Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New technique adds precision and permanence to gene therapy

11.10.2005


Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers cured PKU in mice with new gene therapy technique



Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers developed a technique for inserting genes into specific sites on the genome in liver cells. The genes are inserted into non-coding regions of the genome so there is no danger of interfering with the functioning of other genes. Once inserted, the gene remains a permanent part of the cell’s genome. In a study published in this week’s PNAS, the researchers used this technique to cure phenylketonuria (PKU) in mice.

"To date gene therapy has relied upon vectors that randomly insert genes into the cell’s genome," explains Savio L. C. Woo, PhD, Professor and Chairman of Gene and Cell Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and corresponding author on the study. "The technique we developed identifies a specific sequence which only occurs in a few places in the mammalian genome. These sequences occur between genes so there is no danger of the insertion of the gene damaging existing genes in the cell.


"Because the genes are inserted permanently, a few applications would suffice to permanently correct a disease." Dr. Woo and his colleague Li Chen , PhD, a post-doctoral fellow at Mount Sinai) were able to cure PKU in mice with just three intravenous injections. The levels of phenylalanine in the treated mice dropped to normal range and remained stable thereafter. Their fur color also changed from gray to black, indicating that they were now producing normal levels of melanin, a pigmentation which is under-produced in mice and humans with PKU.

Drs. Woo and Chen used a gene from a bacteriophage that recognizes a specific DNA sequence. This sequence occurs only several times in the entire mouse genome and it is always found in the non-coding region between genes. Similar sequences are found in a few locations in the human genome that are also between existing genes.

"The current challenge is to identify a suitable means of introducing DNA into liver cells," said Dr. Woo. "Once that technology is developed, this new technique will provide a safe and efficient means of integrating the DNA into the cell’s genome."

In addition to PKU, this technique could be used to cure other genetic diseases caused by missing liver enzymes including hemophilia and urea cycle enzyme deficiencies, as well as cholesterol clearing from the blood and others.

Mount Sinai Press Office | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mssm.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides
16.07.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

nachricht The secret sulfate code that lets the bad Tau in
16.07.2018 | American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides

16.07.2018 | Life Sciences

New research calculates capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon

16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>