The effects of N-terminal insertion into VSV-G of an scFv peptide

Dreja, H.; Piechaczyk, M.

Virol J

2006 / vol 3 / pages 69


Recombinant retroviruses, including lentiviruses, are the most widely used vectors for both in vitro and in vivo stable gene transfer. However, the inability to selectively deliver transgenes into cells of interest limits the use of this technology. Due to its wide tropism, stability and ability to pseudotype a range of viral vectors, vesicular stomatitis virus G protein (VSV-G) is the most commonly used pseudotyping protein. Here, we attempted to engineer this protein for targeting purposes. Chimaeric VSV-G proteins were constructed by linking a cell-directing single-chain antibody (scFv) to its N-terminal. We show that the chimaeric VSV-G molecules can integrate into retroviral and lentiviral particles. HIV-1 particles pseudotyped with VSV-G linked to an scFv against human Major Histocompatibility Complex class I (MHC-I) bind strongly and specifically to human cells. Also, this novel molecule preferentially drives lentiviral transduction of human cells, although the titre is considerably lower that viruses pseudotyped with VSV-G. This is likely due to the inefficient fusion activity of the modified protein. To our knowledge, this is the first report where VSV-G was successfully engineered to include a large (253 amino acids) exogenous peptide and where attempts were made to change the infection profile of VSV-G pseudotyped vectors.

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Humans; Animals; Mice; Cell Line; *Gene Transfer Techniques; Hela Cells; Immunoglobulin Variable Region/*genetics; DNA, Recombinant; Genes, MHC Class I; Membrane Glycoproteins/*chemistry/*genetics; Recombinant Fusion Proteins/chemistry; Viral Envelope Proteins/*chemistry/*genetics

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