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Cytotechnology. 2006 Jul;51(3):133-40. doi: 10.1007/s10616-006-9023-6. Epub 2006 Nov 18.

A new complementing cell line for replication-incompetent E1-deleted adenovirus propagation.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 672, Rochester, NY, 14642, USA.


Recombinant adenoviruses (Ad) are being explored as promising delivery systems for gene therapy and vaccination. However, there is a concern about the possibility of generating replication-competent adenoviruses (RCA) using the human embryonic kidney 293 cell line. We have constructed a new cell line named the UR cell line which can be used to produce Ad vectors free of RCA. This cell line is based on the human embryonic lung HEL 299 cell. We first constructed a shuttle plasmid which encodes the E1A/E1B sequence that is necessary for adenovirus replication. The shuttle plasmid was then transfected into HEL 299 cells. The presence of the E1A/E1B sequence and protein expression in the stably transformed UR cells was confirmed. Viruses produced in UR cells were still RCA-free after ten test passages, while adenovirus produced in 293 cells had generated RCA during the fourth passage. We conclude that the UR cell line is sufficiently stable, can effectively produce a virus yield comparable with 293 cells, and does not generate RCA formation during Ad propagation.

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