Potent and reversible lentiviral vector restriction in murine induced pluripotent stem cells
Retroviral vectors are derived from wild-type retroviruses, can be used to study retrovirus-host interactions and are effective tools in gene and cell therapy. However, numerous cell types are resistant or less permissive to retrovirus infection due to the presence of active defense mechanisms, or the absence of important cellular host co-factors. In contrast to multipotent stem cells, pluripotent stem cells (PSC) have potential to differentiate into all three germ layers. Much remains to be elucidated in the field of anti-viral immunity in stem cells, especially in PSC.
In this study, we report that transduction with HIV-1-based, lentiviral vectors (LV) is impaired in murine PSC. Analyses of early retroviral events in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) revealed that the restriction is independent of envelope choice and does not affect reverse transcription, but perturbs nuclear entry and proviral integration. Proteasomal inhibition by MG132 could not circumvent the restriction. However, prevention of cyclophilin A (CypA) binding to the HIV-1 capsid via use of either a CypA inhibitor (cyclosporine A) or CypA-independent capsid mutants improved transduction. In addition, application of higher vector doses also increased transduction. Our data revealed a CypA mediated restriction in iPSC, which was acquired during reprogramming, associated with pluripotency and relieved upon subsequent differentiation.
We showed that murine PSC and iPSC are less susceptible to LV. The block observed in iPSC was CypA-dependent and resulted in reduced nuclear entry of viral DNA and proviral integration. Our study helps to improve transduction of murine pluripotent cells with HIV-1-based vectors and contributes to our understanding of retrovirus-host interactions in PSC.
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