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Nat Biotechnol. 2007 Dec;25(12):1444-54.

Genetic therapies against HIV.

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Division of Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, Duarte, California 91010, USA.


Highly active antiretroviral therapy prolongs the life of HIV-infected individuals, but it requires lifelong treatment and results in cumulative toxicities and viral-escape mutants. Gene therapy offers the promise of preventing progressive HIV infection by sustained interference with viral replication in the absence of chronic chemotherapy. Gene-targeting strategies are being developed with RNA-based agents, such as ribozymes, antisense, RNA aptamers and small interfering RNA, and protein-based agents, such as the mutant HIV Rev protein M10, fusion inhibitors and zinc-finger nucleases. Recent advances in T-cell-based strategies include gene-modified HIV-resistant T cells, lentiviral gene delivery, CD8(+) T cells, T bodies and engineered T-cell receptors. HIV-resistant hematopoietic stem cells have the potential to protect all cell types susceptible to HIV infection. The emergence of viral resistance can be addressed by therapies that use combinations of genetic agents and that inhibit both viral and host targets. Many of these strategies are being tested in ongoing and planned clinical trials.

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