Journal of virology 2017 01 1891(3) pii 10.1128/JVI.01389-16
Despite success in viral inhibition and CD4 T cell recovery by highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART), HIV-1 is still not curable due to the persistence of the HIV-1 reservoir during treatment. One patient with acute myeloid leukemia who received allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from a homozygous CCR5 Δ32 donor has had no detectable viremia for 9 years after HAART cessation. This case has inspired a field of HIV-1 cure research focusing on engineering HIV-1 resistance in permissive cells. Here, we employed a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-scFv X5 approach to confer resistance of human primary CD4 T cells to HIV-1. We showed that primary CD4 T cells expressing GPI-scFv X5 were resistant to CCR5 (R5)-, CXCR4 (X4)-, and dual-tropic HIV-1 and had a survival advantage compared to control cells ex vivo In a hu-PBL mouse study, GPI-scFv X5-transduced CD4 T cells were selected in peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues upon HIV-1 infection. Finally, GPI-scFv X5-transduced CD4 T cells, after being cotransfused with HIV-infected cells, showed significantly reduced viral loads and viral RNA copy numbers relative to CD4 cells in hu-PBL mice compared to mice with GPI-scFv AB65-transduced CD4 T cells. We conclude that GPI-scFv X5-modified CD4 T cells could potentially be used as a genetic intervention against both R5- and X4-tropic HIV-1 infections.
Blocking of HIV-1 entry is one of most promising approaches for therapy. Genetic disruption of the HIV-1 coreceptor CCR5 by nucleases in T cells is under 2 clinical trials and leads to reduced viremia in patients. However, the emergence of viruses using the CXCR4 coreceptor is a concern for therapies applying single-coreceptor disruption. Here, we report that HIV-1-permissive CD4 T cells engineered with GPI-scFv X5 are resistant to R5-, X4-, or dual-tropic virus infection ex vivo In a preclinical study using hu-PBL mice, we show that CD4 T cells were protected and that GPI-scFv X5-transduced cells were selected in HIV-1-infected animals. Moreover, we show that GPI-scFv X5-transduced CD4 T cells exerted a negative effect on virus replication in vivo We conclude that GPI-scFv X5-modified CD4 T cells could potentially be used as a genetic intervention against both R5- and X4-tropic HIV-1 infections.