Packaging cell line characteristics and optimizing retroviral vector titer: The national gene vector laboratory experience

L. Reeves, P. Smucker, K. Cornetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


During the production of clinical-grade retroviral vector supernatant, we noted significant differences in the lactate production and glucose consumption of various producer cell lines submitted to the National Gene Vector Laboratory (NGVL). Since differences in growth characteristics could be important in determining the optimal culture conditions for maximizing titer, we studied the growth characteristics of three commonly used packaging cell lines: PA317, PG13 and GP+envAM12. A transformed phenotype, assessed by the ability to form colonies in semisolid media, was evident in all three packaging cell lines tested. In confluent cultures, the rates of glucose consumption and lactate production (per cell per hour) were similar for the three lines tested, but the growth rate and culture density varied. PA317 and PG13 continued to expand after reaching confluence, resulting in higher cell densities and subsequent rapid depletion of glucose within the 24-hr observation period. When the cell lines were evaluated for titer optimization, the slower growing packaging cell line GP+envAM12 generally provided the highest titer after 8 hr of culture in confluent roller bottles, while most vectors introduced into PA317 and PG13 cells yielded optimal titers after 24 hr of culture. We also found that the improved titers obtained by culturing cells at 32°C previously reported for PA317 cells do not apply to other packaging cell lines. In particular, PG13 rapidly lost titer when grown at the lower temperature. Our findings suggest that optimization of titer requires careful consideration of the culture conditions, which should be individualized for the vector producer cell line.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2093-2103
Number of pages11
JournalHuman gene therapy
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 10 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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