Herpes Simplex Virus Vectors for Gene Therapy of the Nervous System
The basic idea of gene transfer arose in the late 1950s, after the discovery that viruses have an intrinsic capability to transfer their genetic material into infected cells. By this mechanism, some viruses, such as retroviruses, are able to establish life-long expression of a foreign gene in cells of diverse origins. Unfortunately, it is not possible to infect nondividing cells with retroviruses. This has led to the development of nontoxic mutants of other viruses, such as adenovirus and herpesvirus, to infect other cell types, such as neurons, which are refractory to infection by retroviruses.
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