Inhibition of human immunodeficiency virus-1 production resulting from transduction with a retrovirus containing an HIV-regulated diphtheria toxin a chain gene

Gail Singer Harrison, Cynthia J. Long, Tyler J. Curiel, Françoise Maxwell, Ian H. Maxwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


Expression of a gene encoding the diphtheria toxin A (DT-A) chain, under the control of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) proteins Tat and Rev, has previously been shown to confer on cells an impaired ability to produce HIV. That work was done in HeLa cell lines that had stably integrated the regulated DT-A gene in a plasmid context. To increase the efficiency with which the HIV-regulated DT-A gene could be introduced into cells, we studied a recombinant, amphotropic murine leukemia virus containing the HIV-regulated DT-A transcription unit. Here we demonstrate that such recombinant retroviruses can be packaged, for both wild-type DT-A and an attenuated version, tox 176. In transient transfection assays, the proviral constructs exhibited similar basal and trans-activated levels of DT-A expression to the parental plasmids. Transduced H9 cells expressed the integrated DT-A gene upon transfection with plasmids encoding Tat and Rev, as assayed by decreased expression of a cotransfected luciferase reporter gene. Furthermore, the transduced H9 cells were substantially impaired in their ability to produce HIV, as demonstrated by p24 assays of culture supernatants following either transfection with an HIV proviral clone or infection with HIV-IIIB. These data demonstrate that basal expression of the regulated DT-A gene has been reduced to a tolerable level, both in packaging cells and transduced H9 cells. The use of HIV-regulated retroviruses encoding the highly lethal DT-A product may eventually be applicable as a gene therapy approach for the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-469
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Gene Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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