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Mol Ther. 2008 Mar;16(3):494-9. doi: 10.1038/ Epub 2008 Jan 8.

Adeno-associated virus of a single-polarity DNA genome is capable of transduction in vivo.

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Gene Therapy Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.


The adeno-associated virus (AAV) is a promising vector for gene therapy. Further improvement of the virus for clinical application depends on better understanding of the molecular structure and fate of the vector genome. AAV vectors with wild-type inverted terminal repeats package either the plus- or the minus-strand DNA genomes with equal frequency. By creating a series of deletions within the, we have developed a genetic approach that can generate an AAV vector that packages its single-stranded DNA genome predominantly in a single polarity (99.4%). This novel reagent efficiently transduced muscle, brain and liver in whole animals. The transduction efficiencies were similar to those of the control mixed-polarity vectors. Our results showed that reannealing of plus- and minus-strand DNA was not required for AAV-mediated transduction in vivo, supporting the hypothesis that second-strand DNA synthesis is a primary pathway in converting the single-stranded AAV genome into double-stranded forms. The availability of the single-polarity AAV vector would aid further studies on the mechanism of AAV transduction as well as the application of AAV vector for gene replacement therapy.

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