Antibody-mediated targeting of replication-competent retroviral vectors

Chien Kuo Tai, Christopher R. Logg, Jinha M. Park, W. French Anderson, Michael F. Press, Noriyuki Kasahara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Replication-competent murine leukemia virus (MLV) vectors can be engineered to achieve high efficiency gene transfer to solid tumors in vivo and tumor-restricted replication, however their safety can be further enhanced by redirecting tropism of the virus envelope. We have therefore tested the targeting capability and replicative stability of ecotropic and amphotropic replication-competent retrovirus (RCR) vectors containing two tandem repeats from the immunoglobulin G-binding domain of Staphylococcal protein A inserted into the proline-rich "hinge" region of the envelope, which enables modular use of antibodies of various specificities for vector targeting. The modified envelopes were efficiently expressed and incorporated into virions, were capable of capturing monoclonal anti-HER2 antibodies, and mediated efficient binding of the virus-antibody complex to HER2-positive target cells. While infectivity was markedly reduced by pseudotyping with targeted envelopes alone, coexpression of wild-type envelope rescued efficient cellular entry. Both ecotropic and amphotropic RCR vector/anti-HER2 antibody complexes achieved significant enhancement of transduction on murine target cells overexpressing HER2, which could be competed by preincubation with excess free antibodies. Interestingly, HER2-expressing human breast cancer cells did not show enhancement of transduction despite efficient antibody-mediated cell surface binding, suggesting that target cell-specific parameters markedly affect the efficiency of post-binding entry processes. Serial replication of targeted vectors resulted in selection of Z domain deletion variants, but reduction of the overall size of the vector genome enhanced its stability. Application of antibody-mediated targeting to the initial localization of replication-competent virus vectors to tumor sites will thus require optimized target selection and vector design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-802
Number of pages14
JournalHuman gene therapy
Issue number8
StatePublished - May 20 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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