Plasmid technologies are constantly evolving, but sometimes a technology is so useful it forever enhances biological research and discovery. CRISPR is a great example (the top requested plasmids from 2015 and 2016 were CRISPR plasmids), but so are lentiviral vectors, many of which are used to deliver Cas9 and other genes to mammalian cells. For this reason, the top requested plasmid of 2017 is the lentivirus envelope plasmid pMD2.G from Didier Trono’s lab!
Lentivirus Envelope Vector pMD2.G
This plasmid has been requested nearly 6,000 times (over 800 orders in 2017) and expresses the VSV-G envelope protein under the control of the powerful mammalian CMV promoter.
Envelope proteins are a key component of lentiviruses. These proteins coat the virus and help determine the types of cells that it can infect. The VSV-G envelope is widely used and requested because it enables lentiviruses to infect many different types of cells. This means researchers who use VSV-G can deliver their genes of interest to a variety of cells and study their effects.
To date, nearly 900 articles cite the use of pMD2.G obtained from Addgene. Skimming the list, one gets a sense of the broad usefulness of pMD2.G and VSV-G. This plasmid has been used in studies of the secretome, ubiquitin ligase, cellular senescence, autophagy, CRISPR, and so much more (find the full, searchable list here).
Tips for Using pMD2.G
At Addgene, we use pMD2.G for producing our ready-to-use lentivirus preps. You can find our lentivirus production protocol on our website and tips for titering your lentivirus in another blog post. If you need a quick primer on how lentiviruses work, check out our lentivirus guide page.
For more protocols and information, be sure to check out the Trono Lab website.
If you have plasmids you’d like to deposit with Addgene, be sure to visit addgene.org/deposit. Who knows, maybe yours will be the top requested plasmid of 2018!
- Quick Guide to All Things Lentivirus
- 5 Tips for Troubleshooting Viral Transductions
- Getting the Most from Your Lentiviral Transduction
Additional Resources on Addgene.org