Cystic fibrosis, vector-mediated gene therapy, and relevance of toll-like receptors: a review of problems, progress, and possibilities

Curr Gene Ther. 2008 Jun;8(3):201-7. doi: 10.2174/156652308784746468.


Gene delivery in cystic fibrosis is hampered by extracellular and intracellular biological barriers and inefficient vectors. Although progress is evident, continued bioengineering of DNA, vectors, and delivery technologies will be critical to ensure biocompatibility, safety, and therapeutic effectiveness. Both viral and nonviral vectors demonstrate insufficient gene expression to adequately correct chloride ion and respiratory homeostasis, but vector modifications and novel vector types continue to advance understanding of transfection processes, immunobiological responses, and cystic fibrosis pathology. Interactions of toll-like receptors and other coreceptors may be critical components of cystic fibrosis immunobiology but additional research will be needed before causative associations are widely established; however, receptor modulation provides a theoretical framework to develop new therapeutic approaches. Clinical-phase pharmacotherapies offer short-term promise to restore electrolyte imbalance and/or symptomatology, but it may be many years before gene therapy offers a curative solution for the disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cystic Fibrosis / genetics
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • Cystic Fibrosis / therapy*
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator / genetics
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Humans
  • Toll-Like Receptors / physiology
  • Transfection


  • CFTR protein, human
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator