German researchers have found a way to remove the HI-Virus (HIV) from living cells, which may lead the way to a cure for AIDS.
An academic paper published in Nature Biotechnology revealed that the new method could be far better than the current antiretroviral therapies (cART) which suppress HIV-1 reproduction in humans.
Below is an extract from the paper, titled Directed evolution of a recombinase that excises the provirus of most HIV-1 primary isolates with high specificity.
Current combination antiretroviral therapies (cART) efficiently suppress HIV-1 reproduction in humans, but the virus persists as integrated proviral reservoirs in small numbers of cells.
To generate an antiviral agent capable of eradicating the provirus from infected cells, we employed 145 cycles of substrate-linked directed evolution to evolve a recombinase (Brec1) that site-specifically recognizes a 34-bp sequence present in the long terminal repeats (LTRs) of the majority of the clinically relevant HIV-1 strains and subtypes.
Brec1 efficiently, precisely and safely removes the integrated provirus from infected cells and is efficacious on clinical HIV-1 isolates in vitro and in vivo, including in mice humanized with patient-derived cells.
Our data suggest that Brec1 has potential for clinical application as a curative HIV-1 therapy.
According to reports, clinical trials are expected to start in Germany soon.