TitleErythroid lineage-specific lentiviral RNAi vectors suitable for molecular functional studies and therapeutic applications.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsBagchi A, Devaraju N, Chambayil K, Rajendiran V, Venkatesan V, Sayed N, Pai AAnand, Nath A, David E, Nakamura Y, Balasubramanian P, Srivastava A, Thangavel S, Mohankumar KM, Velayudhan SR
JournalSci Rep
Date Published2022 08 18
KeywordsAnimals, Cell Line, Tumor, Cell Lineage, DNA-Binding Proteins, Genetic Vectors, Humans, Lentivirus, Mice, RNA Interference, RNA, Small Interfering, Transcription Factors, Transduction, Genetic

Numerous genes exert multifaceted roles in hematopoiesis. Therefore, we generated novel lineage-specific RNA interference (RNAi) lentiviral vectors, H23B-Ery-Lin-shRNA and H234B-Ery-Lin-shRNA, to probe the functions of these genes in erythroid cells without affecting other hematopoietic lineages. The lineage specificity of these vectors was confirmed by transducing multiple hematopoietic cells to express a fluorescent protein. Unlike the previously reported erythroid lineage RNAi vector, our vectors were designed for cloning the short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) for any gene, and they also provide superior knockdown of the target gene expression with a single shRNA integration per cell. High-level lineage-specific downregulation of BCL11A and ZBTB7A, two well-characterized transcriptional repressors of HBG in adult erythroid cells, was achieved with substantial induction of fetal hemoglobin with a single-copy lentiviral vector integration. Transduction of primary healthy donor CD34 cells with these vectors resulted in >80% reduction in the target protein levels and up to 40% elevation in the γ-chain levels in the differentiated erythroid cells. Xenotransplantation of the human CD34 cells transduced with H23B-Ery-Lin-shBCL11A LV in immunocompromised mice showed ~ 60% reduction in BCL11A protein expression with ~ 40% elevation of γ-chain levels in the erythroid cells derived from the transduced CD34 cells. Overall, the novel erythroid lineage-specific lentiviral RNAi vectors described in this study provide a high-level knockdown of target gene expression in the erythroid cells, making them suitable for their use in gene therapy for hemoglobinopathies. Additionally, the design of these vectors also makes them ideal for high-throughput RNAi screening for studying normal and pathological erythropoiesis.

Alternate JournalSci Rep
PubMed ID35982069
PubMed Central IDPMC9388678
Grant ListIA/S/17/1/503118 / WTDBT_ / DBT-Wellcome Trust India Alliance / India