R-region cDNA inserts in retroviral vectors are compatible with virus replication and high-level protein synthesis from the insert.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Human gene therapy, Volume 6, Issue 9, p.1169-76 (1995)


1995, Animals, Base Sequence, DNA, Complementary, Genetic Vectors, MICE, Molecular Sequence Data, MyoD Protein, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Purine-Nucleoside Phosphorylase, Recombinant Proteins, Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid, Retroviridae, RNA, Transcription, Genetic, Virus Replication


Protein expression from retroviral vectors is often highest when the expressed cDNA is driven by the retroviral promoter. However, the typical retroviral vector design places the cDNA downstream of the retroviral packaging signal and far from the retroviral promoter. In an attempt to improve protein production levels from cDNAs expressed in retroviral vectors, we inserted the MyoD or the purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) cDNAs into the R regions of both retroviral LTRs, close to the retroviral promoter and just upstream of the polyadenylation signal present in each long terminal repeat (LTR). These R-region double-copy vectors could be produced in unrearranged form, although the titer was about seven-fold lower than that of typical vectors. R-region positioning of the MyoD cDNA resulted in five-fold higher MyoD expression compared to MyoD expression in a typical vector, whereas PNP expression was not improved. Thus, R-region double-copy vectors provide an alternative vector design that can improve protein expression from some cDNAs.