Limitations of encapsidation of recombinant self-complementary adeno-associated viral genomes in different serotype capsids and their quantitation

Yuan Wang, Chen Ling, Liujiang Song, Lina Wang, George V. Aslanidi, Mengqun Tan, Changquan Ling, Arun Srivastava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

We previously reported that self-complementary adeno-associated virus (scAAV) type 2 genomes of up to 3.3 kb can be successfully encapsidated into AAV2 serotype capsids. Here we report that such oversized AAV2 genomes fail to undergo packaging in other AAV serotype capsids, such as AAV1, AAV3, AAV6, and AAV8, as determined by Southern blot analyses of the vector genomes, although hybridization signals on quantitative DNA slot-blots could still be obtained. Recently, it has been reported that quantitative real-time PCR assays may result in substantial differences in determining titers of scAAV vectors depending on the distance between the primer sets and the terminal hairpin structure in the scAAV genomes. We also observed that the vector titers determined by the standard DNA slot-blot assays were highly dependent on the specific probe being used, with probes hybridizing to the ends of viral genomes being significantly overrepresented compared with the probes hybridizing close to the middle of the viral genomes. These differences among various probes were not observed using Southern blot assays. This overestimation of titer is a systemic error during scAAV genome quantification, regardless of viral genome sequences and capsid serotypes. Furthermore, different serotypes capsid and modification of capsid sequence may affect the ability of packaging intact, full-length AAV genomes. Although the discrepancy is modest with wild-type serotype capsid and short viral genomes, the measured titer could be as much as fivefold different with capsid mutant vectors and large genomes. Thus, based on our data, we suggest that Southern blot analyses should be performed routinely to more accurately determine the titers of recombinant AAV vectors. At the very least, the use of probes/primers hybridizing close to the mutant inverted terminal repeat in scAAV genomes is recommended to avoid possible overestimation of vector titers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-233
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Gene Therapy Methods
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

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