Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) is a nonpathogenic virus species that belongs to the Parvoviridae family. AAV is classified as small (25nm) and contains a single-stranded nonenveloped DNA genome. Infection with AAV occurs only with the help of other viruses, either herpesvirus or adenovirus (hence adeno-associated virus), causing only a very mild immune response in humans. There are twelve serotypes of human AAV but the number of nonhuman AAVs exceeds 100. AAV2 is the only mammalian DNA virus that is known to integrate in a specific site of the genome.
The low immunogenicity and the ability to infect dividing as well as non-dividing cells with stable expression make the adeno-associated virus an attractive vector for the application in gene therapy. AAV has successfully been proven as gene therapy vector with the ability to attach and enter the target cell, transfer to the nucleus and express the transgene in a stable manner over a sustained period of time. In several clinical trials (e.g. FIX, CFTR, Parkinsons’s, Canavan disease) AAV did not show any serious vector-related adverse effects. Clinically relevant tissues have, however, revealed a diversified susceptibility to AAV infection. The gene transduction with AAV2 vector in muscle, retina, liver and heart resulted in lower gene expression compared to AAV serotypes 1, 5, 8 and 9 transduction in the respective tissues. The challenge of using AAV as gene therapy vector, however, lies in the resistance of some tissues to transduction with the available AAV serotypes.
Methods for the characterisation of AAV preparations currently include titration ELISA, real-time PCR, digital-droplet PCR, DNA dot blot, determination of transducing units, infectious center assay, SDS-PAGE or electron microscopy. You may enrich your research on AAV by browsing through Progen's AAV Product portfolio and access the highest quality research tools.
For more information about PROGEN´s antibodies and AAV titration ELISAs, see PROGEN´s posters in the poster download area below.
Check out PROGEN´s posters about the development of reliable AAV standards, the new recombinant AAV2 antibody and comparison of negative staining EM and cryo-EM for the determination of the ratio of full and empty AAV capsids.