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J Virol. 1996 May;70(5):3227-34.

Second-strand synthesis is a rate-limiting step for efficient transduction by recombinant adeno-associated virus vectors.

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


The ability of recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) to transduce cells with a marker gene in vitro was found to be substantially increased by the presence of adenovirus. Transfection experiments with adenovirus genomic DNA suggest that this increase is not facilitated by adenovirus-mediated viral uptake but is instead dependent on adenovirus gene expression. Using various adenovirus mutants, we were able to map this function to early-region E4 open reading frame 6. Plasmid expression of open reading frame 6 protein in cells infected with recombinant AAV increased transduction between 100- and 1,000-fold. The increase in transduction was not dependent on the recombinant AAV gene cassette but instead appeared to involve an immediate early step of the AAV life cycle. Chemical and physical agents that have been shown to induce helper-free replication of wild-type AAV were also able to stimulate recombinant AAV transduction, suggesting that the phenomenon might affect AAV DNA replication. Further experiments showed that viral uncoating was not affected and that the rate-limiting step involved synthesis of a second strand on the single-stranded genomic AAV DNA. These data suggest that the adenovirus E4 region, as well as chemical and physical agents, can play an essential role in an immediate-early step of the AAV life cycle, specifically in second-strand synthesis, and have important implications for the use of AAV vectors in gene therapy protocols.

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