Erythroid-specific expression of β-globin from Sleeping Beauty-transduced human hematopoietic progenitor cells

Lucas M. Sjeklocha, Chang Won Park, Phillip Y.P. Wong, Mark J. Roney, John D Belcher, Dan S Kaufman, Gregory M Vercellotti, Robert P Hebbel, Clifford J Steer

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13 Scopus citations


Gene therapy for sickle cell disease will require efficient delivery of a tightly regulated and stably expressed gene product to provide an effective therapy. In this study we utilized the non-viral Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon system using the SB100X hyperactive transposase to transduce human cord blood CD34 + cells with DsRed and a hybrid IHK-β-globin transgene. IHK transduced cells were successfully differentiated into multiple lineages which all showed transgene integration. The mature erythroid cells had an increased β-globin to γ-globin ratio from 0.66±0.08 to 1.05±0.12 (p = 0.05), indicating expression of β-globin from the integrated SB transgene. IHK-β-globin mRNA was found in non-erythroid cell types, similar to native β-globin mRNA that was also expressed at low levels. Additional studies in the hematopoietic K562 cell line confirmed the ability of cHS4 insulator elements to protect DsRed and IHK-β-globin transgenes from silencing in long-term culture studies. Insulated transgenes had statistically significant improvement in the maintenance of long term expression, while preserving transgene regulation. These results support the use of Sleeping Beauty vectors in carrying an insulated IHK-β-globin transgene for gene therapy of sickle cell disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere29110
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 28 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to Carol Bruzzone for technical advice and Alexander Swart for technical assistance. The cHS4 chromatin insulator plasmid DNA construct, pJC13-1 was kindly provided by Dr. Gary Felsenfeld, NIH. We would also like to acknowledge the Flow Cytometry Core Facility of the Masonic Cancer Center, an NCI designated comprehensive cancer center funded in part by NIH grant P30 CA77598.


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