Virology. 2001 Sep 15;288(1):139-44.
Low-level expression of functional foamy virus receptor on hematopoietic progenitor cells.
von Laer D, Lindemann D, Roscher S, Herwig U, Friel J, Herchenröder O.
Foamy viruses have several qualities favorable for vector development: they are not known to cause disease; they can transduce stationary cells; and the foamy virus receptor is expressed on a wide variety of cells. Here, we analyzed the level of virus receptor expression on hematopoietic progenitor cells. Foamy virus binding was measured by a flow cytometric assay and was found to be considerably reduced in hematopoietic progenitors cell lines as well as in primary CD34(+) cells when compared to fibroblasts. Retroviral vectors based on murine leukemia virus (MLV) pseudotyped with a foamy virus envelope transduced hematopoietic cell lines with a more than 10-fold lower efficiency than fibroblasts. Moreover, less than 1% of primary CD34(+) hematopoietic progenitor cells were transduced with the foamy virus pseudotypes, while gene transfer efficiencies of 8-40% were achieved using pseudotypes with amphotropic envelope or the G protein of vesicular stomatitis virus. In conclusion, the expression of functional foamy virus receptors on hematopoietic progenitors cells was found to be insufficient to achieve high levels of gene transfer into CD34(+) hematopoietic progenitor cells with cell-free vector supernatants using current transduction protocols.