Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract Purpose. Adenoviral (Ad) vectors have been used as efficient tools for gene therapy in various tissues, whereas in some differentiated epithelium transduction efficiency is almost abolished. Methods. Caco-2 cell monolayers were chosen as an in vitro model for the differentiated intestinal epithelium. Fluorescence-labeled adenoviral particles were used for binding studies to cell surfaces. Internalization receptors for adenoviral uptake were decteted by a fluorescence-labeled vitronectin antibody. Gene expression was studied by using the β-galactosidase reporter gene. All experiments were done on undifferentiated and differentiated Caco-2 cells. Furthermore, adenoviral particles were allowed to bind to differentiated Caco-2 monolayers followed by a trypsinization step that disintegrates the monolayers and result in a cell suspension. Gene expression was tested after reseeding the cells into dishes. Results. The results from adenoviral binding studies, vitronectin immunofluorescence detection and gene expression are in good agreement and indicate that virion binding as well as the expression of internalization receptors almost disappear in fully differentiated cells. Nonetheless, adenoviral binding to differentiated monolayers seems to be sufficient to cause up to 53% gene expression, but only if internalization of the vector can be induced by disintegrating the monolayers and releasing free vitronectin receptors. Conclusions. These findings indicate that gene transfer to the intestinal epithelium utilizing adenoviral vectors is poor and ineffective, because of the lack of sufficient internalization receptors. If these receptors can be exposed in differentiated epithelium, transduction can be made more efficicient. Alternatively, a viral vector must be developed whose uptake mechanism is independent of integrin receptor expression like the enteral virus Ad40, or Ad5 could be conjugated to ligands that trigger viral internalization by receptor-mediated endocytosis.
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