The work appears online this week in the
AAVs are fairly benign and have become the object of intense study as delivery vehicles for gene therapies. Researchers often try to target AAVs to cellular receptors that may be slightly overexpressed on diseased cells.
Suh said elevated proteases are found around many diseased tissues. She suggested these protease-activatable viruses may be useful for the treatment of not only cancers but also neurological diseases, such as stroke, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, and heart diseases, including myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure.
The ultimate vision of this technology is to design viruses that can carry out a combination of steps for targeting. "To increase the specificity of virus unlocking, you can imagine creating viruses that require many more keys to open," she said. "For example, you may need both proteases A and B as well as a cellular receptor to unlock the virus. The work reported here is a good first step toward this goal."
Keywords for this news article include: Therapy, Viruses, Virology,
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