Inspite of several stimulating developments in gene therapy, the formulation of a targeted gene delivery “vector” is still far from ideal. We have demonstrated the potential of reconstituted Sendai viral envelopes containing only the fusion glycoprotein (F-virosomes) in targeted delivery of reporter genes to liver cells of BALB/c mouse in vivo. The membrane fusion-mediated high efficiency of gene transfer to liver cells was ascertained following a critical evaluation of the level of the DNA, mRNA, and relevant proteins. Furthermore, the involvement of viral glycoprotein both as a unique natural ligand and as a membrane fusogen could lead to preferential transfection of parenchymal cell types of liver. The integration of transgenes in the mouse chromosomal DNA and its stable expression up to 4 mo after single i.v. administration of this gene carrier has bolstered its efficiency and novelty. Moreover, the F-virosomes did not elicit significant humoral immune response against the fusion protein in the injected animal. The findings reported here open up the possibility for considering “F-virosomes” as a promising “vehicle” for site-specific DNA delivery in gene therapy
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