Gene Therapy Applications of Non-Human Lentiviral Vectors.
Recent commercialization of lentiviral vector (LV)-based cell therapies and successful reports of clinical studies have demonstrated the untapped potential of LVs to treat diseases and benefit patients. LVs hold notable and inherent advantages over other gene transfer agents based on their ability to transduce non-dividing cells, permanently transform target cell genome, and allow stable, long-term transgene expression. LV systems based on non-human lentiviruses are attractive alternatives to conventional HIV-1-based LVs due to their lack of pathogenicity in humans. This article reviews non-human lentiviruses and highlights their unique characteristics regarding virology and molecular biology. The LV systems developed based on these lentiviruses, as well as their successes and shortcomings, are also discussed. As the field of gene therapy is advancing rapidly, the use of LVs uncovers further challenges and possibilities. Advances in virology and an improved understanding of lentiviral biology will aid in the creation of recombinant viral vector variants suitable for translational applications from a variety of lentiviruses.