Retargeting adenovirus serotype 48 fiber knob domain by peptide incorporation

Lynda Coughlan, Hanni Uusi-Kerttula, Jiangtao Ma, Bethany P Degg, Alan L Parker, Andrew H Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Adenovirus type 5 (Ad5) is a commonly used vector for gene therapy, but its efficacy is limited by high seroprevalence and off-target hepatic and splenic sequestration. In order to circumvent these limitations, the use of vectors derived from rare species adenoviruses is appealing. The opportunity to retarget rare species vectors to defined cell types through the incorporation of peptide ligands would be advantageous, particularly in targeting tumors and disseminated metastases. We used predictive structural modeling to assess the CD, DG, HI, and IJ loops of the Ad48 fiber knob and identify optimal incorporation locales for the 20-mer peptide, A20FMDV2 (A20). A20FMDV2 targets ανβ6 integrin, which is overexpressed in human carcinomas. Recombinant Ad48 fiber knob proteins Knob48, Knob48-CD-A20, Knob48-DG-A20, Knob48-HI-A20, and Knob48-IJ-A20 were engineered and purified after expression in Escherichia coli. We confirmed that Knob48, Knob48-CD-A20, and Knob48-IJ-A20 formed stable homotrimers. However, Knob48-DG-A20 and Knob-HI-A20 failed to form a trimer. All A20-modified knob proteins blocked the transduction of Ad5-EGFPA20 via ανβ6, demonstrating that the inserted A20 peptide was functional. In conclusion, we show that the CD and IJ loops of Ad48 represent suitable sites for targeting peptide incorporation. Interestingly, in vitro gene transfer mediated by the non-factor-X-binding Ad48 vector was not sensitive to immunoglobulins and complement when incubated in the presence of mouse serum, unlike Ad5. These data support the future generation of the corresponding Ad48 viral vectors, Ad48-CD-A20 and Ad48-IJ-A20, which may offer favorable characteristics for targeted delivery in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-94
Number of pages10
JournalHuman Gene Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Adenoviruses, Human
  • Animals
  • Capsid Proteins
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Order
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Humans
  • Immune Sera
  • Mice
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Peptides
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs
  • Protein Multimerization
  • Recombinant Proteins


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