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

Genomic stability and functional activity may be lost in telomerase-transduced human CD8+ T lymphocytes.

To obtain the large amount of T cells required for adoptive immunotherapy in a clinical setting, T-cell lifespan extension by human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) transduction is of particular interest. However, constitutive expression of hTERT is associated with malignant transformation and thus warrants a detailed evaluation of the safety of hTERT-transduced T cells before clinical application. In view of this, we performed an extensive cytogenetic analysis of hTERT-transduced MART-1 (melanoma antigen recognized by T cell 1)-and human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) E7-specific human CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), reactive against melanoma and cervical carcinoma, respectively. Our results, obtained by (spectral) karyotyping and array comparative genomic hybridization, showed the development of minor chromosomal aberrations in an hTERT-transduced MART-1-specific CTL clone, whereas severe clonal aberrations were detected in an hTERT-transduced HPV16 E7-specific CTL clone. Furthermore, hTERT transduction did not protect CTLs from immunosenescence, because the HPV16 E7-specific, hTERT-transduced CTL clone showed a decreased functional activity on prolonged culture. Although the general frequency of major chromosomal aberrations in hTERT-transduced CTLs and the in vivo significance of our observations remain still unclear at this point, the currently available data suggest that clinical application of hTERT-transduced CTLs should proceed with caution.[1]


  1. Genomic stability and functional activity may be lost in telomerase-transduced human CD8+ T lymphocytes. Schreurs, M.W., Hermsen, M.A., Geltink, R.I., Scholten, K.B., Brink, A.A., Kueter, E.W., Tijssen, M., Meijer, C.J., Ylstra, B., Meijer, G.A., Hooijberg, E. Blood (2005) [Pubmed]
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