Cell-Delivered Entry Inhibitors for HIV-1: CCR5 Downregulation and Blocking Virus/Membrane Fusion in Defending the Host Cell Population.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


AIDS patient care and STDs, Volume 30, Issue 12, p.545-550 (2016)


HIV-1 infection requires the presence of the CD4 receptor on the target cell surface and a coreceptor, predominantly CC-chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5). It has been shown that individuals who are homozygous for a defective CCR5 gene are protected from HIV-1 infection. A novel self-inactivating lentiviral vector LVsh5/C46 (Cal-1) has been engineered to block HIV-1 infection with two viral entry inhibitors, conferring resistance to HIV-1 infection from both CCR5 and CXCR4 tropic strains. Cal-1 encodes a short hairpin RNA (sh5) to downregulate CCR5 and C46, an HIV-1 fusion inhibitor. Gene therapy by Cal-1 is aimed at transducing CD4(+) T cells and CD34(+) hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells in an autologous transplant setting. Pre-clinical safety and efficacy studies in vitro and in vivo (humanized mouse model and nonhuman primates) have shown that Cal-1 is safe with no indication of any toxicity risk and acts to decrease viral load and increase CD4 counts. Two clinical trials are underway using Cal-1: a phase I/II study to assess safety and feasibility in an adult HIV-1-positive population not on antiretroviral therapy (ART); and a second Fred Hutchinson Investigator Initiated phase I study to assess safety and feasibility in adults with HIV-1-associated non-Hodgkin or Hodgkin lymphoma.