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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Oct 1; 93(20): 11103–11108.

A conditionally replicating HIV-1 vector interferes with wild-type HIV-1 replication and spread.


Defective-interfering viruses are known to modulate virus pathogenicity. We describe conditionally replicating HIV-1 (crHIV) vectors that interfere with wild-type HIV-1 (wt-HIV) replication and spread. crHIV vectors are defective-interfering HIV genomes that do not encode viral proteins and replicate only in the presence of wt-HIV helper virus. In cells that contain both wt-HIV and crHIV genomes, the latter are shown to have a selective advantage for packaging into progeny virions because they contain ribozymes that cleave wt-HIV RNA but not crHIV RNA. A crHIV vector containing a triple anti-U5 ribozyme significantly interferes with wt-HIV replication and spread. crHIV vectors are also shown to undergo the full viral replicative cycle after complementation with wt-HIV helper-virus. The application of defective interfering crHIV vectors may result in competition with wt-HIVs and decrease pathogenic viral loads in vivo.

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