The ability to efficiently deliver genes to cells represents a powerful therapeutic approach in treating ocular diseases. In addition, efficient gene delivery to cells in culture is an essential research tool. As a result, a core was established to assist with the construction of gene delivery vectors and prepare high titer stocks of these materials for use by researchers.
Currently, four viral based vector systems are available including Adenovirus (AV), Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV), Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), and Lentivirus (FIV and HIV based). The Gene Delivery Core also has the capacity to produce high quality plasmid vectors.
Consultation is provided regarding the best type of vector system for each intended use. Consideration is given to the size of the expression construct, the level of expression desired, the length of time that expression is needed, potential use of tissue or cell-type specific promoters, the titers of vector needed, the potential for negative effects of the vectors (e.g. inflammation), and whether integration of the transgene is desirable.
Core clients are assisted with construction of the desired vector or the core will construct the vector for you. Some clients have expressed the desire to learn how to construct vectors themselves, or more importantly, to have a graduate student or post-doctoral fellow learn this valuable skill. In some instances, we will work side-by-side with these individuals to train them in the needed skills.
In conjunction with the Pathology and Imagine core, we can provide assistance with the preparation of primary cultures of various ocular tissues. Many investigators have the need to test their vectors for expression and other properties in the specific cell types they are targeting in vivo. To date, we have provided primary trabecular meshwork cells, primary human corneal keratocytes, and primary ciliary muscle cells for clients.
For questions regarding Gene Delivery services, please contact:
Curtis R. Brandt, Ph.D.
1300 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53706