Lentivirus Packaging Cells

BioInnovatise Viral Vector Team

Updated May 13, 2024

Lentivirus packaging cells refer to specialized cells that have been engineered to produce and package lentiviral vectors. These cells are used to generate lentiviral particles for various applications in biotechnology including gene delivery and gene editing experiments.

Many labs and production facilities including ours, use the phrase “packaging cells” to indicate that these cells contain the necessary components (proteins such as Cas9 and RNA) to assemble functional lentiviral particles when provided with the appropriate viral vector constructs (i.e. plasmid DNA). Learn more about lentiviral packaging plasmids.

These packaging cells are derived from cell lines such as HEK293T cells or other cell types that support efficient lentiviral vector production. These transfected cells induce the production and packaging of lentiviral particles, which can then be harvested and used to deliver genetic material into target cells for various applications. The step by step process does differ based on the plasmid DNA construct length, generation of lentivirus, and end use application, for more information read about lentivirus packaging protocol.

Which Cell Lines Are Used for Lentivirus Packaging? What Are The Best Cell Lines For Packaging Lentivirus?

The choice of cell line for lentiviral transduction depends on the specific experimental goals, the nature of the target cells or tissues in a research or therapeutic context, and the compatibility with lentiviral vector characteristics. Our lab produces lentiviral vectors using HEK293T cells because of their high transfection efficiency. Read more about lentivirus packaging cell line.

Lentivirus Packaging Transfection Process Overview Lentivirus Packaging Protocol

The above diagram illustrates the production process for lentivirus packaging cells at BioInnovatise, where our team uses a HEK293T cell line for lentivirus packaging cells.

Which GOI/Transgene Characteristics Are Suitable For Lentiviral Vectors?

Lentiviruses are versatile and can infect a wide range of cell types, both dividing and non-dividing. However that does not mean they are the right viral vector for every GOI application. The suitability of a gene of interest for delivery via lentiviral vectors depends on several factors including:

Size: Lentiviral vectors have a limited cargo capacity, typically around 8-10 kb. Therefore, the GOI needs to be small enough to fit within this size constraint otherwise the payload may not be delivered effectively to the host cell. Learn more about lentivirus packaging size limit.

Expression Level: The expression level of the GOI should be compatible with the regulatory elements present in the lentiviral vector, such as promoters and enhancers.

Toxicity: Some genes may be toxic to cells when overexpressed. It’s important to consider the potential cytotoxic effects of the GOI and select appropriate controls for comparison.

Cell Type Specificity: Lentiviral vectors can be engineered to target specific cell types by incorporating cell-type-specific promoters or targeting ligands into the vector design. The suitability of the GOI for lentiviral delivery may depend on its relevance to the target cell type.

Post-Translational Modifications: Certain proteins such as phosphorylation or glycosylation require specific post-translational modifications for proper function. Lentiviral vectors may be suitable for delivering genes encoding such proteins if the target cells have the necessary machinery for performing these modifications.

If you are unsure which viral vector is right for your research application, contact our viral vector team.

Learn about our quick turnaround lentivirus packaging services.

Want to learn more about the latest in lentivirus based research? Our colleagues at ScienceDirect and Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News continuously collect and publish the latest information on lentivirus-based research.

lentivirus packaging, lentiviral packaging, research grade lentivirus word in laboratory hood