An international team of researchers has found a
new technique that is capable of making T-cells resistant
to HIV in such a way that it does not place harm on the T-cells'
activity or growth.
for this study was conducted by Hideto Chono, study leader and creator of the
new gene therapy tool, along with co-authors from Takara Bio
Inc. in Otsu, Shiga, Japan; National Institute of Biomedical
Innovation; Seoul National University and ViroMed
Co. in Seoul, Korea, and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in
Piscataway, New Jersey.
this anti-HIV gene
therapy technique, Chono and the team of researchers used a bacterial gene
called mazF, which is an enzyme, or mRNA interferase, that prevents protein
synthesis by destroying gene transcripts. MazF is transferred into CD4+
T-cells, and due to the design of the mazF gene therapy vector, HIV activates
synthesis of the MazF protein. MazF blocks HIV replication when HIV infects
these treated T-lymphocytes, which ultimately makes the T-cells resistant to
potential of using vectors to express genes within a cell to block viral
infection was first considered by David Baltimore in a strategy called
'intracellular immunization,'" said James M. Wilson, MD, Ph.D.,
Editor-in-Chief, and Director of the Gene Therapy Program at the University of
Pennsylvania School of Medicine's Department of Pathology and Laboratory
Medicine. "This study illustrates a unique way in which intracellular
immunization can be achieved."
study, titled "Acquisition of HIV-1 Resistance in T Lymphocytes Using
an ACA-Specific E. coli mRNA Interferase," was published in Human