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Antiviral Res. 2009 Apr;82(1):22-8. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2009.01.002. Epub 2009 Feb 2.

Retroviral self-inactivation in the mouse vagina induced by short DNA.

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Institute of Medical Virology, University of Zurich, Gloriastrasse 30/32, CH-8006 Zurich, Switzerland.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been shown to undergo self-destruction upon treatment of cell-free virions with partially double-stranded oligodeoxynucleotides targeting the polypurine tract (PPT) of the viral RNA in the virus particle. The ODN forms a local hybrid with the PPT activating the viral RNase H to prematurely cleave the genomic RNA. Here we are describing the self-destruction of a recombinant lentivirus harboring the PPT of HIV in a mouse vagina model. We showed a decrease in viral RNA levels in cell-free virus particles and a reduction reverse transcribed complementary DNA (cDNA) in virus-infected human and primary murine cells by incubation with ODNs. In the vagina simultaneous, prophylactic or therapeutic ODN treatments led to a significant reduction in viral RNA levels. Our finding may have some relevance for the design of other viral self-destruction approaches. It may lead to a microbicide for reduction of sexual and mother-to-child transmission.

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