Despite the success of combination chemotherapy for the treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), chemotherapy-resistant disease still remains an unresolved problem with most patients eventually dying due to progression. HL is an ideal disease for targeted therapy. CD30 is a 120-kDa transmembrane glycoprotein belonging to the tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-receptor superfamily and strongly expressed in HL Reed-Sternberg cells. We hypothesize that specific, antibody-mediated, CD30-directed delivery of lentiviral vector constructs, encoding for a lethal cellular toxin, will be an effective anti-lymphoma strategy. However, gene delivery based therapy is limited by the transduction of non-target cells. The technology developed by

Morizono et al. [
Cell Cycle
Nature Medicine
] demonstrates that lentiviruses can be specifically and effectively directed to target cells by conjugation of an antibody to a modified ZZ SINDBIS viral envelope (m168). In this study, we have used HL cell lines (CD30+: L591, L428, Hs445, RPMI6666) and Burkitt lymphoma (BL) cell lines (CD20+/CD30: Raji, Ramos). We show that conjugation of an anti-CD30 antibody to m168 (m168anti-CD30), permits specific targeting and transduction of CD30+ Hodgkin lymphoma cells while avoiding CD30 Raji and Ramos cells [range 11–83% for HL cells versus 1–4% for BL cells]. Similarly, targeting of CD20+ cells can be achieved. Several of our HL cell lines (L591, Hs445 and RPMI6666) are CD30+/CD20+ [range 11–25% by flow cytometry] and we show that we can equally transduce these cells with an anti-CD20 antibody conjugated to our lentivirus [range 11–30% for CD20+ HL cells; 3% for L428 cells; 40–47% for BL cells]. In addition, we show in L591 cells, that the re-targeted viruses can transduce a greater percentage of target cells than an unmodified virus [83% for m168anti-CD30 versus 43% for VSVG]. These results demonstrate that the efficacy and specificity of targeted therapy can be greatly enhanced and lay the foundation for the development of more stable anti-CD30 directed lentiviral constructs expressing cellular toxins.

Disclosure: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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