A high-titer lentiviral production system mediates efficient transduction of differentiated cells including beating cardiac myocytes

Tsuyoshi Sakoda, Nori Kasahara, Yasuo Hamamori, Larry Kedes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV, lentivirus) type-1 based vectors have a number of attractive features for gene therapy, including the ability to transduce non-dividing cells and long term transgene expression. We used a three-plasmid expression system to generate pseudotyped lentivirus-based vectors by transient transfection of human embryonic kidney 293T cells in the presence of sodium butyrate, which is known to activate the long terminal repeat-directed expression of HIV. Using this system we successfully generated versatile high titer lentivirus at titers of up to 2 x 108 transducing units/ml (TU/ml), and improved transduction efficiency in various cell types from seven to over twenty fold. We demonstrate its applicability of these vectors for the efficient transduction of non-dividing cells, including post mitotic beating rat cardiac myocytes and well-differentiated rat L6 myofibers. While both lentivirus-based and murine retrovirus-based vectors effectively transduced dividing cardiac fibroblasts and L6 muscle myoblasts in culture, lentivirus-based vectors also efficiently transduced cardiac myocytes and yielded titers of (6.3 ± 1.2) x 105 TU/ml; however murine retrovirus-based vectors showed low transduction efficiency with titers reaching only (8.9 ± 2.1) x 102 TU/ml. Furthermore, even 12 days after induction of differentiation of L6 myofibers, lentivirus-mediated transduction of β-galactosidase (β-Gal) at approximately 30-40%, of the maximum expression levels achieved in replicating myoblasts. In contrast, the expression of β-Gal following transduction of the myofibers by murine retrovirus-based vectors fell to less than 1%, of an already reduced level of transduction in undifferentiated confluent myoblasts. These results demonstrate that lentivirus-based vectors can efficiently transduce both well-differentiated cardiac myocytes and differentiated myofibers. This appears to be an efficient method and provides a new tool for research and therapy for cardiovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2037-2047
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac myocyte
  • Gene therapy
  • L6 cell
  • Lentivirus
  • Retrovirus
  • Sodium butyrate
  • Vesicular stomatitis virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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