Adenoviruses are double-stranded DNA viruses that can cause a number of disorders, such as respiration infections. The virion is non-enveloped, spherical and about seventy to ninety nm in size. The adenovirus DNA is linear, double stranded of approximately 36,000 bp wrapped in a histone-like protein and has inverted terminal repeats (ITRs) of 50-200 bp. Both strands of adenovirus DNA encode genes and the genome encodes about thirty proteins.
Soon after its isolation in 1953 adenovirus was recognized as a preferred vehicle for gene delivery because of its many distinguishing features. The first generation recombinant adenoviruses are E1 deleted to insure replication deficiency of the virus and to prevent cell lysis. Once packaged into a complementing cell line (a cell line that provides the E1 products in trans, e.g. HEK 293A cells), viral replication will be enabled. In addition to being E1 deleted, the first generation adenoviruses are also often E3 deleted (E1/E3).
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