Dental Surgeons as Gene Therapist
Paramel Mohan Sunil, Ramachandran CR, Jaisanghar N, Santhosh Kumar C
Gene therapy is a particular method by which defective gene is replaced or repaired by therapeutic gene. Vectors are vehicles which deliver the therapeutic gene into the host. Gene therapy can be used to treat wide range of diseases ranging from single gene disorder to multi-gene disorder. In dentistry the application of gene therapy includes bone repair, for treating auto immune disease, pain, DNA vaccination (for caries and periodontal disease) and cancer. Minor salivary glands and keratinocytes present in the oral mucosa are the excellent target sites for gene therapy since it can be readily accomplished with minimal invasive manner. This makes dentists as suitable candidate for gene therapy.
Keywords: Therapy;Gene;DNA;Somatic;Genetic Services;Biological Therapy;Vaccination; Immunotherapy;Oral Cancer;Vector.
Paramel Mohan Sunil, Ramachandran CR, Jaisanghar N, Santhosh Kumar C. Dental Surgeons as Gene Therapist. International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology; 2012:3(3):65-67. ©International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. Published by Publishing Division, Celesta Software Private Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Received on: 24/02/2012 Accepted on: 09/07/2012
Rapid progress in molecular biological technology has made researchers to manipulate gene easier. A gene is a linear sequence of DNA that codes for a particular protein. Gene therapy is a technique in which defective genes that are responsible for disease development are corrected. The applications of gene therapy are based on the principle that a normal gene is inserted to compensate for a non functional gene and abnormal gene that can be repaired through selective reverse mutation. Scientists began gene therapy with bacteria in 1980 and first gene therapy in human (1990) was performed for treating severe combined immunodeficiency which worked for only few months. Gene therapy in recent days has grown by leaps and bounds and its application in dentistry includes bone repair, treatment of salivary gland diseases, auto immune diseases, pain, DNA vaccination, dermatological disorder and cancer1.
Principles of Gene Therapy
Gene therapy is a technique in which normal gene is inserted in to host for a non-functional and abnormal gene, which are repaired through selective reverse mutation. The procedure involved in gene therapy includes
Vector delivers the therapeutic gene into patient’s target. The target cells become infective with therapeutic gene through vector. Functional proteins are created from the therapeutic gene causing the cell to return to a normal stage 2.
Requirements for Vector3
The ideal requirements for vectors are
Types of Vector3
Vectors can be either Viral or Non-Viral.
Types of Gene Therapy4
Types of delivery
Applications in Dentistry
Dental surgeon as Gene Therapist
To conclude, the role of dental surgeon in gene therapy is tenable. Dental surgeon has got easy approach to areas like salivary glands and keratinocytes (oral epithelium). Salivary glands are excellent target sites for gene transfer, readily accomplished in minimal invasive manner. There are about 500-1000 minor salivary gland in oral cavity. Salivary gland produce large amount of proteins and it is a site where gene transfer can be readily accomplished in minimal invasive manner.8 Salivary glands could be used for gene therapeutic applications with single protein deficiencies. Irreversible salivary gland dysfunction due to autoimmune diseases9 and irradiation can also be corrected using GT. Keratinocyte are the cells which are present in oral mucosa. Several features make epidermal and mucosal keratinocytes, attractive for treating local tissue disorders and as systemic gene therapeutics.9 Expression of therapeutic genes can be achieved with use of topically applied agents. Gene therapy can be used to treat disorders of keratinocytes like ichthyosis and epidermolysis bullosa. In future it can be used to treat most of dermatologic disorders.10
Dental surgeon can be the best fitting professional to administer gene therapy in the oral cavity which bears minor salivary glands and keratinocytes. Patient with intractable pain in any part of the body can
walk in to dental clinic to get his/her pain relieved through gene therapy. In future dentist will have inseparable role in the field of gene therapy.
1. Dr.Sunil PM, Professor and Head, RMDC & H, Annamalai University, 2. Dr.Ramachandran CR, Professor and Head, Department of Oral Pathology, VDC & H, Bhimavaram, 3. Dr.Jaisanghar N, Professor, Department of Oral Medicine, RMDC & H, Annamalai University, 4. Dr.Santhosh Kumar C, Reader, Department of Oral Pathology, SRDC & H, Coimbatore, India.
We would like to thank all the staff members from Department of Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine for their support & cooperation.
Dr.Sunil PM, MDS, PhD
Professor and Head,
Department of Oral Pathology,
RMDC & H, Annamalai University,
Annamalai Nagar, Chidambaram-608002
Source of Support: Nil, Conflict of Interest: None Declared.
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