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Breeding a better vector

Genome Biology20001:spotlight-20000807-01

  • Published:


  • Leukemia
  • Gene Therapy
  • Homologous Gene
  • Chinese Hamster Ovary
  • Leukemia Virus

DNA shuffling (also called molecular breeding) generates variation by random fragmentation of a cloned gene followed by reassembly of the fragments in a self-priming polymerase reaction. The result is a recombination of overlapping fragments that have different mutations or come from different, naturally occurring homologous genes. In the August Nature Genetics Soong et al. apply this technique to a pool of six different murine leukemia virus envelope sequences to derive a new virus that can, unlike its parents, infect Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHOK1) cells (Nat. Gen. 2000, 25:436-439). Similar selections on clinically relevant cell types may yield improved vectors for gene therapy.


  1. Rapid evolution of a protein in vitro by DNA shuffling.Google Scholar
  2. DNA shuffling of a family of genes from diverse species accelerates directed evolution.Google Scholar
  3. Nature genetics, []


© BioMed Central Ltd 2000