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Gene therapy for the treatment of mitochondrial DNA disorders

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Robert Taylor


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Despite recent epidemiological studies confirming that mitochondrial respiratory chain disorders due to mutations in either the mitochondrial or nuclear genome are amongst the most common inherited human diseases, realistic therapeutic strategies for these patients remain limited. The disappointing response to various vitamins, cofactors and electron acceptors that have been administered to patients in an attempt to bypass the underlying respiratory chain defect, coupled with the complexities of human mitochondrial genetics, means that novel and innovative means are required to offer realistic treatments. Several 'gene therapy' strategies have therefore been proposed to treat patients with pathogenic mitochondrial DNA mutations, and although these are not without their own inherent problems, several exciting approaches promise much in the near future. This review will provide a basic background to mitochondrial genetics and mitochondrial DNA disorders before introducing the various strategies being tested in vitro at present, in cell culture and animal models, and, in the example of therapeutic exercise, in patients themselves. © 2005 Ashley Publications Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Taylor RW

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy

Year: 2005

Volume: 5

Issue: 2

Pages: 183-194

ISSN (print): 1471-2598

ISSN (electronic): 1744-7682


DOI: 10.1517/14712598.5.2.183

PubMed id: 15757380