Lentivector Producer Cell Lines with Stably Expressed Vesiculovirus Envelopes.
Tijani M., Munis AM., Perry C., Sanber K., Ferraresso M., Mukhopadhyay T., Themis M., Nisoli I., Mattiuzzo G., Collins MK., Takeuchi Y.
Retroviral and lentiviral vectors often use the envelope G protein from the vesicular stomatitis virus Indiana strain (VSVind.G). However, lentivector producer cell lines that stably express VSVind.G have not been reported, presumably because of its cytotoxicity, preventing simple scale-up of vector production. Interestingly, we showed that VSVind.G and other vesiculovirus G from the VSV New Jersey strain (VSVnj), Cocal virus (COCV), and Piry virus (PIRYV) could be constitutively expressed and supported lentivector production for up to 10 weeks. All G-enveloped particles were robust, allowing concentration and freeze-thawing. COCV.G and PIRYV.G were resistant to complement inactivation, and, using chimeras between VSVind.G and COCV.G, the determinant for complement inactivation of VSVind.G was mapped to amino acid residues 136-370. Clonal packaging cell lines using COCV.G could be generated; however, during attempts to establish LV producer cells, vector superinfection was observed following the introduction of a lentivector genome. This could be prevented by culturing the cells with the antiviral drug nevirapine. As an alternative countermeasure, we demonstrated that functional lentivectors could be reconstituted by admixing supernatant from stable cells producing unenveloped virus with supernatant containing envelopes harvested from cells stably expressing VSVind.G, COCV.G, or PIRYV.G.