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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Sep;1175:3-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04972.x.

Toward a durable anti-HIV gene therapy based on RNA interference.

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1
Laboratory of Experimental Virology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. b.berkhout@amc.uva.nl

Abstract

Basic research in the field of molecular biology led to the discovery of the mechanism of RNA interference (RNAi) in Caenorhabditis elegans in 1998. RNAi is now widely appreciated as an important gene control mechanism in mammals, and several RNAi-based gene-silencing applications have already been used in clinical trials. In this review I will discuss RNAi approaches to inhibit the pathogenic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), which establishes a chronic infection that would most likely require a durable gene therapy approach. Viruses, such as HIV-1, are particularly difficult targets for RNAi attack because they mutate frequently, which allows viral escape by mutation of the RNAi target sequence. Combinatorial RNAi strategies are required to prevent viral escape.

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