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Enhanced Sialic Acid-Dependent Endocytosis Explains the Increased Efficiency of Infection of Airway Epithelia by a Novel Adeno-Associated Virus▿

By David D. Dickey, Katherine J. D. A. Excoffon, James T. Koerber, Jamie Bergen, Benjamin Steines, Julia Klesney-Tait, David V. Schaffer and Joseph Zabner


We previously used directed evolution in human airway epithelia to create adeno-associated virus 2.5T (AAV2.5T), a highly infectious chimera of AAV2 and AAV5 with one point mutation (A581T). We hypothesized that the mechanism for its increased infection may be a higher binding affinity to the surface of airway epithelia than its parent AAV5. Here, we show that, like AAV5, AAV2.5T, uses 2,3N-linked sialic acid as its primary receptor; however, AAV2.5T binds to the apical surface of human airway epithelia at higher levels and has more receptors than AAV5. Furthermore, its binding affinity is similar to that of AAV5. An alternative hypothesis is that AAV2.5T interaction with 2,3N-linked sialic acid may instead be required for cellular internalization. Consistent with this, AAV2.5T binds but fails to be internalized by CHO cells that lack surface expression of sialic acid. Moreover, whereas AAV2.5T binds similarly to human (rich in 2,3N-linked sialic acid) and pig airway epithelia (2,6N-linked sialic acid), significantly more virus was internalized by human airway. Subsequent transduction correlated with the level of internalized rather than surface-bound virus. We also found that human airway epithelia internalized significantly more AAV2.5T than AAV5. These data suggest that AAV2.5T has evolved to utilize specific 2,3N-linked sialic acid residues on the surface of airway epithelia that mediate rapid internalization and subsequent infection. Thus, sialic acid serves as not just an attachment factor but is also required for AAV2.5T internalization, possibly representing an important rate-limiting step for other viruses that use sialic acids

Topics: Virus-Cell Interactions
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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