γ-Retrovirus (gamma-retrovirus) is an RNA virus comprised of its genome and several structural and enzymatic proteins, including reverse transcriptase and integrase. Once in a target cell, the virus uses the reverse transcriptase in tow to generate a DNA provirus. This provirus then gets integrated into the host's genome by the accompanying integrase protein.
When scientists discuss retrovirus, they typically are referring to a subset of retroviruses called γ-retroviruses. γ-Retroviruses can package relatively high amounts of DNA (up to ∼8 kb), and infection results in long-term transgene expression. Some disadvantages of γ-retroviruses are that they can only transduce dividing cells (this is because they are only able to enter the nucleus during mitotic breakdown of the nuclear envelope). Additionally, γ-retroviruses integrate randomly into the host's genome, which can lead to oncogenesis (termed insertional mutagenesis).
Read our γ-Retrovirus Guide for more information about:
- γ-Retroviral packaging systems
- Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about retrovirus
Popular γ-Retrovirus Envelope and Packaging Plasmids
Common γ-retroviral envelope and packaging plasmids.
|8449||pUMVC||Packaging||Contains gag and pol; Use with envelope plasmid||Weinberg|
|12371||pCL-Eco||Packaging||Contains gag, pol, & env||Verma|
|8454||pCMV-VSV-G||Envelope||Envelope protein; Use with packaging plasmid||Weinberg|
|12259||pMD2.G||Envelope||VSV-G-expressing envelope plasmid||Trono|
|1733||pCI-VSVG||Envelope||VSV-G recommended for the FELIX (FIV-based) system||Nolan|
|22501||pHEF-VSVG||Envelope||VSV-G-expressing envelope plasmid||Kasparov|
|35617||pCAG-Eco||Envelope||Ecotropic MLV expressing envelope plasmid||Nienhuis and Salmon|
|35616||pCAG-VSVG||Envelope||VSV-G-expressing envelope plasmid||Nienhuis and Salmon|
Popular γ-Retroviral Transfer Plasmids
Common γ-retroviral transfer plasmids. Want a retroviral plasmid with your gene of interest? Search our database for retroviral transfer plasmids that have inserts.
|1764||pBABE-puro||MoMLV||For transgene expression; Puromycin selection; For additional pBabe plasmids, browse the Weinberg Lab's plasmid page and search for ‘pBabe’||Land, Morgenstern, Weinberg|
|1780||pBABE-neo largeTcDNA||MoMLV||Expression of Large T antigen for creation of immortalized cells; see Weinberg Lab page for resistance variants||Weinberg|
|1773||pBABE-hygro-hTERT||MoMLV||Expression of hTERT for creation of immortalized cells; additional plasmids include Puro resistance; Neo Resistance||Weinberg|
|10676||pMKO.1 GFP||MoMLV||U6-driven plasmid for shRNA expression; Also expresses GFP; See plasmid 8452 for Puro resistance||Hahn|
|63704||pRetroX GFP T2A Cre||CMV/MSV||Tetracycline inducible expression of GFP T2A Cre fusion in mammalian cells||Foijer|
|47916||pRXTN||CMV/MSV||pRXTN is a modified version of pRX-tight Puro encoding NAT instead of PAC||Iglehart|
|20672||MSCV-IRES-GFP||MSCV||For transgene expression and GFP marker||Reya|
|21654||pMSCV PIG (Puro IRES GFP empty plasmid)||MSCV||For cloning and gene expression; Select with puromycin or screen for GFP||Bartel|
|32702||pMSCV-loxp-dsRed-loxp-eGFP-Puro-WPRE||MSCV||Conditional overexpression plasmid; Deletion of dsRed by Cre recombinase results in the rapid loss of dsRed and the activation of your gene fused to eGFP expression||Clevers|
|18760||MSCV IRES Luciferase||MSCV||Plasmid for transgene expression; Also expresses luciferase||Lowe|
|9044||pMIG||MSCV||Plasmid for transgene expression; Also expresses GFP; Also see pMIG-w, a variant that has WRE, a post-transcriptional regulatory element that increases export to the cytoplasm||Hahn|
|11375||MDH1-PGK-GFP_2.0||MSCV||Retroviral construct for miRNA expression||Chen|
|52114||pMSCV-IRES-mCherry FP||MSCV||A bicistronic IRES-mCherry containing retroviral plasmid||Vignali|
|27995||TtRMPVIR||CMV/MSV||Tet-regulated expression of shRNA; expresses rtTA; See article for additional plasmids in this toolkit||Lowe|
|64865||pLncEXP||CMV/MSV||lncRNA expression plasmid||Sun|
|60683||pLXIN-Luc||MoMSV||Stable expression of luciferase in mammalian cells||Wong|