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Artificial Virus as Trump-card to Resolve Exigencies in Targeted Gene Delivery

[ Vol. 18 , Issue. 3 ]


K.C. Ajithkumar and Kannissery Pramod*   Pages 276 - 286 ( 11 )


Viruses are potent pathogens that can effectively deliver the genetic material to susceptible host cells. This capability is beneficially utilized to successfully deliver the genetic material. However, the use of virus mediated gene delivery is considered divisive, because the potentially replicable genomes recombine or integrate with the cell DNA resulting in immunogenicity, ranging from inflammation to death. Thus, the need for potentially effective non-viral gene delivery vehicles arises. Non-viral vectors, protein only particles and virus like particles (VLP) can be constructed which contain all the necessary functional moieties. These resemble viruses and are called artificial or synthetic virus. The artificial virus eliminates the disadvantages of viral vectors but retain the beneficial effects of the viruses. Need for further functionalization can be avoided by this approach because incorporation of requisite agents such as cell ligands, membrane active peptides, etc. into proteins is possible. The protein- DNA complexes resemble bacterial inclusion bodies. Nucleic acids influence conformation of protein units which subsequently result in cell uptake and finally to the cell nucleus. Such tunable systems mimic the activities of infected viruses and are used for the safe and effective delivery of drugs and genetic material in gene therapy. The versatility, stability and biocompatible nature of artificial virus along with high transfection efficacy have made it favorite for gene delivery purposes, in addition to being useful for various biomedical and drug delivery applications.


Artificial virus, bacterial inclusion bodies, gene carrier, nanoparticles, non-viral gene therapy, plasmid DNA, virus like particles.


College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Govt. Medical College, Kozhikode - 673008, Kerala, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Govt. Medical College, Kozhikode - 673008, Kerala

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