SIV-based vectors and AIDS gene therapy

Stefano Indraccolo, Fiorella Feroli, Sonia Minuzzo, Alberto Amadori, Luigi Chieco-Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) is a nonhuman primate lentivirus closely related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). SIV-infected monkeys could serve as a good animal model for human AIDS studies, and to date SIV represents the most important system for vaccine development against immunodeficiency viruses. The different approaches to vaccination against this lentivirus are reviewed, with particular emphasis on the possibility of exploiting so-called naked DNA immunization. To test this strategy, expression plasmids for SIV mac239 gag and env genes were generated, and characterized in vitro on different cell lines. Ongoing studies to test the efficacy of these constructs in vivo involve their intramuscular injection in Balb/c mice. Although the SIV system is by far the most preferred for vaccine development, its association with gene therapy approaches, and in particular with retroviral vectors, has not received much attention. This line of investigation could address several relevant issues, including the longevity and trafficking of retroviral vector-transduced T cells, the optimization of gene transfer into hematopoietic stem cells, and the maintenance of long-term gene expression in vivo. The availability of cytofluorimetric markers for easy detection of retroviral vector-transduced cells would greatly facilitate these studies. As an initial step in this direction, we made a retroviral vector expressing a novel fluorescent marker, named green fluorescent protein, and could demonstrate efficient gene transduction of human and murine lymphoid cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-154
Number of pages7
JournalMinerva Biotecnologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1997


  • Gene therapy
  • Genetic vectors
  • SIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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