Articles by Valerie Rezek in JoVE
Stem-cell Based Engineered Immunity Against HIV Infection in the Humanized Mouse Model Anjie Zhen1, Valerie Rezek1, Cindy Youn1, Jonathan Rick1, Brianna Lam1, Nelson Chang1, Jerome Zack1, Masakazu Kamata1, Scott Kitchen1 1David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles This protocol describes the methods in constructing a humanized bone-marrow/liver/thymus mouse model with stem cell-based engineered immunity against HIV infection.
Other articles by Valerie Rezek on PubMed
In Vivo Suppression of HIV by Antigen Specific T Cells Derived from Engineered Hematopoietic Stem Cells PLoS Pathogens. 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22511873 The HIV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response is a critical component in controlling viral replication in vivo, but ultimately fails in its ability to eradicate the virus. Our intent in these studies is to develop ways to enhance and restore the HIV-specific CTL response to allow long-term viral suppression or viral clearance. In our approach, we sought to genetically manipulate human hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) such that they differentiate into mature CTL that will kill HIV infected cells. To perform this, we molecularly cloned an HIV-specific T cell receptor (TCR) from CD8+ T cells that specifically targets an epitope of the HIV-1 Gag protein. This TCR was then used to genetically transduce HSCs. These HSCs were then introduced into a humanized mouse containing human fetal liver, fetal thymus, and hematopoietic progenitor cells, and were allowed to differentiate into mature human CD8+ CTL. We found human, HIV-specific CTL in multiple tissues in the mouse. Thus, genetic modification of human HSCs with a cloned TCR allows proper differentiation of the cells to occur in vivo, and these cells migrate to multiple anatomic sites, mimicking what is seen in humans. To determine if the presence of the transgenic, HIV-specific TCR has an effect on suppressing HIV replication, we infected with HIV-1 mice expressing the transgenic HIV-specific TCR and, separately, mice expressing a non-specific control TCR. We observed significant suppression of HIV replication in multiple organs in the mice expressing the HIV-specific TCR as compared to control, indicating that the presence of genetically modified HIV-specific CTL can form a functional antiviral response in vivo. These results strongly suggest that stem cell based gene therapy may be a feasible approach in the treatment of chronic viral infections and provide a foundation towards the development of this type of strategy.
Engineering Cellular Resistance to HIV-1 Infection In Vivo Using a Dual Therapeutic Lentiviral Vector Molecular Therapy. Nucleic Acids. 2015 | Pubmed ID: 25872029 We described earlier a dual-combination anti-HIV type 1 (HIV-1) lentiviral vector (LVsh5/C46) that downregulates CCR5 expression of transduced cells via RNAi and inhibits HIV-1 fusion via cell surface expression of cell membrane-anchored C46 antiviral peptide. This combinatorial approach has two points of inhibition for R5-tropic HIV-1 and is also active against X4-tropic HIV-1. Here, we utilize the humanized bone marrow, liver, thymus (BLT) mouse model to characterize the in vivo efficacy of LVsh5/C46 (Cal-1) vector to engineer cellular resistance to HIV-1 pathogenesis. Human CD34+ hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPC) either nonmodified or transduced with LVsh5/C46 vector were transplanted to generate control and treatment groups, respectively. Control and experimental groups displayed similar engraftment and multilineage hematopoietic differentiation that included robust CD4+ T-cell development. Splenocytes isolated from the treatment group were resistant to both R5- and X4-tropic HIV-1 during ex vivo challenge experiments. Treatment group animals challenged with R5-tropic HIV-1 displayed significant protection of CD4+ T-cells and reduced viral load within peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues up to 14 weeks postinfection. Gene-marking and transgene expression were confirmed stable at 26 weeks post-transplantation. These data strongly support the use of LVsh5/C46 lentiviral vector in gene and cell therapeutic applications for inhibition of HIV-1 infection.
HIV-specific Immunity Derived From Chimeric Antigen Receptor-engineered Stem Cells Molecular Therapy : the Journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy. Aug, 2015 | Pubmed ID: 26050990 The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response is critical in controlling HIV infection. Since the immune response does not eliminate HIV, it would be beneficial to develop ways to enhance the HIV-specific CTL response to allow long-term viral suppression or clearance. Here, we report the use of a protective chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) in a hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell (HSPC)-based approach to engineer HIV immunity. We determined that CAR-modified HSPCs differentiate into functional T cells as well as natural killer (NK) cells in vivo in humanized mice and these cells are resistant to HIV infection and suppress HIV replication. These results strongly suggest that stem cell-based gene therapy with a CAR may be feasible and effective in treating chronic HIV infection and other morbidities.