Non-Nucleoside Resistance and CCR5 Gene Therapies

Question

Hi,

The version of the virus I acquired had already developed resistance to non-nucleosides. With many of the gene editing therapies in the pipeline targeting the CCR5 gene Im wondering if my variant requires that gene to infect a cell?

Thanks

Answer

Great question. The drug resistance that was found in your virus is located within the reverse transcriptase (RT) gene of the HIV virus. The CCR5 gene is part of the human genome and not the virus. In order to infect a human cell, HIV requires that the HIV envelop (the outer covering of the virus and produced from the HIV envelop gene) attach to a CD4 and CCR5 or CXCR4 receptor on the outside of the cell to infect that cell. Most people with HIV infection have a viral strain that uses the CCR5 and not the CXCR4 receptor for attachment. HIV attachment does not require the RT gene, and in general is not affected by drug resistant mutations. So yes, it requires CCR5 for infection.