Posted by on May 29, 2018 2:03 pm
Categories: Crispr Articles

Source: CRISPR used to block AIDS virus replicating in cells

29 May 2018

Appeared in BioNews 951

Scientists in Japan have harnessed genome editing to successfully block the AIDS virus from replicating inside infected cells.

The team at Kobe University used CRISPR/Cas9 to remove two regulatory genes of HIV-1 within infected human cell lines, and so stop further production of the virus.

'Based on the rapid advances being achieved in CRISPR/Cas9 research, a HIV-1 functional cure may soon be within reach,' the researchers write in their paper published in Scientific Reports.

Although advances have meant that HIV has gone from being a deadly disease to one that is now a chronic condition, manageable with drug treatment, there is no cure as the virus can sit in dormant reservoirs within cells. It does this by incorporating itself within the chromosomes of a patient's cells.

As soon as treatment is stopped, the virus rebounds, and so drug treatment must be lifelong.

The team aimed to stop these viral reservoirs from reactivating and proliferating by using genome editing to target HIV-1 genes, tat and rev, which are crucial for the dormant virus to replicate. This was repeated in each of the six major subtypes of HIV-1.

The method successfully blocked the production of tat and rev proteins, and consequently production of the virus. The team said there were also no 'off-target' effects seen from the genome editing, and it did not affect the survival of the cultured cells.

'These results show that the CRISPR/Cas9 system, by targeting the regulatory genes of HIV-1, tat and rev, is a promising method for treating HIV infection,' said Professor Masanori Kameoka, one of the study leaders.

'We now need to investigate how we can selectively introduce a CRISPR/Cas9 system that targets HIV-1 genes into the infected cells of patients. In order to safely and effectively introduce the CRISPR/Cas9 system the vectors must be improved,' said Professor Kameoka. 'We hope this research will provide us with useful information in developing a treatment method that can completely cure the HIV-1 infection.'

Scientific Reports
17 May 2018
Drug Target Review
21 May 2018
Kobe University
18 May 2018
29 January 2018 – by Meghna Kataria 
China has administered CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to at least 86 cancer patients, a new report has revealed. 
8 May 2017 – by Emma Laycock 
US scientists have used CRISPR gene-editing to remove HIV DNA from the genomes of living animals, eliminating further infection.
11 April 2016 – by James Brooks 
Scientists testing whether the CRISPR genome-editing technique could effectively kill HIV in infected cells have found that, while the approach works in most cases, it can also cement the virus’s presence…
4 April 2016 – by Dr Lanay Griessner 
Scientists have used the CRISPR genome-editing technique to remove HIV from the DNA of infected T cells and prevent reinfection…

Published at Tue, 29 May 2018 13:59:23 +0000