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Hum Mol Genet. 2011 Apr 15;20(R1):R2-6. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddr141. Epub 2011 Apr 29.

Large-scale recombinant adeno-associated virus production.

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Laboratory of Molecular Virology and Gene Therapy, Center for Developmental Biology and Genetics, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Since recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) was first described as a potential mammalian cell transducing system, frequent reports purportedly solving the problems of scalable production have appeared. Yet few of these processes have enabled the development of robust and economical rAAV production. Two production platforms have emerged that have gained broad support for producing both research and clinical grade vectors. These processes differ fundamentally in several aspects. One approach is based on adherent mammalian cells and uses optimized chemical transient transfection for introducing the essential genetic components into the cells. The other approach utilizes suspension cultures of invertebrate cells. Baculovirus expression vectors are used for introducing the AAV genes into the cells. In addition, the baculovirus provides the helper functions necessary for efficient AAV DNA replication. The use of suspension cell culture provides an intrinsically more scalable platform system than using adherent cells. The upstream processes for suspension cultures are amenable for automation and are easily monitored and regulated to maintain optimum conditions that produce consistent yields of rAAV. Issues relating to developing new and improving existing rAAV production methods are discussed.

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