Virus particle used for gene therapy
is gene therapy?
The concept of gene therapy is elegant in its simplicity: if cells
cannot function because a gene they require is mutated, they should
be fine if we can replace the mutated gene with a correct version.
With modern technology it is fairly easy to isolate the correct
gene, but how do we get it into the cells that need it? Nature provides
us with the answer: viruses. Normally, viruses enter their own genes
into the host cell in order to take over control of the cell and
force it to produce more viruses. We can use these viruses for gene
therapy by removing the virus genes from the virus particle, thereby
making the virus harmless and replacing it with the gene we want
to put into the cells. The virus will deliver this gene to the cell
and instead of taking control of the cell, it will correct the defect
in that cell.
This page last modified
18 December, 2012