Development of an Rev-independent, minimal simian immunodeficiency virus-derived vector system

S. Pandya, K. Boris-Lawrie, N. J. Leung, R. Akkina, V. Planelles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lentiviral vectors are attractive candidates for gene therapy because of their ability to integrate into nondividing cells. To date, conventional HIV-1-based vectors can be produced at higher titers, but concerns regarding their safety for human use exist because of the possibility of recombination leading to production of infectious virions with pathogenic potential. Development of lentivirus vectors based on nonhuman lentiviruses constitutes an active area of research. We described a novel HIV-SIV hybrid vector system in which an HIV-1-derived transfer vector is encapsidated by SIVmac1A11 core particles and pseudotyped with VSV glycoprotein G. In an effort to further develop this vector system, we modified the packaging plasmid by deletion of the SIV accessory genes. Specifically, versions of the packaging plasmid (SIV pack) lacking vif, vpr, vpx, and/or nef were constructed. Our results indicate that, as with HIV-1-based packaging plasmids, deletion of accessory genes has no significant effect on transduction in either dividing or nondividing cells. The SIV packaging plasmid was also modified with regard to the requirement for RRE and rev. Deletion of the RRE and rev from SIV pack led to dramatic loss of transduction ability. Introduction of the 5′ LTR from the spleen necrosis virus to packaging plasmids lacking RRE/Rev was then sufficient to fully restore vector titer. A minimal SIV transfer vector was also developed, which does not require RRE/Rev and exhibits no reduction in transduction efficiency in two packaging systems. The SIV-based vector system described here recapitulates the biological properties of minimal HIV-1-derived systems and is expected to provide an added level of safety for human gene transfer. We suggest that the SIV-derived vector system will also be useful to deliver anti-HIV-1 gene therapy reagents that would inhibit an HIV-1-derived vector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-857
Number of pages11
JournalHuman gene therapy
Volume12
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

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