Adenoviral gene transfer into human B lymphocytes and haematopoietic progenitors would allow the characterization of their function on cellular growth, differentiation and survival. Efficient gene expression is however strongly dependent on the promoter used. In this study, we investigated the relative strength of various promoters by following and measuring the expression of the reporter gene EYFP in human peripheral B lymphocytes, cord blood CD34+cells and the megakaryocytic cell line M-07e. The murine PGK promoter provided the best level of transgene expression in CD34+cells among the four promoters tested, followed closely by the CMV promoter, and to a lesser extend by a CMV promoter with a β-globin/IgG chimeric intron, whereas the human CD40 promoter provided the lowest levels of expression. In contrast, the strongest promoters in B lymphocytes were the two CMV promoters. Surprisingly, even the best promoters were unable to induce transgene expression in more than 75-80% of the primary B and CD34+cells, even though 100% of the cells were infected. Finally and in contrast to retroviruses, only a minority of B lymphocytes and CD34+cells were able to induce the transcription of IRES-containing bicistronic expression cassettes from adenovirus. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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