~ 090909 New Gene Therapy Vector Delivers Therapeutic Genes

A report in "The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal" describes a new gene therapy vector which can transfer DNA to a cell's nucleus far more efficiently than in the past. The development raises hopes for more effective treatment of genetic disorders and some types of cancers.

Gene therapy vectors deliver therapeutic DNA to a cell's nucleus, where it reprograms a cell to function properly. "Effective gene therapy is clearly the best way to treat heritable diseases. It's also an approach to other diseases where the environment or infection messes up our genes," states Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of "The FASEB Journal".

The research conducted at the Nuclear Signaling Laboratory at Monash University in Victoria, Australia used proteins that mimic key functions of viruses for the packaging and transport of therapeutic DNA. "This work opens up a new era of pharmaceutical development," according to Weissmann.

News source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-08/foas-ftz083109.php

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