Lentivirus-Mediated Gene Expression

Department of Medicine, Addenbrooke's Hospital, University of Cambridge, UK.
Methods in Molecular Biology (Impact Factor: 1.29). 02/2007; 366:343-55. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-59745-030-0_20
Source: PubMed


Lentiviruses have the capacity to enter and integrate their genetic material into cells that are not dividing. This property is retained in vectors based on these agents. They can thus effect gene delivery to cells that are difficult to transduce such as cardiac myocytes in vitro and in vivo. They are also relatively efficient at entering dividing cells and can transduce stem cells and vascular endothelium. They have a substantial gene-carrying capacity of up to around 9 kb. They do not trigger an inflammatory response and are thus useful when proinflammatory agents are undesirable, such as in transplantation. Their ease of cloning and well-understood molecular biology have made them highly suitable for gene delivery to the heart.

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    • "The more recent two or three plasmid systems have increased the safety profile of lentiviral-based vectors but concerns remain regarding the possibility of recombination events producing a replication competent virus [39]. However, the capacity of these vectors, of approximately 9 kb, makes them a very attractive option for future gene therapy research [40]. "
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    • "Further specificity can be given through the use of the human glial fibrillary acidic promoter (hGFAP) or neuron-specific enolase promoter (rNSE), giving glial or neuronal specificities respectively (Jakobsson 2006). This class of vectors certain several advantages, including a relatively large capacity for cloned genes (approximately nine kilobases) (Zhao 2007), but concerns relate to the possibility of recombination events, producing replication-competent virus. The use of two or three plasmid based transfection systems, in which the capsid assembly genes are genetically isolated has increased the safety profile of this class of vectors (Zufferey 1997) and this class looks particularly promising for future studies. "

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