According to a recently published scientific paper, a team of scientists from Japan, Korea, and the U.S. have developed a gene therapy tool that makes T cells resistant to HIV infection by the strategy of “intracellular immunization”, the potential of using vectors to express genes within an infected cell to block viral infection - pioneered by David Baltimore. MazF protein is an enzyme known to destroy gene transcripts thereby preventing protein synthesis and a bacterial gene called mazFis is transferred into CD4+ T-cells in this novel anti-HIV gene therapy method.
This new anti-HIV gene therapy is designed in a way that, HIV infection triggers the synthesis of MazF protein and once MazF is induced, T cells are made resistant to HIV by blocking the HIV replication. This strategically designed tool and its encouraging findings show promise as being one of the efficient ways to combat HIV.
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Hideto Chono, Kazuya Matsumoto, Hiroshi Tsuda, Naoki Saito, Karim Lee, Sujeong Kim, Hiroaki Shibata, Naohide Ageyama, Keiji Terao, Yasuhiro Yasutomi, Junichi Mineno, Sunyoung Kim, Masayori Inouye, Ikunoshin Kato.Acquisition of HIV-1 Resistance in T Lymphocytes Using an ACA-SpecificE. colimRNA Interferase. Human Gene Therapy, 2011; 22 (1): 35