Scientists using gene editing tool just made an extraordinary achievement, for the treatment of AIDS and other retroviruses.
Researchers from Temple University used a CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tool, to clear out the entire HIV-1 genome from a patient’s infected immune cells!
Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1, colored green, budding from a cultured lymphocyte.
The researchers, according to the report, with this new method were able to remove the virus, and also to protect the cell against further infection.
From the article in nature:
We first tested the ability of our modified CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system to eliminate the HIV-1 genome in a human T-lymphocytic cell line, 2D10. These cells harbor integrated copies of a single round HIV-1PNL4-3 whose genome lacks sequences encoding the majority of the Gag-Pol polyprotein, but encompasses the full-length 5′ and 3′ LTRs, and includes a gene encoding the marker protein green fluorescent protein (GFP) replacing Nef protein in the latent state.
HIV-1 expression was completely eliminated from the cells expressing both Cas9 and gRNA expression plasmids, shown by flow cytometry detection of GFP production by randomly-selected Cas9-positive clonal cells with or without gRNA expression.
source Nature Scientific Reports