Human fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 is a co-receptor for infection by adeno-associated virus 2

Nat Med. 1999 Jan;5(1):71-7. doi: 10.1038/4758.


Adeno-associated virus 2 (AAV)-based vectors have gained attention as a potentially useful alternative to the more commonly used retroviral and adenoviral vectors for human gene therapy. Although AAV uses the ubiquitously expressed cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) as a receptor, the transduction efficiency of AAV vectors varies greatly in different cells and tissues in vitro and in vivo. We demonstrate here that cell surface expression of HSPG alone is insufficient for AAV infection, and that AAV also requires human fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) as a co-receptor for successful viral entry into the host cell. We document that cells that do not express either HSPG or FGFR1 fail to bind AAV and, consequently, are resistant to infection by AAV. These non-permissive cells are successfully transduced by AAV vectors after stable transfections with cDNAs encoding the murine HSPG and the human FGFR1. Furthermore, AAV infection of permissive cells, known to express both FGFR1 and the epidermal growth factor receptor, is abrogated by treatment of cells with basic fibroblast growth factor, but not with epidermal growth factor. The identification of FGFR1 as a co-receptor for AAV should provide new insights not only into its role in the life cycle of AAV, but also in the optimal use of AAV vectors in human gene therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Dependovirus / metabolism
  • Dependovirus / physiology*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / pharmacology
  • HeLa Cells
  • Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans / genetics
  • Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Phosphorylation
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases*
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 1
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor / genetics
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Virus / genetics
  • Receptors, Virus / metabolism*
  • Ribonucleoproteins / metabolism
  • Transgenes
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor
  • Receptors, Virus
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • ssD-BP protein, human
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • FGFR1 protein, human
  • Fgfr1 protein, mouse
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 1