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Hum Gene Ther. 1999 Mar 1;10(4):591-602.

Two independent molecular pathways for recombinant adeno-associated virus genome conversion occur after UV-C and E4orf6 augmentation of transduction.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Iowa School of Medicine, Iowa City 52242, USA.


Numerous environmental influences have been demonstrated to enhance recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) transduction. Such findings are the foundation of developing new and innovative strategies to improve the efficiency of rAAV as a gene therapy vector. Several of these environmental factors included genotoxic stresses such as UV and y irradiation as well as certain adenoviral gene products such as E4orf6. The mechanisms by which these environmental stimuli increase rAAV transduction are only partially understood but have been suggested to involve both endocytosis and uptake of virus to the nucleus, as well as conversion of single-stranded DNA viral genomes to double-stranded expressible forms. Two molecular intermediates of rAAV genomes, which have been demonstrated to correlate with transgene expression and/or the persistence of rAAV, include both replication form (Rf) monomers and dimers as well as circular intermediates. In the present study, we demonstrate that augmentation of rAAV transduction by UV irradiation and the adenoviral protein E4orf6 correlates with distinct increases in either circular or replication form intermediates, respectively. UV irradiation of primary fibroblasts at 15 J/m2 resulted in a 15-fold induction of head-to-tail circular intermediates, with minimal induction of replication form rAAV genomes. In contrast, E4orf6-augmented rAAV transduction was correlated with the formation of replication form intermediates, with no alteration in the abundance of circular intermediates. These findings demonstrate that rAAV transduction can occur through two independent molecular pathways that convert single-stranded AAV genomes to expressible forms of DNA.

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