Sayed-Mahdi Marashi

Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran

Title: Efficient inhibition of HIV replication by targeting 3UTR transcripts using new modified miR-30a


Academic Rank Assistant Professor 1. Ph.D Medical Virology, University College London, London, England, 2011 Thesis Title:Functional Competence of CD8+ T cell Responses specific to Cytomegalovirus in Common Variable Immunodeficiency. Supervisor:Professor Vince Emery 1. Avicenna Award for high Impact Factor (IF) article, The 15th Avicenna Festival, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran 4 Feb 2014, 2. PhD scholarship from Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran 2007-2011, 3. (Fellowship award for 4 months from University College London (UCL 2010 , 4. Travel grant for presentation in 14th Congress of Immunology in Japan 2010, 1. Board Member of Iranian Virology Association Iranian Virology Association, 2013-2016 2. Research Committee Member - Virology Department School of Public Health - Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 2013-Present 3. Assistant Professor of Virology School of Public Health - Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 2011-Present


RNA interference (RNAi) based gene therapy has currently been considered as a combinational anti-HIV-1 therapy. While artificial polycistronic microRNAs can reduce HIV-1 escape mutants, this approach causes cell toxicity by saturation of endogenous RNAi machinery. This study aimed to optimize the efficiency of RNAi gene therapy in order to reduce cell toxicity. We explored an artificial miR-30a-3´UTR (miR-3´UTR) from a single RNA pol II expressed transcript that targets simultaneously all viral transcripts. We constructed a pre-miR-30a backbones encoding siRNAthat targets the HIV-1 3´UTR. Our data indicated thatHIV-1 replication was significantly inhibited in the cell culture using miR-3´UTR construct, suggesting a promising tool for consideration of RNA-based gene therapy application.