Will cell biology advances lead to gene therapy?

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Punita
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Will cell biology advances lead to gene therapy?

Post by Punita » Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:01 pm

Hi!

Right now in school we're going through the biology of gene therapy which I find fascinating. I have spent a lot of time wondering about this, and wondered what your views are on the following idea. If we ever got to the point where we mastered cell biology ( that is to say, we understood EVERYTHING about DNA repair, protein interaction networks, protein tertiary structures, the inner workings of the nucleolus and so forth) then would we be able to overcome the problems we currently face in enabling gene therapy? Or would we still, even in our knowledge of the very detailed workings of the cell, face problems of finding a vector that didn't generate a severe immune response or integrate therapeutic DNA successfuly into the host genome and so forth? I'd love to know your view on this.

Many thanks for your time!

Kind regards, Punita.

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mith
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Post by mith » Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:45 pm

Look up research on zinc fingers.
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Post by david23 » Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:32 pm

Understand protein structures help the development of drugs, not necessarily gene therapy. Understanding the interactions will be important for gene therapy. The nucleolus dont really matter, not much DNA in there to place, u meant to say nucleus right? I think the whole idea of a good vector is very important. The current technology is behind on that stuff

Punita
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Thanks guys!

Post by Punita » Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:10 pm

Hey guys!

Thanks for the responses. Mith - I looked up on zinc fingers, thanks a lot for that, it was very interesting.
David - yes, I did mean nucleolus, though I must confess they teach none of this at my school so I'm reading up at the library in the evenings. I thought the nuclelous had something to do with ribosomal DNA, and also various roles in oncogene regulation - but particularly a key role in interacting with viruses? Please correct me if I am wrong!
But could I ask a couple of questions for your (and anyone else's!) opinion on the following. David - you mention modern technology on vectors is behind. So will knowing how the cell functions in acute detail help us to design vectors that overcome some of the key problems they face now (for example, immune reponse and therapeutic DNA integration)? Or is it the case that even if we knew how the cell operates (e.g. all of its natural DNA repair mechanisms and immune response proteins) we would still have real trouble manipulating this to our advantage?

Thanks for your help already! Appreciate your views on this! Best wishes,

Punita

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Post by david23 » Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:24 pm

Ribosomal RNA is responsible for protein synthesis, it doesnt have a specific role. A virus would integrate itself in the DNA. Knowing how the cell functions in detail is up to cell biologists. Designing a perfect all powerful vector requires one of few things. The immune problems can happen both to the original vector and also the later protein produced from the additional DNA. The initial immune response can be stopped with drugs. But the later proteins produced will cause problems, sometimes.
Also not only u get autoimmune problems sometimes, the new genes might not be integrated successfully into the host cells. At times, u might get cancer and other malfunctions, if the gene integrates in the wrong places. cancer is the extreme kind, and happens if u get screw up a super promoter somewhere.
Resolving this problem is the task of geneticists and virologists. Thats one of the biggest problems designing a vector for humans.

Again the problem lies with the technology not the understanding of the cell. The understanding of the particular gene regulation is also important.

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Post by mehdi71000 » Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:06 pm

I though gene therapies are done today :?

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Post by david23 » Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:07 pm

not effectively. every so often, someone dies, or something bad happens.

Punita
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Thanks guys!

Post by Punita » Sun Jun 24, 2007 1:37 pm

Hey guys!

Thanks a lot for your help on this! It certainly gave me a lot to read up on. Thanks again for your help!
Best wishes, Punita.

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Post by mehdi71000 » Sun Jun 24, 2007 1:55 pm

no problem Punita honey
your welcome :D

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