Special Issue "Gene Therapy"

A special issue of Diseases (ISSN 2079-9721).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Kenneth Lundstrom

PanTherapeutics, Lutry, Switzerland
E-Mail
Interests: viral vectors; gene therapy; immunotherapy; GPCR-based drug discovery; epigenetics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is my great pleasure to introduce the Special Issue on “Gene Therapy”. In the 1990s, gene therapy was considered most promising and the perfect technology to develop medicines of the future. Inexperience and unfortunate circumstances led to some severe setbacks in conducted clinical trials, which put gene therapy development on hold for some time. Luckily, during this delay much attention was paid to gene therapy vector engineering, improvement of safety standards and refinements in the design of clinical trials, which has contributed to the renaissance of gene therapy. Today, an increasing number of clinical trials are in progress and several gene therapy-based drugs have been approved. It is therefore most appropriate to share the latest development with the scientific community in this special issue. As you will notice, the articles cover engineering of non-viral and viral vectors, gene therapy applications for various indications, such as cancer, hemophilia, AIDS, severe combined immunodeficiency and neurological diseases. Moreover immunotherapy, which has received a lot of attention recently, is presented in detail.

Dr. Kenneth Lundstrom
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diseases is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • viral vectors
  • non-viral vectors
  • immunotherapy
  • disease-based gene therapy

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Elevated Gene Expression of Interleukin-32 Isoforms Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta in the Peripheral Blood of Chronic Psoriatic Patients
Received: 1 January 2018 / Revised: 7 March 2018 / Accepted: 13 March 2018 / Published: 14 March 2018
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Abstract
Inflammatory-mediated reactions have been implicated as contributors in a number of dermatological disorders, including psoriasis. However, the potential of interleukin (IL)-32 and its isoforms to contribute to the pathogenesis of psoriasis remains unexplored. This study was undertaken to investigate the role of IL-32
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Inflammatory-mediated reactions have been implicated as contributors in a number of dermatological disorders, including psoriasis. However, the potential of interleukin (IL)-32 and its isoforms to contribute to the pathogenesis of psoriasis remains unexplored. This study was undertaken to investigate the role of IL-32 and its isoforms IL-32α, IL-32β, IL-32γ, and IL-32δ in the peripheral blood of psoriatic patients. The majority of chronic plaque psoriatic patients showed elevated IL-32 mRNA levels in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) as compared with the levels of IL-32 mRNA in PBMCs of healthy controls (p = 0.001). To further investigate the role of elevated levels of IL-32 in psoriatic patients, IL-32 isoforms mRNAs were determined. All tested isoforms IL-32α, IL-32β, IL-32γ, and IL-32δ were overexpressed in psoriatic patients PBMCs as compared with healthy controls’ PBMCs (p < 0.05). IL-32α mRNA expression was also significantly higher as compared with all other isoforms of IL-32 in PBMCs of psoriatic patients (p < 0.001). In short, this is the first study that shows the role of IL-32 and its isoforms in the peripheral blood of psoriatic patients. Our novel findings support an association between elevated levels of IL-32 and psoriasis. The data also suggest that a major proinflammatory response of IL-32 may derive from IL-32α isoform in psoriasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Therapy)
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Open AccessArticle p53 Gene (NY-CO-13) Levels in Patients with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: The Role of Imatinib and Nilotinib
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
The p53 gene is also known as tumor suppressor p53. The main functions of the p53 gene are an anticancer effect and cellular genomic stability via various pathways including activation of DNA repair, induction of apoptosis, and arresting of cell growth at the
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The p53 gene is also known as tumor suppressor p53. The main functions of the p53 gene are an anticancer effect and cellular genomic stability via various pathways including activation of DNA repair, induction of apoptosis, and arresting of cell growth at the G1/S phase. Normally, the p53 gene is inactivated by mouse double minute 2 proteins (mdm2), but it is activated in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Tyrosine kinase inhibitors are effective chemotherapeutic agents in the management of CML. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the differential effect of imatinib and nilotinib on p53 gene serum levels in patients with CML. A total number of 60 patients with chronic myeloid leukemia with ages ranging from 47 to 59 years were recruited from the Iraqi Hematology Center. They started with tyrosine kinase inhibitors as first-line chemotherapy. They were divided into two groups—Group A, 29 patients treated with imatinib and Group B, 31 patients treated with nilotinib—and compared with 28 healthy subjects for evaluation p53 serum levels regarding the selective effect of either imatinib or nilotinib. There were significantly (p < 0.01) high p53 gene serum levels in patients with CML (2.135 ± 1.44 ng/mL) compared to the control (0.142 ± 0.11 ng/mL). Patients with CML that were treated with either imatinib or nilotinib showed insignificant differences in most of the hematological profile (p > 0.05) whereas, p53 serum levels were high (3.22 ± 1.99 ng/mL) in nilotinib-treated patients and relatively low (1.18 ± 0.19 ng/mL) in imatinib-treated patients (p = 0.0001). Conclusions: Nilotinib is more effective than imatinib in raising p53 serum levels in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Therapy)

Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Herpes Simplex Virus Vectors for Gene Transfer to the Central Nervous System
Received: 12 July 2018 / Revised: 8 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
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Abstract
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) have a profound impact on human health worldwide and their incidence is predicted to increase as the population ages. ND severely limits the quality of life and leads to early death. Aside from treatments that may reduce symptoms, NDs are
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Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) have a profound impact on human health worldwide and their incidence is predicted to increase as the population ages. ND severely limits the quality of life and leads to early death. Aside from treatments that may reduce symptoms, NDs are almost completely without means of therapeutic intervention. The genetic and biochemical basis of many NDs is beginning to emerge although most have complex etiologies for which common themes remain poorly resolved. Largely relying on progress in vector design, gene therapy is gaining increasing support as a strategy for genetic treatment of diseases. Here we describe recent developments in the engineering of highly defective herpes simplex virus (HSV) vectors suitable for transfer and long-term expression of large and/or multiple therapeutic genes in brain neurons in the complete absence of viral gene expression. These advanced vector platforms are safe, non-inflammatory, and persist in the nerve cell nucleus for life. In the near term, it is likely that HSV can be used to treat certain NDs that have a well-defined genetic cause. As further information on disease etiology becomes available, these vectors may take on an expanded role in ND therapies, including gene editing and repair. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Therapy)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Nonviral Gene Therapy for Cancer: A Review
Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 1 July 2018 / Published: 3 July 2018
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Abstract
Although the development of effective viral vectors put gene therapy on the road to commercialization, nonviral vectors show promise for practical use because of their relative safety and lower cost. A significant barrier to the use of nonviral vectors, however, is that they
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Although the development of effective viral vectors put gene therapy on the road to commercialization, nonviral vectors show promise for practical use because of their relative safety and lower cost. A significant barrier to the use of nonviral vectors, however, is that they have not yet proven effective. This apparent lack of interest can be attributed to the problem of the low gene transfer efficiency associated with nonviral vectors. The efficiency of gene transfer via nonviral vectors has been reported to be 1/10th to 1/1000th that of viral vectors. Despite the fact that new gene transfer methods and nonviral vectors have been developed, no significant improvements in gene transfer efficiency have been achieved. Nevertheless, some notable progress has been made. In this review, we discuss studies that report good results using nonviral vectors in vivo in animal models, with a particular focus on studies aimed at in vivo gene therapy to treat cancer, as this disease has attracted the interest of researchers developing nonviral vectors. We describe the conditions in which nonviral vectors work more efficiently for gene therapy and discuss how the goals might differ for nonviral versus viral vector development and use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Therapy)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview Viral Vectors in Gene Therapy
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 15 May 2018 / Accepted: 16 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
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Abstract
Applications of viral vectors have found an encouraging new beginning in gene therapy in recent years. Significant improvements in vector engineering, delivery, and safety have placed viral vector-based therapy at the forefront of modern medicine. Viral vectors have been employed for the treatment
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Applications of viral vectors have found an encouraging new beginning in gene therapy in recent years. Significant improvements in vector engineering, delivery, and safety have placed viral vector-based therapy at the forefront of modern medicine. Viral vectors have been employed for the treatment of various diseases such as metabolic, cardiovascular, muscular, hematologic, ophthalmologic, and infectious diseases and different types of cancer. Recent development in the area of immunotherapy has provided both preventive and therapeutic approaches. Furthermore, gene silencing generating a reversible effect has become an interesting alternative, and is well-suited for delivery by viral vectors. A number of preclinical studies have demonstrated therapeutic and prophylactic efficacy in animal models and furthermore in clinical trials. Several viral vector-based drugs have also been globally approved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene Therapy)
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