Recombinant Adeno-Associated Virus Utilizes Cell-Specific Infectious Entry Mechanisms
Understanding the entry and trafficking mechanism(s) of recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) into host cells can lead to evolution in capsid and vector design and delivery methods, resulting in enhanced transduction and therapeutic gene expression. Variability of findings regarding the early entry pathway of rAAV supports the possibility that rAAV, like other viruses, can utilize more than one infectious entry pathway. We tested whether inhibition of macropinocytosis impacted rAAV
... acted rAAV transduction of HeLa cells compared to hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines. We found that macropinocytosis inhibitor cytochalasin D blocked rAAV transduction of HeLa cells (>2-fold) but enhanced (10-fold) transduction in HepG2 and Huh7 lines. Similar results were obtained with another macropinocytosis inhibitor, 5-(N-ethyl-N-isopropyl) amiloride (EIPA). The augmented transduction was due to neither viral binding nor promoter activity, affected multiple rAAV serotypes (rAAV2, rAAV2-R585E, and rAAV8), and influenced single-stranded and self-complementary virions to comparable extents. Follow-up studies using CDC42 inhibitor ML141 and p21-activated kinase 1 (PAK1) siRNA knockdown also resulted in enhanced HepG2 transduction. Microscopy revealed that macropinocytosis inhibition correlated with expedited nuclear entry of the rAAV virions into HepG2 cells. Enhancement of hepatocellular rAAV transduction extended to the mouse liver in vivo (4-fold enhancement) but inversely blocked heart tissue transduction (13-fold). This evidence of host cell-specific rAAV entry pathways confers a potent means for controlling and enhancing vector delivery and could help unify the divergent accounts of rAAV cellular entry mechanisms.