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PMID: 26989744
PMCID: PMC4757091

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Hepatitis and AIDS Department, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran
Abstract:   (5028 Views)

Background: The rapid increase of HIV-1 strains resistant to current antiretroviral drugs is a challenge for successful AIDS therapy. This necessitates the development of novel drugs, and to this end, availability of screening systems for in vitro drug discovery is a priority. Herein, we report the modification of a previously developed system for increased sensitivity, ease of use, and cost-efficiency, based on the application of the EGFP marker.

Methods: A PCR-amplified gfp gene (gfp) was cloned into pmzNL4-3, the plasmid already designed to produce single-cycle replicable virions, in frame with the reverse-transcriptase gene to construct the pmzNL4-3/GFP plasmid. GFP-mzNL4-3 pseudo-typed virions, as the first progeny viruses, were recovered from the culture supernatant of HEK293T cells co-transfected with pmzNL4-3/GFP and the helper plasmids pSPAX2 and pMD2G, which respectively encode HIV-1 Gag-Pol and vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein. Single-cycle replication and virion production were assessed by syncytia formation, p24 antigen assays, and electron and fluorescence microscopy.

Results: The incorporation of EGFP into the viral particles allowed their quantification by fluorometry, flow-cytometry, and fluorescence microscopy; however, this modification did not affect the single-round infectivity or production rate of the GFP fluorescence-emitting virions.

Conclusions: Our results certify the development of a rapid, inexpensive, and safe GFP-reporting single-cycle replicable system for anti-HIV drug discovery. Further experiments are needed to measure the validity and robustness of the assay.

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Subject: Microbiology
Received: 2014/12/20 | Accepted: 2015/06/15 | Published: 2015/10/30

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