A novel intranuclear RNA vector system for long-term stem cell modification

Y. Ikeda, A. Makino, W. E. Matchett, S. J. Holditch, B. Lu, A. B. Dietz, K. Tomonaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Genetically modified stem and progenitor cells have emerged as a promising regenerative platform in the treatment of genetic and degenerative disorders, highlighted by their successful therapeutic use in inherent immunodeficiencies. However, biosafety concerns over insertional mutagenesis resulting from integrating recombinant viral vectors have overshadowed the widespread clinical applications of genetically modified stem cells. Here, we report an RNA-based episomal vector system, amenable for long-term transgene expression in stem cells. Specifically, we used a unique intranuclear RNA virus, borna disease virus (BDV), as the gene transfer vehicle, capable of persistent infections in various cell types. BDV-based vectors allowed for long-term transgene expression in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) without affecting cellular morphology, cell surface CD105 expression or the adipogenicity of MSCs. Similarly, replication-defective BDV vectors achieved long-term transduction of human induced pluripotent stem cells, while maintaining the ability to differentiate into three embryonic germ layers. Thus, the BDV-based vectors offer a genomic modification-free, episomal RNA delivery system for sustained stem cell transduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-262
Number of pages7
JournalGene Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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