Antiviral Stratagems Against HIV-1 Using RNA Interference (RNAi) Technology

Evol Bioinform Online. 2013 May 16;9:203-13. doi: 10.4137/EBO.S11412. Print 2013.


The versatility of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 and its evolutionary potential to elude antiretroviral agents by mutating may be its most invincible weapon. Viruses, including HIV, in order to adapt and survive in their environment evolve at extremely fast rates. Given that conventional approaches which have been applied against HIV have failed, novel and more promising approaches must be employed. Recent studies advocate RNA interference (RNAi) as a promising therapeutic tool against HIV. In this regard, targeting multiple HIV sites in the context of a combinatorial RNAi-based approach may efficiently stop viral propagation at an early stage. Moreover, large high-throughput RNAi screens are widely used in the fields of drug development and reverse genetics. Computer-based algorithms, bioinformatics, and biostatistical approaches have been employed in traditional medicinal chemistry discovery protocols for low molecular weight compounds. However, the diversity and complexity of RNAi screens cannot be efficiently addressed by these outdated approaches. Herein, a series of novel workflows for both wet- and dry-lab strategies are presented in an effort to provide an updated review of state-of-the-art RNAi technologies, which may enable adequate progress in the fight against the HIV-1 virus.

Keywords: HIV-1; RNA interference (RNAi); RNAi screens; antiviral therapy; miRNA.