Construction and characterization of retroviral vectors for interleukin-2 gene therapy JOURNAL OF IMMUNOTHERAPY Fakhrai, H., Shawler, D. L., VANBEVEREN, C., Lin, H., Dorigo, O., Solomon, M. J., Gjerset, R. A., Smith, L., Bartholomew, R. M., Boggiano, C. A., Gold, D. P., SOBOL, R. E. 1997; 20 (6): 437-448


Several investigators have employed interleukin-2 (IL-2) gene transfer to enhance the immunogenicity of tumor cell vaccines. We describe in this report the construction and characterization of retroviral vectors for IL-2 gene therapy. Human IL-2 cDNA with a chimeric rat preproinsulin/IL-2 DNA leader sequence was subcloned into the pLXSN (long terminal repeat promoter) and pLNCX (cytomegalovirus [CMV] promoter) vectors to generate the plasmids pLXSN-iIL2 and pLNCX-iIL2, respectively. Human IL-2 cDNA with a chimeric human tissue factor/IL-2 DNA leader sequence was utilized to construct the vector pLXSN-tIL2. The levels of IL-2 secreted by transduced tumor cells and fibroblasts were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) of culture supernatants and compared with those of normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) activated in vitro with calcium ionophore and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate. The highest levels of IL-2 secreted by transduced tumor cells (760 units/10(6) cells/24 h), adult fibroblasts (625 units/10(6) cells/24 h), and embryonic fibroblasts (3,975 units/10(6) cells/24 h) were 150- to 1,000-fold higher than than secreted by the activated PBMC (4 units/10(6) cells/24 h). Similar levels of IL-2 were expressed by human fibroblasts transduced with pLXSN vectors employing the preproinsulin (pLXSN-iIL2) or tissue factor (pLXSN-tIL2) leader sequences (range in IL-2 units/10(6) cells/24 h pLXSN-iIL2 = 375-625 vs. pLXSN-tIL2 = 90-440). Because IL-2-transduced cells for clinical applications are generally irradiated to prevent cellular proliferation, we evaluated the effects of radiation on IL-2 production. Radiation doses between 1,500 and 10,000 cGy resulted in gradual decreases in IL-2 secretion by transduced cells. The range of the decrease in IL-2 secretion was 7-11% by day 7, 0-29% by day 14, and 25-50% by day 35. For clinical applications, stable production of the vector in high concentrations is an important consideration. The retroviral vector pLXSN-tIL2 produced the highest viral titer and was chosen for further characterization. Southern blot analysis of SacI-digested genomic DNA from the LXSN-tIL2 producer cell line and SacI-digested pLXSN-tIL2 plasmid DNA revealed the expected 3.2-kbp fragment, suggesting the absence of transgene rearrangement and the suitability of this vector as a candidate for clinical applications.

View details for Web of Science ID A1997YJ86800003

View details for PubMedID 9409449