Redundant and synergistic mechanisms control the sequestration of blood-born adenovirus in the liver

Mol Ther. 2009 Apr;17(4):675-84. doi: 10.1038/mt.2008.307. Epub 2009 Feb 17.


Human adenovirus (Ad) is a ubiquitous pathogen causing a wide range of diseases. Although the interactions of human Ad serotype 5 (Ad5) with susceptible cells in vitro are known in great detail, host factors controlling the tissue specificity of Ad5 infection in vivo remain poorly understood. Here, we analyzed the mechanisms of sequestration by the liver for blood-born human Ads and Ad5-based vectors. Our data suggest that several known mechanisms that lead to Ad5 sequestration by the liver become engaged in a redundant, sequential, and synergistic manner to ensure the rapid clearance of circulating virus particles from the blood. These mechanisms include (i) trapping of the virus by liver residential macrophages, Kupffer cells; (ii) Ad5 hepatocyte infection via blood factor-hexon interactions; and (iii) Ad5 penton RGD motif-mediated interactions with liver endothelial cells and hepatocytes, mediating virus retention in the space of Disse. More important, we show that when all of these mechanisms are simultaneously inactivated via mutations of Ad5 capsid proteins and pharmacological interventions, virus sequestration by the liver is markedly reduced. Therefore, our study is the first demonstration of the principal possibility of ablating the sequestration of blood-born Ad in the liver via specific inactivation of a defined set of mechanisms that control this process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Adenoviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Animals
  • Blood-Borne Pathogens*
  • Capsid Proteins / metabolism
  • Factor X / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kupffer Cells / pathology
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / virology*
  • Mice
  • Mutation
  • Oligopeptides / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Transduction, Genetic
  • Viral Proteins / genetics


  • Capsid Proteins
  • Oligopeptides
  • Viral Proteins
  • hexon capsid protein, Adenovirus
  • arginyl-glycyl-aspartic acid
  • Factor X