Second-strand synthesis is a rate-limiting step for efficient transduction by recombinant adeno-associated virus vectors

Forrest K. Ferrari, Thaddeus Samulski, Thomas Shenk, Richard Jude Samulski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

636 Scopus citations


The ability of recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) to transduce cells with a marker gene in vitro was found to be substantially increased by the presence of adenovirus. Transfection experiments with adenovirus genomic DNA suggest that this increase is not facilitated by adenovirus-mediated viral uptake but is instead dependent on adenovirus gene expression. Using various adenovirus mutants, we were able to map this function to early-region E4 open reading frame 6. Plasmid expression of open reading frame 6 protein in cells infected with recombinant AAV increased transduction between 100- and 1,000- fold. The increase in transduction was not dependent on the recombinant AAV gene cassette but instead appeared to involve an immediate early step of the AAV life cycle. Chemical and physical agents that have been shown to induce helper-free replication of wild-type AAV were also able to stimulate recombinant AAV transduction, suggesting that the phenomenon might affect AAV DNA replication. Further experiments showed that vital uncoating was not affected and that the rate-limiting step involved synthesis of a second strand on the single-stranded genomic AAV DNA. These data suggest that the adenovirus E4 region, as well as chemical and physical agents, can play an essential rule in an immediate-early step of the AAV life cycle, specifically in second-strand synthesis, and have important implications for the use of AAV vectors in gene therapy protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3227-3234
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Insect Science
  • Virology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology


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