Retrovirus-mediated gene transfer into CD4+ and CD8+ human T cell subsets derived from tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and peripheral blood mononuclear cells

Shoshana Morecki, Evelyn Karson, Kenneth Cornetta, Attan Kasid, Paul Aebersold, R. Michael Blaese, W. French Anderson, Steven A. Rosenberg

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30 Scopus citations


Studies were undertaken to test the susceptibility of individual T cell subpopulations to retroviral-mediated gene transduction. Gene transfer into human tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was carried out by transduction with an amphotropic murine retroviral vector (LNL6 or N2) containing the bacterial neoR gene. The presence of the neoR gene in the TIL population was demonstrated by Southern blot analysis, detection of the enzymatic activity of the gene product and by the ability of transduced TIL to proliferate in high concentrations of G418, a neomycin analog that is toxic to eukaryotic cells. The presence of the neoR gene in TIL did not alter their proliferation or interleukin-2 dependence compared to nontransduced TIL. The differential susceptibility of CD4+ and CD8+ lymphoid cells to the retro-virus-mediated gene transfer was then tested. Transduction of heterogeneous TIL cultures containing both CD4+ and CD8+ cells resulted in gene insertion into both T cell subsets with no preferential transduction frequency into either CD4+ or CD8+ cells. In other experiments highly purified CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subpopulations from either TIL or PBMC could be successfully transduced with the neoR gene as demonstrated by Southern blot analysis and detection of the gene product neophosphotransferase activity. No such activity or vector DNA could be detected in controls of nontransduced cells. In these highly purified cell subsets the distinctive T cell phenotypic markers were continually expressed after transduction, G418 selection and long-term growth. Clinical trials have begun in patients with advanced cancer using heterogeneous populations of CD4+ and CD8+ gene-modified TIL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-352
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Immunology Immunotherapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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