To develop safer and more effective vectors for gene therapy of X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID-X1), we have evaluated new self-inactivating lentiviral vectors based on the HIV virus. The CL20i4-hgamma(c)-Revgen vector contains the entire human common gamma chain (gamma(c)) genomic sequence driven by the gamma(c) promoter. The CL20i4-EF1alpha-hgamma(c)OPT vector uses a promoter fragment from the eukaryotic elongation factor alpha (EF1alpha) gene to express a codon-optimized human gamma(c) cDNA. Both vectors contain a 400-bp insulator fragment from the chicken beta-globin locus within the self-inactivating long-terminal repeat. Transduction of bone marrow cells using either of these vectors restored T, B, and natural killer lymphocyte development and function in a mouse SCID-X1 transplantation model. Transduction of human CD34(+) bone marrow cells from SCID-X1 patients with either vector restored T-cell development in an in vitro assay. In safety studies using a Jurkat LMO2 activation assay, only the CL20i4-EF1alpha-hgamma(c)OPT vector lacked the ability to transactivate LMO2 protein expression, whereas the CL20i4-hgamma(c)-Revgen vector significantly activated LMO2 protein expression. In addition, the CL20i4-EF1alpha-hgamma(c)OPT vector has not caused any tumors in transplanted mice. We conclude that the CL20i4-EF1alpha-hgamma(c)OPT vector may be suitable for testing in a clinical trial based on these preclinical demonstrations of efficacy and safety.