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Somatic gene therapy for diabetes with a suicide gene safety system for complete removal of transplanted cells

Project Member(s): Simpson, A.

Start year: 2001

Summary: Our group is the first in the world to successfully engineer two liver cell lines (HEP G2ins/ g and huh7ins) to store and secrete insulin to the metabolic stimulus glucose. Huh7ins cells will normalise blood glucose levels when transplanted into diabetic mice. This exciting discovery can potentially lead to permanent and physiological control of blood glucose in type 1 diabetic patients. I am currently seeking funds to engineer a suicide gene into the Huh7ins cells. Such a strategy is necessary once the Huh7ins cells are transplanted into a diabetic recipient since it must always be possible to remove the grafted cells should the need arise, such as if they escape the encapsulation system and beomc tumourogenic.

Keywords: Insulin-secreting liver cells; Suicide gene; Herpex simplex thymidine kinase gene; transplantation; Gene therapy; diabetes

FOR Codes: Gene Therapy, Endocrine organs and diseases (incl. diabetes), Diabetes, Gene and Molecular Therapy