• Development of techniques for testing the effect of the E1 region on adenovirus integration /

      Geng, Songsong.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2007-06-04)
      Adenoviral vectors are currently the most widely used gene therapeutic vectors, but their inability to integrate into host chromosomal DNA shortened their transgene expression and limited their use in clinical trials. In this project, we initially planned to develop a technique to test the effect of the early region 1 (E1) on adenovirus integration by comparing the integration efficiencies between an E1-deleted adenoviral vector (SubE1) and an Elcontaining vector (SubE3). However, we did not harvest any SubE3 virus, even if we repeated the transfection and successfully rescued the SubE1 virus (2/4 transfections generated viruses) and positive control virus (6/6). The failure of rescuing SubE3 could be caused by the instability of the genomic plasmid pFG173, as it had frequent intemal deletions when we were purifying It. Therefore, we developed techniques to test the effect of E1 on homologous recombination (HR) since literature suggested that adenovirus integration is initiated by HR. We attempted to silence the E1 in 293 cells by transfecting E1A/B-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA). However, no silenced phenotype was observed, even if we varied the concentrations of E1A/B siRNA (from 30 nM to 270 nM) and checked the silencing effects at different time points (48, 72, 96 h). One possible explanation would be that the E1A/B siRNA sequences are not potent enough to Induce the silenced phenotype. For evaluating HR efficiencies, an HR assay system based on bacterial transfonmatJon was designed. We constmcted two plasmids ( designated as pUC19-dl1 and pUC19-dl2) containing different defective lacZa cassettes (forming white colonies after transformation) that can generate a functional lacZa cassette (forming blue colonies) through HR after transfecting into 293 cells. The HR efficiencies would be expressed as the percentages of the blue colonies among all the colonies. Unfortunately, after transfonnation of plasmid isolated from 293 cells, no colony was found, even at a transformation efficiency of 1.8x10^ colonies/pg pUC19, suggesting the sensitivity of this system was low. To enhance the sensitivity, PCR was used. We designed a set of primers that can only amplify the recombinant plasmid fomied through HR. Therefore, the HR efficiencies among different treatments can be evaluated by the amplification results, and this system could be used to test the effect of E1 region on adenovirus integration. In addition, to our knowledge there was no previous studies using PCR/ Realtime PCR to evaluate HR efficiency, so this system also provides a PCR-based method to carry out the HR assays.
    • Manipulation of adenovirus early region 1 rescue plasmids by homologous recombination in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

      Anderson, Peter.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2003-07-09)
      The manipulation of large (>10 kb) plasmid systems amplifies problems common to traditional cloning strategies. Unique or rare restriction enzyme recognition sequences are uncommon and very rarely located in opportunistic locations. Making site-specific deletions and insertions in larger plasmids consequently leads to multiple step cloning strategies that are often limited by time-consuming, low efficiency linker insertions or blunt-end cloning strategies. Manipulation ofthe adenovirus genome and the genomes ofother viruses as bacterial plasmids are systems that typify such situations. Recombinational cloning techniques based on homologous recombination in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that circumvent many ofthese common problems have been developed. However, these techniques are rarely realistic options for such large plasmid systems due to the above mentioned difficulties associated with the addition ofrequired yeast DNA replication, partitioning and selectable marker sequences. To determine ifrecombinational cloning techniques could be modified to simplify the manipulation of such a large plasmid system, a recombinational cloning system for the creation of human adenovirus EI-deletion rescue plasmids was developed. Here we report for the first time that the 1,456 bp TRP1/ARS fragment ofYRp7 is alone sufficient to foster successful recombinational cloning without additional partitioning sequences, using only slight modifications of existing protocols. In addition, we describe conditions for efficient recombinational cloning involving simultaneous deletion of large segments ofDNA (>4.2 kb) and insertion of donor fragment DNA using only a single non-unique restriction site. The discovery that recombinational cloning can foster large deletions has been used to develop a novel recombiliational cloillng technique, selectable inarker 'kilockouf" recombinational cloning, that uses deletion of a yeast selectable marker coupled with simultaneous negative and positive selection to reduce background transformants to undetectable levels. The modification of existing protocols as described in this report facilitates the use of recombinational cloning strategies that are otherwise difficult or impractical for use with large plasmid systems. Improvement of general recombinational cloning strategies and strategies specific to the manipulation ofthe adenovirus genome are considered in light of data presented herein.