Gene therapy is emerging as a revolutionary alternative to conventional therapeutic approaches. However, its clinical application is still hampered by the lack of safe and effective gene delivery techniques. Among the plethora of diverse approaches used to ferry nucleic acids into target cells, non-viral vectors represent promising and safer alternatives to viruses and physical techniques. Both cationic lipids and polymers spontaneously wrap and shrink the genetic material in complexes named lipoplexes and polyplexes, respectively, thereby protecting it and shielding its negative charges. The development of non-viral vectors commenced more than two decades ago. Since then, some major classes of interesting molecules have been identified and modified to optimize their properties. However, the way towards the final goal of gene delivery, i.e. protein expression or gene silencing, is filled with obstacles and current non-viral carriers still have concerns about their overall efficiency. We strongly believe that the future of non-viral gene delivery relies on the development of multifunctional vectors specifically tailored with diverse functionalities that act more like viruses. Although these vectors are still a long way from clinical practice they are the ideal platform to effectively shuttle the genetic material to target cells in a safe and controlled way.
In this review, after briefly introducing the basis of gene delivery and therapeutic applications we discuss the main polymeric and lipidic vectors utilized for gene delivery, focusing on the strategies adopted to overcome the major weaknesses inherent to their still limited activity, on the way towards ideal multifunctional vectors.

We still have a long way to go to effectively deliver genes!

CHIESA, ROBERTO;DE NARDO, LUIGI;CANDIANI, GABRIELE
2012

Abstract

Gene therapy is emerging as a revolutionary alternative to conventional therapeutic approaches. However, its clinical application is still hampered by the lack of safe and effective gene delivery techniques. Among the plethora of diverse approaches used to ferry nucleic acids into target cells, non-viral vectors represent promising and safer alternatives to viruses and physical techniques. Both cationic lipids and polymers spontaneously wrap and shrink the genetic material in complexes named lipoplexes and polyplexes, respectively, thereby protecting it and shielding its negative charges. The development of non-viral vectors commenced more than two decades ago. Since then, some major classes of interesting molecules have been identified and modified to optimize their properties. However, the way towards the final goal of gene delivery, i.e. protein expression or gene silencing, is filled with obstacles and current non-viral carriers still have concerns about their overall efficiency. We strongly believe that the future of non-viral gene delivery relies on the development of multifunctional vectors specifically tailored with diverse functionalities that act more like viruses. Although these vectors are still a long way from clinical practice they are the ideal platform to effectively shuttle the genetic material to target cells in a safe and controlled way.
In this review, after briefly introducing the basis of gene delivery and therapeutic applications we discuss the main polymeric and lipidic vectors utilized for gene delivery, focusing on the strategies adopted to overcome the major weaknesses inherent to their still limited activity, on the way towards ideal multifunctional vectors.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
JABFM_PEZZOLI_LO.pdf

Accesso riservato

: Post-Print (DRAFT o Author’s Accepted Manuscript-AAM)
Dimensione 536.54 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
536.54 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/685453
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 49
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 49
social impact