Directing adenovirus across the blood-brain barrier via melanotransferrin (P97) transcytosis pathway in an in vitro model

Academic Article


  • Adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) is widely used in the development of gene therapy protocols. However, current gene therapy strategies involving brain are mostly based on intra-cranial injection. A major obstacle for systemically administered vectors to infect brain tissue is the blood-brain barrier (BBB). One strategy to cross the BBB is transcytosis, a transcellular transport process that shuttles a molecule from one side of the cell to the other side. Recently, melanotransferrin (MTf)/P97 was found to be able to cross the BBB and accumulate in brain. We thus hypothesize that re-directing Ad5 vectors to the MTf transcytosis pathway may facilitate Ad5 vectors to cross the BBB. To test this hypothesis, we constructed a bi-specific adaptor protein containing the extracellular domain of the coxsackie-adenovirus receptor (CAR) and the full-length melanotransferrin (sCAR-MTf), and investigated its ability to re-direct Ad5 vectors to the MTf transcytosis pathway. We found this adaptor protein could re-direct Ad5 to the MTf transcytosis pathway in an in vitro BBB model, and the transcytosed Ad5 viral particles retained their native infectivity. The sCAR-MTf-mediated Ad5 transcytosis was temperature- and dose dependent. In addition, we examined the directionality of sCAR-MTf-mediated Ad5 transcytosis, and found the efficiency of apical-to-basal transcytosis was much higher than that of basal-to-apical direction, supporting a role of this strategy in transporting Ad5 vectors towards the brain. Taken together, our study demonstrated that re-directing Ad5 to the MTf transcytosis pathway could facilitate gene delivery across the BBB.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Tang Y; Han T; Everts M; Zhu ZB; Gillespie GY; Curiel DT; Wu H
  • Start Page

  • 523
  • End Page

  • 532
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 6