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The entry of replicating adenovirus type 41 into colon cancer cells

Stefan Kälin
Monika Straub
Karin Boucke

A major premise of oncolytic strategies is that the lytic effect is tightly restricted to the diseased cells. Viruses are oncolytic agents that can be targeted to specifc cells in vitro. Systemic applications of the currently available vectors, however, are inefficient and lead to unwanted toxicity. This demands the development of more innovative approaches. One of these approaches is to generate vectors with endogenous tropisms for specific tissues. The enteric human adenovirus serotypes 40 and 41 are lytic viruses replicating with high selectivity in the digestive tract. They were originally isolated from stools of children with gastroenteritis, an inflammatory disease of the stomach and the small and large intestines. They are acid and protease-resistant, in contrast to the commonly used species C serotypes, implying that an oral uptake route can lead to infection and transduction. Here, we aim to analyze the entry pathway of adenovirus serotype 41 in cultured colon epithelial cells. We anticipate that our studies will eventually lead to a new generation of lytic viruses with natural tropism of the digestive tract.

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Image 6: Transmission electron microscopy of isolated Ad41 negatively stained with uranyl acetate (source, K. Boucke).

Key publication:

Favier, A.L., Burmeister, W.P., and Chroboczek, J. (2004). Unique physicochemical properties of human enteric Ad41 responsible for its survival and replication in the gastrointestinal tract. Virology 322, 93-104.