Gene virus without close
Monday, May 4, 2009

Gene therapy can be much easier, say Belgian and German scientists. Instead of a virus that introduces a new gene, they use a piece of DNA itself and the desired gene effortlessly pasted between existing genes .


Gene therapy is changing the DNA code in living people. Handy if you want a broken piece of DNA repair. © Science Tattoo Emporium

If people are seriously ill by a mistake in the DNA - think of brain disease or cancer - gene seems a good solution. Doctors repaired the broken piece of DNA they stop new good genes between. So far working gene using a naked virus has picked the best. Stop the new genes in the virus and the virus will it allow the body's cells also receive.

But that is anything but perfect: the viruses may have cancer as a side effect. Very inconvenient if you just want to alleviate cancer. Therefore scientists diligently search for better types of gene therapy.
Jumping genes

One such way better now seems to be found. Researchers from the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) in Leuven and the Max Delbrück Institute in Berlin have developed a gene that viruses are not necessary. They use a special piece of DNA itself and the new gene into the DNA paste. Preliminary tests with mice and human cells, it appears to work perfectly. Without side effects. The researchers publish their findings in the journal Nature Genetics.

The special piece of DNA is already known and listens to the name 'transposable. The paste itself with ease foreign genes in between. Ideal for 'wrong' genes of patients in need of repair.

Too bad to normal transpositions is that their simple geplak in practice rather disappointing. In a test tube and it works, but when scientists try in complex cells, the result poor.

The Belgian and German researchers wanted to improve transpositions. Therefore edited them with a range of genetic techniques transpositions, in the hope that a couple supertranspositions between sat. Such supertranspositions may itself anywhere between worms, which insert a new gene is easy. Ultimately, the scientists obtained numerous supertranspositions.

And yes, the new transpositions stuck himself effortlessly into the DNA of all cells. It was fine in live mice, the animals were no side effects. But the security researchers taped the supertransposition in human stem cells. And that was good.

The new gene - that the transposable lot more calls and repairs - was also expressed. The gene was known for several months, not weaker. One treatment is sufficient for a longer period.


Until last week gene with viruses (see picture) the only scientifically approved variant. Now hear this gene with transposons well. © U.S. National Library of Medicine

When doctors the new therapy on patients will live testing is unclear. Well it looks to be that viruses in gene therapy slowly disappear from the scene. Finally, because the gene tinkering with viruses produced in the last thirty years - some successful therapies - to little to spectacular.

The Belgian scientists are open to medical questions. You can via this address: patienteninfo@vib.be.

Source: kennislink.nl