A retroviral vector was constructed in which a gene encoding a mutated soluble CD4 protein that is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (sCD4-KDEL) is expressed under control of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) regulatory elements. HIV-1 infection of a human T-cell line transduced with this vector led to induction of sCD4-KDEL synthesis and a block in transport of the HIV envelope protein to the cell surface. There was a complete block to maturation of infectious HIV-1 in the transduced cells, no viral spread, and little or no syncytium formation. Infected cells gradually disappeared from the culture over a period of 2 months. This intracellular trap for HIV has potential application in gene therapy for AIDS
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