A new generation of retroviral producer cells: predictable and stable virus production by Flp-mediated site-specific integration of retroviral vectors

Mol Ther. 2006 Aug;14(2):285-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ymthe.2005.12.003. Epub 2006 May 11.


We developed a new strategy that provides well-defined high-titer producer cells for recombinant retroviruses in a minimum amount of time. The strategy involves the targeted integration of the retroviral vector into a chromosomal locus with favorable properties. For proof of concept we established a novel HEK293-based retroviral producer cell line, called Flp293A, with a single-copy retroviral vector integrated at a selected chromosomal locus. The vector was flanked by noninteracting Flp-recombinase recognition sites and was exchanged for different retroviral vectors via Flp-mediated cassette exchange. All analyzed cell clones showed correct integration and identical titers for each of the vectors, confirming that the expression characteristics from the parental cell were preserved. Titers up to 2.5 x 10(7) infectious particles/10(6) cells were obtained. Also, high-titer producer cells for a therapeutic vector that encodes the 8.9-kb collagen VII cDNA in a marker-free cassette were obtained within 3 weeks without screening. Thus, we provide evidence that the precise integration of viral vectors into a favorable chromosomal locus leads to high and predictable virus production. This method is compatible with other retroviral vectors, including self-inactivating vectors and marker-free vectors. Further, it provides a tool for evaluation of different retroviral vector designs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Collagen Type VII
  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases / metabolism
  • Gene Targeting / methods*
  • Genetic Vectors*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Retroviridae / genetics*
  • Retroviridae / physiology
  • Transfection
  • Virus Integration*


  • Collagen Type VII
  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases
  • FLP recombinase