Abstract 0317


Dreier, B., Mikheeva, G., Belousova, N., Parizek, P., Boczek, E., Jelesarov, I., Forrer, P., Plückthun, A., and Krasnykh, V. (2011). Her2-specific multivalent adapters confer designed tropism to adenovirus for gene targeting. J. Mol. Biol. 410-426.


Adenoviruses (Ads) hold great promise as gene vectors for diagnostic or therapeutic applications. The native tropism of Ads must be modified to achieve disease site-specific gene delivery by Ad vectors and this should be done in a programmable way and with technology that can realistically be scaled up. To this end, we applied the technologies of designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins) and ribosome display to develop a DARPin that binds the knob domain of the Ad fiber protein with low nanomolar affinity (K(D) 1.35 nM) and fused this protein with a DARPin specific for Her2, an established cell-surface biomarker of human cancers. The stability of the complex formed by this bispecific targeting adapter and the Ad virion resulted in insufficient gene transfer and was subsequently improved by increasing the valency of adapter-virus binding. In particular, we designed adapters that chelated the knob in a bivalent or trivalent fashion and showed that the efficacy of gene transfer by the adapter-Ad complex increased with the functional affinity of these molecules. This enabled efficient transduction at low stoichiometric adapter-to-fiber ratios. We confirmed the Her2 specificity of this transduction and its dependence on the Her2-binding DARPin component of the adapters. Even the adapter molecules with four fused DARPins could be produced and purified from Escherichia coli at very high levels. In principle, DARPins can be generated against any target and this adapter approach provides a versatile strategy for developing a broad range of disease-specific gene vectors.


Supplement 0317

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