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Boehme P.,Institute of Virology and Microbiology | Stellberger T.,Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority | Solanki M.,Institute of Virology and Microbiology | Zhang W.,Institute of Virology and Microbiology | And 7 more authors.
Human Gene Therapy Methods | Year: 2015

High-capacity adenoviral vectors (HCAdVs) are promising tools for gene therapy as well as for genetic engineering. However, one limitation of the HCAdV vector system is the complex, time-consuming, and labor-intensive production process and the following quality control procedure. Since HCAdVs are deleted for all viral coding sequences, a helper virus (HV) is needed in the production process to provide the sequences for all viral proteins in trans. For the purification procedure of HCAdV, cesium chloride density gradient centrifugation is usually performed followed by buffer exchange using dialysis or comparable methods. However, performing these steps is technically difficult, potentially error-prone, and not scalable. Here, we establish a new protocol for small-scale production of HCAdV based on commercially available adenovirus purification systems and a standard method for the quality control of final HCAdV preparations. For titration of final vector preparations, we established a droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) that uses a standard free-end-point PCR in small droplets of defined volume. By using different probes, this method is capable of detecting and quantifying HCAdV and HV in one reaction independent of reference material, rendering this method attractive for accurately comparing viral titers between different laboratories. In summary, we demonstrate that it is possible to produce HCAdV in a small scale of sufficient quality and quantity to perform experiments in cell culture, and we established a reliable protocol for vector titration based on ddPCR. Our method significantly reduces time and required equipment to perform HCAdV production. In the future the ddPCR technology could be advantageous for titration of other viral vectors commonly used in gene therapy. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2015.

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