Lentivirus vectors based on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 (HIV-1) constitute a recent development in the field of gene therapy. A key property of HIV-1-derived vectors is their ability to infect nondividing cells. Although high-titer HIV-1-derived vectors have been produced, concerns regarding safety still exist. Safety concerns arise mainly from the possibility of recombination between transfer and packaging vectors, which may give rise to replication-competent viruses with pathogenic potential. We describe a novel lentivirus vector which is based on HIV, simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and which we refer to as HIV/SIVpack/G. In this system, an HIV-1-derived genome is encapsidated by SIVmac core particles. These core particles are pseudotyped with VSV glycoprotein G. Because the nucleotide homology between HIV-1 and SIVmac is low, the likelihood of recombination between vector elements should be reduced. In addition, the packaging construct (SIVpack) for this lentivirus system was derived from SIVmac1A11, a nonvirulent SIV strain. Thus, the potential for pathogenicity with this vector system is minimal. The transduction ability of HIV/SIVpack/G was demonstrated with immortalized human lymphocytes, human primary macrophages, human bone marrow-derived CD34+ cells, and primary mouse neurons. To our knowledge, these experiments constitute the first demonstration that the HIV-1-derived genome can be packaged by an SIVmac capsid. We demonstrate that the lentivirus vector described here recapitulates the biological properties of HIV-1-derived vectors, although with increased potential for safety in humans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science