What is it about?

Viral vectors are now an indispensable tool in advanced medicine, including gene therapy, cancer treatment, and vaccine development. In order to maximize their usefulness while minimizing potential risks, methods to completely control their multiplication are required. Attaching a simple switch to viral vectors to completely control their proliferation is ideal, but has been considered impossible. In this study, an innovative solution to this problem is presented, and an excellent example of its success is shown.

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Why is it important?

The ability to control the growth of viral vectors with light will allow us to control the growth of viral vectors spatiotemporally (when and where they are needed (organs, tissues, etc.)). In this study, the control has been achieved with a simple blue diode irradiation device.


This study shows success with paramyxovirus and rhabdovirus, which have already been used in numerous viral vectors for clinical applications such as gene therapy and cancer treatment, as well as for research and development. It will be possible to rapidly add this new control switch to existing vectors, and new ways of using viral vectors will be proposed.

Dr Makoto Takeda
National Institute of Infectious Diseases

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Photocontrollable mononegaviruses, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 2019, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1906531116.
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