ZFN and making stem cells immune
Feb 2, 2006
Hi Dr. Perione,
I came across two very interesting immune based approaches. One group is genetically altering blood stem cells, so all their progeny will be resistant to HIV.
Another group is using Zinc Finger Nucleases (a new, precise way of silencing genes) to knock out the CCR5 gene in T cells. (http://www.hivandhepatitis.com/2005icr/icaac/docs/122005_d.html).
I think both of these sound quite promising, but what I think is even more exciting is if these two groups would join forces. Have you heard of this work, and what do you think?
Response from Dr. Pierone
Hello and thanks for sharing the stem cell link and the Zinc finger link . These research endeavors are 2 examples of the types of innovative approaches that are being attempted in order to gain control of HIV replication without the need for lifelong HAART.
These stem cell and gene therapeutic sciences are in their infancy, so it seems unlikely that these first attempts will result in a major breakthrough, but one never knows until the attempt is made. It is certainly long past time for bold action in the HIV research arena and trials like this are most welcome.
Thanks again for sharing these reports with our readers.
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