A novel lentiviral vector targets gene transfer into human hematopoietic stem cells in marrow from patients with bone marrow failure syndrome and in vivo in humanized mice
In vivo lentiviral vector (LV)-mediated gene delivery would represent a great step forward in the field of gene therapy. Therefore, we have engineered a novel LV displaying SCF and a mutant cat endogenous retroviral glycoprotein, RDTR. These RDTR/SCF-LVs outperformed RDTR-LVs for transduction of human CD34(+) cells (hCD34(+)). For in vivo gene therapy, these novel RDTR/SCF-displaying LVs can distinguish between the target hCD34(+) cells of interest and nontarget cells. Indeed, they selectively targeted transduction to 30%-40% of the hCD34(+) cells in cord blood mononuclear cells and in the unfractionated BM of healthy and Fanconi anemia donors, resulting in the correction of CD34(+) cells in the patients. Moreover, RDTR/SCF-LVs targeted transduction to CD34(+) cells with 95-fold selectivity compared with T cells in total cord blood. Remarkably, in vivo injection of the RDTR/SCF-LVs into the BM cavity of humanized mice resulted in the highly selective transduction of candidate hCD34(+)Lin(-) HSCs. In conclusion, this new LV will facilitate HSC-based gene therapy by directly targeting these primitive cells in BM aspirates or total cord blood. Most importantly, in the future, RDTR/SCF-LVs might completely obviate ex vivo handling and simplify gene therapy for many hematopoietic defects because of their applicability to direct in vivo inoculation.