Small RNAs to treat human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection by gene therapy.Curr Opin Virol 2019; 38:10-20CO
Current drug therapies for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV) infection are effective in preventing progression to acquired immune deficiency syndrome but do not eliminate the infection and are associated with unwanted side effects. A potential alternative is to modify the genome of patient cells via gene therapy to confer HIV resistance to these cells. Small RNAs are the largest and most diverse group of anti-HIV genes that have been developed for engineering HIV resistant cells. In this review, we summarize progress on the three major classes of anti-HIV RNAs including short hairpin RNAs that use the RNA interference pathway, RNA decoys and aptamers that bind specifically to a protein or RNA as well as ribozymes that mediate cleavage of specific targets. We also review methods used for the delivery of these genes into the genome of patient cells and provide some perspectives on the future of small RNAs in HIV therapy.