB and CB monocytes into dendritic cells processing pp65 ("SmyleDCpp65"). In vitro, SmyleDCpp65 resisted HCMV infection, activated CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells and expanded functional pp65-specific memory cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). CD34(+) cells obtained from PB and CB were transplanted into irradiated NOD.Rag1(-/-).IL2gammac(-/-) mice. Donor-derived SmyleDCpp65 administration after PB-HSCT stimulated peripheral immune effects: lymph node remodeling, expansion of polyclonal effector memory CD8(+) T cells in blood, spleen and bone marrow, and pp65-reactive CTL and IgG responses. SmyleDCpp65 administration after CB-HSCT significantly stimulated thymopoiesis. Expanded frequencies of CD4(+)/CD8(+) T cell precursors containing increased levels of T-cell receptor excision circles in thymus correlated with peripheral expansion of effector memory CTL responses against pp65. The comparative in vivo modeling for PB and CB-HSCT provided dynamic and spatial information regarding human T and B cell reconstitution. In vivo potency supports future clinical development of SmyleDCpp65.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26052526
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