The antibiotic-free pFAR4 vector paired with the sleeping beauty transposon sSystem mediates efficient transgene delivery in human cells


  • M. Pastor
  • S. Johnen
  • N. Harmening
  • M. Quiviger
  • J. Pailloux
  • M. Kropp
  • P. Walter
  • Z. Ivics
  • Z. Izsvák
  • G. Thumann
  • D. Scherman
  • C. Marie


  • Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids


  • Mol Ther Nucleic Acids 11: 57-67


  • The anti-angiogenic and neurogenic pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) demonstrated a potency to control choroidal neovascularization in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patients. The goal of the present study was the development of an efficient and safe technique to integrate, ex vivo, the PEDF gene into retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells for later transplantation to the subretinal space of AMD patients to allow continuous PEDF secretion in the vicinity of the affected macula. Because successful gene therapy approaches require efficient gene delivery and stable gene expression, we used the antibiotic-free pFAR4 mini-plasmid vector to deliver the hyperactive Sleeping Beauty transposon system, which mediates transgene integration into the genome of host cells. In an initial study, lipofection-mediated co-transfection of HeLa cells with the SB100X transposase gene and a reporter marker delivered by pFAR4 showed a 2-fold higher level of genetically modified cells than when using the pT2 vectors. Similarly, with the pFAR4 constructs, electroporation-mediated transfection of primary human RPE cells led to 2.4-fold higher secretion of recombinant PEDF protein, which was still maintained 8 months after transfection. Thus, our results show that the pFAR4 plasmid is a superior vector for the delivery and integration of transgenes into eukaryotic cells.