Lentivirus Increased Production by Promoter Activation

Lentivirus Increased Production by Promoter Activation

A team of researchers in Japan successfully produced and released lentiviral particles from host cells by culturing virus.

Virus have limited amount of genetic material in its cell, which is the reason for it to attack host cells and takeover the genetic mechanism of the host to thrive. Researchers at Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) focused their study on finding the survival mechanism of HIV-1 virus when it migrates to a host cell. The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports (October 2018), titled:  ‘Robust Enhancement of Lentivirus Production by Promoter Activation.’

The researchers were able to boost the production and release of lentivirus particle from host cells, which could be used to produce exogenous genes in cells through different medicinal procedure. Shoji Yamaoka, one of the researchers of the study, says, “we first focused on the effects of the SPSB proteins, by expressing them in human embryonic kidney cells along with a plasmid for HIV-1. SPSB1, but not SPSB2 and 3, boosted the release of HIV-1 from these cells, which was revealed by increased viral infection of indicator cells that exhibited bioluminescence upon infection.”

The team analyzed the effect of SPSB1 protein on the working of kidney cells. They found that the protein was responsible for activating a promoter in the gene of HIV virus to start the transcription of the structural components that this virus uses to replicate. Thus, they were able to find Tax protein, which is responsible for building virus’ genetic material. The researchers furthermore, enhanced the production of virus by 12 fold, by co-expressing the Tax protein.