Quantitative evaluation of liver-specific promoters from retroviral vectors after in vivo transduction of hepatocytes

Daniel G. Hafenrichter, Xiaoyun Wu, Steven D. Rettinger, Susan C. Kennedy, M. Wayne Flye, Katherine Parker Ponder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Hepatic gene therapy could be used to treat a number of inherited blood diseases such as hemophilia or thrombophilia. Although liver-directed retroviral transduction can result in long-term gene expression in vivo, the low level of protein production has limited its clinical application. We reasoned that the insertion of liver-specific promoters into retroviral vectors would increase gene expression in vivo. The 347-bp human α1- antitrypsin (hAAT), the 810-bp murine albumin (mAlb), the 490-bp rat phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (rPEPCK), and the 596-bp rat liver fatty acid binding protein promoters were inserted into a Moloney murine leukemia retroviral backbone containing the hAAT reporter gene. Vectors that produced appropriately sized RNA and hAAT protein in vitro were tested in vivo by transducing regenerating rat livers. Long-term serum expression of the hAAT reporter gene was normalized to retroviral transduction efficiency as determined by using a polymerase chain reaction-based assay of genomic DNA from transduced rat livers. The hAAT, mAlb, and rPEPCK promoters were, respectively, 35-, 8-, and 0.02-fold as strong as the previously studied constitutive Pol-II promoter. We conclude that the hAAT promoter resulted in the highest expression from a retroviral vector and may result in therapeutically significant expression of other clinically significant blood proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3394-3404
Number of pages11
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 1994


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