About the Service

Viral vector core 

Overview: Viral vectors are a tool commonly used to efficiently deliver genetic material into cells.

Scope - The new viral vector core provides:

  1. Hands-on consultation for selecting preferred viral vector technologies, effective use of viral vector technologies and viral safety procedures.
  2. Custom design of novel viruses for your special needs.
  3. Production services for a variety of viruses.

 

Current status - The core has initially focused in providing services for production of Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors from a variety of serotypes for use in vivo due to the acute demand at the moment. This technology has been identified as an important bottleneck in the development of WIS gene expression capabilities. In contrast to retro- and lentiviral vectors, AAV vectors are non-integrative (episomal) following gene transfer. They are capable of long-term expression in vivo, have low pathogenicity and can infect both non-dividing and dividing cells. AAV vectors based on variety of serotypes have different preferences toward the targeted tissues. Presently, more then 10 serotypes are in use and additional types are undergoing evaluations. These features make AAV vectors not only especially useful at the level of animal models but also hold a great promise as viral vectors for gene therapy techniques. The Core currently offers 8 AAV vector serotypes (AAV1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and DJ). Although AAV vectors are an excellent choice for in vivo studies requiring gene delivery there are some limitations due to their rather low packaging capacity (up to 4.5Kb). In addition, AAV vectors are not suitable for rapidly dividing cells (e.g. stem cells).

Future plans - The new service core will also provide for many other established viral vectors such as lentiviral vectors, retroviral vectors, adenoviral vectors etc. These viruses have higher packaging capacity (compare to AAV) and are more suitable for dividing cells.

As a part of the Viral Vector Core, viral vectors carrying common marker genes (e.g. GFP, RFP, Luc, CRE) will be provided for WIS use. In addition, customize service will be provided for viral vectors expressing specific genes and genetic elements.