Caffeine energizes cells, boosting virus production for gene therapy applications

Jan 25, 2011
Human Gene Therapy is published monthly in print and online by Mary Ann Liebert Inc., publishers. Credit: © 2010, Mary Ann Liebert Inc., publishers

Give caffeine to cells engineered to produce viruses used for gene therapy and the cells can generate 3- to 8-times more virus, according to a paper published in Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

This simple and inexpensive strategy for increasing lentivirus production was developed by Brian Ellis, Patrick Ryan Potts, and Matthew Porteus, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. In their paper, "Creating Higher Titer Lentivirus with Caffeine," they emphasize that the timing of caffeine addition to standard lentiviral production protocols is important for achieving higher virus titers. Caffeine concentration is also critical, as too much caffeine was toxic to the and did not increase .

Lentivirus vectors are commonly used for transferring genes into cells for both research applications in the laboratory and, increasingly, for procedures in clinical testing. The addition of "should significantly decrease the cost of lentiviral production for research and clinical uses," conclude the authors.

"It is ironic that the ingredient in beverages like colas and coffees that helps keep us awake and alert is also useful in jazzing up cells to produce more gene therapy vectors. An increase in vector production of 5-fold may prove critical in establishing the commercial viability of lentiviral based products," says James M. Wilson, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, and Director of the Gene Therapy Program, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

Explore further: NIH issues finalized policy on genomic data sharing

More information: The paper is available free online at www.liebertpub.com/hum

Provided by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

4 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gene therapy technique slows ALD brain disease

Nov 05, 2009

A strategy that combines gene therapy with blood stem cell therapy may be a useful tool for treating a fatal brain disease, French researchers have found. These findings appear in the 6 November 2009 issue ...

New research may help to design better gene therapy vectors

Oct 07, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Research published by scientists from the University of Reading may offer an insight into ways of making safer and more specific gene therapy vectors. The research, published in the journal Nature Structural an ...

Recommended for you

Study identifies genetic change in autism-related gene

4 hours ago

A new study from Bradley Hospital has identified a genetic change in a recently identified autism-associated gene, which may provide further insight into the causes of autism. The study, now published online in the Journal of ...

NIH issues finalized policy on genomic data sharing

Aug 27, 2014

The National Institutes of Health has issued a final NIH Genomic Data Sharing (GDS) policy to promote data sharing as a way to speed the translation of data into knowledge, products and procedures that improve health while ...

The genes behind the guardians of the airways

Aug 27, 2014

Dysfunctions in cilia, tiny hair-like structures that protrude from the surface of cells, are responsible for a number of human diseases. However the genes involved in making cilia have remained largely elusive. ...

Cancer leaves a common fingerprint on DNA

Aug 25, 2014

Regardless of their stage or type, cancers appear to share a telltale signature of widespread changes to the so-called epigenome, according to a team of researchers. In a study published online in Genome Me ...

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gmurphy
4.7 / 5 (3) Jan 25, 2011
Caffeine can also be used to make programmers produce more code, coincidence?, I think not :)
that_guy
1 / 5 (1) Jan 25, 2011
So...does this translate to someone who drinks caffeine? I'm not in the mood to stop drinking my morning coffee, but I don't like the idea that I might produce 3-8 times more viruses.
Lordjavathe3rd
5 / 5 (1) Jan 25, 2011
Are they sure the caffeine doesn't just make the cells "feel" more productive?
MLSASCP
not rated yet Jan 26, 2011
Since caffeine has a relatively short half life (around 6 hrs) in the peripheral bloodstream my guess is that drinking it will not effect your own "viral load."
that_guy
1 / 5 (1) Jan 28, 2011
Are they sure the caffeine doesn't just make the cells "feel" more productive?


LOL

@MLSASCP
Since caffeine has a relatively short half life (around 6 hrs) in the peripheral bloodstream my guess is that drinking it will not effect your own "viral load."


Regardless of any merit to the question, first and foremost, my first comment was a joke...