Gene delivery using viral vectors holds great promise for the treatment of acquired and inherited diseases. The human Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) is a small, non-pathogenic, single-stranded DNA virus gaining increasing attention being both versatile and effective. Taking current knowledge into account, we generated a recombinant, modularized, BioBrick-compatible AAV ‘Virus Construction Kit’. We provide parts for modified capsid proteins, targeting modules, tumor-specific promoters, and prodrug-activating enzymes as well as readily assembled vectors for gene delivery and production of non-replicative virus particles. The viral tropism is altered by N-terminal fusion or by loop replacement of the capsid proteins. Functionality of viruses constructed from our kit was demonstrated by fluorescent protein expression in infected cells and by prodrug-induced killing of tumor cells upon viral delivery of a thymidine kinase. Incorporating multiple layers of safety, we provide a general tool to the growing field of personalized medicine and demonstrate its use in tumor therapy.
Team Freiburg presents a functional, modular Virus Construction Kit for specifically targeting and killing tumor cells. [more]
Structural engineering of the three dimensional viral capsid by introducing four distinct targeting sites led to successful differential transduction of tumor cells. [more]
Efficient gene-directed enzyme prodrug activation was demonstrated by BioBrick-compatible constructs introduced into tumor cells. [more]
Virus Construction Kit - The Manual
Build your own therapeutical virus – 150 pages of knowledge. [more]
Statistics - In a Minute
What happened in the lab during iGEM?
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Modularization and modification of the viral capsids for retargeting approaches and directed gene delivery of suicide genes resulted in many different BioBricks.
Click here to explore them. [more]
Aspects of biological safety were considered throughout and a risk assessment and security profile of the Adeno-associated Virus were created. Read more about Biosafety issues. [more]
From DNA to virus particle to cell culture?
Yes! Details on cloning, cell culture, flow cytometry analyses, quantifications by ELISA or Western Blot, cytotoxicity assays, time resolved microscopy ... [more]