Author(s): Mtrai J, Chuah MK, VandenDriessche T
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Abstract Lentiviral vectors (LVs) have emerged as potent and versatile vectors for ex vivo or in vivo gene transfer into dividing and nondividing cells. Robust phenotypic correction of diseases in mouse models has been achieved paving the way toward the first clinical trials. LVs can deliver genes ex vivo into bona fide stem cells, particularly hematopoietic stem cells, allowing for stable transgene expression upon hematopoietic reconstitution. They are also useful to generate induced pluripotent stem cells. LVs can be pseudotyped with distinct viral envelopes that influence vector tropism and transduction efficiency. Targetable LVs can be generated by incorporating specific ligands or antibodies into the vector envelope. Immune responses toward the transgene products and transduced cells can be repressed using microRNA-regulated vectors. Though there are safety concerns regarding insertional mutagenesis, their integration profile seems more favorable than that of gamma-retroviral vectors (gamma-RVs). Moreover, it is possible to minimize this risk by modifying the vector design or by employing integration-deficient LVs. In conjunction with zinc-finger nuclease technology, LVs allow for site-specific gene correction or addition in predefined chromosomal loci. These recent advances underscore the improved safety and efficacy of LVs with important implications for clinical trials.
This article was published in Mol Ther
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology