Author(s): Cao M, Zhu H, Bandyopadhyay S, You H, Hermonat PL
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Abstract Adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV) is a popular vector for human gene therapy, because of its safety record and ability to express genes long term. Yet large-scale recombinant (r) AAV production remains problematic because of low particle yield. The adenovirus (Ad) and herpes (simplex) virus helper genes for AAV have been widely used and studied, but the helper genes of human papillomavirus (HPV) have not. HPV-16 E1, E2 and E6 help wild-type (wt) AAV productive infection in differentiating keratinocytes, however, HEK293 cells are the standard cell line used for generating rAAV. Here we demonstrate that the three HPV genes were unable to stimulate significant rAAV replication in HEK293 cells when used alone. However, when used in conjunction (complementation) with the standard Ad5 helper gene set, E1, E2 and E6 were each capable of significantly boosting rAAV DNA replication and virus particle yield. Moreover, wt AAV DNA replication and virion yield were also significantly boosted by each HPV gene along with wt Ad5 virus co-infection. Mild-to-moderate changes in rep- and cap-encoded protein levels were evident in the presence of the E1, E2 and E6 genes. Higher wt AAV DNA replication was not matched by similar increases in the levels of rep-encoded protein. Moreover, although rep mRNA was upregulated, cap mRNA was upregulated more. Higher virus yields did correlate most consistently with increased Rep52-, VP3- and VP-related 21/31 kDa species. The observed boost in wt and rAAV production by HPV genes was not unexpected, as the Ad and HPV helper gene sets do not seem to recapitulate each other. These results raise the possibility of generating improved helper gene sets derived from both the Ad and HPV helper gene sets.
This article was published in Gene Ther
and referenced in Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy