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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Guanidine alkaloid analogs as inhibitors of HIV-1 Nef interactions with p53, actin, and p56lck.

  • Author(s): Olszewski, A
  • Sato, K
  • Aron, ZD
  • Cohen, F
  • Harris, A
  • McDougall, BR
  • Robinson, WE
  • Overman, LE
  • Weiss, GA
  • et al.

With current anti-HIV treatments targeting only 4 of the 15 HIV proteins, many potential viral vulnerabilities remain unexploited. We report small-molecule inhibitors of the HIV-1 protein Nef. In addition to expanding the anti-HIV arsenal, small-molecule inhibitors against untargeted HIV proteins could be used to dissect key events in the HIV lifecycle. Numerous incompletely characterized interactions between Nef and cellular ligands, for example, present a challenge to understanding molecular events during HIV progression to AIDS. Assays with phage-displayed Nef from HIV(NL4-3) were used to identify a series of guanidine alkaloid-based inhibitors of Nef interactions with p53, actin, and p56(lck). The guanidines, synthetic analogs of batzellidine and crambescidin natural products, inhibit the Nef-ligand interactions with IC(50) values in the low micromolar range. In addition, sensitive in vivo assays for Nef inhibition are reported. Although compounds that are effective in vitro proved to be too cytotoxic for cellular assays, the reported Nef inhibitors provide proof-of-concept for disrupting a new HIV target and offer useful leads for drug development.

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