Doherty Institute - Theses

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    Permanent silencing of HIV transcription using triplex forming oligonucleotides: a novel strategy for an HIV cure
    Liu, Haoming ( 2018)
    Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) for HIV infection has significantly reduced morbidity and mortality, however, treatment is lifelong. The main barrier to a cure for HIV is the persistence of long lived latently infected T-cells. Virus can integrate in the host genome and be transcriptionally silenced however, upon reactivation of transcription virus can re-emerge from these latently infected cells. In individuals on ART, reactivation of virus goes undetected but once ART is stopped, reactivation of virus leads to virus replication and rebound. One strategy to eliminate virus rebound after cessation of ART is to permanently silence HIV transcription. Here we explore an alternative approach to silence HIV transcription in CD4+ T cells using triplex formation oligonucleotides (TFO). We hypothesize that TFOs can bind irreversibly to the integrated provirus in a sequence specific manner with limited off-target effects. We assessed TFO activity against the green fluorescent protein (GFP) and HIV in vitro by using uninfected and latently infected cell lines and determined the effects of gold nanoparticles to enhance nuclear localization.