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Custom Helper Dependent Adenovirus Constructs

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Please view our ordering information for custom constructs to learn how to register for an account, place orders for in-stock vectors and make payment through our online system.


The VVC HDAd system is based on the system created at Baylor College of Medicine.  The plasmid was modified by Samuel M. Young. This system uses various sized pseudo-genomes filled with un-transcripted stuffer sequence into which the transgene cassette is inserted.  This creates a final genome that is between 31kb and 37kb long, the most efficient and stable sizes for the packaging of adenoviral particles. The system is extremely flexible and able to express multiple gene cassettes driven by multiple promoters in a single virus.  Once a genome with a transgene cassette has been cloned, it is transfected into 293 cells that express the Cre recombinase protein.  After transfection the helper virus is added and the helper dependent vector is allowed to grow.  The helper virus provides all the needed viral proteins while the transfected genomes are packaged into the viral particles.  The HDAd is then amplified with more helper viruses being added at each amplification step.  The final amplification is then purified by double CsCl gradients, dialyzed to Hepes/Sucrose or A195 storage buffer, and frozen at -80C for long term storage.


  • Episomal gene expression.
  • Infects dividing and non-dividing cells.
  • Transient high-level protein expression.
  • Very large capacity, accommodates inserts of up to ~30kb.
  • High viral titer can be produced: 1 x 1010 IGU/ml to 1 x 1011IGU/ml.
  • Lower host immune response due to no viral proteins being expressed in the helper dependent virions.

Disadvantages and Adverse Effects

  • The viral particles themselves will cause an immune response, but it is delayed and less intense than a first generation adenovirus.
  • Viral particles can be neutralized by the host immune response.
  • Transient expression of the transgene due to lack of integration into the host genome. .
  • Helper virus contamination is present in every preparation.  Every batch is tested for the contamination level.  The helper virus is a first generation adenovirus that does not express any transgenes, but does express viral proteins.

Producing New Helper Dependent Adenoviral Vector from a Shuttle Plasmid

Cloning of GOI into HDAd5 backbone, Transfection, amplification, purification and titer


A cloning/expression shuttle vector is provided for a nominal fee and shipping cost after a Material Transfer Agreement is signed for academic customers only. 

Sample Required

30μg of Adenovirus plasmid expressing the gene of interest at a concentration greater than 0.25μg/μl. We also require a sequence, map, and specific gene of interest information in accordance with our biosafety protocols.


10-14 weeks from the time the plasmid is received.

Service Details

  • Cloning of GOI cassette into the appropriate HDAd5 backbone plasmid
  • Transfection and recombination
  • Large-scale amplification
  • Purification
  • With every new lot an infectious titer (infectous genome units igu/ml) is provided.
  • Each lot is checked for wild-type virus contamination (RCA) and helper virus contamination.

Material Provided

500ul of virus in 5 x 100ul aliquots at a concentration of at least 1x1010 IGU/ml.


Helper Dependent Adenovirus vectors are re-suspended in Hepes/Sucrose buffer.


CsCl banding: $3,000 per construct (plus shipping and handling)

Additional 500ul aliquots can be purchased at $2,565 per 500ul. These may take 8-10 weeks for a new prep to be made.


Montesinos M.S., Satterfield R., Young S.M. (2016) Helper-Dependent Adenoviral Vectors and Their Use for Neuroscience Applications. In: Schwartzbach S., Skalli O., Schikorski T. (eds) High-Resolution Imaging of Cellular Proteins. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 1474. Humana Press, New York, NY



Despite best efforts, some genes of interest may confer cellular toxicity that results in lower vector titers. We will notify investigators of progress and problems and discuss the next step if problems are noted.