The baculovirus Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrosis virus causes non-productive infection in mammalian cells. Recombinant baculovirus therefore has the capability to transfer and express heterologous genes in these cells if a mammalian promoter governs the gene of interest. We have investigated the possibility of using baculovirus as a tool to produce recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV). AAV has become increasingly popular as a vector for gene therapy and functional genomics efforts, although its use is hampered by the lack of a simple and efficient vector production method. We show here that co-infection of mammalian producer cells with three viruses - a baculovirus containing the reporter gene flanked by AAV ITRs, a baculovirus expressing the AAV rep gene and a helper adenovirus expressing the AAV cap gene - produces infectious rAAV particles. This baculovirus-based chimeric vector method may in future improve large-scale rAAV vector preparations and circumvent present-day problems associated with rAAV production.
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