Human adenoviruses have many attractive features for gene therapy applications. However, the high prevalence of preexisting immunity against these viruses in general populations worldwide has greatly limited their clinical utility. In addition, the most commonly used human adenovirus, human adenovirus subgroup C serotype 5 (HAd5), when systemically administered, triggers systemic inflammation and toxicity, with the liver being the most severely affected organ. Here, we evaluated the utility and safety of a new low-seroprevalence gorilla adenovirus (GAd; GC46) as a gene transfer vector in mice. Biodistribution studies revealed that systemically administered GAd had a selective and robust lung endothelial cell (EC) tropism with minimal vector expression throughout many other organs and tissues. Administration of a high dose of GAd accomplished extensive transgene expression in the lung yet elicited no detectable inflammatory histopathology in this organ. Furthermore, GAd, unlike HAd5, did not exhibit hepatotropism or induce liver inflammatory toxicity in mice, demonstrating the exceptional safety profile of the vector vis-à-vis systemic utility. We further demonstrated that the GAd capsid fiber shared the flexibility of the HAd5 equivalent for permitting genetic modification; GAd with the pan-EC-Targeting ligand myeloid cell-binding peptide (MBP) incorporated in the capsid displayed a reduced lung tropism and efficiently retargeted gene expression to vascular beds in other organs.
- Gene therapy
- Lung-Targeting vector