Hexon gene switch strategy for the generation of chimeric recombinant adenovirus

Hum Gene Ther. 2002 Jan 20;13(2):311-20. doi: 10.1089/10430340252769824.


The usefulness of adenovirus as a vehicle for transgene delivery is limited greatly by the induction of neutralizing anti-adenoviral immunity following the initial administration, thereby resulting in shorter-term and reduced levels of transgene expression. In this paper, we outline a strategy for the generation of recombinant Ad5-based adenovectors that have undergone a complete hexon exchange in an effort to circumvent pre-existing anti-vector humoral immunity. Eighteen different chimeric adenoviral vectors (from subgroups A, B, C, D, and E) have been constructed using a combination of direct cloning and bacterial homologous recombination methods. However, only chimeric Ad5-based constructs in which the hexons from Ad1, Ad2, Ad6, and Ad12 are incorporated in place of the Ad5 hexon were successfully rescued into viruses. Despite several attempts, the remaining fourteen chimeric adenovectors were not rescuable. In vivo rodent studies using transgenes for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) gag and secreted human alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) suggest that the Ad5/Ad6-gag chimera (wherein Ad5 hexon was replaced with that of Ad6) is able to evade neutralizing antibodies generated against Ad5 vector efficiently. However, it appears that cross-reactive cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) may also play a role in controlling in vivo infectivity of Ad5/Ad6-gag chimera. The Ad5/Ad12 chimera was found to be extremely ineffective in the i.m. delivery and expression of HIV-1 gag in mice compared to the Ad5/Ad6 construct. Implications of these results will be discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviruses, Human / genetics*
  • Animals
  • COS Cells
  • Capsid / genetics*
  • Capsid Proteins*
  • Gene Products, gag
  • Genes, Switch
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Genetic Vectors*
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombination, Genetic


  • Capsid Proteins
  • Gene Products, gag
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • hexon capsid protein, Adenovirus