Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.434, No.1, 110-116, 2013
Quantum dot coating of baculoviral vectors enables visualization of transduced cells and tissues
Imaging of transduced cells and tissues is valuable in developing gene transfer vectors and evaluating gene therapy efficacy. We report here a simple method to use bright and photostable quantum dots to label baculovirus, an emerging gene therapy vector. The labeling was achieved through the non-covalent interaction of glutathione-capped CdTe quantum dots with the virus envelope, without the use of chemical conjugation. The quantum dot labeling was nondestructive to viral transduction function and enabled the identification of baculoviral vector-transduced, living cells based on red fluorescence. When the labeled baculoviral vectors were injected intravenously or intraventricularly for in vivo delivery of a transgene into mice, quantum dot fluorescence signals allow us monitor whether or not the injected tissues were transduced. More importantly, using a dual-color whole-body imaging technology, we demonstrated that in vivo viral transduction could be evaluated in a real-time manner in living mice. Thus, our method of labeling a read-to-use gene delivery vector with quantum dots could be useful towards the improvement of vector design and will have the potential to assess baculovirus-based gene therapy protocols in future. (C) 2013 Published by Elsevier Inc.