Tareen SU et al. (MAR 2014)
Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy 22 3 575--87
Design of a novel integration-deficient lentivector technology that incorporates genetic and posttranslational elements to target human dendritic cells.
As sentinels of the immune system, dendritic cells (DCs) play an essential role in regulating cellular immune responses. One of the main challenges of developing DC-targeted therapies includes the delivery of antigen to DCs in order to promote the activation of antigen-specific effector CD8 T cells. With the goal of creating antigen-directed immunotherapeutics that can be safely administered directly to patients, Immune Design has developed a platform of novel integration-deficient lentiviral vectors that target and deliver antigen-encoding nucleic acids to human DCs. This platform, termed ID-VP02, utilizes a novel genetic variant of a Sindbis virus envelope glycoprotein with posttranslational carbohydrate modifications in combination with Vpx, a SIVmac viral accessory protein, to achieve efficient targeting and transduction of human DCs. In addition, ID-VP02 incorporates safety features in its design that include two redundant mechanisms to render ID-VP02 integration-deficient. Here, we describe the characteristics that allow ID-VP02 to specifically transduce human DCs, and the advances that ID-VP02 brings to conventional third-generation lentiviral vector design as well as demonstrate upstream production yields that will enable manufacturing feasibility studies to be conducted.