Wolkowicz, R and Nolan, GP. Gene therapy progress and prospects: novel gene therapy approaches for AIDS. Gene Ther 12: 467-476

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
Gene Therapy (Impact Factor: 3.1). 04/2005; 12(6):467-76. DOI: 10.1038/
Source: PubMed


Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), kills millions worldwide every year. Vaccines against HIV still seem a distant promise. Pharmaceutical treatments exist, but these are not always effective, and there is increasing prevalence of viral strains with multidrug resistance. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) consists of inhibitors of viral enzymes (reverse transcriptase (RT) and protease). Gene therapy, first introduced as intracellular immunization, may offer hopes for new treatments to be used alone, or in conjunction with, conventional small molecule drugs. Gene therapy approaches against HIV-1, including suicide genes, RNA-based technology, dominant negative viral proteins, intracellular antibodies, intrakines, and peptides, are the subject of this review.

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    • "The concept of transgene delivery to express a gene product for eradication of HIVinfected cells was put forward in 1988 [3]. During the past two decades, potent anti-HIV transgenes have been developed and great efforts have been made to identify the most effective transgenes and suitable methods for their specific delivery [4] [5] [6]. However, if such potent genes are delivered into non-target cells, serious side effects may occur, and at present no method can guarantee safe and highly selective transgene delivery into HIV-infected cells. "
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    ABSTRACT: Gene therapy is a promising strategy for the treatment of HIV infection, but cell specificity remains an issue. Recently we have developed a new concept for a drug or gene delivery system responding to cellular signals (D-RECS) to achieve cell-specific transgene expression using a non-viral polymer-based vehicle. According to this concept, intracellular signaling enzymes, which are activated specifically in target cells, are used to trigger transgene expression. We previously applied this concept to HIV-1 protease and showed that the recombinant protease could act as a suitable signal. Here we further developed this system to achieve highly specific transgene expression in HIV-infected cells. We prepared a polymeric gene regulator grafted with a cationic peptide containing the HIV-Tat peptide via a specific substrate for HIV-1 protease. The regulator formed a stable polyplex with the transgene, suppressing its transcription. HIV-1 protease cleaved the peptide and released the transgene, which was consequently expressed specifically in activated HIV-infected cells, but remained unreleased and inactive in uninfected cells. The validity of this approach was further confirmed by applying it to the CVB1 2A protease of coxsackievirus (Picornaviridae family). This strategy should be widely applicable for specific expression of a variety of therapeutic genes in virus-infected cells.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2009 · Journal of Controlled Release
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    • "A number of methods to disrupt HIV co-receptor expression have been described previously. These methods involve vector-delivered genetic disruption mechanisms that target the HIV co-receptors, such as RNA interference, ribozymes, zinc fingers, intrakines and intrabodies (reviewed by Swan & Torbett, 2006; Wolkowicz & Nolan, 2005). Although these methods have shown promising results in vitro, their in vivo application remains controversial. "
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    ABSTRACT: It has previously been demonstrated that there are two distinct mechanisms for genetic resistance to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) conferred by the CCR5Delta32 gene: the loss of wild-type CCR5 surface expression and the generation of CCR5Delta32 protein, which interacts with CXCR4. To analyse the protective effects of long-term expression of the CCR5Delta32 protein, recombinant lentiviral vectors were used to deliver the CCR5Delta32 gene into human cell lines and primary peripheral blood mononuclear cells that had been immortalized by human T-cell leukemia virus type 1. Blasticidin S-resistant cell lines expressing the lentivirus-encoded CCR5Delta32 showed a significant reduction in HIV-1 Env-mediated fusion assays. It was shown that CD4(+) T lymphocytes expressing the lentivirus-encoded CCR5Delta32 gene were highly resistant to infection by a primary but not by a laboratory-adapted X4 strain, suggesting different infectivity requirements. In contrast to previous studies that analysed the CCR5Delta32 protective effects in a transient expression system, this study showed that long-term expression of CCR5Delta32 conferred resistance to HIV-1 despite cell-surface expression of the HIV co-receptors. The results suggest an additional unknown mechanism for generating the CCR5Delta32 resistance phenotype and support the hypothesis that the CCR5Delta32 protein acts as an HIV-suppressive factor by altering the stoichiometry of the molecules involved in HIV-1 entry. The lentiviral-CCR5Delta32 vectors offer a method of generating HIV-resistant cells by delivery of the CCR5Delta32 gene that may be useful for stem cell- or T-cell-based gene therapy for HIV-1 infection.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2008 · Journal of General Virology
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    • "Such therapies may replace the current treatments and the need to monitor drug resistance profiles. (Puerta- Fernandez et al., 2005; Shankar et al., 2005; Wolkowicz and Nolan, 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: The diagnosis of infectious diseases has been revolutionized by the development of molecular techniques, foremost with the applications of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The achievable high sensitivity and ease with which the method can be used to detect any known genetic sequence have led to its wide application in the life sciences. More recently, real-time PCR assays have provided additional major contributions, with the inclusion of an additional fluorescent probe detection system resulting in an increase in sensitivity over conventional PCR, the ability to confirm the amplification product and to quantitate the target concentration. Further, nucleotide sequence analysis of the amplification products has facilitated epidemiological studies of infectious disease outbreaks, and the monitoring of treatment outcomes for infections, in particular with viruses which mutate at high frequency. This review discusses the applications of qualitative and quantitative real-time PCR, nested PCR, multiplex PCR, nucleotide sequence analysis of amplified products and quality assurance with nucleic acid testing (NAT) in diagnostic laboratories.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2007 · Current issues in molecular biology
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