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Gene Ther. 2008 Sep;15(17):1210-22. doi: 10.1038/gt.2008.73. Epub 2008 May 1.

Efficient entry inhibition of human and nonhuman primate immunodeficiency virus by cell surface-expressed gp41-derived peptides.

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Division of Viral Pathogenesis, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Membrane-anchored C-peptides (for example, maC46) derived from human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope glycoprotein gp41 effectively inhibit HIV-1 entry in cell lines and primary human CD4+ cells in vitro. Here we evaluated this gene therapy approach in animal models of AIDS. We adapted the HIV gp41-derived maC46 vector construct for use in rhesus monkeys. Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV and SHIV) sequence-adapted maC46 peptides, and the original HIV-1-derived maC46 expressed on the surface of established cell lines blocked entry of HIV-1, SIVmac251 and SHIV89.6P. Furthermore, primary rhesus monkey CD4+ T cells expressing HIV sequence-based maC46 peptides were also protected from SIV entry. Depletion of CD8+ T cells from PBMCs enhanced the yield of maC46-transduced CD4+ T cells. Supplementation with interleukin-2 (IL-2) increased transduction efficiency, whereas IL-7 and/or IL-15 provided no additional benefit. Phenotypic analysis showed that maC46-transduced and expanded cells were predominantly central memory CD4+ T cells that expressed low levels of CCR5 and slightly elevated levels of CD62L, beta7-integrin and CXCR4. These findings show that maC46-based cell surface-expressed peptides can efficiently inhibit primate immunodeficiency virus infection, and therefore serve as the basis for evaluation of this gene therapy approach in an animal model for AIDS.

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