Newly identified host defense mechanism protects cells from viral infection


New Rochelle, NY, April 20, 2016–A new study to understand why viral particles tend to accumulate in a specific location around a cell's nucleus in the first several hours after viral infection has shown this phenomenon to be a novel defense mechanism used by cells to block nuclear entry and limit the infection. The implications of this sequestration of virions for use in new drug discovery and therapeutic gene delivery are discussed in an article in Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free for download on the Human Gene Therapy website until May 20, 2016.

Jude Samulski, Ping-Jie Xiao, Angela Mitchell, Lu Huang, and Chengwen Li, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, used the chemotherapy drug Nocodazole to disrupt microtubule formation in cells and study how it would affect the previously observed accumulation of recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) at the microtubule-organization center located near the nucleus. The researchers describe the fluorescence imaging technology that allowed them to analyze viral trafficking over time. They also propose how understanding this cellular defense mechanism could lead to improved strategies for rAAV-based gene therapy in the article entitled "Disruption of Microtubules Post-Virus Entry Enhances Adeno-Associated Virus Vector Transduction."

"rAAV has become one of the most important vector systems for human gene therapy. Understanding the mechanisms by which it delivers genes to the nucleus is critical to op-timizing its performance," says Editor-in-Chief Terence R. Flotte, MD, Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education and Dean, Provost, and Executive Deputy Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA.


Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers R01DK084033, P01HL112761, R01AI072176, and R01AR064369.

About the Journal

Human Gene Therapy, the official journal of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy, French Society of Cell and Gene Therapy, German Society of Gene Therapy, and five other gene therapy societies, is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly in print and online. Led by Editor-in-Chief Terence R. Flotte, MD, Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education and Dean, Provost, and Executive Deputy Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Human Gene Therapy presents reports on the transfer and expression of genes in mammals, including humans. Related topics include improvements in vector development, delivery systems, and animal models, particularly in the areas of cancer, heart disease, viral disease, genetic disease, and neurological disease, as well as ethical, legal, and regulatory issues related to the gene transfer in humans. Its companion journals, Human Gene Therapy Methods, published bimonthly, focuses on the application of gene therapy to product testing and development, and Human Gene Therapy Clinical Development, published quarterly, features data relevant to the regulatory review and commercial development of cell and gene therapy products. Tables of contents for all three publications and a free sample issue may be viewed on the Human Gene Therapy website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Nucleic Acid Therapeutics, Tissue Engineering, Stem Cells and Development, and Cellular Reprogramming. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

Media Contact

Kathryn Ryan
[email protected]

%d bloggers like this: