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Articles by P Mehta
Total Records ( 2 ) for P Mehta
  H Zhao , T. I Pestina , M Nasimuzzaman , P Mehta , P. W Hargrove and D. A. Persons

Correction of murine models of β-thalassemia has been achieved through high-level globin lentiviral vector gene transfer into mouse hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). However, transduction of human HSCs is less robust and may be inadequate to achieve therapeutic levels of genetically modified erythroid cells. We therefore developed a double gene lentiviral vector encoding both human -globin under the transcriptional control of erythroid regulatory elements and methylguanine methyltransferase (MGMT), driven by a constitutive cellular promoter. MGMT expression provides cellular resistance to alkylator drugs, which can be administered to kill residual untransduced, diseased HSCs, whereas transduced cells are protected. Mice transplanted with β-thalassemic HSCs transduced with a -globin/MGMT vector initially had subtherapeutic levels of red cells expressing -globin. To enrich -globin–expressing cells, transplanted mice were treated with the alkylator agent 1,3-bis-chloroethyl-1-nitrosourea. This resulted in significant increases in the number of -globin–expressing red cells and the amount of fetal hemoglobin, leading to resolution of anemia. Selection of transduced HSCs was also obtained when cells were drug-treated before transplantation. Mice that received these cells demonstrated reconstitution with therapeutic levels of -globin–expressing cells. These data suggest that MGMT-based drug selection holds promise as a modality to improve gene therapy for β-thalassemia.

  H. M Alloush , E Anderson , A. D Martin , M. W Ruddock , J. E Angell , P. J Hill , P Mehta , M. A Smith , J. G Smith and V. C. Salisbury

The nucleoside analog cytarabine (Ara-C [cytosine arabinoside]) is the key agent for treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML); however, up to 30% of patients fail to respond to treatment. Screening of patient blood samples to determine drug response before commencement of treatment is needed. This project aimed to construct and evaluate a self-bioluminescent reporter strain of Escherichia coli for use as an Ara-C biosensor and to design an in vitro assay to predict Ara-C response in clinical samples.


We used transposition mutagenesis to create a cytidine deaminase (cdd)-deficient mutant of E. coli MG1655 that responded to Ara-C. The strain was transformed with the luxCDABE operon and used as a whole-cell biosensor for development an 8-h assay to determine Ara-C uptake and phosphorylation by leukemic cells.


Intracellular concentrations of 0.025 µmol/L phosphorylated Ara-C were detected by significantly increased light output (P < 0.05) from the bacterial biosensor. Results using AML cell lines with known response to Ara-C showed close correlation between the 8-h assay and a 3-day cytotoxicity test for Ara-C cell killing. In retrospective tests with 24 clinical samples of bone marrow or peripheral blood, the biosensor-based assay predicted leukemic cell response to Ara-C within 8 h.


The biosensor-based assay may offer a predictor for evaluating the sensitivity of leukemic cells to Ara-C before patients undergo chemotherapy and allow customized treatment of drug-sensitive patients with reduced Ara-C dose levels. The 8-h assay monitors intracellular Ara-CTP (cytosine arabinoside triphosphate) levels and, if fully validated, may be suitable for use in clinical settings.

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