Author(s): Poeschla E, Corbeau P, WongStaal F, Poeschla E, Corbeau P, WongStaal F
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Abstract Current gene therapy protocols for HIV infection use transfection or murine retrovirus mediated transfer of antiviral genes into CD4+ T cells or CD34+ progenitor cells ex vivo, followed by infusion of the gene altered cells into autologous or syngeneic/allogeneic recipients. While these studies are essential for safety and feasibility testing, several limitations remain: long-term reconstitution of the immune system is not effected for lack of access to the macrophage reservoir or the pluripotent stem cell population, which is usually quiescent, and ex vivo manipulation of the target cells will be too expensive and impractical for global application. In these regards, the lentivirus-specific biologic properties of the HIVs, which underlie their pathogenetic mechanisms, are also advantageous as vectors for gene therapy. The ability of HIV to specifically target CD4+ cells, as well as non-cycling cells, makes it a promising candidate for in vivo gene transfer vector on one hand, and for transduction of non-cycling stem cells on the other. Here we report the use of replication-defective vectors and stable vector packaging cell lines derived from both HIV-1 and HIV-2. Both HIV envelopes and vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein G were effective in mediating high-titer gene transfer, and an HIV-2 vector could be cross-packaged by HIV-1. Both HIV-1 and HIV-2 vectors were able to transduce primary human macrophages, a property not shared by murine retroviruses. Vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein G-pseudotyped HIV vectors have the potential to mediate gene transfer into non-cycling hematopoietic stem cells. If so, HIV or other lentivirus-based vectors will have applications beyond HIV infection.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in HIV: Current Research