Lentivirus-mediated gene transfer and expression in established human tumor antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells and primary unstimulated T cells

Xianzheng Zhou, Yan Cui, Xin Huang, Zhiwei Yu, Amy M. Thomas, Zhaohui Ye, Drew M. Pardoll, Elizabeth M. Jaffee, Linzhao Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


In this report, we evaluated the efficiency of stable gene transfer into established CD8+ human tumor antigen-specific cytotoxic T cell (CTL) lines and peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) by oncoretroviral and lentiviral vectors. In the oncoretroviral vector, the green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter gene was regulated by the murine stem cell virus (MSCV) promoter. In three human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-based lentiviral vectors, the GFP transgene was regulated by either a chimeric MSCV/HIV-1 promoter, or cellular promoters from human housekeeping genes PGK and EF1α. We found that several lines of proliferating tumor-specific CTL were poorly (=2%) transduced by the oncoretroviral vector that transduced Jurkat T cell line efficiently (=80%). In contrast, three lentiviral vectors transduced 38-63% of these proliferating CTL. More interestingly, all lentiviral vectors packaged without the HIV-1 accessory proteins transduced human bulk PBL and purified CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocyte subsets without prior stimulation. Detailed analysis indicated that the lentiviral vectors containing the EF1α or PGK ubiquitous promoter can transduce unstimulated PBL and achieve low-level transgene expression in the absence of any T-cell activation. However, T-cell activation subsequent to the transduction of unstimulated PBL is required for high-level transgene expression. Transduced PBL expressing transgene delivered by the lentiviral vectors still preserved resting and naïve cell phenotypes. Taken together, prior T cell stimulation and HIV-1 accessory proteins are dispensable for lentivirus-mediated gene transfer into resting naive and memory T lymphocytes. These results will have significant implications for the study of T-cell biology and for the improvement of clinical gene therapies of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1089-1105
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Gene Therapy
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jul 20 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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