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Zinc-finger nucleases for somatic gene therapy: the next frontier.

Authors
  • Rahman, Shamim H1
  • Maeder, Morgan L
  • Joung, J Keith
  • Cathomen, Toni
  • 1 Department of Experimental Hematology, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany. , (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Human Gene Therapy
Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert
Publication Date
August 2011
Volume
22
Issue
8
Pages
925–933
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1089/hum.2011.087
PMID: 21631241
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) are a powerful tool that can be used to edit the human genome ad libitum. The technology has experienced remarkable development in the last few years with regard to both the target site specificity and the engineering platforms used to generate zinc-finger proteins. As a result, two phase I clinical trials aimed at knocking out the CCR5 receptor in T cells isolated from HIV patients to protect these lymphocytes from infection with the virus have been initiated. Moreover, ZFNs have been successfully employed to knockout or correct disease-related genes in human stem cells, including hematopoietic precursor cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. Targeted genome engineering approaches in multipotent and pluripotent stem cells hold great promise for future strategies geared toward correcting inborn mutations for personalized cell replacement therapies. This review describes how ZFNs have been applied to models of gene therapy, discusses the opportunities and the risks associated with this novel technology, and suggests future directions for their safe application in therapeutic genome engineering.

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