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Hum Gene Ther Methods. 2013 Feb;24(1):11-8. doi: 10.1089/hgtb.2012.113.

Retargeting vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein pseudotyped lentiviral vectors with enhanced stability by in situ synthesized polymer shell.

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Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


The ability to introduce transgenes with precise specificity to the desired target cells or tissues is key to a more facile application of genetic therapy. Here, we describe a novel method using nanotechnology to generate lentiviral vectors with altered recognition of host cell receptor specificity. Briefly, the infectivity of the vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein (VSV-G) pseudotyped lentiviral vectors was shielded by a thin polymer shell synthesized in situ onto the viral envelope, and new binding ability was conferred to the shielded virus by introducing acrylamide-tailored cyclic arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (cRGD) peptide to the polymer shell. We termed the resulting virus "targeting nanovirus." The targeting nanovirus had similar titer with VSV-G pseudotypes and specifically transduced Hela cells with high transduction efficiency. In addition, the encapsulation of the VSV-G pseudotyped lentivirus by the polymer shell did not change the pathway that VSV-G pseudotypes enter and fuse with cells, as well as later events such as reverse transcription and gene expression. Furthermore, the targeting nanovirus possessed enhanced stability in the presence of human serum, indicating protection of the virus by the polymer shell from human serum complement inactivation. This novel use of nanotechnology demonstrates proof of concept for an approach that could be more generally applied for redirecting viral vectors for laboratory and clinical purposes.

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