, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 419-426

Foamy virus: an available vector for gene transfer in neural cells and other nondividing cells

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Foamy viruses (FVs) are classified to a subfamily of retrovirus presented in a wide range of hosts. None of FVs has been found to associate with any diseases in their native hosts. Such a unique biological character of FVs makes it suitable for the development of vectors for gene transfer. However, it is still controversial whether foamy virus vectors (FV vectors) can be applied to the central nervous system (CNS). In this review, we summarize the studies of FV vectors, which have been used for transduction of neural cells and other nondividing cells. We further discuss the potential mechanisms underlying the infection and propose that FVs can be used to develop transfer vectors for gene therapy in neurological disorders.

This paper was first published online on Early Online on 23 October 2010.
Yingying Zhang and Yongjuan Liu made equal contribution to this work. This work was supported by National Natural Sciences Foundation of China (No. 30870856 and 30970145), Program for New Century Excellent Talents in Wuhan University by the Ministry of Education of China (No. NCET-07-0630), the Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Scholars by the Ministry of Education of China, Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China (No. 20090141110010), and the Independent Scientific Research Foundation of Wuhan University (No.3081002). The authors acknowledge the critical reading and editing by Dr. Yingqun Wang.