Basic Concepts in Viral Vector-Mediated Gene Therapy

  • Matthew J. Benskey
  • Ivette M. Sandoval
  • Kathryn Miller
  • Rhyomi L. Sellnow
  • Aysegul Gezer
  • Nathan C. Kuhn
  • Roslyn Vashon
  • Fredric P. ManfredssonEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1937)


Today any researcher with the desire can easily purchase a viral vector. However, despite the availability of viral vectors themselves, the requisite knowledge that is absolutely essential to conducting a gene therapy experiment remains somewhat obscure and esoteric. To utilize viral vectors to their full potential, a large number of decisions must be made, in some instances prior to even obtaining the vector itself. For example, critical decisions include selection of the proper virus, selection of the proper expression cassette, whether to produce or purchase a viral vector, proper viral handling and storage, the most appropriate delivery method, selecting the proper controls, how to ensure your virus is expressing properly, and many other complex decisions that are essential to performing a successful gene therapy experiment. The need to make so many important decisions can be overwhelming and potentially prohibitive, especially to the novice gene therapist. In order to aid in this challenging process, here we provide an overview of basic gene therapy modalities and a decision tree that can be used to make oneself aware of the options available to the beginning gene therapist. This information can be used as a road map to help navigate the complex and perhaps confusing process of designing a successful gene therapy experiment.

Key words

Viral vector Gene therapy Adeno-associated virus Lentivirus Adenovirus Herpes-simplex virus 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew J. Benskey
    • 1
  • Ivette M. Sandoval
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kathryn Miller
    • 1
  • Rhyomi L. Sellnow
    • 1
  • Aysegul Gezer
    • 1
  • Nathan C. Kuhn
    • 1
  • Roslyn Vashon
    • 1
  • Fredric P. Manfredsson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Translational Science and Molecular MedicineMichigan State UniversityGrand RapidsUSA
  2. 2.Mercy Health Saint Mary’sGrand RapidsUSA

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