Production of adeno-associated virus vectors for in vitro and in vivo applications

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


External Institution(s)

  • Boston University
  • National Defense Medical College Tokorozawa


Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13601
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatusPublished - Dec 1 2019


Delivering and expressing a gene of interest in cells or living animals has become a pivotal technique in biomedical research and gene therapy. Among viral delivery systems, adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) are relatively safe and demonstrate high gene transfer efficiency, low immunogenicity, stable long-term expression, and selective tissue tropism. Combined with modern gene technologies, such as cell-specific promoters, the Cre/lox system, and genome editing, AAVs represent a practical, rapid, and economical alternative to conditional knockout and transgenic mouse models. However, major obstacles remain for widespread AAV utilization, such as impractical purification strategies and low viral quantities. Here, we report an improved protocol to produce serotype-independent purified AAVs economically. Using a helper-free AAV system, we purified AAVs from HEK293T cell lysates and medium by polyethylene glycol precipitation with subsequent aqueous two-phase partitioning. Furthermore, we then implemented an iodixanol gradient purification, which resulted in preparations with purities adequate for in vivo use. Of note, we achieved titers of 1010–1011 viral genome copies per µl with a typical production volume of up to 1 ml while requiring five times less than the usual number of HEK293T cells used in standard protocols. For proof of concept, we verified in vivo transduction via Western blot, qPCR, luminescence, and immunohistochemistry. AAVs coding for glutaredoxin-1 (Glrx) shRNA successfully inhibited Glrx expression by ~66% in the liver and skeletal muscle. Our study provides an improved protocol for a more economical and efficient purified AAV preparation.

Citation formats


Kimura, T., Ferran, B., Tsukahara, Y., Shang, Q., Desai, S., Fedoce, A., ... Bachschmid, M. M. (2019). Production of adeno-associated virus vectors for in vitro and in vivo applications. Scientific reports, 9(1), [13601].


Kimura, T, Ferran, B, Tsukahara, Y, Shang, Q, Desai, S, Fedoce, A, Pimentel, DR, Luptak, I, Adachi, T, Ido, Y, Matsui, R & Bachschmid, MM 2019, 'Production of adeno-associated virus vectors for in vitro and in vivo applications', Scientific reports, vol. 9, no. 1, 13601.