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Fusogenic Viral Envelopes as Potent Vehicles for Gene Transfer

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Abstract

The development of methods for efficiently introducing foreign genes into living cells provides novel tools to investigate intracellular processes at the molecular level. In addition, the development of suitable delivery vehicles for in vivo gene transfer is a prerequisite for clinical application of therapeutic genes. This review will summarize the current status of the development of both viral as well as non-viral vectors for gene therapy. In addition, we also discuss novel gene-delivery vehicles based on viral envelopes containing fusogenic spike proteins originated from different myxoviruses. These recombinant viral envelopes or virosomes could be viewed as hybrid vectors combining both viral and non-viral strategies, and are well suited for a wider application in therapeutic gene and drug delivery.

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... Virosomes can be manufactured by detergent solubilization of the membrane of an enveloped virus, sedimentation of the viral nucleocapsid, and subsequent selective removal of the detergent from the supernatant, to produce reconstituted membrane vesicles consisting of viral envelope lipids and glycoproteins [189]. The most common viruses used in the fabrication of virosomes are: Sendai, Semliki Forest, influenza, herpes simplex, and vesicular stomatitis [190][191][192][193][194]. The size and surface characteristics of virosomes can be measured through microscopic visualization. ...
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