Commonly Known Facts About Viral Packaging -That Might Not Be Correct…

Packaging lentiviruses or retroviruses is not a routine procedure that every biology lab performs even if there is need to use it. A viral packaging protocol normally begins with preparation of purified transfer plasmid DNA, a miniprep should be enough for a few transfections. The virus backbone plasmid is either co-transfected into commonly used cells with helper plasmids that provide the essential proteins required for particle packaging, or transfected into established helper cell lines that express the required proteins from integrated transgenes. After incubation of packaging cells for a couple of days, viruses are collected and tittered. Titer determination is somewhat tricky for the inexperienced. Using a control virus expressing a fluorescent protein can make this step convenient.

Commonly known facts:

1) Lentiviruses are packaged at a titer of 10^6 IU/ml without concentrating steps.

This needs update since with more advanced technologies lentiviruses can be packaged routinely at 10^8 IU/ml. With further concentrating, the titer can be easily above 10^11 IU/ml. Retroviruses can be packaged to similar titers as well.

2) Using packaging cell lines gives the highest possible titer

While packaging cell lines (such as Allele’s popular Phoenix Eco and Ampho cells for retrovirus packaging) provides maybe the most convenient method for packaging, the yield will not reach the highest potential. Packaging cell lines may also lose their capability for packaging after continued culturing, requiring periodic selection with antibiotics and functional tests, as we do here at Allele.

3) Retroviruses are always collected in one shot after transfection into packaging cells

If the transfer vector has oriP/EBNA1 episomal maintenance system, such as some of the Phoenix vectors Allele offers, the plasmids may continue to express for up to 30 days. With puromycin selection, the titer of retrovirus produced from Eco or Ampho cells can reach 10^7 IU/ml.

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New Product/Service of the Week: Introduction of Custom Viral Packaging Service. Routine titer of 10^8 IU/ml, as high as 10^10 IU/ml, option to include cloning. Signature service ABP-CS-MERV002 provides more than 200 million particles at $7/million particles. These are game-changing prices for the viral packaging service market based on superior technologies!

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Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 Viruses and cells

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