Here is the basic idea I am working on based on an HIV-cure brainstorm
which I had one day. I would appreciate any help, comments, or
criticisims you can provide. Here goes...
Take an HIV virus and render it transcription defective.
(My original idea was by somehow removing the reverse transcriptase or
mutating it so that it is useless, thus explaining my original post about
the removal of reverse transcriptase. Other means could work, and maybe
you'll have a better idea after the complete explanation.)
Add the gene for promoting programmed cell death (apoptosis) to the
transcription defective HIV virus.
As far as I see, when this new virus is injected into a HIV negative
individual, they will be no worse for wear because the virus will simply
inject its RNA, but because it is transcription defective the RNA will be
broken down in the cytoplasm without the gene being expressed.
If the new virus is injected into an HIV positive individual, the virus
will either infect uninfected T4 helper cells, in which case it will
behave as it would in an uninfected individual, or it will infect a T4
helper cell which has already been infected by the bad HIV virus, in
which case the reverse transcriptase (or whatever mechanism is used) will
be present from the bad HIV and the RNA of our retroviral vector will be
transcribed. When this happens the gene for programmed cell death will
also become active and the infected T4 helper cells will commit "cellular
suicide." If all infected cells commit suicide, the bad HIV does not
have time to infect a host and reproduce, thus dying.
Right now I would like to try the theory on murine cells, because HIV is
not so much fun to fool around with (and I don't have a Bio-containment
level 3 facility). But the basic idea should work on any retrovirus
which infects a multicellular organism will programmed cell death
capabilities. I originally wanted to use C. elegans which is a nematode
whose programmed cell death has been well documented, but unfortunately
there are no known retroviruses which infect it.
Thanks for you help, any comments would be appreciated.
RRRP87C at prodigy.com