Gene delivery by lentivirus vectors
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- Cockrell, A.S. & Kafri, T. Mol Biotechnol (2007) 36: 184. doi:10.1007/s12033-007-0010-8
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The capacity to efficiently transduce nondividing cells, shuttle large genetic payloads, and maintain stable long-term transgene expression are attributes that have brought lentiviral vectors to the forefront of gene delivery vehicles for research and therapeutic applications in a clinical setting. Our discussion initiates with advances in lentiviral vector development and how these sophisticated lentiviral vectors reflect improvements in safety, regarding the prevention of replication competent lentiviruses (RCLs), vector mobilization, and insertional mutagenesis. Additionally, we describe conventional molecular regulatory systems to manage gene expression levels in a spatial and temporal fashion in the context of a lentiviral vector. State of the art technology for lentiviral vector production by transient transfection and packaging cell lines are explicitly presented with current practices used for concentration, purification, titering, and determining the safety of a vector stock. We summarize lentiviral vector applications that have received a great deal of attention in recent years including the generation of transgenic animals and the stable delivery of RNA interference molecules. Concluding remarks address some of the successes in preclinical animals, and the recent transition of lentiviral vectors to human clinical trials as therapy for a variety of infectious and genetic diseases.