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Genetic modification of adenovirus 5 tropism by a novel class of ligands based on a three-helix bundle scaffold derived from staphylococcal protein A.

Journal article
Authors Petra Henning
Maria K Magnusson
E Gunneriusson
S S Hong
P Boulanger
P-A Nygren
Leif Lindholm
Published in Human gene therapy
Volume 13
Issue 12
Pages 1427-39
ISSN 1043-0342
Publication year 2002
Published at Institute of Medical Microbiology/Immunology
Pages 1427-39
Language en
Keywords Adenoviridae, chemistry, physiology, Animals, COS Cells, Gene Transfer Techniques, Genetic Vectors, Humans, Ligands, Organ Specificity, Protein Folding, Spodoptera, Staphylococcal Protein A, chemistry, genetics, Transduction, Genetic, Virus Replication, genetics
Subject categories Microbiology in the medical area


The use of adenovirus (Ad) as an efficient and versatile vector for in vivo tumor therapy requires the modulation of its cellular tropism. We previously developed a method to genetically alter the tropism of Ad5 fibers by replacing the fiber knob domain by an extrinsic trimerization motif and a new cellular ligand. However, fibers carrying complex ligands such as single-chain antibody fragments did not assemble into functional pentons in vitro in the presence of penton base, and failed to be rescued into infectious virions because of their inability to fold correctly within the cytoplasm of Ad-infected cells. Here we show that the coding sequence for a disulfide bond-independent three-helix bundle scaffold Z, derived from domain B of Staphylococcal protein A and capable of binding to the Fc portion of immunoglobulin (Ig) G1, could be incorporated into modified knobless Ad fiber gene constructs with seven shaft repeats. These fiber gene constructs could be rescued into viable virions that were demonstrated to enter 293 cells engineered for IgG Fc surface expression but not unmodified 293 cells, via a mechanism that could be specifically blocked with soluble Fc target protein. However, the tropism modified viruses showed a slightly impaired cellular entry and a lower infectivity than wildtype (WT) virus. In addition, we generated recombinant fibers containing an IgA binding Affibody ligand, derived from combinatorial specificity-engineering of the Z domain scaffold. Such fiber constructs also showed the expected target specific binding, indicating that the affibody protein class is ideally suited for genetic engineering of Ad tropism.

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