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Open Access Research

Production of lentiviral vectors with enhanced efficiency to target dendritic cells by attenuating mannosidase activity of mammalian cells

April Tai, Steven Froelich, Kye-Il Joo and Pin Wang*

Author Affiliations

Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA

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Journal of Biological Engineering 2011, 5:1  doi:10.1186/1754-1611-5-1

Published: 28 January 2011



Dendritic cells (DCs) are antigen-presenting immune cells that interact with T cells and have been widely studied for vaccine applications. To achieve this, DCs can be manipulated by lentiviral vectors (LVs) to express antigens to stimulate the desired antigen-specific T cell response, which gives this approach great potential to fight diseases such as cancers, HIV, and autoimmune diseases. Previously we showed that LVs enveloped with an engineered Sindbis virus glycoprotein (SVGmu) could target DCs through a specific interaction with DC-SIGN, a surface molecule predominantly expressed by DCs. We hypothesized that SVGmu interacts with DC-SIGN in a mannose-dependent manner, and that an increase in high-mannose structures on the glycoprotein surface could result in higher targeting efficiencies of LVs towards DCs. It is known that 1-deoxymannojirimycin (DMJ) can inhibit mannosidase, which is an enzyme that removes high-mannose structures during the glycosylation process. Thus, we investigated the possibility of generating LVs with enhanced capability to modify DCs by supplying DMJ during vector production.


Through western blot analysis and binding tests, we were able to infer that binding of SVGmu to DC-SIGN is directly related to amount of high-mannose structures on SVGmu. We also found that the titer for the LV (FUGW/SVGmu) produced with DMJ against 293T.DCSIGN, a human cell line expressing the human DC-SIGN atnibody, was over four times higher than that of vector produced without DMJ. In addition, transduction of a human DC cell line, MUTZ-3, yielded a higher transduction efficiency for the LV produced with DMJ.


We conclude that LVs produced under conditions with inhibited mannosidase activity can effectively modify cells displaying the DC-specific marker DC-SIGN. This study offers evidence to support the utilization of DMJ in producing LVs that are enhanced carriers for the development of DC-directed vaccines.