Optimized Lentiviral Transduction Protocols by Use of a Poloxamer Enhancer, Spinoculation, and scFv-Antibody Fusions to VSV-G

Methods Mol Biol. 2016:1448:49-61. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3753-0_4.


Lentiviral vectors (LV) are widely used to successfully transduce cells for research and clinical applications. This optimized LV infection protocol includes a nontoxic poloxamer-based adjuvant combined with antibody-retargeted lentiviral particles. The novel poloxamer P338 demonstrates superior characteristics for enhancing lentiviral transduction over the best-in-class polybrene-assisted transduction. Poloxamer P338 exhibited dual benefits of low toxicity and high efficiency of lentiviral gene delivery into a range of different primary cell cultures. One of the major advantages of P338 is its availability in pharma grade and applicability as cell culture medium additive in clinical protocols. Lentiviral vectors pseudotyped with the vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein (VSV-G) can be produced to high titers and mediate high transduction efficiencies in vitro. For clinical applications the need for optimized transduction protocols, especially for transduction of primary T and stem cells, is high. The successful use of retronectin, the second lentivirus enhancer available as GMP material, requires the application of specific coating protocols not applicable in all processes, and results in the need of a relatively high multiplicity of infection (MOI) to achieve effective transduction efficiencies for hematopoietic cells (e.g., CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells). Cell specificity of lentiviral vectors was successfully increased by displaying different ratios of scFv-fused VSV-G glycoproteins on the viral envelope. The system has been validated with human CD30+ lymphoma cells, resulting in preferential gene delivery to CD30+ cells, which was increased fourfold in mixed cell cultures, by presenting scFv antibody fragments binding to respective surface markers. A combination of spinoculation and poloxamer-based chemical adjuvant increases the transduction of primary T-cells by greater than twofold. The combination of poloxamer-based and scFv-retargeted LVs increased transduction of CD30+ lymphoma cells more than tenfold, and has the potential to improve clinical protocols.

Keywords: Antibody fragments fused to VSV-G; B-cells; Envelope glycoprotein; Hematopoietic cells; Lentiviral vector; Poloxamers; T-cells; scFv-CD30-VSV-G; scFv-EGFR-VSV-G.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Humans
  • Lentivirus / genetics*
  • Lymphoma / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Poloxamer / pharmacology
  • Single-Chain Antibodies / genetics
  • Transduction, Genetic / methods*
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / genetics


  • G protein, vesicular stomatitis virus
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Single-Chain Antibodies
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • Poloxamer