The utility of current generation adenoviral vectors for targeted, cell-specific gene delivery is limited by the promiscuous tropism of the parent virus. To address this issue, we have developed both genetic and immunologic methods to alter viral tropism. Immunologic retargeting has been achieved via conjugates comprised of an antifiber knob Fab and a targeting moiety consisting of a ligand or antireceptor antibody. Gene delivery by this approach has been accomplished via a variety of cellular pathways including receptors for folate, FGF, and EGF. In addition to cell-specific gene delivery, this strategy has allowed enhanced gene delivery to target cells lacking the native adenoviral receptor, CAR. Of note, this specific and extended gene delivery allowed enhanced survival in murine models of human carcinoma via cancer gene therapy. Genetic strategies to alter adenoviral tropism have included both fiber modification and fiber replacement. In the former, we have identified the HI loop of fiber as a propitious locale for introduction of heterologous peptides. Incorporation of an RGDC peptide at this locale allowed gene delivery via cellular integrins with dramatic efficiency augmentations. As a strategy to achieve both new tropism as well as to ablate native tropism, methods have been developed to replace the fiber protein with heterologous motif which preserves the key trimeric quaternary structure of fiber and allows for propagation. Such a fiber-replacement virus has been rescued and has demonstrated capacities consistent with its utility as a novel vector agent. These strategies have allowed the achievement of cell-specific gene delivery via adenoviral vectors and thus have the potential to enhance the utility of this vector agent.
|Number of pages
|Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
|Published - 1999