Adenovirus (Ad) vaccine vectors have found widespread use as vaccine platforms against multiple infections and cancers, and multiple serotypes have been shown to differ significantly in their biological properties and immune phenotypes. Our laboratory and others have previously described differential innate immune stimulation elicited by various Ad serotypes. Here, we show that Ad serotype 5 (Ad5) traffics rapidly to the nucleus following infection, whereas Ad35 and Ad26 accumulate in late endosomes 2 to 8 h postinfection. Innate immune cytokine elicitation by all Ad serotypes was abrogated by blockade of endosomal acidification, cathepsin B, and caspase 1, suggesting that virus interactions with acid-dependent sensors, such as Toll-like receptor- and cathepsin-dependent inflammasome activation in late endosomes, may trigger innate immunity. These data suggest a mechanism by which Ad vectors from various serotypes differentially trigger innate antiviral pathways via distinct intracellular trafficking to late endosomes.
Importance: Adenoviruses (Ad) are widely used for vaccination and gene therapy applications. Importantly, Ad vectors have been shown to differ significantly in their innate immune profiles both in vivo and in vitro. The molecular mechanism that underlies these observed differences has important implications for the development of improved vaccines. In this study, we propose a mechanism in which the degree of late endosomal trafficking of Ad vectors results in differential stimulation of late endosomal pattern recognition receptors.
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