Retrovirus-mediated transfer and expression of drug resistance genes in human haematopoietic progenitor cells.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Nature, Volume 320, Issue 6059, p.275-7 (1986)


1986, Bone Marrow Cells, Cells, Cultured, Drug Resistance, Erythrocytes, Granulocytes, Hematopoietic Stem Cells, Humans, methotrexate, Monocytes, Neomycin, Retroviridae, Tetrahydrofolate Dehydrogenase, Transfection


Patients with certain genetic disorders can be cured by bone marrow transplantation. However, as prospective donors do not exist for most patients with potentially curable genetic abnormalities, an alternative treatment for such patients involves the transfer of cloned genes into the patient's haematopoietic stem cells followed by re-infusion of the treated cells. Retroviral vectors provide an efficient means for transferring genes into mammalian cells and have been used to transfer genes into mouse haematopoietic cells. We have now produced amphotropic retroviral vectors containing either the bacterial gene for neomycin resistance or a mutant dihydrofolate reductase gene that confers resistance to methotrexate and have used these vectors to infect and confer drug resistance to human haematopoietic progenitor cells in vitro. Transfer could be demonstrated in the absence of helper virus by using an amphotropic retrovirus packaging cell line, PA12 (ref. 9). These studies are an important step towards the eventual application of retrovirus-mediated gene transfer to human gene therapy and for molecular approaches to the study of human haematopoiesis.