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Caffeine energizes cells, boosting virus production for gene therapy applications

Date:
January 25, 2011
Source:
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News
Summary:
Give caffeine to cells engineered to produce viruses used for gene therapy and the cells can generate three- to eight-times more virus, according to a new paper.

Give caffeine to cells engineered to produce viruses used for gene therapy and the cells can generate 3- to 8-times more virus, according to a paper published in Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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This simple and inexpensive strategy for increasing lentivirus production was developed by Brian Ellis, Patrick Ryan Potts, and Matthew Porteus, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. In their paper, they emphasize that the timing of caffeine addition to standard lentiviral production protocols is important for achieving higher virus titers. Caffeine concentration is also critical, as too much caffeine was toxic to the cells and did not increase virus production.

Lentivirus vectors are commonly used for transferring genes into cells for both research applications in the laboratory and, increasingly, for gene therapy procedures in clinical testing. The addition of caffeine "should significantly decrease the cost of lentiviral production for research and clinical uses," conclude the authors.

"It is ironic that the ingredient in beverages like colas and coffees that helps keep us awake and alert is also useful in jazzing up cells to produce more gene therapy vectors. An increase in vector production of 5-fold may prove critical in establishing the commercial viability of lentiviral based products," says James M. Wilson, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, and Director of the Gene Therapy Program, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Brian L. Ellis, Patrick Ryan Potts, Matthew H. Porteus. Creating Higher Titer Lentivirus with Caffeine. Human Gene Therapy, 2011; 22 (1): 93 DOI: 10.1089/hum.2010.068

Cite This Page:

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. "Caffeine energizes cells, boosting virus production for gene therapy applications." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110125160854.htm>.
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. (2011, January 25). Caffeine energizes cells, boosting virus production for gene therapy applications. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110125160854.htm
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News. "Caffeine energizes cells, boosting virus production for gene therapy applications." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110125160854.htm (accessed November 21, 2014).

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