Development of Patient-specific AAV Vectors After Neutralizing Antibody Selection for Enhanced Muscle Gene Transfer

Mol Ther. 2016 Feb;24(1):53-65. doi: 10.1038/mt.2015.134. Epub 2015 Jul 29.


A major hindrance in gene therapy trials with adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors is the presence of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) that inhibit AAV transduction. In this study, we used directed evolution techniques in vitro and in mouse muscle to select novel NAb escape AAV chimeric capsid mutants in the presence of individual patient serum. AAV mutants isolated in vitro escaped broad patient-specific NAb activity but had poor transduction ability in vivo. AAV mutants isolated in vivo had enhanced NAb evasion from cognate serum and had high muscle transduction ability. More importantly, structural modeling identified a 100 amino acid motif from AAV6 in variable region (VR) III that confers this enhanced muscle tropism. In addition, a predominantly AAV8 capsid beta barrel template with a specific preference for AAV1/AAV9 in VR VII located at threefold symmetry axis facilitates NAb escape. Our data strongly support that chimeric AAV capsids composed of modular and nonoverlapping domains from various serotypes are capable of evading patient-specific NAbs and have enhanced muscle transduction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology*
  • Capsid Proteins / chemistry
  • Capsid Proteins / genetics*
  • Dependovirus / genetics
  • Dependovirus / isolation & purification
  • Dependovirus / physiology*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Genetic Vectors / administration & dosage
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Muscles / virology
  • Mutation*
  • Phylogeny
  • Precision Medicine
  • Transduction, Genetic*
  • Viral Tropism


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Capsid Proteins