Human artificial chromosome vectors meet stem cells: new prospects for gene delivery
Ren X, Tahimic CG, Katoh M, Kurimasa A, Inoue T, Oshimura M.
Department of Biomedical Science,
Institute of Regenerative Medicine and Biofunction,
Tottori University,
86 Nishicho, Yonago,
Tottori 683-8503, Japan.
Stem Cell Rev. 2006;2(1):43-50.


The recent emergence of stem cell-based tissue engineering has now opened up new venues for gene therapy. The task now is to develop safe and effective vectors that can deliver therapeutic genes into specific stem cell lines and maintain long-term regulated expression of these genes. Human artificial chromosomes (HACs) possess several characteristics that require gene therapy vectors, including a stable episomal maintenance, and the capacity for large gene inserts. HACs can also carry genomic loci with regulatory elements, thus allowing for the expression of transgenes in a genetic environment similar to the chromosome. Currently, HACs are constructed by a two prone approaches. Using a top-down strategy, HACs can be generated from fragmenting endogenous chromosomes. By a bottom-up strategy, HACs can be created de novo from cloned chromosomal components using chromosome engineering. This review describes the current advances in developing HACs, with the main focus on their applications and potential value in gene delivery, such as HAC-mediated gene expression in embryonic, adult stem cells, and transgenic animals.
Heritable HACs
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis
5-HTTPR polymorphism/depression
Francis Galton and contemporary eugenics
Gene therapy and performance enhancement
The commercialisation of pre-natal enhancement
Transhumanism (H+): toward a Brave New World?
Human artificial chromosome with dystrophin gene

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Utopian Surgery?
The Good Drug Guide
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
MDMA: Utopian Pharmacology
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World