Gene transfer: The insertion of unrelated genetic information in the form of DNA into cells.
There are different reasons to do gene transfer. Perhaps foremost among these reasons is the treatment of diseases using gene transfer to supply patients with therapeutic genes. There are also different ways to transfer genes. Some of these methods involve the use of a vector such as a virus that has been specifically modified so it can take the gene along with it when it enters the cell.
For example, gene transfer may help treat type 1 diabetes (which is due to failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin). Among the key factors that decide whether the gene for insulin is turned on or off is the gene PDX-1. Using a vector virus the PDX-1 gene has been transferred (into mice) where the gene is expressed by liver cells which now produce insulin. Gene transfer of PDX-1 may reprogram tissues other than the pancreas to make insulin and control the abnormally high blood sugar levels in diabetes.
- Gene, candidate
Gene, candidate: Any gene thought likely to cause a disease. The gene may be a candidate because it is located in a particular chromosome region suspected of being involved in the disease or its protein product may suggest that it could be the disease gene in question.
- Gene, evolutionarily conserved
Gene, evolutionarily conserved: A gene that has remained essentially unchanged throughout evolution. Conservation of a gene indicates that it is unique and essential. Changes in the gene are likely to be lethal.
- Gene, marker
Gene, marker: A detectable genetic trait or segment of DNA that can be identified and tracked. A marker gene can serve as a flag for another gene, sometimes called the target gene. A marker gene must be on the same chromosome as the target gene and near enough to it so that the two genes […]
- Gene, Med1 DNA repair
Gene, Med1 DNA repair: A gene that codes for one of the key enzymes involved in repairing DNA. The DNA in genes is constantly mutating and being repaired. This repair process is controlled by special genes. A mutation in a DNA repair gene such as Med1 can cripple the repair process and cause a cascade […]
- Gene, regulatory
Gene, regulatory: A gene that regulates the expression of other genes. A regulatory gene is a nosy gene whose prime preoccupation is to horn in on other genes and control the rate at which they make products.