Extracellular vesicles provide a capsid-free vector for oncolytic adenoviral DNA delivery

Heikki Saari*, Tiia Turunen, Andres Lõhmus, Mikko Turunen, Matti Jalasvuori, Sarah J. Butcher, Seppo Ylä-Herttuala, Tapani Viitala, Vincenzo Cerullo, Pia R.M. Siljander, Marjo Yliperttula

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been showcased as auspicious candidates for delivering therapeutic cargo, including oncolytic viruses for cancer treatment. Delivery of oncolytic viruses in EVs could provide considerable advantages, hiding the viruses from the immune system and providing alternative entry pathways into cancer cells. Here we describe the formation and viral cargo of EVs secreted by cancer cells infected with an oncolytic adenovirus (IEVs, infected cell-derived EVs) as a function of time after infection. IEVs were secreted already before the lytic release of virions and their structure resembled normally secreted EVs, suggesting that they were not just apoptotic fragments of infected cells. IEVs were able to carry the viral genome and induce infection in other cancer cells. As such, the role of EVs in the life cycle of adenoviruses may be an important part of a successful infection and may also be harnessed for cancer- and gene therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1747206
JournalJournal of extracellular vesicles
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • adenovirus
  • cancer therapy
  • DNA delivery
  • Extracellular vesicles


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