High Efficiency Retroviral Vectors with Improved Safety

  • Yu, Seung-Shin (Institute for Molecular Biology and Genetics, Seoul National University) ;
  • Kim, Jong-Mook (ViroMed Limited, Technology Business Incubator Seoul National University) ;
  • Kim, Sun-Young (Institute for Molecular Biology and Genetics, Seoul National University)
  • Published : 2000.10.01

Abstract

Almost all currently available retroviral vectors based on murine leukemia virus (MLV) contain one or more viral coding sequences Because these sequences are also present in the packaging genome, it has been suggested that homologous recombination may occur between the same nucleotide sequence in the packaging genome and the vector, resulting in the production of replication competent retrovirus (RCR). Up until now, it has been difficult to completely remove viral coding sequences since some were thought to be involved in the optimum function of the retroviral vector. For example, the gag coding sequence present in almost all available retroviral vectors has been believed to be necessary for efficient viral packaging, while the pol coding sequence present in the highly efficient vector MFG has been thought to be involved in achieving the high levels of gene e(pression. However, we have now developed a series of reroviral vectors that are absent of any retroviral coding sequences but produce even higher levels of gene expression without compromising viral titer. In these vectors the intron and exon sequences from heterologous cellular or viral genes are present, When compared to the well blown MLV-based vectors, some of these newly developed vectors have been shown to produce significantly higher levels of gene expression for a longer period. In an experimental system that can maximize the production of RCR, our newly constructed vectors produced an absence of RCR. These vectors should prove to be safer than other currently available retroviral vectors containing one or more viral coding sequences

Keywords

MLV;retroviral vector;splicing;heterologous intron/exon