Development of murine leukemia virus-based self-activating vectors that efficiently delete the selectable drug resistance gene during reverse transcription.

Abstract

Expression of the selectable drug resistance gene in retroviral vectors used for gene therapy can lead to a decreased expression of the gene of interest and may induce a host immune response, resulting in a decreased efficiency of gene therapy. In this study, we demonstrate that high-frequency deletion of direct repeats, an inherent property of reverse transcriptases, can be used to efficiently excise the drug resistance gene during reverse transcription. One retroviral vector containing a direct repeat deleted the neomycin resistance expression cassette during a single replication cycle at >99% efficiency.

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