Researchers have identified a new strategy for circumventing the safety problems that have plagued linkurl:gene therapy; according to a linkurl:study; published online in Cell today. The study reports that adenovirus, a common vector for delivering gene therapy, transfects liver cells by a different mechanism than previously thought. That mechanism offers a new target for modifying the viral vector to make it safe for clinical use, said linkurl:Mark Kay; of Stanford University, who was not involved in the research. Researchers have had some success using adenovirus as a vector to deliver genes into specific locations, such as linkurl:a solid tumor.; But when it's injected intravenously, the virus accumulates in the liver instead of circulating in the body, raising the risk of toxicity and hampering transfection of other cell types. Adenovirus consists of three major proteins - fiber, penton and hexon. Based on earlier work, most researchers held that the main mechanism...
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