New anti-HIV gene therapy makes T-cells resistant to HIV infection

January 26, 2011

An innovative genetic strategy for rendering T-cells resistant to HIV infection without affecting their normal growth and activity is described in a paper published in Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

A team of researchers from Japan, Korea, and the U.S. developed an anti-HIV method in which a bacterial gene called mazF is transferred into CD4+ T-cells. The MazF protein is an enzyme (an mRNA interferase) that destroys gene transcripts, preventing . The design of this mazF gene therapy vector ensures that synthesis of the MazF protein is triggered by . When HIV infects treated T lymphocytes, MazF is induced, blocking HIV replication and, essentially, making the T-cells resistant.

This elegant gene therapy tool was developed by Hideto Chono and colleagues from Takara Bio Inc. (Otsu, Shiga, Japan), Seoul National University and ViroMed Co. (Seoul, Korea), National Institute of Biomedical Innovation (Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan), and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (Piscataway, NJ). The authors describe the theory and science behind this strategy in the paper entitled, "Acquisition of HIV-1 Resistance in T Lymphocytes Using an ACA-Specific E. coli mRNA Interferase."

"The potential of using vectors to express genes within a cell to block viral infection was first considered by David Baltimore in a strategy called 'intracellular immunization.' This study illustrates a unique way in which intracellular immunization can be achieved," says James M. Wilson, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, and Director of the Gene Therapy Program, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

Explore further: Researchers find a peptide that encourages HIV infection

More information: The paper is available free online at www.liebertpub.com/hum

Related Stories

Researchers find a peptide that encourages HIV infection

May 10, 2007

UCLA AIDS Institute researchers have discovered that when a crucial portion of a peptide structure in monkeys that defends against viruses, bacteria and other foreign invaders is reversed, the peptide actually encourages ...

Engineered human fusion protein inhibits HIV-1 replication

September 8, 2009

In 2004, Jeremy Luban and colleagues from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, reported that New World owl monkeys (Aotus genus) make a fusion protein - AoT5Cyp - that potently blocks HIV-1 infection. The human genome encodes ...

Recommended for you

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

Quantum Theory May Explain Wishful Thinking

April 14, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Humans don’t always make the most rational decisions. As studies have shown, even when logic and reasoning point in one direction, sometimes we chose the opposite route, motivated by personal bias or simply ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.