The utility of the present generation of adenovirus (Ad) vectors for gene therapy applications could be improved by restricting native viral tropism to selected cell types. In order to achieve modification of Ad tropism, we proposed to exploit a minor component of viral capsid, protein IX (pIX), for genetic incorporation of targeting ligands. Based on the proposed structure of pIX, we hypothesized that its C terminus could be used as a site for incorporation of heterologous peptide sequences. We engineered recombinant Ad vectors containing modified pIX carrying a carboxy-terminal Flag epitope along with a heparan sulfate binding motif consisting of either eight consecutive lysines or a polylysine sequence. Using an anti-Flag antibody, we have shown that modified pIXs are incorporated into virions and display Flag-containing C-terminal sequences on the capsid surface. In addition, both lysine octapeptide and polylysine ligands were accessible for binding to heparin-coated beads. In contrast to virus bearing lysine octapeptide, Ad vector displaying a polylysine was capable of recognizing cellular heparan sulfate receptors. We have demonstrated that incorporation of a polylysine motif into the pIX ectodomain results in a significant augmentation of Ad fiber knob-independent infection of CAR-deficient cell types. Our data suggest that the pIX ectodomain can serve as an alternative to the fiber knob, penton base, and hexon proteins for incorporation of targeting ligands for the purpose of Ad tropism modification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6893-6899
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2002


Dive into the research topics of 'Engineering of adenovirus vectors containing heterologous peptide sequences in the C terminus of capsid protein IX'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this