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Hum Gene Ther. 1999 May 20;10(8):1349-58.

PEGylation of adenovirus with retention of infectivity and protection from neutralizing antibody in vitro and in vivo.

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Genzyme Corporation, Framingham, MA 01701-9322, USA.


Replication-defective recombinant adenovirus (Ad) vectors are under development for a wide variety of gene therapy indications. A potential limiting factor associated with virus gene therapy requiring repeated treatment is the development of a humoral immune response to the vector by the host. In animal models, there is a dose-dependent rise in neutralizing antibodies after primary vector administration, which can preclude effective repeat administration. The strategy we have developed to circumvent the neutralization of adenovirus vectors by antibodies is to mask their surface by covalent attachment of the polymer polyethylene glycol (PEG). Covalent attachment of PEG to the surface of the adenovirus was achieved primarily by using activated PEG tresylmonomethoxypolyethylene glycol (TMPEG), which reacts preferentially with the epsilon-amino terminal of lysine residues. We show that the components of the capsid that elicit a neutralizing immune response, i.e., hexon, fiber, and penton base, are also the main targets for PEGylation. Several protocols for PEGylation of an adenovirus vector were evaluated with respect to retention of virus infectivity and masking from antibody neutralization. We show that covalent attachment of polymer to the surface of the adenovirus can be achieved with retention of infectivity. We show further that PEG-modified adenovirus can be protected from antibody neutralization in the lungs of mice with high antibody titers to adenovirus, suggesting that PEGylation will improve the ability to administer Ad vectors on a repeated basis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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