Abstract Novel vectors made from mouse VL30 retrotransposons were tested in cell types that are targets for gene therapy, including normal human cells (skeletal muscle epithelium, bronchial epithelium, mammary epithelium), Epstein-Barr virus-transformed peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs), and various tumor cell lines. The long terminal repeat (LTR) transcriptional promoter, derived from the retroelement NVL-3, expressed abundant mRNA containing the bacterial neomycin resistance gene ( neo) in all cell types tested. The amounts of neo RNA detected on RNA blots from normal vs. transformed cells were similar, although relatively less RNA was expressed in PBLs than in other cell types. Vector RNA expression in PBLs persisted during six months of continuous culture. Transcription was regulated by fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and insulin, with the effects of each being cell-type-dependent. Thus, VL30 vectors introduced and expressed transgenes at significant levels in a number of cell types that are of interest for human gene therapy of metabolic and neoplastic diseases.