Title: Developing Novel Models of AIDS Virus Resistance and Disease.
The feline AIDS virus, FIV, is very similar to HIV-1 in genetic structure and immune pathophysiology. In addition, species-specific innate immune defenses (restrictions) in the cat parallel primate systems. We have enabled feline transgenesis in order to acquire the unprecedented capability to experimentally manipulate the genome of an AIDS lentivirus-susceptible animal. The goals are to better understand AIDS virus pathogenesis and to model adaptation of host dependency and restriction factor biology to gene therapy for HIV-1 disease.