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Japanese stem cell gene delivery breakthrough

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

In a breakthrough which could aid the development of drug screening models and regenerative therapies, Japanese researchers have used a helper-dependent adenoviral vector to deliver genes to human embryonic stem cells with an efficiency of close to 100%. Typical efficiency for non-viral vectors is around 50% and several percent only for normal viral vectors. Helper-dependent vectors lack all viral coding sequences, minimising immunogenicity compared with common adenoviral vectors. Efficient gene delivery to pluripotent stem cells may allow better induction and control of differentiation into various cell types. The findings from Professor Kohnosuke Mitaniet al were published in the proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences.

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