A lentiviral vector that activates latent human immunodeficiency virus-1 proviruses by the overexpression of tat and that kills the infected cells

David Macías, Ricardo Oya, Luisa Saniger, Francisco Martín, Francisco Luque
Human Gene Therapy 2009, 20 (11): 1259-68
Despite the efficient HIV-1 replication blockage achieved with current highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) therapies, HIV-1 persists in the body and survives in a latent state that can last for the entire life of the patient. A long-lived reservoir of latently infected CD4(+) memory T cells represents the most important sanctuary for the virus and the greatest obstacle for viral eradication. In this work, we present an initial step toward a gene therapy approach aimed at the activation of latent provirus to induce the death of latently infected T cells. Latent HIV-1 infection is characterized by the failure of viral gene expression as a consequence of uninitiated or aborted transcription. We have constructed an HIV-1-based lentiviral vector (p5p53RTAT3) that expresses the viral trans-activating protein Tat in a drug-regulated manner and p53 in a Rev-dependent manner. We have demonstrated that the Tat-expressed protein from p5p53RTAT3 vector reactivates latent HIV-1 proviruses in J1.1 and ACH-2 cell lines and promotes p53-induced apoptosis in the presence of Rev. Our system was able to trigger the trans-activation of the provirus 5' long terminal repeat (LTR), stimulate the expression of the Rev protein from a tat-defective provirus, and provoke apoptosis selectively in the cells transfected with a tat-defective HIV-1 provirus in contrast to those with no HIV-1 provirus. However, the Rev-dependent p53 killing of latently infected cells was not effective enough for complete elimination of the awakened HIV-1 viruses. In summary, we have developed a vector system that is efficient in activating latent HIV-1 proviruses but that needs further improvement to kill infected cells.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"