A majority of mice show long-term expression of a human beta-globin gene after retrovirus transfer into hematopoietic stem cells.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Molecular and cellular biology, Volume 9, Issue 4, p.1426-34 (1989)


1989, Animals, Bone Marrow, Bone Marrow Transplantation, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Gene Therapy, Genetic Vectors, Globins, Humans, MICE, Mice, Transgenic, Proviruses, Retroviridae, Transfection


Murine bone marrow was infected with a high-titer retrovirus vector containing the human beta-globin and neomycin phosphotransferase genes. Anemic W/Wv mice were transplanted with infected marrow which in some cases had been exposed to the selective agent G418. Human beta-globin expression was monitored in transplanted animals by using a monoclonal antibody specific for human beta-globin polypeptide, and hematopoietic reconstitution was monitored by using donor and recipient mice which differed in hemoglobin type. In some experiments all transplanted mice expressed the human beta-globin polypeptide for over 4 months, and up to 50% of peripheral erythrocytes contained detectable levels of polypeptide. DNA analysis of transplanted animals revealed that virtually every myeloid cell contained a provirus. Integration site analysis and reconstitution of secondary marrow recipients suggested that every mouse was reconstituted with at least one infected stem cell which had extensive repopulation capability. The ability to consistently transfer an active beta-globin gene into mouse hematopoietic cells improves the feasibility of using these techniques for somatic cell gene therapy in humans.