Production of high-titer helper virus-free retroviral vectors by cocultivation of packaging cells with different host ranges.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of virology, Volume 65, Issue 7, p.3887-90 (1991)


1991, Animals, Cells, Cultured, Genetic Vectors, Hela Cells, Helper Viruses, Humans, MICE, Retroviridae, Virus Replication


The titer of retroviral vectors can be increased by cocultivation of retrovirus packaging cells that produce a vector with packaging cells having a different host range. Multiple rounds of infection occur in such cultures, producing an amplification of vector copy number and titer. Production of a vector with a very high titer of over 10(10) CFU per ml of conditioned medium has been reported, although replication-competent helper virus was also present. Since helper-free virus is a requirement for many applications of retroviral vectors, we repeated this procedure with a modified vector and achieved a 2- to 10-fold amplification of vector titer in the absence of helper virus, up to 2 x 10(7) CFU/ml. We have also repeated these experiments with the same vector and methods described previously or have assayed virus from the high-titer vector-producing cell line reported previously and observed maximum titers of 10(8) CFU/ml, invariably accompanied by helper virus. Thus, while amplification of vector titer in the absence of helper virus is possible, some unexplained difference in the assays for virus titer must account for our inability to obtain the exceptionally high vector titers that were reported previously.