Can you perform transient transfection using lentiviral method? If so, how does this differ from standard transfection methods?

Answer

Lentiviral delivery involves the use of a virus carrying genetic material that integrates into cell genomes. However, there is a way to achieve transient delivery using viral vectors into cells. Using integrase-defective lentivirus, there is a specific disruption to the integration process, which inhibits integration in the cell’s genome. Therefore, after 4-5 days of culturing, gene expression will be gone. When deliverying a gene using standard transfection, the introduced nucleic acid (mRNA for transient delivery) will only be present in the cell for a limited amount of time before getting degraded, and will not integrate into the genome.

Both methods have the similar effect, but different concept. Transient transfection by lentiviral method has more advantages than standard transfection. It has high gene delivery efficiency to non-dividing cells, like primary, neuronal cells, blood T cells , B cells and hard transfection cells which standard transfection method has very low delivery efficiency.