The initial recognition and binding of adenovirus vector to the host cell surface is mediated by interaction between the adenovirus fiber knob protein and its receptor, the coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR). This natural tropism of adenovirus vector needs to be ablated in order to achieve targeted gene transfer. To this end, we noted that adenovirus serotype 40 (Ad40) contains two distinct long and short fibers; the short fiber is unable to recognize CAR, while the long fiber binds CAR. We generated adenovirus serotype 5-based mutants with chimeric Ad40-derived fibers, which were composed of either long or short shafts together with CAR binding or nonbinding knobs. The capacity of these adenovirus mutants for in vitro and in vivo gene transfer to liver cells was examined. In the case of primary human hepatocytes displaying a high expression level of CAR and alphav integrin, both CAR binding ability and fiber shaft length played important roles in efficient transduction. Most significantly, the high transduction efficiency observed in the liver and spleen following intravenous administration of adenovirus vector was dramatically reduced by both ablation of fiber-CAR interaction and the use of replaceable short fiber. In other tissues displaying a low level of transduction, no significant differences in transduction efficiency were observed among adenovirus vector mutants. Furthermore, incorporation of a 7-lysine-residue motif at the C-terminal end of CAR-nonbinding short fiber efficiently achieved transduction of target cells via the heparan-containing receptor. Our results demonstrated that the natural tropism of adenovirus in vivo is influenced not only by fiber-CAR interaction but also by fiber shaft length. Furthermore, our strategy may be useful for retargeting adenovirus to particular tumors and tissue types with specific receptors.