Cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease causes dehydration of the surface lining of the respiratory epithelium leading to mucostasis and chronic bacterial infection. The absent gene product in CF is the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein that regulates fluid homeostatic mechanisms in the airway epithelium. We hypothesize that expression of functional CFTR in the airway epithelium of CF patients will restore CFTR function and thus normal lung function. Gene transfer strategies for CF lung disease have so far failed to show significant CFTR delivery to airway cells in vivo, primarily because the vectors did not efficiently transfer CFTR to the respiratory epithelium after intraluminal delivery. We have found that recombinant parainfluenza viruses (rPIV), infect cultures of human well-differentiated airway cells (HAE) with high efficiency after intraluminal delivery, and that gene transfer is specific to ciliated airway epithelial cells, the cell type requiring correction in CF. The high efficiency of gene transfer by rPIV to ciliated cells, the availability of recombinant versions of PIV and, the capacity to insert large transgenes into the rPIV genome suggests that these viruses may be useful for delivering CFTR to the ciliated airway epithelium of the CF lung. However, currently available PIV vectors are cytotoxic to ciliated cells. Therefore, we propose to generate novel recombinant rPIV-based gene transfer vectors that express human CFTR and test the efficacy and safety of these vectors at correcting the CF phenotype of CF HAE. We will also test the efficency, safety and the influence of the immune system on gene transfer by rPIV-vectors in the nasal epithelium of non-human primates in vivo.
The Specific Aims of the proposed study are: 1) Can rPIV-Vectors be Generated for Efficacious and Safe CFTR gene transfer to Ciliated Airway Cells? 2) To Test the Efficacy and Cytotoxicity of rPIV-CFTR vectors on Human Well-Differentiated Airway Epithelial Cells In Vitro;and, 3) To Test the Gene Transfer Efficiency of rPIV-Vectors in the Non-Human Primate Nasal Epithelium In Vivo.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-GDD (01))
Program Officer
Banks-Schlegel, Susan P
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Schools of Medicine
Chapel Hill
United States
Zip Code
Pickles, Raymond J; DeVincenzo, John P (2015) Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and its propensity for causing bronchiolitis. J Pathol 235:266-76
Liesman, Rachael M; Buchholz, Ursula J; Luongo, Cindy L et al. (2014) RSV-encoded NS2 promotes epithelial cell shedding and distal airway obstruction. J Clin Invest 124:2219-33
Kesimer, M; Ehre, C; Burns, K A et al. (2013) Molecular organization of the mucins and glycocalyx underlying mucus transport over mucosal surfaces of the airways. Mucosal Immunol 6:379-92
Pickles, Raymond J (2013) Human airway epithelial cell cultures for modeling respiratory syncytial virus infection. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 372:371-87
Schaap-Nutt, Anne; Liesman, Rachael; Bartlett, Emmalene J et al. (2012) Human parainfluenza virus serotypes differ in their kinetics of replication and cytokine secretion in human tracheobronchial airway epithelium. Virology 433:320-8
Li, Wuping; Zhang, Liqun; Wu, Zhijian et al. (2011) AAV-6 mediated efficient transduction of mouse lower airways. Virology 417:327-33
Zhang, Liqun; Collins, Peter L; Lamb, Robert A et al. (2011) Comparison of differing cytopathic effects in human airway epithelium of parainfluenza virus 5 (W3A), parainfluenza virus type 3, and respiratory syncytial virus. Virology 421:67-77
Johnson, Jarrod S; Gentzsch, Martina; Zhang, Liqun et al. (2011) AAV exploits subcellular stress associated with inflammation, endoplasmic reticulum expansion, and misfolded proteins in models of cystic fibrosis. PLoS Pathog 7:e1002053
Schaap-Nutt, Anne; Scull, Margaret A; Schmidt, Alexander C et al. (2010) Growth restriction of an experimental live attenuated human parainfluenza virus type 2 vaccine in human ciliated airway epithelium in vitro parallels attenuation in African green monkeys. Vaccine 28:2788-98
Pyrc, Krzysztof; Sims, Amy C; Dijkman, Ronald et al. (2010) Culturing the unculturable: human coronavirus HKU1 infects, replicates, and produces progeny virions in human ciliated airway epithelial cell cultures. J Virol 84:11255-63

Showing the most recent 10 out of 21 publications