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: Low tolerance for pain? The reason may be in your genes

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

Low tolerance for pain? The reason may be in your genes

3 hours ago

Researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual ...

Refining the language for chromosomes

Apr 17, 2014

When talking about genetic abnormalities at the DNA level that occur when chromosomes swap, delete or add parts, there is an evolving communication gap both in the science and medical worlds, leading to inconsistencies in ...

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...

More news stories

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

How to keep your fitness goals on track

(HealthDay)—The New Year's resolutions many made to get fit have stalled by now. And one expert thinks that's because many people set their goals too high.

Low tolerance for pain? The reason may be in your genes

Researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual ...

Growing app industry has developers racing to keep up

Smartphone application developers say they are challenged by the glut of apps as well as the need to update their software to keep up with evolving phone technology, making creative pricing strategies essential to finding ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.