To expand the utility of recombinant adenovirus vectors for gene therapy applications, methods to alter native viral tropism to achieve cell-specific transduction would be beneficial. To this end, we are pursuing genetic methods to alter the cell recognition domain of the adenovirus fiber. To incorporate these modified fibers into mature virions, we have developed a method based on homologous DNA recombination between two plasmids. A fiber- deleted, propagation-defective rescue plasmid has been designed for recombination with a shuttle plasmid encoding a variant fiber gene. Recombination between the two plasmids results in the derivation of recombinant viruses containing the variant fiber gene. To establish the utility of this method, we constructed a recombinant adenovirus containing a fiber gene with a silent mutation. In addition, we generated an adenovirus vector containing chimeric fibers composed of the tail and shaft domains of adenovirus serotype 5 and the knob domain of serotype 3. This modification was shown to alter the receptor recognition profile of the virus containing the fiber chimera. Thus, this two-plasmid system allows for the generation of adenovirus vectors containing variant fibers. This method provides a rapid and facile means of generating fiber-modified recombinant adenoviruses. In addition, it should be possible to use this system in the development of adenovirus vectors with modified tropism to allow cell-specific targeting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6839-6846
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1996


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