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Potential inhibition of HIV-1 encapsidation by oligoribonucleotide–dendrimer nanoparticle complexes

Authors Parboosing R, Chonco L, de la Mata FJ, Govender T, Maguire GEM, Kruger HG

Received 6 June 2016

Accepted for publication 24 August 2016

Published 4 January 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 317—325


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Webster

Raveen Parboosing,1,2 Louis Chonco,1,2 Francisco Javier de la Mata,3,4 Thavendran Govender,5 Glenn EM Maguire,5 Hendrik G Kruger5

1Department of Virology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2National Health Laboratory Service, Durban, South Africa; 3Organic and Inorganic Chemistry Department, University of Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, 4Networking Research Center on Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), Madrid, Spain; 5Catalysis and Peptide Research Unit, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Background: Encapsidation, the process during which the genomic RNA of HIV is packaged into viral particles, is an attractive target for antiviral therapy. This study explores a novel nanotechnology-based strategy to inhibit HIV encapsidation by an RNA decoy mechanism. The design of the 16-mer oligoribonucleotide (RNA) decoy is based on the sequence of stem loop 3 (SL3) of the HIV packaging signal (Ψ). Recognition of the packaging signal is essential to the encapsidation process. It is theorized that the decoy RNA, by mimicking the packaging signal, will disrupt HIV packaging if efficiently delivered into lymphocytes by complexation with a carbosilane dendrimer. The aim of the study is to measure the uptake, toxicity, and antiviral activity of the dendrimer–RNA nanocomplex.
Materials and methods: A dendriplex was formed between cationic carbosilane dendrimers and the RNA decoy. Uptake of the fluorescein-labeled RNA into MT4 lymphocytes was determined by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. The cytoprotective effect (50% effective concentration [EC50]) and the effect on HIV replication were determined in vitro by the methylthiazolyldiphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and viral load measurements, respectively.
Results: Flow cytometry and confocal imaging demonstrated efficient transfection of lymphocytes. The dendriplex containing the Ψ decoy showed some activity (EC50 =3.20 µM, selectivity index =8.4). However, there was no significant suppression of HIV viral load.
Conclusion: Oligoribonucleotide decoys containing SL3 of the packaging sequence are efficiently delivered into lymphocytes by carbosilane dendrimers where they exhibit a modest cytoprotective effect against HIV infection.

Keywords: packaging signal, dendrimers, transfection, antiretroviral, HIV packaging

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