Production of multicopy shRNA lentiviral vectors for antiviral therapy.
For effective RNA interference (RNAi)-based therapies against viral infection, particularly highly mutational viruses like HCV and HIV, combinational strategies that target multiple regions within a viral genome are required to prevent resistance. The use of lentiviral vectors for combinatorial RNAi (coRNAi) offers possibilities to deliver multiple short hairpin RNA (shRNA) sequences simultaneously to individual cells while maintaining high expression levels required to suppress viral replication. By applying coRNAi, one can impart either a protective strategy, i.e., treatment prior to infection, or a long-term treatment postinfection without the eventuality of mutational outgrowth due to incomplete selection pressure. In this chapter, we provide a detailed description of the methods available to create coRNAi vectors and discuss some of the current problems and technical limitations.