Send to

Choose Destination
Hum Gene Ther. 2001 Oct 10;12(15):1923-36.

Empty capsids in column-purified recombinant adenovirus preparations.

Author information

Biotechnology Development Department, Schering-Plough Research Institute, Union, NJ 07083, USA.


Empty capsids from adenovirus, that is, virus particles lacking DNA, are well documented in the published literature. They can be separated from complete virus by CsCl density gradient centrifugation. Here we characterize the presence of empty capsids in recombinant adenovirus preparations purified by column chromatography. The initial purified recombinant adenovirus containing the p53 tumor suppressor gene was produced from 293 cells grown on microcarriers and purified by passage through DEAE-Fractogel and gel-filtration chromatography. Further sequential purification of the column-purified virus by CsCl and glycerol density gradient centrifugations yielded isolated complete virus and empty capsids. The empty capsids were essentially noninfectious and free of DNA. Analysis of empty capsids by SDS-PAGE or RP-HPLC showed the presence of only three major components: hexon, IIIa, and a 31K band. This last protein was identified as the precursor to protein VIII (pVIII) by mass spectrometric analysis. No pVIII was detected from the purified complete virus. Analysis by electron microscopy of the empty capsids showed particles with small defects. The amount of pVIII was used to determine the level of empty capsid contamination. First, the purified empty capsids were used to quantify the relation of pVIII to empty capsid particle concentration (as estimated by either light scattering or hexon content). They were then used as a standard to establish the empty capsid concentration of various recombinant adenovirus preparations. Preliminary research showed changes in empty capsid concentration with variations in the infection conditions. While virus purification on anion-exchange or gel-filtration chromatography has little effect on empty capsid contamination, other chromatographic steps can substantially reduce the final concentration of empty capsids in column-purified adenovirus preparations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center