Design of hybrid lipid/retroviral-like particle gene delivery vectors

Rahul K. Keswani, Ian M. Pozdol, Daniel W. Pack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Recombinant retroviruses provide highly efficient gene delivery and the potential for stable gene expression. The retroviral envelope protein, however, is the source of significant disadvantages such as immunogenicity, poor stability (half-life of transduction activity of 5-7 h at 37 C for amphotropic murine leukemia virus), and difficult production and purification. To address these problems, we report the construction of efficient hybrid vectors through the association of murine leukemia virus (MLV)-like particles (M-VLP) with synthetic liposomes comprising DOTAP, DOPE, and cholesterol (φ/M-VLP). We conclude that the lipid composition is a significant determinant of the transfection efficiency and uptake of φ/M-VLP in HEK293 cells with favorable compositions for transfections being those with low DOTAP, low DOPE, and high cholesterol content. Cellular uptake, however, was dependent on DOTAP content alone. By extrusion of liposomes prior to vector assembly, the size of these hybrid vectors could also be decreased to ≈300 nm, as confirmed via DLS and TEM. φ/M-VLP were also robust on storage in terms of vector size and transfection efficiency and provided stable transgene expression over a period of three weeks. We conclude that the noncovalent combination of biocompatible synthetic lipids with inactive retroviral particles to form a highly efficient hybrid vector is a significant extension to the development of novel gene delivery platforms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1725-1735
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 6 2013


  • DOPE
  • cholesterol
  • hybrid gene delivery vectors
  • murine leukemia virus-like particles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


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