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Hum Gene Ther. 2002 Oct 10;13(15):1887-900.

PEGylation of E1-deleted adenovirus vectors allows significant gene expression on readministration to liver.

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Institute for Human Gene Therapy and Department of Molecular and Cellular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, USA.


Systemic administration of adenoviral vectors leads to activation of innate and antigen-specific immunity. In an attempt to diminish T and B cell-specific immune responses to E1-deleted adenoviral vectors, capsid proteins were modified with various activated monomethoxypolyethylene glycols (MPEGs). The impact of this modification was studied in a murine model of liver-directed gene transfer in which an E1-deleted adenovirus expressing the lacZ gene was given intravenously. The efficiency of vector transduction of hepatocytes in vivo was not compromised by any of the polymer chemistries. PEGylation of the virus, however, diminished the activation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes and helper T cells of the type 1 subset (Th1 cells) against native viral antigens; neutralizing antibodies to native virus were also diminished. PEGylation prolonged transgene expression and allowed partial readministration with native virus or with a virus PEGylated with a heterologous chemical moiety. Apparently, modification of the capsid leads to a shift in antigenic epitopes because vector readministration was not possible when the immunizing vector had been modified by the same PEGylation chemistry used to modify the second vector. In light of these results, the concept of improving the performance of adenoviral vectors through modification of the capsid with PEG shows promise.

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