Knockdown of HPRT for Selection of Genetically Modified Human Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells

Rashmi Choudhary, Dmitry Baturin, Susan Fosmire, Brian Freed, Christopher C. Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The inability to obtain sufficient numbers of transduced cells remains a limitation in gene therapy. One strategy to address this limitation is in vivo pharmacologic selection of transduced cells. We have previously shown that knockdown of HPRT using lentiviral delivered shRNA facilitates efficient selection of transduced murine hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPC) using 6-thioguanine (6TG). Herein, we now extend these studies to human HPC. We tested multiple shRNA constructs in human derived cell lines and identified the optimal shRNA sequence for knockdown of HPRT and 6TG resistance. We then tested this vector in human umbilical cord blood derived HPC in vitro and in NOD/SCID recipients. Knockdown of HPRT effectively provided resistance to 6TG in vitro. 6TG treatment of mice resulted in increased percentages of transduced human CD45+ cells in the peripheral blood and in the spleen in particular, in both myeloid and lymphoid compartments. 6TG treatment of secondary recipients resulted in higher percentages of transduced human cells in the bone marrow, confirming selection from the progeny of long-term repopulating HPCs. However, the extent of selection of cells in the bone marrow at the doses of 6TG tested and the toxicity of higher doses, suggest that this strategy may be limited to selection of more committed progenitor cells. Together, these data suggest that human HPC can be programmed to be resistant to purine analogs, but that HPRT knockdown/6TG-based selection may not be robust enough for in vivo selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere59594
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 15 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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