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  • Author or Editor: Diego Castillo x
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Objective—To assess genomic sequence conservation and variation in the proviral promoter of enzootic nasal tumor virus (ENTV) and Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV) in tissue samples from 3 sheep with nasal adenocarcinoma associated with ENTV and 3 sheep with pulmonary adenocarcinoma associated with JSRV and to identify a cell culture system that supports transcriptional activity of the ENTV and JSRV viral promoters.

Animals—6 adult sheep.

Procedures—Standard PCR procedures for detection of the ENTV and JSRV long terminal repeat (LTR) promoter region were performed on samples from the 3 nasal adenocarcinomas and 3 pulmonary adenocarcinomas, respectively. The LTRs were cloned into shuttle vectors, amplified, sequenced, and analyzed. The cloned LTR regions were transferred into reporter plasmids and multiple human and ruminant cell lines, and primary cells were transfected with the promoter-reporter plasmids. The viral promoter activity was evaluated by use of an in vitro β-galactosidase reporter assay.

Results—Each isolate had a unique nucleotide sequence. Single nucleotide polymorphisms were the most common LTR mutation and rarely occurred at transcription factor binding sites. Relative to ENTV, the JSRV promoter isolates had a conserved 66-bp U3 insertion, including the lung-specific transcription factor HNF-3β binding site. Among the cell lines used, human embryonic kidney (293T) and goat synovial membrane cells supported promoter transcription.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The LTRs of ENTV and JSRV have extensive blocks of sequence conservation. Human 293T and goat synovial membrane cell lines may be suitable in vitro cell culture systems for further research of viral promoter functions.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of a third-generation lentivirus-based vector encoding the feline erythropoietin (EPO) (feEPO) gene in vitro and in rodent models in vivo. This vector incorporates a genetic mechanism to facilitate the termination of the therapeutic effect in the event of supraphysiologic polycythemia, the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (HSV-TK) “suicide gene.”


CFRK cells and replication-defective lentiviral vectors encoding feEPO were used for in vitro experiments. Eight Fischer rats were enrolled in the pilot in vivo study, 24 EPO-deficient mice were used in the initial mouse study, and 15 EPO-deficient mice were enrolled in the final mouse study.


Efficacy of a third-generation lentivirus encoding feEPO was determined in vitro using western blot assays. Subsequently, in a series of rodent experiments, animals were administered the viral vector in progressively increasing inoculation doses with serial measurements of blood packed cell volume (PCV) over time.


We documented production of feEPO protein in transduced CRFK cells with subsequent cessation of production when treated with the HSV-TK substrate ganciclovir. In vivo, we demonstrated variably persistent elevated PCV values in treated rats and mice with eventual return to baseline values over time.


These results provide justification for a lentiviral gene therapy approach to the treatment of nonregenerative anemia associated with chronic renal disease in cats.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research