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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Extended beta-globin locus control region elements promote consistent therapeutic expression of a gamma-globin lentiviral vector in murine beta-thalassemia.

Since increased fetal hemoglobin diminishes the severity of beta-thalassemia and sickle cell anemia, a strategy using autologous, stem cell-targeted gene transfer of a gamma-globin gene may be therapeutically useful. We previously found that a gamma-globin lentiviral vector utilizing the beta-globin promoter and elements from the beta-globin locus control region ( LCR) totaling 1.7 kb could correct murine beta-thalassemia. However, therapeutic consistency was compromised by chromosomal position effects on vector expression. In contrast, we show here that the majority of animals that received transplants of beta-thalassemic stem cells transduced with a new vector containing 3.2 kb of LCR sequences expressed high levels of fetal hemoglobin (17%-33%), with an average vector copy number of 1. 3. This led to a mean 26 g/L (2.6 g/dL) increase in hemoglobin concentration and enhanced amelioration of other hematologic parameters. Analysis of clonal erythroid cells of secondary spleen colonies from mice that underwent transplantation demonstrated an increased resistance of the larger LCR vector to stable and variegating position effects. This trend was also observed for vector insertion sites located inside genes, where vector expression was often compromised, in contrast to intergenic sites, where higher levels of expression were observed. These data emphasize the importance of overcoming detrimental position effects for consistent therapeutic globin vector expression.[1]


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