|Cell cycle dependence of retroviral transduction: An issue of overlapping time scales.
|Year of Publication
|S.T. Andreadis; A.O. Fuller; B.Ø. Palsson
|PLoS Comput Biol
|Recombinant retroviruses are currently used as gene delivery vehicles for the purpose of gene therapy. It is generally believed that the efficiency of retroviral transduction depends on the cell cycle status of the target cells. However, it has been reported that this is not the case for the transduction of human and murine fibroblasts, in contrast to other cell types such as lymphocytes. The predictions of a mathematical model that we constructed, offer an explanation of this contradiction, based on the dynamics of the underlying processes of target cell growth and the intracellular decay of retroviral vectors. The model suggests that the utility of synchronization experiments, that are usually employed to study cell cycle specificity, is severely limited when the time scales of the above kinetic events are comparable to each other. The predictions of the model also suggest the use of retroviral vectors as cell cycle markers, as an alternative way to detect cell cycle dependence of retroviral transduction. This method obviates the need for cell synchronization and therefore, it does not perturb the cell cycle or interfere with the life cycle of retroviral vectors. Moreover, it does not depend on the intracellular stability of retroviral vectors. Our results show that in contrast to previously reported results, transduction of murine fibroblasts is cell cycle dependent, and they are consistent with the current notion that mitosis is the phase that confers transduction susceptibility.