Chapter 13. Genetic Targeting of Retroviral Vectors

  1. David T. Curiel M.D. and
  2. Joanne T. Douglas Ph.D.
  1. David Dingli M.D. and
  2. Stephen J. Russell M.D., Ph.D.

Published Online: 31 MAR 2003

DOI: 10.1002/0471234303.ch13

Vector Targeting for Therapeutic Gene Delivery

Vector Targeting for Therapeutic Gene Delivery

How to Cite

Dingli, D. and Russell, S. J. (2002) Genetic Targeting of Retroviral Vectors, in Vector Targeting for Therapeutic Gene Delivery (eds D. T. Curiel and J. T. Douglas), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/0471234303.ch13

Editor Information

  1. Division of Human Gene Therapy, Departments of Medicine, Pathology and Surgery, and the Gene Therapy Center, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA

Author Information

  1. Molecular Medicine Program, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 31 MAR 2003
  2. Published Print: 9 AUG 2002

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471434795

Online ISBN: 9780471234302



  • retrovirus;
  • targeting;
  • virus entry and membrane glycoproteins


Vector targeting for specific and efficient transduction of target cells is a major goal of gene therapy. Retroviruses enter mammalian cells by interacting with cell surface receptors that trigger conformational changes in the viral surface envelope glycoproteins leading to membrane fusion and cell entry. Several different retroviral envelope glycoproteins have been shown to tolerate the insertion of polypeptide ligands, such as single chain antibodies, that specify attachment to alternative cell surface receptors. However, after redirecting virus attachment, chimeric envelope glycoproteins often fail to trigger membrane fusion and may furthermore actively interfere with productive infection. In this chapter we summarise the history and status of retrovirus targeting research with emphasis on the targeting strategies that have been recently developed to overcome previous obstacles.