Safety testing for replication-competent retrovirus associated with gibbon ape leukemia virus-pseudotyped retroviral vectors

J. Chen, L. Reeves, K. Cornetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

The potential pathogenicity of replication-competent retroviruses (RCR) requires vigilant testing to exclude inadvertent contamination of clinical gene therapy vector products with RCR. Pseudotyped vectors using the gibbon ape leukemia virus (GALV) envelope have entered into clinical trials but specific recommendations regarding methods for screening of vector product and analysis of clinical samples have not been set forth. Unfortunately, current screening assays used for detecting amphotropic RCR are not suitable for GALV-pseudotyped RCR. We modified the extended S+/L- assay for RCR detection by using human 293 cells for virus amplification. Of five cell lines tested, 293 cells were selected because they combined a high transduction efficiency and an ability to generate RCR at high titer. After optimizing the amplification assay, a dilution of GALV virus could consistently be detected at a dilution of 10-6. In coculture experiments, one GALV-infected cell could be consistently detected in 106 uninfected cells. A PCR-based assay was developed that was capable of detecting 100 copies of a GALV envelope containing plasmid diluted in 1 μg of DNA obtained from uninfected cells. PCR was also able to detect one GALV-infected cell in 106 uninfected cells. These assays will be suitable for testing of vector preparations and for monitoring of clinical samples from patients treated in clinical gene therapy protocols. The assays developed are similar in methodology and sensitivity to those currently used for certification of amphotropic retroviral vectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-70
Number of pages10
JournalHuman gene therapy
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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