Selective elimination of HIV-1-infected cells with an interleukin-2 receptor-specific cytotoxin

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Science  21 Jun 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5013, pp. 1703-1705
DOI: 10.1126/science.1904628


Infection by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is associated with cellular activation and expression of the interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor. A genetically engineered fusion toxin, DAB486 IL-2, that contains the enzymatic site and translocation domain of diphtheria toxin and the receptor binding domain of IL-2 specifically kills cells that express high-affinity IL-2 receptors. This toxin selectively eliminated the HIV-1-infected cells from mixed cultures of infected and uninfected cells and inhibited production of viral proteins and infectious virus. Thus, cellular activation antigens present a target for early antiviral intervention.

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