Retroviral vectors derived from murine leukemia virus (MLV) are amongst the most frequently utilized vectors in gene therapy approaches such as the genetic modification of hematopoietic cells. Currently, vector particles are mostly produced employing adherent viral packaging cell lines (VPCs) rendering the scale up of production laborious, and thus cost-intensive. Here, we describe the rapid establishment of a human suspension 293-F cell line derived ecotropic MLV VPC. Using transposon vector technology, a packaging and envelope expression cassette as well as a transfer vector facilitated the establishment of a stable VPC yielding high titers of up to 5.2 × 10 transducing units/mL (TU/mL). Vectors were concentrated using ultrafiltration devices and upon one freeze-thaw-cycle still routinely yielded titers of > 1 × 10 TU/mL. Formation of replication-competent retroviruses was not detected. However and as a first generation transfer vector was used in this proof-of-concept (POC) study, gag gene sequences were transduced into target cells within a range of 1 to 10 copies per 1,000 genomes indicating the homologous recombination of packaging construct elements with the transfer vector. High yield VPC vector productivity was stable over a couple of months and unintended integration of the transposase gene was not observed. Ecotropic MLV vector particles were demonstrated to efficiently transduce primary murine hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. This novel concept should foster the future establishment of suspension VPCs.Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.
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Yasemin van Heuvel