• An episomally replicating vector binds to the nuclear matrix protein SAF-A in vivo.

      Jenke, Bok Hee C; Fetzer, Christian P; Stehle, Isa M; Jönsson, Franziska; Fackelmayer, Frank O; Conradt, Harald; Bode, Jürgen; Lipps, Hans J; Institute of Cell Biology, Stockumer Strasse 10, University of Witten/Herdecke, D-58448 Witten. (2002-04)
      pEPI-1, a vector in which a chromosomal scaffold/matrix-attached region (S/MAR) is linked to the simian virus 40 origin of replication, is propagated episomally in CHO cells in the absence of the virally encoded large T-antigen and is stably maintained in the absence of selection pressure. It has been suggested that mitotic stability is provided by a specific interaction of this vector with components of the nuclear matrix. We studied the interactions of pEPI-1 by crosslinking with cis-diamminedichloroplatinum II, after which it is found to copurify with the nuclear matrix. In a south-western analysis, the vector shows exclusive binding to hnRNP-U/SAF-A, a multifunctional scaffold/matrix specific factor. Immunoprecipitation of the crosslinked DNA-protein complex demonstrates that pEPI-1 is bound to this protein in vivo. These data provide the first experimental evidence for the binding of an artificial episome to a nuclear matrix protein in vivo and the basis for understanding the mitotic stability of this novel vector class.
    • High efficient adenoviral-mediated VEGF and Ang-1 gene delivery into osteogenically differentiated human mesenchymal stem cells.

      Klöpper, Jonas; Lindenmaier, Werner; Fiedler, Ulrike; Mehlhorn, Alexander; Stark, G Björn; Finkenzeller, Günter; Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, University of Freiburg Medical Center, Freiburg, Germany. (2008-01)
      Survival of ex vivo constructed tissues after transplantation is limited by insufficient oxygen and nutrient supply. Therefore, strategies aiming at improvement of neovascularization of engineered tissues are a key issue in tissue engineering applications. This in vitro study aimed at exploring the usability of osteogenically differentiated human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as carriers of the angiogenic growth factor genes vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) for therapeutic angiogenesis in bone tissue engineering. The ex vivo adenoviral vector mediated transduction into osteogenically differentiated MSCs revealed a highly efficient and long lasting expression of the transgenes. Biological activity of VEGF and Ang-1 secreted from transduced cells was confirmed by analyzing the sprouting, proliferation and apoptosis of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in response to conditioned medium obtained from transduced cells. The transduced osteogenically differentiated MSCs described in this report may be suitable for inducing neovascularization in bone tissue engineering applications.
    • Integrated strategy for the production of therapeutic retroviral vectors.

      Carrondo, Manuel; Panet, Amos; Wirth, Dagmar; Coroadinha, Ana Sofia; Cruz, Pedro; Falk, Haya; Schucht, Roland; Dupont, Francis; Geny-Fiamma, Cécile; Merten, Otto-Wilhelm; et al. (2011-03)
      The broad application of retroviral vectors for gene delivery is still hampered by the difficulty to reproducibly establish high vector producer cell lines generating sufficient amounts of highly concentrated virus vector preparations of high quality. To enhance the process for producing clinically relevant retroviral vector preparations for therapeutic applications, we have integrated novel and state-of-the-art technologies in a process that allows rapid access to high-efficiency vector-producing cells and consistent production, purification, and storage of retroviral vectors. The process has been designed for various types of retroviral vectors for clinical application and to support a high-throughput process. New modular helper cell lines that permit rapid insertion of DNA encoding the therapeutic vector of interest at predetermined, optimal chromosomal loci were developed to facilitate stable and high vector production levels. Packaging cell lines, cultivation methods, and improved medium composition were coupled with vector purification and storage process strategies that yield maximal vector infectivity and stability. To facilitate GMP-grade vector production, standard of operation protocols were established. These processes were validated by production of retroviral vector lots that drive the expression of type VII collagen (Col7) for the treatment of a skin genetic disease, dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. The potential efficacy of the Col7-expressing vectors was finally proven with newly developed systems, in particular in target primary keratinocyte cultures and three-dimensional skin tissues in organ culture.
    • Rapid establishment of G-protein-coupled receptor-expressing cell lines by site-specific integration.

      Schucht, Roland; Lydford, Simon; Andzinski, Lisa; Zauers, Jeannette; Cooper, James; Hauser, Hansjörg; Wirth, Dagmar; May, Tobias; Department of Gene Regulation and Differentiation, HZI-Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany. roland.schucht@inscreenex.com (2011-03)
      The establishment of mammalian cell lines reliably expressing G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) can be a tedious and often time-consuming process. A strategy has been developed to allow the rapid production of such cell lines. The first step of this approach was the generation of a specialized master cell line, characterized by optimized stable expression of a membrane-bound reporter protein. In the second step, this reporter gene was exchanged for that of the GPCR of interest by a DNA recombinase "cut-and-paste" engineering step. It has been demonstrated that the resulting GPCR cell lines inherit the advantages of the master cell line, expressing the GPCR in a homogeneous and stable manner. The case studies presented demonstrate the functionality of the established GPCR cell lines, and most important, because of the highly efficient integration event, these recombinant GPCR-expressing cell lines were generated within a timeframe of 2 to 4 weeks. The advantages of this cut-and-paste approach versus other strategies such as Flp-In or Jump-In are compared.
    • Retroviral vector performance in defined chromosomal Loci of modular packaging cell lines.

      Gama-Norton, L; Herrmann, S; Schucht, R; Coroadinha, A S; Löw, R; Alves, P M; Bartholomae, C C; Schmidt, M; Baum, C; Schambach, A; et al. (2010-08)
      The improvement of safety and titer of retroviral vectors produced in standard retroviral packaging cell lines is hampered because production relies on uncontrollable vector integration events. The influences of chromosomal surroundings make it difficult to dissect the performance of a specific vector from the chromosomal surroundings of the respective integration site. Taking advantage of a technology that relies on the use of packaging cell lines with predefined integration sites, we have systematically evaluated the performance of several retroviral vectors. In two previously established modular packaging cell lines (Flp293A and 293 FLEX) with single, defined chromosomal integration sites, retroviral vectors were integrated by means of Flp-mediated site-specific recombination. Vectors that are distinguished by different long terminal repeat promoters were introduced in either the sense or reverse orientation. The results show that the promoter, viral vector orientation, and integration site are the main determinants of the titer. Furthermore, we exploited the viral production systems to evaluate read-through activity. Read-through is thought to be caused by inefficient termination of vector transcription and is inherent to the nature of retroviral vectors. We assessed the frequency of transduction of sequences flanking the retroviral vectors from both integration sites. The approach presented here provides a platform for systematic design and evaluation of the efficiency and safety of retroviral vectors optimized for a given producer cell line.