Diagram of the recombinant AAV split gene principle. An expression unit corresponding to a large gene is roughly divided in two halves. One of them consists of a promoter (solid box with arrowhead), the 5' half of the gene (open box) and a splice donor site (SD) while the other encodes a splice acceptor sequence (SA), the 3' portion of the gene (shaded box) and a polyadenylation signal (solid box). These fragments are independently cloned between two AAV ITRs. Vector stocks are then generated from the resulting shuttle plasmids and are used to co-transduce target cells. Head-to-tail heterodimerization via intermolecular recombination between the two vector DNA molecules restores the full-length expression unit and results in the synthesis of the desired protein after the splicing of the intervening AAV ITR sequences from the primary transcript.