Simian virus-40 as a gene therapy vector

DNA Cell Biol. 2004 May;23(5):271-82. doi: 10.1089/104454904323090903.


Simian virus-40 (SV40), an icosahedral papovavirus, has recently been modified to serve as a gene delivery vector. Recombinant SV40 vectors (rSV40) are good candidates for gene transfer, as they display some unique features: SV40 is a well-known virus, nonreplicative vectors are easy-to-make, and can be produced in titers of 10(12) IU/ml. They also efficiently transduce both resting and dividing cells, deliver persistent transgene expression to a wide range of cell types, and are nonimmunogenic. Present disadvantages of rSV40 vectors for gene therapy are a small cloning capacity and the possible risks related to random integration of the viral genome into the host genome. Considerable efforts have been devoted to modifing this virus and setting up protocols for viral production. Preliminary therapeutic results obtained both in tissue culture cells and in animal models for heritable and acquired diseases indicate that rSV40 vectors are promising gene transfer vehicles. This article reviews the work performed with SV40 viruses as recombinant vectors for gene transfer. A summary of the structure, genomic organization, and life cycle of wild-type SV40 viruses is presented. Furthermore, the strategies utilized for the development, production, and titering of rSV40 vectors are discussed. Last, the therapeutic applications developed to date are highlighted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Genetic Vectors*
  • Genome, Viral
  • Humans
  • Polyomavirus Infections / virology
  • Simian virus 40 / genetics*
  • Simian virus 40 / pathogenicity
  • Simian virus 40 / physiology
  • Virion / genetics