Enhancement of a constitutively active promoter for gene therapy by a positive feed-back transcriptional activator mechanism.
Success of gene replacement therapy depends on long-term, high level expression of the transgene. Gene therapy vectors incorporating a promoter of a constitutively active eukaryotic gene may allow long-term expression in vivo, but the expression level may be insufficient for therapeutic effects. To enhance transcription from eukaryotic promoters, a strategy with dicistronic vectors encoding the therapeutic gene of interest together with a transcription factor that binds and activates the promoter was tested. Expression vectors for the chimeric tet repressor/VP16 transcription factor (tTA) driven by the human beta-actin promoter were constructed, and tandem tet operators were inserted within the promoter. This arrangement significantly enhanced expression of G-CSF in fibroblasts to higher levels than the immediate/early CMV promoter. Stably transfected fibroblast clones produced up to 2.4 microg G-CSF per 10(6) cells x 24 h. After injection of genetically engineered cells into SCID mice, the enhanced beta-actin promoter construct resulted in marked leukocytosis, whereas the unmodified promoter had only a marginal therapeutic effect. Transcription factor-enhanced, feed-back-activated human promoters may thus achieve higher expression levels than viral control elements, and may be advantageous for gene therapy due to high constitutive activity in vivo.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Internal Medicine I (Hematology/Oncology), Freiburg University Medical Center, Hugstetter Strasse 55, D-79106 Freiburg, Germany.
Publication date: October 1, 1998
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- The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.
The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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