Gene transfer into muscle tissue is currently being developed as a method for the production, secretion and delivery of therapeutic proteins. This methodology has been used to produce a variety of physiologically active proteins and may ultimately be applied to the treatment of several diseases. In this review, we consider several applications of this methodology and discuss approaches for modulating therapeutic protein production and secretion from muscle, using growth hormone as an example. In addition, factors limiting the effectiveness of muscle gene transfer are also discussed, as these shall determine the efficacy of muscle gene transfer when applied to humans.
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