FAQ: Using Adenovirus for Gene Delivery

Q: What cells can be infected with adenovirus?

A: Adenovirus is able to infect any cell type that expresses the CAR receptor, which includes most cell types.  A literature search can be performed to determine if this receptor is expressed in a specific cell line or if other researchers have had success transducing this cell type with adenovirus.  If the cells don’t express CAR or express it at low levels, ViraDuctin™ Adenovirus Transduction Reagent can be used to increase transduction efficiency up to 12-fold in such cells.


Q: Can adenovirus be used to create a stable cell line?

A: Unlike retrovirus and lentivirus, adenovirus will not integrate into the host genome and cannot be used to make stable cell lines.  Adenovirus can only be used for transient expression.


Q: Can adenovirus be amplified with 293 cells?  

A: Yes, adenovirus can be amplified in 293 cells.  The 293 cell line expresses the E1 genes that are missing from recombinant adenovirus and are required for packaging. 


Q: What are the biosafety requirements for working with adenovirus?

A: We recommend consulting your institution’s safety requirements for working with virus.  NIH recommends BSL2 when working with recombinant viruses, but this will vary between institutions.