Adenovirus-mediated augmentation of cell transfection with unmodified plasmid vectors

K. Yoshimura, M. A. Rosenfeld, P. Seth, R. G. Crystal

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The present study demonstrates that the human adenovirus (Ad) can augment transfer and expression of a gene within plasmid DNA unmodified by nonspecific linkers or by linker-ligand complexes. Following the transfection of COS-7 cells with pRSVL, a luciferase expression plasmid vector directed by the Rous sarcoma virus-long terminal repeat promoter, luciferase activity in the target cells was 103- to 104-fold higher when the cells were also infected with Ad-CFTR, a replication-deficient recombinant Ad containing human cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) cDNA. The enhancement of luciferase gene expression in COS-7 cells was also observed with Ad-dl312 (a replication-deficient E1a deletion mutant Ad with no exogenous gene) and wild type Ad5. The efficiency of cell transfection with pRSVL in the presence of an Ad was achieved in a dose-dependent fashion with progressively higher luciferase activity in cells infected by increasing amounts of Ad-CFTR, Ad-dl312, or Ad5. The augmentation by Ad-CFTR of the transfer and expression of the luciferase gene in cells was similar to that of another transfection reagent, cationic liposomes. Further, when Ad-CFTR and liposomes were used in combination, 4- to 100-fold more efficient expression of the luciferase gene was achieved than with Ad-CFTR or liposomes alone. When COS-7, HeLa, and CV-1 cells were evaluated in parallel in the presence or absence of liposomes, Ad-mediated enhancement of luciferase activity was observed in all cell lines. Thus, exposure of target cells to replication-deficient or competent human Ad will markedly augment transfer and expression of the genes within plasmid DNA in mammalian cells in vitro without modifying the plasmid with linkers or linker-ligand complexes, a strategy that should be useful for in vitro and in vivo gene transfer applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2300-2303
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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