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Large-Scale Analysis of Adeno-Associated Virus Vector Integration Sites in Normal Human Cells†

  • Daniel G. Miller
  • Grant D. Trobridge
  • Lisa M. Petek
  • Michael A. Jacobs
  • Rajinder Kaul
  • David W. Russell
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2005
  • Biology
  • Medicine


The integration sites of viral vectors used in human gene therapy can have important consequences for safety and efficacy. However, an extensive evaluation of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector integration sites has not been completed, despite the ongoing use of AAV vectors in clinical trials. Here we have used a shuttle vector system to isolate and analyze 977 unique AAV vector-chromosome integration junctions from normal human fibroblasts and describe their genomic distribution. We found a significant preference for integrating within CpG islands and the first 1 kb of genes, but only a slight overall preference for transcribed sequences. Integration sites were clustered throughout the genome, including a major preference for integration in ribosomal DNA repeats, and 13 other hotspots that contained three or more proviruses within a 500-kb window. Both junctions were localized from 323 proviruses, allowing us to characterize the chromosomal deletions, insertions, and translocations associated with vector integration. These studies establish a profile of insertional mutagenesis for AAV vectors and provide unique insight into the chromosomal distribution of DNA strand breaks that may facilitate integration.

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