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HIV-1 Proviral DNA Excision Using an Evolved Recombinase

Science  29 Jun 2007:
Vol. 316, Issue 5833, pp. 1912-1915
DOI: 10.1126/science.1141453

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Abstract

HIV-1 integrates into the host chromosome and persists as a provirus flanked by long terminal repeats (LTRs). To date, treatment regimens primarily target the virus enzymes or virus-cell fusion, but not the integrated provirus. We report here the substrate-linked protein evolution of a tailored recombinase that recognizes an asymmetric sequence within an HIV-1 LTR. This evolved recombinase efficiently excised integrated HIV proviral DNA from the genome of infected cells. Although a long way from use in the clinic, we speculate that this type of technology might be adapted in future antiretroviral therapies, among other possible uses.

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