Membrane-bound MMP-14 protease-activatable adeno-associated viral vectors for gene delivery to pancreatic tumors.


Adeno-associated virus' (AAV) relatively simple structure makes it accommodating for engineering into controllable delivery platforms. Cancer, such as pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), are often characterized by upregulation of membrane-bound proteins, such as MMP-14, that propagate survival integrin signaling. In order to target tumors, we have engineered an MMP-14 protease-activatable AAV vector that responds to both membrane-bound and extracellularly active MMPs. This "provector" was generated by inserting a tetra-aspartic acid inactivating motif flanked by the MMP-14 cleavage sequence IPESLRAG into the capsid subunits. The MMP-14 provector shows lower background transduction than previously developed provectors, leading to a 9.5-fold increase in transduction ability. In a murine model of PDAC, the MMP-14 provector shows increased delivery to an allograft tumor. This proof-of-concept study illustrates the possibilities of membrane-bound protease-activatable gene therapies to target tumors.

  • Butler SS
  • Date K
  • Ghosh B
  • Lueck C
  • Maitra A
  • Okumura T
  • Suh J
PubMed ID
Appears In
Gene Ther, 2022, 29 (3-4)