X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (X-CGD) is an inherited immunodeficiency with absent phagocyte NADPH-oxidase activity caused by defects in the gene-encoding gp91 phox. Here, we evaluated strategies for less intensive conditioning for gene therapy of genetic blood disorders without selective advantage for gene correction, such as might be used in a human X-CGD protocol. We compared submyeloablative with ablative irradiation as conditioning in murine X-CGD, examining engraftment, oxidase activity and vector integration in mice transplanted with marrow transduced with a γ-retroviral vector for gp91 phox expression. The frequency of oxidase-positive neutrophils in the donor population was unexpectedly higher in many 300 cGy-conditioned mice compared with lethally irradiated recipients, as was the fraction of vector-marked donor secondary CFU-S12. Vector integration sites in marrow, spleen and secondary CFU-S12 DNA from primary recipients were enriched for cancer-associated genes, including Evi1, and integrations in or near cancer-associated genes were more frequent in marrow and secondary CFU-S12 from 300 cGy-conditioned mice compared with fully ablated mice. These findings support the concept that vector integration can confer a selection bias, and suggest that the intensity of the conditioning regimen may further influence the effects of vector integration on clonal selection in post-transplant engraftment and hematopoiesis.
- Chronic granulomatous disease
- Insertional mutagenesis
- NADPH oxidase