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Mol Ther. 2005 Nov;12(5):900-9. Epub 2005 Aug 22.

Long-term inhibition of HIV-1 infection in primary hematopoietic cells by lentiviral vector delivery of a triple combination of anti-HIV shRNA, anti-CCR5 ribozyme, and a nucleolar-localizing TAR decoy.

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  • 1Division of Molecular Biology, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, CA 91010, USA.


Combinatorial therapies for the treatment of HIV-1 infection have proven to be effective in reducing patient viral loads and slowing the progression to AIDS. We have developed a series of RNA-based inhibitors for use in a gene therapy-based treatment for HIV-1 infection. The transcriptional units have been inserted into the backbone of a replication-defective lentiviral vector capable of transducing a wide array of cell types, including CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells. The combinatorial therapeutic RNA vector harbors a U6 Pol III promoter-driven short hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting the rev and tat mRNAs of HIV-1, a U6 transcribed nucleolar-localizing TAR RNA decoy, and a VA1-derived Pol III cassette that expresses an anti-CCR5 ribozyme. Each of these therapeutic RNAs targets a different gene product and blocks HIV infection by a distinct mechanism. Our results demonstrate that the combinatorial vector suppresses HIV replication long term in a more-than-additive fashion relative to the single shRNA or double shRNA/ribozyme or decoy combinations. Our data demonstrate the validity and efficacy of a combinatorial RNA-based gene therapy for the treatment of HIV-1 infection.

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