African Journal of Biotechnology

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A recombinant lactobacillus strain expressing genes coding for restriction enzymes cleaving the HIV genomes for use as a live microbicide strategy against heterosexual transmission of HIV

W Misaki


Using genetically engineered endogenous lactobacillus strains colonizing the vagina mucosa to express heterogenous proteins has of late joined the novel strategies aimed at developing a microbicides against HIV. Using the lactobacillus metabolic genome pathway, we found that these bacteria do not naturally produce restriction enzymes, but rather, have a number of putative alien genes of the type. In view of the antiviral defence role of restriction modification systems (RMS), we searched for enzymes that cleave HIV-1, 2 and other SIV genomes using theoretical computational methods. With over 200 such enzymes identified, we present herein a plasmid vector mediated strategy for modifying lactobacillus strains to express RMS islands as an approach to developing a live HIV microbicide. This model is transferable to other viral infections that find their way into humans through mucosal orifices.
AJOL African Journals Online