In addition to the ability to boost gene delivery efficiency in many therapeutically relevant cells, the capability of circumventing neutralizing antibody (NAb) inactivation is a key prerequisite that gene carriers must fulfill for their extensive applications as therapeutic agents in many gene therapy trials, especially for cancer treatments. This study revealed that a genetically engineered adeno-associated virus (AAV) variant, AAVr3.45, inherently possesses dual beneficial properties as a gene carrier: (i) efficiently delivering therapeutic genes to many clinically valuable cells (e.g., stem or cancer cells) and (ii) effectively bypassing immunoglobulin (IgG) neutralization. Detailed interpretation of the structural features of AAVr3.45, which was previously engineered from AAV2, demonstrated that the LATQVGQKTA peptide at the heparan sulfate proteoglycan binding domain, especially the presence of cationic lysine on the peptide, served as a key motif for dramatically enhancing its gene delivery capabilities, ultimately broadening its tropisms for many cancer cell lines. Furthermore, the substitution of valine on the AAV2 capsid at the amino acid 719 site to methionine functioned as a coordinator for promoting viral resistance against IgG inactivation. The NAb-resistant characteristics of AAVr3.45 were possibly associated with the LATQVGQKTA sequence itself, indicating that its synergistic cooperation with the point mutation (V719M) is required for maximizing its ability to evade NAb inactivation. The potential of AAVr3.45 as a cancer gene therapy agent was confirmed by provoking apoptosis in breast adenocarcinoma by efficiently delivering a pro-apoptotic gene, BIM (Bcl-2-like protein 11), under high titers of human IgG. Thus, the superior aspects of the NAb-resistant AAVr3.45 as a potential therapeutic agent for systemic injection approaches, especially for cancer gene therapy, were highlighted in this study.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Bio & Medical Technology Development Program (NRF-2013M3 A9D3046431) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (MSIP), and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP; NRF-2015R1A2 A2A03003553). This research was also supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (Grants HI14C1564 and HI16C1089).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology