Leslie Gewin
Faculty Member
Last active: 3/26/2019

Kidney-specific transposon-mediated gene transfer in vivo.

Woodard LE, Cheng J, Welch RC, Williams FM, Luo W, Gewin LS, Wilson MH
Sci Rep. 2017 7: 44904

PMID: 28317878 · PMCID: PMC5357952 · DOI:10.1038/srep44904

Methods enabling kidney-specific gene transfer in adult mice are needed to develop new therapies for kidney disease. We attempted kidney-specific gene transfer following hydrodynamic tail vein injection using the kidney-specific podocin and gamma-glutamyl transferase promoters, but found expression primarily in the liver. In order to achieve kidney-specific transgene expression, we tested direct hydrodynamic injection of a DNA solution into the renal pelvis and found that luciferase expression was strong in the kidney and absent from extra-renal tissues. We observed heterogeneous, low-level transfection of the collecting duct, proximal tubule, distal tubule, interstitial cells, and rarely glomerular cells following injection. To assess renal injury, we performed the renal pelvis injections on uninephrectomised mice and found that their blood urea nitrogen was elevated at two days post-transfer but resolved within two weeks. Although luciferase expression quickly decreased following renal pelvis injection, the use of the piggyBac transposon system improved long-term expression. Immunosuppression with cyclophosphamide stabilised luciferase expression, suggesting immune clearance of the transfected cells occurs in immunocompetent animals. Injection of a transposon expressing erythropoietin raised the haematocrit, indicating that the developed injection technique can elicit a biologic effect in vivo. Hydrodynamic renal pelvis injection enables transposon mediated-kidney specific gene transfer in adult mice.

MeSH Terms (17)

Acute Kidney Injury Animals DNA Transposable Elements Erythropoietin Gene Expression Gene Expression Regulation Genes, Reporter Genetic Vectors Gene Transfer Techniques Hydrodynamics Immunosuppressive Agents Kidney Male Mice Organ Specificity Promoter Regions, Genetic Transfection

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