Structural basis of potent and broad HIV-1 fusion inhibitor CP32M.
ABSTRACT CP32M is a newly designed peptide fusion inhibitor possessing potent anti-HIV activity, especially against T20-resistant HIV-1 strains. In this study, we show that CP32M can efficiently inhibit a large panel of diverse HIV-1 variants, including subtype B', CRF07_BC, and CRF01_AE recombinants and naturally occurring or induced T20-resistant viruses. To elucidate its mechanism of action, we determined the crystal structure of CP32M complexed with its target sequence. Differing from its parental peptide, CP621-652, the (621)VEWNEMT(627) motif of CP32M folds into two α-helix turns at the N terminus of the pocket-binding domain, forming a novel layer in the six-helix bundle structure. Prominently, the residue Asn-624 of the (621)VEWNEMT(627) motif is engaged in the polar interaction with a hydrophilic ridge that borders the hydrophobic pocket on the N-terminal coiled coil. The original inhibitor design of CP32M provides several intra- and salt bridge/hydrogen bond interactions favoring the stability of the helical conformation of CP32M and its interactions with N-terminal heptad repeat (NHR) targets. We identified a novel salt bridge between Arg-557 on the NHR and Glu-648 of CP32M that is critical for the binding of CP32M and resistance against the inhibitor. Therefore, our data present important information for developing novel HIV-1 fusion inhibitors for clinical use.
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ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) fusion inhibitors blocking viral entry by binding the gp41 heptad repeat 1 (HR1) region offer great promise for antiretroviral therapy, and the first of these inhibitors, T20 (Fuzeon; enfuvirtide), is successfully used in the clinic. It has been reported previously that changes in the 3-amino-acid GIV motif at positions 36 to 38 of gp41 HR1 mediate resistance to T20 but usually not to second-version fusion inhibitors, such as T1249, which target an overlapping but distinct region in HR1 including a conserved hydrophobic pocket (HP). Based on the common lack of cross-resistance and the difficulty of selecting T1249-resistant HIV-1 variants, it has been suggested that the determinants of resistance to first- and second-version fusion inhibitors may be different. To further assess HIV-1 resistance to fusion inhibitors and to analyze where changes in HR1 are tolerated, we randomized 16 codons in the HR1 region, including those making contact with HR2 codons and/or encoding residues in the GIV motif and the HP. We found that changes only at positions 37I, 38V, and 40Q near the N terminus of HR1 were tolerated. The propagation of randomly gp41-mutated HIV-1 variants in the presence of T1249 allowed the effective selection of highly resistant forms, all containing changes in the IV residues. Overall, the extent of T1249 resistance was inversely correlated to viral fitness and cytopathicity. Notably, one HIV-1 mutant showing approximately 10-fold-reduced susceptibility to T1249 inhibition replicated with wild type-like kinetics and caused substantial CD4+-T-cell depletion in ex vivo-infected human lymphoid tissue in the presence and absence of an inhibitor. Taken together, our results show that the GIV motif also plays a key role in resistance to second-version fusion inhibitors and suggest that some resistant HIV-1 variants may be pathogenic in vivo.Journal of Virology 07/2007; 81(12):6563-72. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: T-20, a synthetic peptide corresponding to a region of the transmembrane subunit of the HIV-1 envelope protein, blocks cell fusion and viral entry at concentrations of less than 2 ng/ml in vitro. We administered intravenous T-20 (monotherapy) for 14 days to sixteen HIV-infected adults in four dose groups (3, 10, 30 and 100 mg twice daily). There were significant, dose-related declines in plasma HIV RNA in all subjects who received higher dose levels. All four subjects receiving 100 mg twice daily had a decline in plasma HIV RNA to less than 500 copies/ml, by bDNA assay. A sensitive RT-PCR assay (detection threshold 40 copies/ml) demonstrated that, although undetectable levels were not achieved in the 14-day dosing period, there was a 1.96 log10 median decline in plasma HIV RNA in these subjects. This study provides proof-of-concept that viral entry can be successfully blocked in vivo. Short-term administration of T-20 seems safe and provides potent inhibition of HIV replication comparable to anti-retroviral regimens approved at present.Nature Medicine 12/1998; 4(11):1302-7. · 22.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Enfuvirtide (ENF/T-20/Fuzeon), the first human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) entry inhibitor to be licensed, targets a structural intermediate of the entry process. ENF binds the HR1 domain in gp41 after Env has bound CD4, preventing conformational changes needed for membrane fusion. Mutations in HR1 that confer ENF resistance can arise following ENF therapy. ENF resistance mutations were introduced into an R5- and X4-tropic Env to examine their impact on fusion, infection, and sensitivity to different classes of entry inhibitors and neutralizing antibodies. HR1 mutations could reduce infection and fusion efficiency and also delay fusion kinetics, likely accounting for their negative impact on viral fitness. HR1 mutations had minimal effect on virus sensitivity to other classes of entry inhibitors, including those targeting CD4 binding (BMS-806 and a CD4-specific monoclonal antibody [MAb]), coreceptor binding (CXCR4 inhibitor AMD3100 and CCR5 inhibitor TAK-779), or fusion (T-1249), indicating that ENF-resistant viruses can remain sensitive to other entry inhibitors in vivo. Some HR1 mutations conferred increased sensitivity to a subset of neutralizing MAbs that likely target fusion intermediates or with epitopes preferentially exposed following receptor interactions (17b, 48D, 2F5, 4E10, and IgGb12), as well as sera from some HIV-positive individuals. Mechanistically, enhanced neutralization correlated with reduced fusion kinetics, indicating that, in addition to steric constraints, kinetics may also limit virus neutralization by some antibodies. Therefore, escape from ENF comes at a cost to viral fitness and may confer enhanced sensitivity to humoral immunity due to prolonged exposure of epitopes that are not readily accessible in the native Env trimer. Resistance to other entry inhibitors was not observed.Journal of Virology 05/2005; 79(8):4991-9. · 5.08 Impact Factor