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Title: HSV-1 amplicon system for human artificial chromosome formation in human ES/iPS cells and pluripotency induction
Author: Khoja, Suhail
ISNI:       0000 0004 2723 5870
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Development of safe and efficient approaches for gene delivery in human embryonic stem cells (hESc) and particularly in human induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cells, which can be derived in a person-specific manner, is considered to be imperative for harnessing their full potential in both the basic and applied research. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of human artificial chromosome (HAC) for gene delivery and expression in hESc and hiPS cells. HAC offers many potential advantages including the provision for carrying large genes with corresponding regulatory elements to obtain long-term regulated gene expression. In addition, they can replicate and segregate independently without integration into the host cell genome. To develop HAC in hiPS cells, the first part of the study was aimed at generating hiPS cells utilising the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)-1 amplicon system. With the use of EBNA-1/OriP retention elements incorporated into the HSV-1 amplicon vectors, hiPS cells completely free of vector and transgenes sequences were successfully derived from human embryonic fibroblasts. The hiPS cells exhibited proliferation and differentiation potential similar to that of hESc. In the second part of the study, development of HAC in hESc and hiPS cells was assessed by utilising the HSV-1 amplicon system to deliver the HAC DNA. Analysis of the hESc confirmed the presence of functional HAC which replicated the behaviour of the host chromosomes. Additionally, HAC generation did not lead to impairment in the developmental potential and pluripotency of hESc. The hiPS cells supported HAC at low frequency but DNA also integrated into the host chromosomes. The HAC system, therefore, needs further refinements to improve the frequency of HAC formation and reduce the chromosomal integration of HAC constructs in hiPS cells. Overall, these findings provide a simple and safe way of pluripotency induction and genetic modification of pluripotent stem cells using the HSV-1 amplicon system and represent an important advance towards patient specific gene and cell therapy.
Supervisor: Monaco, Zoia Larin Sponsor: Clarendon Fund Scholarship ; Keble Sloane Robinson Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Medical Sciences ; Genetics ; Stem cells ; Human artificial chromosomes (HAC) ; Human embryonic stem cells (hESc) ; induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) ; Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)-1 amplicon system ; gene delivery ; gene therapy