Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector-directed gene therapy is one of the most exciting modalities of biotechnology as more applications enter clinical stage. Although AAV vectors generally feature low toxicity, high stability, and long-lasting transgene expression, potential challenging issues of AAV include high vector dose, limited tissue tropism, and the host immune response and inflammation, which are all related to the capsid protein. To overcome these challenges, various strategies have been developed to engineer AAV capsids. Apart from widely employed genetic engineering of capsid protein, powerful and versatile chemical modification strategies are underexploited. This minireview summarizes recent advances and our perspectives for future direction in AAV capsid chemical modification to enhance its therapeutic use for gene therapy.
Keywords: AAV; adeno-associated virus; capsid engineering; capsid modification; chemical modification.