Viral serotypes have evolved diverse tissue tropisms through natural selection and an iterative process of genetic recombination and mutagenesis. Within this framework, the recent identification of Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) serotypes with broad tissue tropisms has provided the gene therapy community with a versatile toolkit of AAV vectors. Our goal is to establish a thorough understanding of the structure-function correlates of the diverse tissue tropisms of AAV serotypes. To achieve such, we have devised a comprehensive, two-pronged approach to unravel structural attributes of AAV1-9, while simultaneously exploiting these serotypes as """"""""blueprints"""""""" for novel AAV vector design. The approach exploits the ability of DNA shuffling to rapidly evolve novel phenotypes derived from parental serotypes followed by rational manipulation of novel AAV mutants to establish structural attributes at the amino acid level. The first strategy involves generation of a combinatorial AAV library through DNA shuffling of AAV serotype capsid sequences followed by directed evolution of cell type/receptor-specific mutants. The objective of this approach is to eliminate bias in the identification of so-called """"""""hot spots"""""""" on the AAV capsid that impart a specific phenotype. The second approach is concerned with rational manipulation of such specific regions on AAV serotype capsids using site-directed mutagenesis. The goal of the latter strategy is to establish structure-function correlates of the AAV capsid at the amino acid level. The two complementary strategies are expected to generate critical structural information that will lay the groundwork for custom design of tissue-targeted AAV vectors. Research design involves the (1) synthesis of an AAV library through aforementioned strategies, directed evolution of cell type/receptor-specific AAV mutants, (2) characterization of such novel variants using molecular modeling, cryo-EM, a battery of biochemical assays in vitro, and (3) their translation into vectors for independent gene delivery applications in vivo.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01AI072176-04
Application #
7994185
Study Section
Gene and Drug Delivery Systems Study Section (GDD)
Program Officer
Park, Eun-Chung
Project Start
2007-12-01
Project End
2012-11-30
Budget Start
2010-12-01
Budget End
2011-11-30
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$358,458
Indirect Cost
Name
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Department
Pharmacology
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
608195277
City
Chapel Hill
State
NC
Country
United States
Zip Code
27599
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Liang, Katharine J; Woodard, Kenton T; Weaver, Mark A et al. (2017) AAV-Nrf2 Promotes Protection and Recovery in Animal Models of Oxidative Stress. Mol Ther 25:765-779

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