Lentiviral vectors have been developed and used in multiple gene and cell therapy applications. One of their main advantages over other vectors is the ability to integrate the genetic material into the genome of the host. However, this can also be a disadvantage as it may lead to insertional mutagenesis. To address this, non-integrating lentiviral vectors (NILVs) were developed. To generate NILVs, it is possible to introduce mutations in the viral enzyme integrase and/or mutations on the viral DNA recognised by integrase (the attachment sites). NILVs are able to stably express transgenes from episomal DNA in non-dividing cells or transiently if the target cells divide. It has been shown that these vectors are able to transduce multiple cell types and tissues. These characteristics make NILVs ideal vectors to use in vaccination and immunotherapies, among other applications. They also open future prospects for NILVs as tools for the delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 components, a recent revolutionary technology now widely used for gene editing and repair.
- Insertional mutagenesis
- Lentiviral vectors
- Non-integrating lentiviral vectors (NILVs)
- Transgene expression