Ross River virus (RRV) and Semliki Forest virus (SFV) are two alphaviruses that have a high degree of amino acid homology, as well as a very broad host range. We show here that envelope glycoproteins derived from both viruses can pseudotype human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-derived lentivirus vectors. Both RRV and SFV glycoproteins considerably expand the host range of the lentivirus vector, and vectors can be efficiently concentrated by ultracentrifugation. A systematic analysis comparing the alphaviral glycoproteins to the vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein (VSV-G) revealed that lentivirus vectors incorporate RRV glycoproteins with an efficiency comparable to that of VSV-G. Both pseudotypes have comparable physical titers, but infectious titers with the RRV pseudotype are lower than with VSV-G. Incorporation of SFV glycoproteins into lentivirus vector is less efficient, leading to decreased physical and infectious titers. The transduction rates with VSV-G-, RRV-, and SFV-pseudotyped lentivirus vectors into adherent cell lines can be significantly increased by using a combination of Polybrene and plates coated with CH-296 recombinant fibronectin fragments. Together, our data suggest that RRV and SFV glycoproteins might be suitable as alternatives to VSV-G for pseudotyping lentivirus vectors.
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