The introduction and expression of genes in somatic cells is an innovative therapy for correcting genetic deficiency diseases and augmenting immune function. A potential obstacle to gene therapy is the elimination of such gene-modified cells by an immune response to novel protein products of the introduced genes. We are conducting an immunotherapy trial in which individuals seropositive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) receive CD8+ HIV-specific cytotoxic T cells modified by retroviral transduction to express a gene permitting positive and negative selection. However, five of six subjects developed cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses specific for the novel protein and eliminated the transduced cytotoxic T cells. The rejection of genetically modified cells by these immunocompromised hosts suggests that strategies to render gene-modified cells less susceptible to host immune surveillance will be required for successful gene therapy of immunocompetent hosts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)