TAmiRNA: MicroRNAs in the plasma of HIV elite controllers reduce HIV infection in vitro

Scientists from Argentina and Austria, under the lead of the Grillari Labs and TAmiRNA in Vienna, have recently shown that microRNAs (miRNAs) are differentially present in plasma samples from healthy, chronically HIV-infected and HIV-resistant (“Elite Patients”) individuals, and that these miRNAs can suppress HIV replication in vitro. These insights give rise to the question whether miRNAs could be used as diagnostic as well as therapeutic targets for the treatment of HIV-infected patients.

Elite controllers maintain HIV-1 viral loads below the limit of detection. The mechanisms responsible for this phenomenon are poorly understood. As microRNAs (miRNAs) are regulators of gene expression and some of them modulate HIV infection, we have studied the miRNA profile in plasma from HIV elite controllers and chronically infected individuals and compared against healthy donors. Several miRNAs correlate with CD4+ T cell count or with the known time of infection. No significant differences were observed between elite controllers and healthy donors; however, 16 miRNAs were different in the plasma of chronic infected versus healthy donors. In addition, levels of hsa-miR-29b-3p, hsa-miR-33a-5p and hsa-miR-146a-5p were higher in plasma from elite controllers than chronic infected and hsa-miR-29b-3p and hsa-miR-33a-5p overexpression significantly reduced the viral production in MT2 and primary T CD4+ cells. Therefore, levels of circulating miRNAs might be of diagnostic and/or prognostic value for HIV infection, and hsa-miR-29b-3p and miR-33a-5p may contribute to the design of new anti-HIV drugs. The article is freely available at:  http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/140801/srep05915/full/srep05915.html

TAmiRNA GmbH is a biopharmaceutical R&D company founded to drive the discovery and development of microRNAs (miRNAs) as tools for diagnosis and treatment of age-associated disorders such as Osteoporosis, Cardiovascular Disease and Neurodegenerative Disease. TAmiRNA targets to improve patient stability and quality of life with increasing age, by providing solutions for early risk assessment of disease and combined therapeutic treatment solutions

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