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PLoS Pathog. 2013;9(9):e1003587. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003587. Epub 2013 Sep 26.

Highly significant antiviral activity of HIV-1 LTR-specific tre-recombinase in humanized mice.

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

Abstract

Stable integration of HIV proviral DNA into host cell chromosomes, a hallmark and essential feature of the retroviral life cycle, establishes the infection permanently. Current antiretroviral combination drug therapy cannot cure HIV infection. However, expressing an engineered HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) site-specific recombinase (Tre), shown to excise integrated proviral DNA in vitro, may provide a novel and highly promising antiviral strategy. We report here the conditional expression of Tre-recombinase from an advanced lentiviral self-inactivation (SIN) vector in HIV-infected cells. We demonstrate faithful transgene expression, resulting in accurate provirus excision in the absence of cytopathic effects. Moreover, pronounced Tre-mediated antiviral effects are demonstrated in vivo, particularly in humanized Rag2⁻/⁻γc⁻/⁻ mice engrafted with either Tre-transduced primary CD4⁺ T cells, or Tre-transduced CD34⁺ hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSC). Taken together, our data support the use of Tre-recombinase in novel therapy strategies aiming to provide a cure for HIV.

PMID:
24086129
PMCID:
PMC3784474
DOI:
10.1371/journal.ppat.1003587
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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