Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Moving Gene Therapy Forward With Mobile DNA

Date:
May 9, 2009
Source:
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)
Summary:
Researchers have developed a new non-viral gene technology approach. This approach overcomes side-effects associated with the current viral vectors, such as inflammation or the development of cancer. The result offers new hope for optimizing gene therapy as a possible cure for specific diseases, such as genetic disorders and cancer.

Gene therapy is the introduction of genetic material into a patient's cells resulting in a cure or a therapeutic effect. In recent years, it has been shown that gene therapy is a promising technology to treat or even cure several fatal diseases for which there is no attractive alternative therapy.

Gene therapy can be used for hereditary diseases, but also for other diseases that affect heart, brain and even for cancer. Indeed, recent results suggest that gene therapy can be beneficial for patients suffering from aggressive brain cancer that would otherwise be lethal.

A safe delivery of the genes?

Despite the overall progress, there is still a need to develop improved and safer approaches to deliver genes into cells. The success of gene therapy ultimately depends on these gene delivery vehicles or vectors. Most vectors have been derived from virusses that can be tailor-made to deliver therapeutic genes into the patients' cells. However, some of these viral vectors can induce side-effects, including cancer and inflammation.

Marinee Chuah, Thierry VandenDriessche, Eyayu Belay and their fellow VIB researchers at K.U. Leuven in collaboration with Zsuzsanna Iszvak and Zoltan Ivics and colleagues at the Max Delbrόck Center in Berlin (Germany) have now developed a new non-viral approach that overcomes some of the limitations associated with viral vectors.

Lessons from evolution

Using the principles of evolution and natural selection, that were initially conceived by Charles Darwin, they have now developped an efficient and safe gene delivery approach based on non-viral genetic elements, called transposons. Transposons are mobile DNA elements that can integrate into 'foreign' DNA via a 'cut-and-paste' mechanism. In a way they are natural gene delivery vehicles. The researchers constructed the transposons in such a way that they can carry the therapeutic gene into the target cell DNA. Doing so, they obviate the need to rely on viral vectors.

'We show for the first time that it is now possible to efficiently deliver genes into stem cells, particularly those of the immune system, using non-viral gene delivery', says Marinee Chuah. 'Many groups have tried this for many years but without success. We are glad that we could now overcome this hurdle' claims Thierry VandenDriessche. Zsuzsanna Izsvak and Zoltan Ivics concur: 'This transposon technology may greatly simplify the way gene therapy is conducted, improve its overall safety and reduce the costs'.

The VIB researchers are further testing this technology to treat specific diseases including cancer and genetic disorders, in anticipation of moving forward and treat patients suffering from these diseases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). "Moving Gene Therapy Forward With Mobile DNA." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090503132615.htm>.
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). (2009, May 9). Moving Gene Therapy Forward With Mobile DNA. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090503132615.htm
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). "Moving Gene Therapy Forward With Mobile DNA." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090503132615.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Now a new approach to rejection of donor organs could change the way doctors predict transplant rejection…without expensive, invasive procedures. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Better Braces That Vibrate

Better Braces That Vibrate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — The length of time you have to keep your braces on could be cut in half thanks to a new device that speeds up the process. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — A new app that can track your heart rate 24/7 is available for download in your app store and its convenience could save your life. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stroke in Young Adults

Stroke in Young Adults

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — A stroke can happen at any time and affect anyone regardless of age. This mother chose to give her son independence and continue to live a normal life after he had a stroke at 18 years old. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins