ABSTRACT: Here we report a novel viral glycoprotein created by replacing a natural receptor-binding sequence of the ecotropic Moloney murine leukemia virus envelope glycoprotein with the peptide ligand somatostatin. This new chimeric glycoprotein, which has been named the Sst receptor binding site (Sst-RBS), gives targeted transduction based on three criteria: (i) a gain of the use of a new entry receptor not used by any known virus; (ii) targeted entry at levels comparable to gene delivery by wild-type ecotropic Moloney murine leukemia virus and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) G glycoproteins; and (iii) a loss of the use of the natural ecotropic virus receptor. Retroviral vectors coated with Sst-RBS gained the ability to bind and transduce human 293 cells expressing somatostatin receptors. Their infection was specific to target somatostatin receptors, since a synthetic somatostatin peptide inhibited infection in a dose-dependent manner and the ability to transduce mouse cells bearing the natural ecotropic receptor was effectively lost. Importantly, vectors coated with the Sst-RBS glycoprotein gave targeted entry of up to 1 × 10(6) transducing U/ml, a level comparable to that seen with infection of vectors coated with the parental wild-type ecotropic Moloney murine leukemia virus glycoprotein through the ecotropic receptor and approaching that of infection of VSV G-coated vectors through the VSV receptor. To our knowledge, this is the first example of a glycoprotein that gives targeted entry of retroviral vectors at levels comparable to the natural capacity of viral envelope glycoproteins.
Journal of Virology 01/2012; 86(1):373-81. · 5.40 Impact Factor