Human adenovirus (Ad) is extensively used for a variety of gene therapy applications. However, the utility of Ad vectors is limited due to the low efficiency of Ad-mediated gene transfer to target cells expressing marginal levels of the Ad fiber receptor. Therefore, the present generation of Ad vectors could potentially be improved by modification of Ad tropism to target the virus to specific organs and tissues. The fact that coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR) does not play any role in virus internalization, but functions merely as the virus attachment site, suggests that the extracellular part of CAR might be utilized to block the receptor recognition site on the Ad fiber knob domain. We proposed to design bispecific fusion proteins formed by a recombinant soluble form of truncated CAR (sCAR) and a targeting ligand. In this study, we derived sCAR genetically fused with human epidermal growth factor (EGF) and investigated its ability to target Ad infection to the EGF receptor (EGFR) overexpressed on cancer cell lines. We have demonstrated that sCAR-EGF protein is capable of binding to Ad virions and directing them to EGFR, thereby achieving targeted delivery of reporter gene. These results show that sCAR-EGF protein possesses the ability to effectively retarget Ad via a non-CAR pathway, with enhancement of gene transfer efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6875-6884
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2000


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