Background: Inhibition of viral genes through siRNA seems to be promising for treatment of complicated viral infections like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1). HIV-1 Tat (Trans Activator of Transcription) and Nef (Negative regulatory Factor) proteins are very interesting targets for designing siRNAs.
Methods: The effectiveness of suppressing Tat and Nef was investigated using three specific siTATs and three siNEFs. They were used to transfect the developed stable and infected Human Embryonic Kidney cells (HEK293) as an ex-vivo model. Both stable and virus infected HEK293 cells were transfected with each siTAT and siNEF. The inhibitory effect was evaluated using qRT-PCR, western blot analysis, and HIV P24 ELISA.
Results: siTAT-100, siTAT-162, and siNEF-136 and at a concentration of 100 nM/mL showed the most inhibitory effect on their target genes.
Conclusions: Utilization of more developed molecular inhibition strategies such as RNAi or even a combination of different molecular approaches could be promising to overcome emerging HIV escape mutants.