Polylysine modification of adenoviral fiber protein enhances muscle cell transduction

Hum Gene Ther. 1999 Jul 1;10(10):1633-40. doi: 10.1089/10430349950017635.


Adenoviral vectors (ADVs) are used widely for gene delivery to different tissues including muscle. One particularly promising use for ADVs is in the transfer of the dystrophin gene to the muscle of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). However, studies in different animal models of DMD suggest that ADVs inefficiently transduce mature skeletal muscle. In this article we test whether AdZ.F(pK7), a genetically modified ADV that expresses a polylysine moiety on the end of the fiber protein, could enhance transduction of muscle cells and circumvent the maturation-dependent loss of muscle infectivity by ADVs. The efficiency of transduction was tested at different levels of muscle maturation. In vitro, AdZ.F(pK7) showed a higher level of transduction at all stages of differentiation including myoblasts, myotubes, and single muscle fibers. In vivo, mature skeletal muscle was transduced fourfold better by AdZ.F(pK7) than by the unmodifled vector (AdZ.F). Together, these observations demonstrate improved ADV transduction of skeletal muscle by modifying ADV tropism, and provide a proof-of-principle that modification of ADVs to target muscle-specific molecules could result in tissue-specific transfer of skeletal muscle tissue as well.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviruses, Human*
  • Animals
  • Capsid / genetics*
  • Capsid Proteins*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Transformation, Viral
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Genetic Vectors*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology
  • Polylysine*


  • Capsid Proteins
  • hexon capsid protein, Adenovirus
  • Polylysine