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Publications (2)6.9 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Coexpression of different effector molecules from a single vector (a dual-function vector) may provide enhanced efficacy. Thus far most of the reported anti-HIV dual-function vectors express different effector RNAs as a chimeric molecule. In our study involving retroviral vectors coexpressing a U5 ribozyme and either an anti-tat or anti-rev antisense RNA, chimeric vectors exhibit poor potency in several important functional aspects, including inhibition of HIV replication, protection against cytopathic effects, and suppression of target gene function. Surprisingly, such a poor efficacy of chimeric vector function was not associated with a lower level of effector RNA expression. These results indicate that expression of two effector RNAs as a chimeric molecule can lead to interference, reducing their global biological effects. More importantly, we have demonstrated that such interference can be avoided by coexpressing these effector RNAs as separate molecules through a new dual-function vector, called a dual-effector cassette (Dec) vector, developed in this study. We also define some of the design alterations that might affect the efficacy of the Dec vector and demonstrate that forward-designed Dec vectors are more efficacious than reverse-designed Dec vectors, which express a lower level of effector RNA owing to the instability of the 5' effector cassettes in the provirus. We believe that the principle of Dec vector design may also be applicable for the coexpression of other therapeutic RNA effectors in many gene therapy applications.
    Human Gene Therapy 03/1999; 10(3):449-62. DOI:10.1089/10430349950018896 · 3.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have constructed a series of retroviral vectors in which the expression of antisense RNA targeted at the full length coding sequence of HIV-1 tat or rev was driven by three different promoters and in the context of double-copy or single-copy vectors. Jurkat cells transduced by these vectors were shown to express the expected tat or rev antisense RNA without alteration in cell proliferation or surface CD4 expression. After challenge with HIV, four patterns of protection were identified, with the degree of protection being determined primarily by the design of the expression system. In those patterns showing long-term complete protection, we could detect no HIV p24 in the culture supernatants or in the cells, and no HIV RNA or HIV proviral DNA (by PCR), during a 23-week follow-up. Experiments designed to rescue any live virus still formed in the culture after 20 weeks' challenge demonstrated that, with some constructs, infectious virus could no longer be isolated, while with other constructs, only a low level of infectious virus was still being formed and providing a continuing virus challenge, although all other markers of infection remained undetectable. Our results demonstrated that antisense RNA expression driven by tRNA promoter in the context of a double-copy vector conferred better long-term protection against HIV infection compared to that driven by HIV LTR or MLV LTR promoters, and that the optimized vectors may be useful in developing a gene therapy against HIV-1 infection and AIDS.
    Virology 07/1996; 220(2):377-89. DOI:10.1006/viro.1996.0326 · 3.28 Impact Factor