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Gene therapy: short introduction
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Gene therapy: short introduction


Short introduction of gene therapy

Short introduction of gene therapy

Published in Health & Medicine , Technology
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  • 1. Gene Therapy
  • 2. Gene therapy? Why is it used? • Gene therapy = Introduction of normal genes into cells that contain defective genes to reconstitute a missing protein product • GT is used to correct a deficient genotype so that sufficient amounts of a normal gene product are synthesized  to improve a genetic disorder
  • 3. How is Gene Therapy Carried Out? • There are four approaches: 1. A normal gene inserted to compensate for a nonfunctional gene. 2. An abnormal gene traded for a normal gene 3. An abnormal gene repaired through selective reverse mutation 4. Change the regulation of gene pairs
  • 4. How It Works • A vector delivers the therapeutic gene into a patient’s target cell • The target cells become infected with the viral vector • The vector’s genetic material is inserted into the target cell • Functional proteins are created from the therapeutic gene causing the cell to return to a normal state
  • 5. Different Delivery Systems are Available • In vivo versus ex vivo –In vivo = delivery of genes takes place in the body (utilise viral vector) –Ex vivo = delivery takes place out of the body, and then cells are placed back into the body
  • 6. Viruses • Replicate by inserting their DNA into a host cell • Gene therapy can use this to insert genes that encode for a desired protein to create the desired trait • have proved to be the most efficient to date • Four different types
  • 7. Retroviruses • Created double stranded DNA copies from RNA genome – the double stranded viral genome integrates into the human genome using integrase • integrase inserts the gene anywhere because it has no specific site • permanently altering gene expression • May cause insertional mutagenesis – One gene disrupts another gene’s code (disrupted cell division causes cancer from uncontrolled cell division) – vectors used are derived from the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and are being evaluated for safety
  • 8. Adenoviruses • Are double stranded DNA genome that cause respiratory, intestinal, and eye infections in humans • The inserted DNA is not incorporate into genome • Not replicated in next cycle  – Has to be reinserted when more cells divide • Ex. Common cold
  • 9. Adenovirus cont.
  • 10. Adeno-associated Viruses • Small, single stranded DNA that insert genetic material at a specific point on chromosome 19 • From parvovirus family- causes no known disease and doesn't trigger patient immune response. • Low information capacity • gene is always "on" so the protein is always being expressed, possibly even in instances when it isn't needed. • hemophilia treatment- a gene-carrying vector could be injected into a muscle, prompting the muscle cells to produce Factor IX and thus prevent bleeding.
  • 11. Herpes Simplex Viruses • Double stranded DNA viruses that infect neurons • Ex. Herpes simplex virus type 1 • No success till date.
  • 12. • Ex vivo manipulation techniques – Electroporation – Liposomes – Calcium phosphate – Gold bullets (fired within helium pressurized gun) – Retrotransposons (jumping genes – old method) – Human artificial chromosomes Non-viral Options
  • 13. Limitations of Gene Therapy • Gene delivery – Limited availability of viral vectors – Dependence on cell cycle by some viral vectors (i.e. mitosis required) • Duration of gene activity – Non-integrating delivery will be transient (transient expression) – Integrated delivery will be stable but carcinogenic too.
  • 14. Patient safety – Immune hyperresponsiveness (hypersensitivity reactions directed against viral vector components or against transgenes expressed in treated cells) – Integration is not controlled  oncogenes may be involved at insertion point  cancer?
  • 15. Expense – Costly because of cell culturing needs involved in ex vivo techniques – Virus cultures for in vivo delivery – Usually the number of patients enrolled in any given trial is <20
  • 16. Gene therapy application till date • Severe Combine Immunodeficiency(SCID) • Parkinson’s disease • Sickle Cell disease (successful in mice) • Gaucher’s disease • Familial hypercholesterolemia • AIDS • Cystic fibrosis