Q. There are several viral gene delivery systems, including adenovirus, retrovirus and lentivirus. Which one should I use for my experiments?
Adenovirus: 100% gene delivery efficiency in most cell types including dividing and non-dividing or primary cells. There is no integration with the host system. However, protocols involved in developing recombinant adenovirus are very complicated.
Retrovirus: gives to <30% efficiency in most cell types, and requires active cell division. In addition, there is a significant risk of integration into the host genome, leading to mutation of genes or activation of onco-genes in the host system, which is a concern for scientists. Unlike adenovirus, recombinant retrovirus is very easy to develop.
Lentivirus: gives to <30% efficiency, in both dividing and non-dividing cells. Like retrovirus, there is a significant risk of integration into the host genome, leading to mutation of genes or activation of oncogenes in the host system. As with retrovirus, recombinant lentivirus is very easy to develop.
If you are interested in delivering your specific gene or siRNA into all cells, adenovirus system is the best choice. However, if you are interested in single-cell level studies, retroviral system, lentiviral system or even direct transfection of expression plasmid DNA may sometimes serve your need.
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