Retroviral vectors have many favorable properties for gene therapies, but their use remains limited by safety concerns and/or by relatively lower titers for some of the safer self-inactivating (SIN) derivatives. In this study, we evaluated whether increased production of SIN retroviral vectors can be achieved from the use of matrix attachment region (MAR) epigenetic regulators. Two MAR elements of human origin were found to increase and to stabilize the expression of the green fluorescent protein transgene in stably transfected HEK-293 packaging cells. Introduction of one of these MAR elements in retroviral vector-producing plasmids yielded higher expression of the viral vector RNA. Consistently, viral titers obtained from transient transfection of MAR-containing plasmids were increased up to sixfold as compared with the parental construct, when evaluated in different packaging cell systems and transfection conditions. Thus, use of MAR elements opens new perspectives for the efficient generation of gene therapy vectors.
Buceta M, Galbete JL, Kostic C, Arsenijevic Y, Mermod N. Gene Ther. 2011 Jan;18(1):7-13. Epub 2010 Sep 2.