To examine the biochemical influences that may contribute to the success of gene therapy for ocular disorders, the role of versican, a vitreous component, in adenoviral-mediated transgene expression was examined. Versican is a large chondroitin sulfate-containing, hyaluronic acid-binding proteoglycan present in the extracellular matrix and in ocular vitreous body. Y79 retinoblastoma cells and CD44-negative SK-N-DZ neuroblastoma cells transduced with adenoviral vectors in the presence of versican respond with an activation of transgene expression. Proteolysis of versican generates a hyaluronan-binding G1 domain. The addition of recombinant versican G1 to SK-N-DZ cells results in a similar activation of transgene expression, and treatment with dasatinib, an inhibitor of Src family kinases, also mimics the effects of versican. Enhancement is accompanied by an increase in signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5) phosphorylation and is abrogated by treatment with C188-9, a STAT3/5 inhibitor, or with ruxolitinib, a Janus kinase 1/2 (JAK1/2) inhibitor. These data implicate versican G1 in enhancing adenoviral vector transgene expression in a hyaluronic acid-CD44 independent manner that is down-regulated by inhibitors of the JAK/STAT pathway and enhanced by inhibitors of the Src kinase pathway.