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1.  Myoblasts generated by lentiviral mediated MyoD transduction of myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) fibroblasts can be used for assays of therapeutic molecules 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:490.
Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is the most common muscle dystrophy in adults. The disease is caused by a triplet expansion in the 3'end of the myotonic dystrophy protein kinase (DMPK) gene. In order to develop a human cell model for investigation of possible effects of antisense and RNAi effector molecules we have used lentiviral mediated myoD-forced myogenesis of DM1 patient fibroblasts.
Transduced fibroblasts show a multinuclear phenotype and express the differentiation marker myogenin. Furthermore, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis revealed a statistical significant increase in the amount of nuclear foci in DM1 patient fibroblasts after myogenesis. Finally, no nuclear foci were found after treatment with oligonucleotides targeting the repeat expansions.
The abundance of nuclear foci in DM1 patient fibroblasts increase following myogenesis, as visualized by FISH analysis. Foci were eradicated after treatment with antisense oligonucleotides. Thus, we propose that the current cell model is suitable for testing of novel treatment modalities.
PMCID: PMC3226528  PMID: 22078098
2.  Targeting of human interleukin-12B by small hairpin RNAs in xenografted psoriatic skin 
BMC Dermatology  2011;11:5.
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder that shows as erythematous and scaly lesions. The pathogenesis of psoriasis is driven by a dysregulation of the immune system which leads to an altered cytokine production. Proinflammatory cytokines that are up-regulated in psoriasis include tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), interleukin-12 (IL-12), and IL-23 for which monoclonal antibodies have already been approved for clinical use. We have previously documented the therapeutic applicability of targeting TNFα mRNA for RNA interference-mediated down-regulation by anti-TNFα small hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) delivered by lentiviral vectors to xenografted psoriatic skin. The present report aims at targeting mRNA encoding the shared p40 subunit (IL-12B) of IL-12 and IL-23 by cellular transduction with lentiviral vectors encoding anti-IL12B shRNAs.
Effective anti-IL12B shRNAs are identified among a panel of shRNAs by potency measurements in cultured cells. The efficiency and persistency of lentiviral gene delivery to xenografted human skin are investigated by bioluminescence analysis of skin treated with lentiviral vectors encoding the luciferase gene. shRNA-expressing lentiviral vectors are intradermally injected in xenografted psoriatic skin and the effects of the treatment evaluated by clinical psoriasis scoring, by measurements of epidermal thickness, and IL-12B mRNA levels.
Potent and persistent transgene expression following a single intradermal injection of lentiviral vectors in xenografted human skin is reported. Stable IL-12B mRNA knockdown and reduced epidermal thickness are achieved three weeks after treatment of xenografted psoriatic skin with lentivirus-encoded anti-IL12B shRNAs. These findings mimick the results obtained with anti-TNFα shRNAs but, in contrast to anti-TNFα treatment, anti-IL12B shRNAs do not ameliorate the psoriatic phenotype as evaluated by semi-quantitative clinical scoring and by immunohistological examination.
Our studies consolidate the properties of lentiviral vectors as a tool for potent gene delivery and for evaluation of mRNA targets for anti-inflammatory therapy. However, in contrast to local anti-TNFα treatment, the therapeutic potential of targeting IL-12B at the RNA level in psoriasis is questioned.
PMCID: PMC3058081  PMID: 21352568
3.  An update on targeted gene repair in mammalian cells: methods and mechanisms 
Transfer of full-length genes including regulatory elements has been the preferred gene therapy strategy for clinical applications. However, with significant drawbacks emerging, targeted gene alteration (TGA) has recently become a promising alternative to this method. By means of TGA, endogenous DNA repair pathways of the cell are activated leading to specific genetic correction of single-base mutations in the genome. This strategy can be implemented using single-stranded oligodeoxyribonucleotides (ssODNs), small DNA fragments (SDFs), triplex-forming oligonucleotides (TFOs), adeno-associated virus vectors (AAVs) and zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs). Despite difficulties in the use of TGA, including lack of knowledge on the repair mechanisms stimulated by the individual methods, the field holds great promise for the future. The objective of this review is to summarize and evaluate the different methods that exist within this particular area of human gene therapy research.
PMCID: PMC3042377  PMID: 21284895
4.  Genomic insertion of lentiviral DNA circles directed by the yeast Flp recombinase 
BMC Biotechnology  2008;8:60.
Circular forms of viral genomic DNA are generated during infection of cells with retroviruses like HIV-1. Such circles are unable to replicate and are eventually lost as a result of cell division, lending support to the prevalent notion that episomal retroviral DNA forms are dead-end products of reverse transcription.
We demonstrate that circular DNA generated during transduction with HIV-1-based lentiviral vectors can be utilized as substrate for gene insertion directed by nonviral recombinases co-expressed in the target cells. By packaging of lentiviral genomic RNA in integrase-defective lentiviral vectors, harboring an inactive form of the viral integrase, the normal pathway for viral integration is blocked and circular vector DNA accumulates in transduced cells as a result. We find that the amount of DNA circles is increased 4-fold in cells transduced with integration-defective vectors relative to cells treated with integrase-proficient vectors. By transduction of target cells harboring engineered recognition sites for the yeast Flp recombinase with integration-defective lentiviral vectors containing an ATG-deficient hygromycin B selection gene we demonstrate precise integration of lentiviral vector-derived DNA circles in a drug-selective approach. Moreover, it is demonstrated that trans-acting Flp recombinase can be delivered by Flp-encoding transfected plasmid DNA or, alternatively, by co-transduced integrase-defective lentiviral vectors carrying a Flp expression cassette.
Our data provide proof-of-principle that nonviral recombinases, like Flp, produced by plasmid DNA or non-integrating lentiviral vectors can gain access to circular viral recombination substrates and facilitate site-directed genomic insertion of such episomal DNA forms. Replacement of the normal viral integration machinery with nonviral mediators of integration represents a new platform for creation of lentiviral vectors with an altered integration profile.
PMCID: PMC2538528  PMID: 18691430

Results 1-4 (4)