High-capacity adenoviral vectors: expanding the scope of gene therapy
The adaptation of adenoviruses as gene delivery tools has resulted in the development of high-capacity adenoviral vectors (HC-AdVs), also known, helper-dependent or "gutless". Compared with earlier generations (E1/E3-deleted vectors), HC-AdVs retain relevant features such as genetic stability, remarkable efficacy of in vivo transduction, and production at high titers. More importantly, the lack of viral coding sequences in the genomes of HC-AdVs extends the cloning capacity up to 37 Kb, and allows long-term episomal persistence of transgenes in non-dividing cells. These properties open a wide repertoire of therapeutic opportunities in the fields of gene supplementation and gene correction, which have been explored at the preclinical level over the past two decades. During this time, production methods have been optimized to obtain the yield, purity, and reliability required for clinical implementation. Better understanding of inflammatory responses and the implementation of methods to control them have increased the safety of these vectors. We will review the most significant achievements that are turning an interesting research tool into a sound vector platform, which could contribute to overcome current limitations in the gene therapy field.