Skip to main content
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies.

Please note: Your browser does not support the features used on Addgene's website. You may not be able to create an account or request plasmids through this website until you upgrade your browser. Learn more

Please note: Your browser does not fully support some of the features used on Addgene's website. If you run into any problems registering, depositing, or ordering please contact us at [email protected]. Learn more

viral vector icon   γ-Retroviral Plasmids

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.

   ID Plasmid Type Description PI
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.

   ID Plasmid 5'LTR Description PI
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

Do you have suggestions for other plasmids that should be added to this list?

Fill out our Suggest a Plasmid form or e-mail [email protected] to help us improve this resource!