Why aren’t retrovirus enzymes (namely reverse transcriptase and integrase) being used to insert genes in our genome as a way to fight or cure certain diseases?

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Why aren’t retrovirus enzymes (namely reverse transcriptase and integrase) being used to insert genes in our genome as a way to fight or cure certain diseases?

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Anonymous 0 Comments

In fact we do. If you know what these proteins/enzymes do (basically open, modify, cut DNA) we actually use things like this in CAR-T therapy (treating a certain type of white blood cell, T-cells, before giving them back to the patient) and in CRISPR gene editing.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19432/

Anonymous 0 Comments

In fact we do. If you know what these proteins/enzymes do (basically open, modify, cut DNA) we actually use things like this in CAR-T therapy (treating a certain type of white blood cell, T-cells, before giving them back to the patient) and in CRISPR gene editing.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19432/

Anonymous 0 Comments

They are. That’s what genetic engineering is.

But engineering a living person’s genome is tricky. For one, it’s pretty much impossible to reverse, so you better be sure you get it right. And for two, depending on the disease, you may need to engineer the gene into *every* cell (or every cell of a certain type) in a living body, which is nearly impossible. Remember, our bodies are designed specifically to *prevent* this from happening.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They are. That’s what genetic engineering is.

But engineering a living person’s genome is tricky. For one, it’s pretty much impossible to reverse, so you better be sure you get it right. And for two, depending on the disease, you may need to engineer the gene into *every* cell (or every cell of a certain type) in a living body, which is nearly impossible. Remember, our bodies are designed specifically to *prevent* this from happening.

Anonymous 0 Comments

That’s the basic idea behind gene therapy. A lot of these viral enzymes aren’t particular fussy about *where* they integrate, though. Modern CRISPR-based techniques (which are of bacterial origin) are much better at that. But even then, getting your edit to every cell where it’s needed is a major practical hurdle.

Anonymous 0 Comments

That’s the basic idea behind gene therapy. A lot of these viral enzymes aren’t particular fussy about *where* they integrate, though. Modern CRISPR-based techniques (which are of bacterial origin) are much better at that. But even then, getting your edit to every cell where it’s needed is a major practical hurdle.