New helper cells and matched early region 1-deleted adenovirus vectors prevent generation of replication-competent adenoviruses

Hum Gene Ther. 1998 Sep 1;9(13):1909-17. doi: 10.1089/hum.1998.9.13-1909.


The presence of replication-competent adenoviruses (RCAs) in batches of replication-defective adenovirus (Ad) vectors is a major problem for the application of these vectors in gene therapy. RCAs are generated by recombination between sequences in the Ad vector and homologous Ad sequences in the helper cells, resulting in the acquisition by the vector of early region 1. To prevent the formation of RCAs, we have developed helper cell lines, which we named PER, and matched Ad vectors that do not have sequence overlap. PER cells contain the Ad serotype 5 (Ad5) E1A- and E1B-encoding sequences (Ad5 nucleotides 459-3510) under the control of the human phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK) promoter. We demonstrate that PER cells synthesize high levels of the Ad5 E1A and E1B proteins. The yields from PER cells of E1-deleted Ads are similar to those obtained from earlier helper cells, such as 911 and 293 cells. Propagation of matched Ad vectors, which lack Ad5 nucleotides 459-3510, in one of the PER clones, PER.C6, does not result in the generation of RCAs, in contrast to propagation in 293 cells. We conclude that the combination of PER.C6 cells and nonoverlapping E1-deleted adenoviral vectors eliminates the problem of RCA generation by homologous recombination, and allows cost-effective production of safe, clinical-grade batches of recombinant Ad vectors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenovirus E1A Proteins / analysis
  • Adenovirus E1A Proteins / genetics
  • Adenovirus E1B Proteins / analysis
  • Adenovirus E1B Proteins / genetics
  • Adenoviruses, Human / genetics*
  • Adenoviruses, Human / physiology
  • Capsid / biosynthesis
  • Capsid Proteins*
  • Cell Line, Transformed / cytology
  • Cell Line, Transformed / virology*
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics*
  • Helper Viruses / genetics*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Retina / cytology
  • Virion
  • Virus Cultivation
  • Virus Replication / genetics*


  • Adenovirus E1A Proteins
  • Adenovirus E1B Proteins
  • Capsid Proteins
  • hexon capsid protein, Adenovirus