UNIT 4.14 Gene Delivery Using Helper Virus–Free HSV-1 Amplicon Vectors

  1. Cornel Fraefel

Published Online: 1 JUL 2007

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0414s40

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

Fraefel, C. 2007. Gene Delivery Using Helper Virus–Free HSV-1 Amplicon Vectors. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 40:4.14:4.14.1–4.14.21.

Author Information

  1. University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JUL 2007
  2. Published Print: JUL 2007

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (1 JUL 2012)


Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1)-based amplicon vectors contain only a very small percentage of the 152-kbp viral genome. Consequently, replication and packaging of amplicons depend on helper functions that are provided either by replication-defective mutants of HSV-1 or by replication-competent, but packaging-defective, HSV-1 genomes. Sets of cosmids that overlap and represent the entire HSV-1 genome can form, via homologous recombination, circular replication-competent viral genomes, which give rise to infectious virus progeny. However, if the DNA cleavage/packaging signals are deleted, reconstituted virus genomes are not packageable, but still provide all the helper functions required for the packaging of cotransfected amplicon DNA. The resulting stocks of packaged amplicon vectors are essentially free of contaminating helper virus. This unit describes the cotransfection of amplicon and cosmid or bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) DNA into 2-2 cells by cationic liposome-mediated transfection using and the harvesting of packaged vector particles. Support protocols provide methods for preparing cosmid DNA and determining the titers of amplicon stocks. Curr. Protoc. Neurosci. 40:4.14.1-4.14.21. © by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • Herpes simplex virus;
  • HSV-1;
  • amplicon;
  • helper virus free;
  • cotransfection;
  • cosmid;
  • BAC;
  • bacterial artificial chromosome;
  • gene delivery