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ISRN Virology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 397243, 12 pages
Review Article

HSV-1 as a Model for Emerging Gene Delivery Vehicles

Departamento de Biología Molecular, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain

Received 17 April 2013; Accepted 10 May 2013

Academic Editors: A. Cid-Arregui and H. E. Kaufman

Copyright © 2013 Filip Lim. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The majority of viral vectors currently used possess modest cargo capability (up to 40 kb) being based on retroviruses, lentiviruses, adenoviruses, and adenoassociated viruses. These vectors have made the most rapid transition from laboratory to clinic because their small genomes have simplified their characterization and modification. However, there is now an increasing need both in research and therapy to complement this repertoire with larger capacity vectors able to deliver multiple transgenes or to encode complex regulatory regions, constructs which can easily span more than 100 kb. Herpes Simplex Virus Type I (HSV-1) is a well-characterized human virus which is able to package about 150 kb of DNA, and several vector systems are currently in development for gene transfer applications, particularly in neurons where other systems have low efficiency. However, to reach the same level of versatility and ease of use as that of smaller genome viral vectors, simple systems for high-titer production must be developed. This paper reviews the major HSV-1 vector systems and analyses the common elements which may be most important to manipulate to achieve this goal.