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Nat Biotechnol. 2001 May;19(5):446-50.

The HIV-1 DNA flap stimulates HIV vector-mediated cell transduction in the brain.

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  • 1Unité d'Oncologie Virale, Institut Pasteur 25-28 rue du Dr Roux, 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France.

Abstract

During HIV-1 reverse transcription, central initiation of the plus-strand DNA at the central polypurine tract (cPPT) and central termination at the central termination sequence (CTS) lead to the formation of a three-stranded DNA structure: the HIV-1 central DNA flap. We recently reported that the DNA flap acts as a cis-active determinant of HIV-1 genome nuclear import. Commonly employed HIV-1-derived vectors (HR vectors) lack the central DNA flap. Here we report that the insertion of this DNA flap sequence into HR vectors (TRIP vectors) improves gene transduction in neural cells, ex vivo and in vivo, in rat brain. When neural cells are exposed to increasing concentrations of TRIP vector particles, transgene expression correlates with the dose of vector. This effect contrasts with the plateau observed when using an HR vector. We further demonstrate that the increase of in vivo transduction efficiency obtained with TRIP vectors is due to the stimulation of their genome nuclear import.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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