I came across the statement on the Stanford retrovirus website that HIV has the ability to infect NON-dividing cells. Is this correct?
"The lentiviruses, HIV-1 among them, are unique in their ability to infect nondividing cells.This feature is based on a nuclear import pathway that enables the viral DNA to cross the nuclear membrane of the host cell. In the process of HIV-1 reverse transcription, a plus strand overlap; the central DNA flap, is created following a strand displacement in the center of the genome. This is the result of synthesis initiation from the central polypurine tract; cPPT, and termination of plus strand synthesis by the central termination sequence, CTS. The DNA flap seems to act in cis to enable HIV-1 DNA nuclear import. Introduction of this element into the plasmid is thought to avoid or at least decrease the accumulation of DNA in the cytoplasm." (Zennou V, Petit C, Guetard D, Nerhbass U, Montagnier L, Charneau P. HIV-1 genome nuclear import is mediated by a central DNA flap. Cell. 2000. 101:173-85.)
Dr. Depressed in Detroit
I hope it is only the sad performance of your baseball team that is the cause of the depression. It cannot be the quotation you sent me because that could only have produced a smile.
It is pure
techno-babble. There is no mention of virus replication in this abstract. An
infection without virus replication is an academic point at best.
Do you need a
Thanks for the reply. If you have a few minutes to spare, go ahead click on the link to their web site, it contains a tutorial and technical material about their plans to use the HIV retrovirus as a routine vector to insert genetic material into human cell lines for various therapeutic purposes.
They mention safety concerns, but then go on to say how they have inactivated key features to make the virus safe to use as a vector.
I found this
rather interesting. What do you think about it?
Regards, Less depressed, and still, Dr. in Detroit
Dear Dr. Detroit,
You have made a very sharp point.
Indeed, I have
made a mini-collection of papers using the "deadly" virus as vector
for gene therapy too!
I will study the
dual strategy of this most mercurial killer virus later.
In the meantime, where would we all be without Dr. Gallo's landmark discovery in 1984? Most of us would be dead from HIV diseases, and evolution-wise the few survivors would be frozen at the Gallo stage - no hopes for gene therapy for the few survivors of the HIV pandemic.
Peter Duesberg is a professor in the department of molecular and cell biology at the University of California (Berkeley), and a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences.