The ability of lentiviral vectors to transduce and stably integrate their genomes into non-dividing cells was the major reason for the development of the HIV-1 based vector gene delivery system. The first VSVG pseudotyped lentiviral vectors fulfilled these expectations by ferrying large genetic payloads to nondividing cells in vitro and in vivo. Here we discuss advances in HIV-1 vector systems which lead to improvement in biosafety, transduction efficiency, longevity and regulation of transgene expression, and vector production. The successful use of the advanced HIV-1 based vector system opened new avenues in establishing transgenic animal models for basic research. Additionally, we describe accomplishments using HIV-1 based vectors to correct pathological courses of incurable diseases in preclinical animal models including Parkinsons disease and β-thalassemia.
Keywords: lentiviral vector, gene therapy, animal model, pseudotype, tetracycline
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