Turning 'Off' These 3 Genes Would Protect T Cells From HIV

January 17, 2017

A team of researchers at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard and the Broad Institute of MIT And Harvard have recently identified human genes that could be the key to a gene therapy-based HIV treatment.

Using a technique called CRISPR-Cas9, the researchers scanned the genes of human T cells (the cells that are primarily targeted and invaded by HIV) to identify genes that enable the cells to be infected by HIV.

"Viruses are very small and have few genes -- HIV has only 9, while humans have more than 19,000 -- so viruses commandeer human genes to make essential building blocks for their replication. Our goal was to identify human genes, also called host genes, that are absolutely essential for HIV to replicate but could be eliminated without harming a human patient," said Bruce Walker, M.D., director of the Ragon Institute and co-corresponding author of the article published in Nature Genetics.

This excerpt was cross-posted with the permission of Read the full article.

Related Stories

Gene-Editing Technology: A Game Changer for HIV Cure Research?
Update on Genetic Engineering for an HIV Cure
CRISPR/Cas Gene-Editing Technique Holds Great Promise, but Research Moratorium Makes Sense Pending Further Study

This article was provided by BETA. Visit their website at


Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:


The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our content and advertising policies.