Generation of HIV-Resistant Macrophages from IPSCs by Using Transcriptional Gene Silencing and Promoter-Targeted RNA

Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2018 Sep 7;12:793-804. doi: 10.1016/j.omtn.2018.07.017. Epub 2018 Aug 4.


Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has markedly prolonged the prognosis of HIV-1 patients. However, lifelong dependency on HAART is a continuing challenge, and an effective therapeutic is much desired. Recently, introduction of short hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting the HIV-1 promoter was found to suppress HIV-1 replication via transcriptional gene silencing (TGS). The technology is expected to be applied with hemato-lymphopoietic cell transplantation of HIV patients to suppress HIV transcription in transplanted hemato-lymphopoietic cells. Combination of the TGS technology with new cell transplantation strategy with induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived hemato-lymphopoietic cells might contribute to new gene therapy in the HIV field. In this study, we evaluated iPSC-derived macrophage functions and feasibility of TGS technology in macrophages. Human iPSCs were transduced with shRNAs targeting the HIV-1 promoter region (shPromA) by using a lentiviral vector. The shPromA-transfected iPSCs were successfully differentiated into functional macrophages, and they exhibited strong protection against HIV-1 replication with alteration in the histone structure of the HIV-1 promoter region to induce heterochromatin formation. These results indicated that iPS-derived macrophage is a useful tool to investigate HIV infection and protection, and that the TGS technology targeting the HIV promoter is a potential candidate of new gene therapy.

Keywords: HIV-1; NF-κB; induced pluripotent stem cells; macrophage; siRNA; transcriptional-gene-silencing.