Gene therapy method targets damaged kidney cells

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Web Desk: Research in mice at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that genetic material can be delivered to damaged cells in the kidneys.

The researchers focused on whether adeno-associated virus (AAV), a relative of the virus that causes the common cold, could deliver genetic material to targeted kidney cells.

The researchers evaluated six AAV viruses, both natural and synthetic, in mice and in stem-cell-derived human kidney organoids. A synthetic virus, Anc80, created by one of the researchers, proved successful in reaching two types of cells that contribute to chronic kidney disease. These cells secrete proteins that gum up the organ and cause irreversible damage.

The researchers also showed that the genetic material carried by Anc80 was transferred successfully to the targeted kidney cells.

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