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Product FAQ

When should DMSO, formamide, glycerol and other cosolvents be used in PCR?

Answer

Cosolvents may be used when there is a failure of amplification, either because the template contains stable hairpin-loops or the region of amplification is GC-rich. Keep in mind that all of these cosolvents have the effect of lowering enzyme activity, which will decrease amplification yield. For more information see P Landre et al (1995). The use of co-solvents to enhance amplification by the polymerase chain reaction. In: PCR Strategies, edited by MA Innis, DH Gelfand, JJ Sninsky. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, pp. 3-16.

Additionally, when amplifying very long PCR fragments (greater than 5 kb) the use of cosolvents is often recommended to help compensate for the increased melting temperature of these fragments.

Answer Id: E1320

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Product FAQ

What titers are typical with lentivirus?

Answer

Titers between 1 x 10e5 and 3 x 10e5 cfu/mL (unconcentrated) are typical. If the titer is lower than 1x 10e5 cfu/mL, virus production was not optimal (arising for various reasons). Titers for the LacZ virus are typically in this low to mid 10e5 range. The sample lentiviral titer experiment shown in the ViraPower™ instruction manual shows lacZ lentivirus with a titer of 4.8 x 10e6 cfu/mL.

We strongly suggest that you titer your lentivirus on HT1080 cells, which allows you to compare titers from day-to-day within your lab and also with external labs. Transduction efficiency is high in these cells, and titering results are very accurate and reproducible--making HT1080 cells the gold standard for titering. You can then try different MOIs in other cell types based on HT1080 titers. For instance, you may require an MOI of 50 in one cell type or MOI of 10 in another cell type based on titers obtained in HT1080.

Answer Id: E4109

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Product FAQ

Why is it necessary to dilute ligated DNA products before adding them to competent bacterial cells?

Answer

Components of the ligation reaction (enzymes, salts) can interfere with transformation, and may reduce the number of recombinant colonies or plaques. We recommend a five-fold dilution of the ligation mix, and adding not more than 1/10 of the diluted volume to the cells. For best results, the volume added should also not exceed 10% of the volume of the competent cells that you are using.

Answer Id: E3098

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Product FAQ

Can I use mini-prep plasmid DNA for lentivirus production?

Answer

We do not recommend using mini-prep plasmid DNA for lentivirus production. We recommend preparing lentiviral plasmid DNA using the S.N.A.P.™ MidiPrep Kit (Cat. No. K1910-01) or PureLink™ HiPure Plasmid Midiprep Kit (Cat. No. K210004) which contain 10 mM EDTA in the Resuspension Buffer. Since lenti DNA midi-preps also often have low DNA yields, we recommend following specific protocols to increase yield—basically, grow cells slowly, use fewer cells per column, and use 100 mL lenti culture for each DNA midi-prep.

Answer Id: E6401

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Product FAQ

How do I concentrate the lentiviral stock?

Answer

Ultracentrifugation is the most commonly used approach and is typically very successful (see Burns et al. (1993) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 90:8033-8037; Reiser (2000) Gene Ther 7:910-913). Others have used PEG precipitation. Some purification methods are covered by patents issued to the University of California and Chiron.

Adenovirus is concentrated using CsCl density gradient centrifugation (there is a reference for this procedure in our adenovirus manual) or commercially available columns.

Answer Id: E4110

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Product FAQ

Once I make lentivirus, can I amplify the virus or do I need to do another transfection?

Answer

The lentiviruses produced in this system will not replicate under any conditions. You must perform a fresh transfection each time you need more virus.

Answer Id: E4118

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Product FAQ

How can unstable or toxic DNA inserts be maintained in bacteria?

Answer

There are a few steps you can take to improve stability of clones with difficult-to-maintain inserts. Supplement the medium with extra nutrients (e.g., add 20-30 mM glucose to Terrific Broth) or try a vector that has a reduced copy number (e.g., pBR322). Some clones can exhibit a high degree of deletions; this is usually a result of the clones having long terminal repeat (LTR) sequences or regions with high secondary structure. To overcome this problem, the cells can be grown at 30°C or ambient temperature (in LB or in a nutrient rich broth like Terrific Broth). Do not to let the cells reach late stationary phase in liquid culture. Alternatively, transform into cells that maintain unstable sequences such as Stbl2™, Stbl3™, or Stbl4™ cells.

Answer Id: E3099

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Product FAQ

Does the lentivirus produce any toxic viral genes?

Answer

Lentiviruses produced with this system do not carry or express ANY viral genes and therefore have no associated toxicity issues. Only the protein expressed from the coding region between the LTR sites is incorporated into the mammalian cell chromosome and expressed. The lentivirus itself cannot replicate because of the built-in safety features.

Answer Id: E4116

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Product FAQ

What precautions should I take with my 293FT cells to ensure high quality lentivirus production?

Answer

• Use low passage 293FT cells. Do not use 293FT cells beyond passage 20. Freeze down many aliquots and grow for 2–4 passages prior to transfection.
• Passage cells in complete D-MEM containing G418 (500 µg/mL). Supplement the media with "non-essential" amino acids and sodium pyruvate (0.1 mM MEM Non-Essential amino acids and 1 mM MEM Sodium Pyruvate). Use Gibco™ FBS (Cat. No. 16000-044).
• Plate cells at a density of 5 x 10e6 per 100 mm dish. Cell density is very important. Make sure that the cells are growing well before re-plating prior to the day of transfection. Avoid overgrowth of 293FT cells when passaging.
• When plating for transfection the next day, do not add G418 to the media.

Answer Id: E6402

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Product FAQ

What does the FT stand for in 293FT and why is this the most recommended producer cell line?

Answer

The F stands for the high transfection efficiency of this particular 293 cell clone (called 293F) and the T stands for the SV40 large T antigen. If you want to use regular 293 cells or another 293T cell line, you will be able to produce virus, but the titers will be lower. The large T antigen expression plasmid is stably integrated in the 293FT cell and confers resistance to Geneticin™ antibiotic in these cells.

Answer Id: E4113

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Product FAQ

Can I remove the CMV promoter from the pLenti6/V5-D-TOPO™ or pLenti6/V5-DEST™ vectors?

Answer

Yes, you can use restriction enzymes Cla I (cutting at 1796) and BamH I (cutting at 2401) to remove the CMV promoter from the pLent6/V5-D-TOPO™ vector. Use Cla I and Spe I for the pLenti6/V5-DEST™ vector. Alternatively, we offer promoter-less lentiviral vectors that do not contain a promoter.

Answer Id: E4111

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Product FAQ

How do I know whether to choose lentivirus or adenovirus for viral expression?

Answer

If you're interested in stable integration and selection, choose the lentiviral system. We offer both a Directional TOPO™ (D-TOPO™) and Gateway™ version of the kit to provide flexibility in the cloning of the gene of interest.

If you're looking for transient gene expression, choose the adenoviral system. We offer the Gateway™ cloning method for this product. It should be noted, however, that gene expression from both systems is typically detected within 24-48 hours of transduction, so both systems can be used for experiments of a transient nature. The main difference is that lentivirus integrates into the host genome and adenovirus does not. Higher viral titers are achieved with the adenovirus.

Answer Id: E4098

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Product FAQ

How should I store lentivirus, adenovirus and viral vectors?

Answer

Viral vectors:
Store lentiviral and adenoviral expression vectors at -20 degrees C. Due to their relatively large sizes, we do not recommend storing these vectors at -80 degrees C, as the vector solutions will completely freeze and too many freeze thaws from -80 degrees C will affect the cloning efficiency. At -20 degrees C, the vectors will be stable but will not freeze completely.

Virus:
Both adenovirus and lentivirus should be aliquoted immediately after production and stored at -80 degrees C.

Lentivirus is more sensitive to storage temperature and to freeze/thaw than adenovirus and should be handled with care. Adenovirus can typically be frozen/thawed up to 3 times without loss of titer, while lentivirus can lose up to 5% or more activity with each freeze/thaw. It is recommended to aliquot your virus into small working volumes immediately after production, freeze at -80 degrees C, and then thaw just one aliquot for titering. This way, every time you thaw a new aliquot it should be the same titer as your first tube.

Adenovirus can be kept overnight at 4 degrees C if necessary, but it is best to avoid this. Viruses will be most stable at -80 degrees C.

When stored properly, viral stocks should maintain consistent titer and be suitable for use for up to one year. After long-term storage, we recommend re-titering your viral stocks before use.

Answer Id: E4100

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Product FAQ

Will I get the same transduction efficiency with both lentivirus and adenovirus in the same cell line?

Answer

This depends entirely on the target cell. Adenovirus requires the coxsackie-adenovirus receptor (CAR) and an integrin for efficient transduction. Lentivirus (with VSV-G) binds to a lipid in the plasma membrane (present on all cell types). With two totally different mechanisms of entry into the cell, there will always be differences in transduction efficiencies. However, the efficiency of transduction for both viral systems is easily modulated by the multiplicity of infection (MOI) used.

Answer Id: E4102

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Product FAQ

I am getting small and large colonies after transformation of my lentiviral construct into Stbl3™ E.coli. Which colonies should I pick?

Answer

We recommend picking the smaller colonies. Large colonies are usually the result of recombination events that result in loss of some part of the plasmid, conferring a growth advantage on the cells.

Answer Id: E6395

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