Adenovirus dodecahedron, a new vector for human gene transfer

Nat Biotechnol. 1997 Jan;15(1):52-6. doi: 10.1038/nbt0197-52.


Recombinant adenovirus is one of most efficient delivery vehicles for gene therapy. However, the initial enthusiasm for the use of recombinant adenovirus for gene therapy has been tempered by strong immune responses that develop to the virus and virus-infected cells. Even though recombinant adenoviruses are replication-defective, they introduce into the recipient cell, together with the gene of interest, viral genetes that might lead to fortuitous recombination if the recipient is infected by wild-type adenovirus. We propose the use of a dodecahedron made of adenovirus pentons or penton bases as an alternative vector for human gene therapy. The penton is a complex of two oligomeric proteins, a penton base and fiber, involved in the cell attachment, internalization, and liberation of virus into the cytoplasm. The dodecahedron retains many of the advantages of adenovirus for gene transfer such as efficiency of entry, efficient release of DNA from endosomes, and wide range of cell and tissue targets. Because it consists of only one or two adenovirus proteins instead of the 11 contained in an adenovirus virion and it does not contain the viral genome, it is potentially a safer alternative to recombinant adenovirus.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics*
  • Adenoviridae / immunology
  • Baculoviridae / genetics
  • Capsid / chemistry
  • Capsid / genetics*
  • Capsid / metabolism
  • Capsid Proteins*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics*
  • HeLa Cells / virology
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics*
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism


  • Capsid Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • penton protein, adenovirus