Adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotypes 2, 4 and 5 display similar transduction profiles and penetrate solid tumor tissue in models of human glioma

Frits Thorsen*, Sandra Afione, Peter C. Huszthy, Berit B. Tysnes, Agnete Svendsen, Rolf Bjerkvig, Robert M. Kotin, Per Eystein Lønning, Frank Hoover

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors are potent delivery vehicles for gene transfer strategies directed at the central nervous system (CNS), muscle and liver. However, comparatively few studies have described AAV-mediated gene transfer to tumor tissues. We have previously demonstrated that while AAV2 and Adenoviral (Ad) 5 vectors have similar broad host ranges in tumor-derived cell lines, AAV2 was able to penetrate human glioblastoma biopsy spheroids and xenografts more efficiently than Ad 5 vectors. These results suggested that AAV vectors could be suitable for therapeutic gene delivery to solid tumor tissue. In the present work, the transduction efficacy of AAV serotypes 4 and 5 were compared to AAV2, both in vitro and in intracranial GBM xenografts derived from patient biopsies implanted into nude rats. Methods: AAV vector serotypes 2, 4, and 5 containing either the green fluorescent protein (GFP) or the bacterial β-galactosidase (lacZ) reporter gene were added to five different human glioma cell lines, to multicellular spheroids generated from glioblastoma patient biopsies, and to spheroids xenografted intracranially in nude rats. Transduction efficiency was assessed by fluorescence imaging, histochemistry, immunohistochemistty and flow cytometry. Results: While all three AAV serotypes were able to transduce the glioma cell lines when added individually or when they were administered in concert, AAV2 transduced the glioma cells most effectively compared to AAV4 or AAV5. Upon infecting glioblastoma spheroids in vitro, all three AAV serotypes efficiently transduced cells located at the surface as well as within deeper layers of the spheroids. In addition, similarly to what was observed for AAV2 [16], both AAV4 and AAV5 were able to transduce human glioblastoma xenografts implanted intracranially. Conclusions: In addition to the widely used AAV2 serotype, AAV4 and AAV5 serotypes may also be used to transduce biologically diverse glioma cell lines. They also penetrate and transduce solid human tumor tissue derived from patient biopsies. Therefore, the data presented here provide a proof of principle for developing AAV4 and AAV5 as treatment vehicles for human malignant gliomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1131-1140
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Gene Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • AAV2
  • AAV4
  • AAV5
  • Gene therapy
  • Glioblastoma multiforme
  • Tumor spheroids
  • Viral transduction


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