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J Gene Med. 2011 Oct;13(10):557-65. doi: 10.1002/jgm.1600.

The evolution of heart gene delivery vectors.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65212, USA.


Gene therapy holds promise for treating numerous heart diseases. A key premise for the success of cardiac gene therapy is the development of powerful gene transfer vehicles that can achieve highly efficient and persistent gene transfer specifically in the heart. Other features of an ideal vector include negligible toxicity, minimal immunogenicity and easy manufacturing. Rapid progress in the fields of molecular biology and virology has offered great opportunities to engineer various genetic materials for heart gene delivery. Several nonviral vectors (e.g. naked plasmids, plasmid lipid/polymer complexes and oligonucleotides) have been tested. Commonly used viral vectors include lentivirus, adenovirus and adeno-associated virus. Among these, adeno-associated virus has shown many attractive features for pre-clinical experimentation in animal models of heart diseases. We review the history and evolution of these vectors for heart gene transfer.

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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