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Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) is a developmental disorder associated with haploinsufficiency of multiple genes at 7q11.23. Here, we report the functional characterization of WBS critical region gene 14 (WBSCR14), a gene contained in the WBS commonly deleted region. It encodes a basic-helix--loop--helix leucine zipper (bHLHZip) transcription factor of the(More)
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is characterized by a single point mutation in the seventh codon of the β-globin gene. Site-specific correction of the sickle mutation in hematopoietic stem cells would allow for permanent production of normal red blood cells. Using zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) designed to flank the sickle mutation, we demonstrate efficient(More)
The use of retroviral vectors in gene therapy has raised safety concerns for the genotoxic risk associated with their uncontrolled insertion into the human genome. We have analyzed the consequences of retroviral transduction in T cells from leukemic patients treated with allogeneic stem cell transplantation and donor lymphocytes genetically modified with a(More)
Self-inactivating (SIN) lentiviruses flanked by the 1.2-kb chicken hypersensitive site-4 (cHS4) insulator element provide consistent, improved expression of transgenes, but have significantly lower titers. The mechanism by which this occurs is unknown. Lengthening the lentiviral (LV) vector transgene cassette by an additional 1.2 kb by an internal cassette(More)
Genetic diseases of blood cells are prime candidates for treatment through ex vivo gene editing of CD34+ hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs), and a variety of technologies have been proposed to treat these disorders. Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a recessive genetic disorder caused by a single-nucleotide polymorphism in the β-globin gene (HBB).(More)
Gene transfer into HSCs is an effective treatment for SCID, although potentially limited by the risk of insertional mutagenesis. We performed a genome-wide analysis of retroviral vector integrations in genetically corrected HSCs and their multilineage progeny before and up to 47 months after transplantation into 5 patients with adenosine deaminase-deficient(More)
Chromatin insulators separate active transcriptional domains and block the spread of heterochromatin in the genome. Studies on the chicken hypersensitive site-4 (cHS4) element, a prototypic insulator, have identified CTCF and USF-1/2 motifs in the proximal 250 bp of cHS4, termed the "core", which provide enhancer blocking activity and reduce position(More)
Thalassaemias result from mutations of the globin genes that cause reduced or absent haemoglobin production and thus interfere with the critical function of oxygen delivery. They represent the most common single-gene disorders, with 4.83% of the world population carrying globin gene variants. Reduced or absent alpha-globin (alpha-thalassaemia) or(More)
The woodchuck hepatitis virus post-transcriptional regulatory element (WPRE) increases transgene expression from a variety of viral vectors, although the precise mechanism is not known. WPRE is most effective when placed downstream of the transgene, proximal to the polyadenylation signal. We hypothesized that WPRE likely reduces viral mRNA readthrough(More)
Insertional mutagenesis by long terminal repeat (LTR) enhancers in gamma-retrovirus-based vectors (GVs) in clinical trials has prompted deeper investigations into vector genotoxicity. Experimentally, self-inactivating (SIN) lentivirus vectors (LVs) and GV containing internal promoters/enhancers show reduced genotoxicity, although strong ubiquitously-active(More)