Nullbasic; A mutant protein that works effectively against HIV-1 infection

HIVMain point:

Researchers found that a mutant Tat protein; Nullbasic, gives potential defense from the HIV-1 infection in a particular type of white blood cells (i.e. CD4+ T helper cells).


Human Gene Therapy

Study Further:

Researchers found that Nullbasic, mutant of the two-exon HIV-1 Tat protein, has the ability to stop the multiple steps of the HIV-1 replication cycle by its expression in primary human CD4+ cells and T cells. This property has been found to be the unique feature as compared to the other antiviral proteins.

Technically speaking, Nullbasic acts by inhibiting the HIV-1 transcription by Tat, viral mRNA transport and reverse transcription. This protein is found to be effectively delivered by murine leukemia virus (MLV)-based retroviral vector.

“The unusual properties conveyed by Nullbasic make it a candidate antiviral agent. At the very least, analysis of its mechanism of HIV-1 inhibition could advance discovery of novel antiviral strategies,” Researchers wrote.


Apolloni, A., Lin, M., Sivakumaran, H., Li, D., Kershaw, M., & Harrich, D. (2013). A Mutant Tat Protein Provides Strong Protection from HIV-1 Infection in Human CD4+ T Cells Human Gene Therapy, 24 (3), 270-282 DOI: 10.1089/hum.2012.176

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