Adenovirus receptors: implications for targeting of viral vectors

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2012 Aug;33(8):442-8. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 May 21.


Cancer, cardiovascular disease, and infectious diseases are all global health threats. To combat these diseases with gene therapies, adenovirus-based vectors have been developed. Although certain clinical trials appear successful, there is an obvious need to improve the efficacy of most adenovirus-based vectors. For the most commonly used vector (based on type 5; Ad5), a main problem is its accumulation in the liver, which can be attributed to interactions with specific host factors. The diverse tropism for types other than Ad5 implies that vectors based on alternative types could have advantages. The numerous interactions of different adenoviruses with host molecules - such as the recently identified desmoglein-2 receptor - may cause novel and unexpected obstacles, but also may provide possibilities for vectors based on alternative types. This review provides an update of new and previously known molecules that mediate cellular attachment of human adenoviruses and discusses how these may influence the targeting of adenovirus-based vectors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / classification
  • Adenoviridae / genetics*
  • Adenoviridae / physiology
  • Animals
  • Genetic Therapy / adverse effects
  • Genetic Vectors* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology
  • Receptors, Virus / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Virus / metabolism
  • Viral Tropism


  • Receptors, Virus
  • adenovirus receptor