Retroviral vector-mediated transfer and expression of human tissue plasminogen activator cDNA in bovine brain endothelial cells

Hong Yu, Ying Wang, Darwin Eton, Monique Stins, Liang Wang, Michael L.J. Apuzzo, Fred A. Weaver, J. Gordon McComb, Martin H. Weiss, Berislav V. Zlokovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Gene transfer of thrombolytic enzymes to vascular endothelial cells may influence the kinetics of intravascular thrombosis. This study defines the potential for gene transfer of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) into bovine brain endothelial cells (BBEC). METHODS: The retroviral vectors derived from murine leukemia virus (MuLV) were used to transfer human tPA cDNA to BBEC. The tPA activity, tPA antigen and tPA inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) antigen were determined in the supernatant of transduced (BBEC/tPA) cell cultures by an immunoassay. RESULTS: The tPA antigen and enzymatic activity in cell culture supernatants of BBEC/tPA transduced cells were 75 ng/ml and 14 IU/ml after 4 days, that was 25 and 28-fold higher compared to the respective values in control cells. The PAI-1 antigen was not affected by tPA cDNA transfer. The Western blot assay of cell lysates confirmed that the majority of tPA in BBEC/tPA transduced cells was in the form of free tPA. While the maximal transduction efficiency of BBEC with an amphotropic MuLV vector was about 15%, a MuLV pseudotyped with vesicular stomatitis virus G glycoprotein envelope achieved high > 90% maximal transduction efficiency. CONCLUSIONS: The fibrinolytic activity of brain endothelial cells can be enhanced by transferring human tPA cDNA. These findings provide an initial step in implementation of future studies that investigate the use of this technology as an adjunctive treatment for cerebrovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)962-970
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain endothelial cells
  • Gene transfer
  • Plasminogen activator
  • Retroviral vector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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