Thursday, September 21, 2017

Inactivation of porcine endogenous retrovirus in pigs

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2017/08/09/science.aan4187

Abstract

Xenotransplantation is a promising strategy to alleviate the shortage of organs for human transplantation. In addition to the concern on pig-to-human immunological compatibility, the risk of cross-species transmission of porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) has impeded the clinical application of this approach. Earlier, we demonstrated the feasibility of inactivating PERV activity in an immortalized pig cell line. Here, we confirmed that PERVs infect human cells, and observed the horizontal transfer of PERVs among human cells. Using CRISPR-Cas9, we inactivated all the PERVs in a porcine primary cell line and generated PERV-inactivated pigs via somatic cell nuclear transfer. Our study highlighted the value of PERV inactivation to prevent cross-species viral transmission and demonstrated the successful production of PERV-inactivated animals to address the safety concern in clinical xenotransplantation


Does this have implications for endogenous human retroviruses like HERV-K18 which has been linked to AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome via HHV-6?

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