Selective Transduction of HIV-1-Infected Cells by the Combination of HIV and MMLV Vectors
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Human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1)-infected cells are important targets of gene therapy for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. We have developed a novel strategy for targeted gene transfer into HIV-1-infected cells based on 2-step gene transfer. The first step involves the stable introduction of the HIV vector containing the ecotropic Moloney murine leukemia virus (MMLV) receptor gene (EcoRec) into human CD4+ T cells as a molecular switch. Because the HIV-long terminal repeat (HIV-LTR) is Tat inducible, it is expected that EcoRec is expressed only after HIV-1 infection. Northern blot analysis and a retrovirus binding assay confirmed that the HIV-LTR of the integrated vector was silent in transduced cells but strongly transactivated in HIV-1 infection. High levels of EcoRec expression were observed only in HIV-1-infected cells. These cells became highly susceptible to ecotropic MMLV infection and, therefore, in the second step, HIV-1-infected cells were selectively transduced with ecotropic MMLV vectors. More than 70% of HIV-1-infected cells were transduced by this strategy. These findings indicate that this 2-step method can be used for selective and stable gene transfer into HIV-1-infected cells.
Key wordsGene therapy Viral vectors Targeting HIV-1 infection
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