Design and Construction of an Anti-HIV Protease Transducer


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Current therapies against HIV, mainly the highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART), concentrate on reducing the viral load and recovering CD4 levels, however they are faced with a rebound of HIV levels on cessation of therapy. Also of concern is the number of reports on resistance to such therapies. There has been a realization that control of HIV requires a multi-pronged approach targeting viremia and a strong antiviral response, and there are new treatment regimens being tested. They show limited success with the elimination of HIV reservoirs. To address these issues we propose the design and development of Anti- HIV transducer proteins. Activation of these proteins is by the HIV protease, and when activated they cause the death of cells expressing the viral protease. This mechanism can be used to treat all cells within the host, with only those cells expressing HIV protease being killed. We believe this to be an efficient manner for viral eradication. Upon incorporating recognition signals to other HIV proteins we can make our Anti-HIV transducers more specific in recognizing infected cells.



Synthetic Biology, Protein engineering, Protein design, Protein transduction, HIV, Apoptosis