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PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e31576. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031576. Epub 2012 Feb 13.

Excision of HIV-1 proviral DNA by recombinant cell permeable tre-recombinase.

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1
Heinrich Pette Institute - Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology, Hamburg, Germany.

Abstract

Over the previous years, comprehensive studies on antiretroviral drugs resulted in the successful introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) into clinical practice for treatment of HIV/AIDS. However, there is still need for new therapeutic approaches, since HAART cannot eradicate HIV-1 from the infected organism and, unfortunately, can be associated with long-term toxicity and the development of drug resistance. In contrast, novel gene therapy strategies may have the potential to reverse the infection by eradicating HIV-1. For example, expression of long terminal repeat (LTR)-specific recombinase (Tre-recombinase) has been shown to result in chromosomal excision of proviral DNA and, in consequence, in the eradication of HIV-1 from infected cell cultures. However, the delivery of Tre-recombinase currently depends on the genetic manipulation of target cells, a process that is complicating such therapeutic approaches and, thus, might be undesirable in a clinical setting. In this report we demonstrate that E.coli expressed Tre-recombinases, tagged either with the protein transduction domain (PTD) from the HIV-1 Tat trans-activator or the translocation motif (TLM) of the Hepatitis B virus PreS2 protein, were able to translocate efficiently into cells and showed significant recombination activity on HIV-1 LTR sequences. Tre activity was observed using episomal and stable integrated reporter constructs in transfected HeLa cells. Furthermore, the TLM-tagged enzyme was able to excise the full-length proviral DNA from chromosomal integration sites of HIV-1-infected HeLa and CEM-SS cells. The presented data confirm Tre-recombinase activity on integrated HIV-1 and provide the basis for the non-genetic transient application of engineered recombinases, which may be a valuable component of future HIV eradication strategies.

PMID:
22348110
PMCID:
PMC3278460
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0031576
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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