Development of a Modular Anti-HIV Transducer Protein



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The combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) suppresses Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection and allows restored long-term health in people living with the HIV. Current treatment provided infection management but not a complete cure. In the absence of treatment, virus level rebound due to the latent reservoir of the virus in a small percentage of infected cells. New approaches to eradicate the HIV infection are mainly targeting the latent reservoir cells. The combinations of the drugs that activate latently infected cells and subsequently kill them are getting attention. Here, we proposed the design and development of anti-HIV transducer proteins, which will enter the cells and induce apoptosis only in cells infected with HIV. The initially inactive transducer is activated by the HIV protease cleavage forming a rearranged protein structure capable of activating procaspase 8 and procaspase 9, thus leading to apoptosis. The anti-HIV transducer can be used to treat the cells actively infected with HIV. We have prepared the anti-HIV transducers and demonstrated that they induce apoptosis in the presence of HIV protease in the H9 T-Cell line. We believe using our transducer in combination with a compound activating latently infected cells; we can achieve viral eradication within an individual.



HIV Protease, Apoptosis