The X-linked form of chronic granulomatous disease (X-CGD) results from mutations in the gene encoding gp91phox, a 91-kD membrane glycoprotein that is the larger subunit of the respiratory burst oxidase cytochrome b. In this study, a new retroviral vector for expression of human gp91phox, MSCV-h91Neo, based on murine stem cell virus vectors, was evaluated using a human X-CGD myeloid cell line (X-CGD PLB-985 cells) and murine bone marrow cells. Expression of recombinant gp91phox in transduced X-CGD PLB-985 cells was substantially improved compared with levels achieved previously using a different retroviral construct, and respiratory burst oxidase activity was fully reconstituted in the majority of clones analyzed. Expression of gp91phox transcripts was also observed in primary and secondary murine colony-forming unit- spleen derived from transduced bone marrow cells. Furthermore, respiratory burst activity was restored to granulocyte-monocyte progeny of transduced X-CGD mice bone marrow cells cultured in vitro. This observation is the first reported use of gene transfer to correct the enzymatic defect in murine CGD phagocytes and is also consistent with the high conservation of the oxidase complex among different species. Taken together, these data suggest that the MSCV-h91Neo vector may be useful for gene replacement therapy in X-linked CGD, in which high- level reconstitution of phagocyte oxidase activity may be important for full correction of phagocyte microbicidal function.