Over the years, the design of HSV-1 based vectors has developed from different types of replicative-defective and replication-conditioned recombinant viruses to plasmid based amplicon vectors. More recently hybrid or chimeric vectors have incorporated desired elements of different viruses to increase the efficacy of gene delivery in vitro and in vivo. Amongst different systems, herpesvirus / retrovirus chimeras take advantage of the features of the HSV-1 vectors to efficiently transduce large amounts of foreign genetic sequences, remaining episomal, to allow production of recombinant retrovirus vectors able to stably integrate into the cellular genome. This review will focus on three different groups of herpesvirus / retrovirus chimeric vectors aimed to; generate retrovirus particles in cells tranduced with HSV-1 amplicon vectors; express a limited set of retrovirus genes for vaccine purposes; and express herpesvirus / retrovirus chimeric proteins to study cellular targeting signal and improve their biological effect.
Keywords: herpes simplex virus type 1, retrovirus, chimeric vectors, retrovirus-like particles, chimeric proteins
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