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Cellular innate immunity and restriction of viral infection: implications for lentiviral gene therapy in human hematopoietic cells

Cellular innate immunity and restriction of viral infection: implications for lentiviral gene therapy in human hematopoietic cells

Human Gene Therapy 26(4): 201-209

Hematopoietic gene therapy has tremendous potential to treat human disease. Nevertheless, for gene therapy to be efficacious, effective gene transfer into target cells must be reached without inducing detrimental effects on their biological properties. This remains a great challenge for the field as high vector doses and prolonged ex vivo culture conditions are still required to reach significant transduction levels of clinically relevant human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), while other potential target cells such as primary macrophages can hardly be transduced. The reasons behind poor permissiveness of primary human hematopoietic cells to gene transfer partly reside in the retroviral origin of lentiviral vectors (LVs). In particular, host antiviral factors referred to as restriction factors targeting the retroviral life cycle can hamper LV transduction efficiency. Furthermore, LVs may activate innate immune sensors not only in differentiated hematopoietic cells but also in HSPCs, with potential consequences on transduction efficiency as well as their biological properties. Therefore, better understanding of the vector-host interactions in the context of hematopoietic gene transfer is important for the development of safer and more efficient gene therapy strategies. In this review, we briefly summarize the current knowledge regarding innate immune recognition of lentiviruses in primary human hematopoietic cells as well as discuss its relevance for LV-based ex vivo gene therapy approaches.

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Accession: 057370829

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PMID: 25808164

DOI: 10.1089/hum.2015.036

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