Intracellular immunization to target the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) regulatory protein Rev has been explored as a genetic therapy for AIDS. Efficient intracellular expression of rearranged immunoglobulin heavy and light chain variable regions of anti-Rev monoclonal antibodies, with various vectors, and subsequent inhibition of HIV-1 replication have been previously reported by our laboratories. To further understand the molecular mechanism(s) and effects that intracellular anti-Rev single chain variable fragments (SFvs) have against HIV-1, via blocking of Rev function, two anti- Rev SFvs which specifically bind to differing epitopes of the Rev protein have been cloned. One SFv binds to the Rev activation domain, and the second SFv hinds to the distal C terminus of Rev in the nonactivation region. Further studies now demonstrate that both anti-Rev SFvs lead to variable resistance to HIV-1 infection. Although binding affinity assays demonstrated that the SFv which specifically recognizes the Rev activation domain (D8) bad an extracellular binding affinity significantly lower than that of the SFv specific to the nonactivation region (D10), the SFv D8 demonstrated more potent activity in inhibiting virus production in human T-cell lines and peripheral blond mononuclear cells than did SFv D10. Thus, extracellular binding affinities of an SFv for a target viral protein cannot be used to directly predict its activity as an intracellular immunization moiety. These data demonstrate potential approaches for intracellular immunization against HIV-1 infection, by efficiently blocking specific motifs of Rev to alter the function of this retroviral regulatory protein. These studies extend the understanding of the effects, on a molecular level, of SFvs binding to critical epitopes of Rev and further suggest that rational design of SFvs, with interactions involving specific viral moieties which mediate HIV-1 expression, may hold promise for the clinical application of genetic therapies to combat AIDS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science