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J Virol. 2006 Jan;80(1):426-39.

Liver transduction with recombinant adeno-associated virus is primarily restricted by capsid serotype not vector genotype.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics and Genetics, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Room G305, 300 Pasteur Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


We and others have recently reported highly efficient liver gene transfer with adeno-associated virus 8 (AAV-8) pseudotypes, i.e., AAV-2 genomes packaged into AAV-8 capsids. Here we studied whether liver transduction could be further enhanced by using viral DNA packaging sequences (inverted terminal repeats [ITRs]) derived from AAV genotypes other than 2. To this end, we generated two sets of vector constructs carrying expression cassettes embedding a gfp gene or the human factor IX (hfIX) gene flanked by ITRs from AAV genotypes 1 through 6. Initial in vitro analyses of gfp vector DNA replication, encapsidation, and cell transduction revealed a surprisingly high degree of interchangeability among the six genotypes. For subsequent in vivo studies, we cross-packaged the six hfIX variants into AAV-8 and infused mice via the portal vein with doses of 5 x 10(10) to 1.8 x 10(12) particles. Notably, all vectors expressed comparably high plasma hFIX levels within a dose cohort over the following 6 months, concurrent with the finding of equivalent vector DNA copy numbers per cell. Partial hepatectomies resulted in approximately 80% drops of hFIX levels and vector DNA copy numbers in all groups, indicating genotype-independent persistence of predominantly episomal vector DNA. Southern blot analyses of total liver DNA in fact confirmed the presence of identical and mostly nonintegrated molecular vector forms for all genotypes. We conclude that, unlike serotypes, AAV genotypes are not critical for efficient hepatocyte transduction and can be freely substituted. This corroborates our current model for AAV vector persistence in the liver and provides useful information for the future design and application of recombinant AAV.

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