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Pazarentzos E.,University of California at San Francisco | Mazarakis N.D.,Center for Neuroinflammation and Neurodegeneration
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology | Year: 2014

Gene therapy vectors are among the treatments currently used to treat malignant tumors. Gene therapy vectors use a specific therapeutic transgene that causes death in cancer cells. In early attempts at gene therapy, therapeutic transgenes were driven by non-specific vectors which induced toxicity to normal cells in addition to the cancer cells. Recently, novel cancer specific viral vectors have been developed that target cancer cells leaving normal cells unharmed. Here we review such cancer specific gene therapy systems currently used in the treatment of cancer and discuss the major challenges and future directions in this field. © 2014 Springer-Verlag London.

Hislop J.N.,Center for Neuroinflammation and Neurodegeneration | Hislop J.N.,University of Aberdeen | Islam T.A.,Center for Neuroinflammation and Neurodegeneration | Eleftheriadou I.,Center for Neuroinflammation and Neurodegeneration | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2014

Rabies pseudotyped lentiviral vectors have great potential in gene therapy, not least because of their ability to transduce neurons following their distal axonal application. However, very little is known about the molecular processes that underlie their retrograde transport and cell transduction. Using multiple labeling techniques and confocal microscopy, we demonstrated that pseudotyping with rabies virus envelope glycoprotein (RV-G) enabled the axonal retrograde transport of two distinct subtypes of lentiviral vector in motor neuron cultures. Analysis of this process revealed that these vectors trafficked through Rab5-positive endosomes and accumulated within a non-acidic Rab7 compartment. RV-G pseudotyped vectors were co-transported with both the tetanus neurotoxin-binding fragment and the membrane proteins thought to mediate rabies virus endocytosis (neural cell adhesion molecule, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, and p75 neurotrophin receptor), thus demonstrating that pseudotyping with RV-G targets lentiviral vectors for transport along the same pathway exploited by several toxins and viruses. Using motor neurons cultured in compartmentalized chambers, we demonstrated that axonal retrograde transport of these vectors was rapid and efficient; however, it was not able to transduce the targeted neurons efficiently, suggesting that impairment in processes occurring after arrival of the viral vectorin the somais responsible for the low transduction efficiency seen in vivo, which suggests a novel area for improvement of gene therapy vectors. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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