How to choose your viral vector

Information on the different viral vectors produced by the cellular imaging platform

The use of viruses to deliver genes and more specifically fluorescent markers to cells of the nervous system is known to work efficiently. However, different viral vectors are available to you that have different characteristics, and the decision to favor one or another virus should be based on numerous considerations, a few of which being:

  • size of the genetic material to be carried in the vector (gene of interest + regulatory sequences),
  • cells that are targeted (number, phenotype, mitotic status),
  • speed and duration of expression

Targeting virus entry specifically into neurons can be achieved, though not with any of the viral vectors described below in their present form. We are testing the possibility of also producing neuronotropic viruses like Semliki forest viruses, or pseudotyping some of our vectors with proteins from neuronotropic viruses: we will keep you informed of the developments. But it is certainly possible to restrict expression of the transgene to neurons by use of neuron-specific promoters like the synapsin I promoter.

We can help you choose the best tool for your experiment, so we suggest you contact us before ordering a viral vector.

View the list of viral vectors available at the Neurophotonics Centre.