Recombinant adenovirus vectors (Ad) have been recognized as effective in vivo gene delivery vehicles and utilized as gene therapy agents for a number of cancers. The elucidation of viral entry mechanisms has allowed the development of recombinant vectors that exploit existing cell surface receptors to achieve entry into the cell. B lymphocytes are normally resistant to infection by adenovirus 5, likely due to the lack of the Coxsackie and Adenovirus receptor (CAR). Using reverse-transcriptase PCR and flow cytometry, the CD40 receptor has been shown to be expressed on many lymphoma cells. We exploited this finding to develop a gene therapy strategy for treatment of canine B-cell lymphoma. Ad5 was targeted to cells expressing CD40 via CD40 ligand (CD40L) and was effective in infecting CD40-expressing control cells; however, both primary canine lymphoma cells and cell lines demonstrated limited evidence of transduction. Following receptor binding, adenovirus entry into cells may require interaction with αvβ3/5 integrins; we demonstrate that canine lymphoma cells are deficient in these integrins. Reduced αvβ3 integrin expression may render these cells incapable of internalizing Ad vectors. Thus, any viral targeting approaches for treatment of canine lymphoma must also take into account the potential lack of internalization signals.
- Gene therapy