A defective HSV-1 vector expresses Escherichia coli beta-galactosidase in cultured peripheral neurons

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Science  23 Sep 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4873, pp. 1667-1669
DOI: 10.1126/science.2843986


A defective herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) vector, pHSVlac, has been developed that contains a transcription unit that places the Escherichia coli lacZ gene under the control of the HSV-1 immediate early 4/5 promoter. The vector pHSVlac was propagated with the HSV-1 temperature-sensitive mutant ts K as helper virus. Infection of neurons from rat superior cervical ganglia and dorsal root ganglia in primary culture resulted in stable expression of high levels of beta-galactosidase without cell death. These HSV-1 vectors should be useful for introducing genes into postmitotic cells, such as neurons, in vitro and in vivo.