Inhibition of HIV-1 entry: multiple keys to close the door.

Georg-Speyer-Haus, Institute for Biomedical Research, Paul-Ehrlich-Str. 42-44, 60596 Frankfurt, Germany.
ChemMedChem (Impact Factor: 3.05). 11/2010; 5(11):1825-35. DOI: 10.1002/cmdc.201000292
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: In previous works we reported the design, synthesis and in vitro evaluations of synthetic anionic polymers modified by alicyclic pendant groups (hydrophobic anchors), as a novel class of inhibitors of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) entry into human cells. Recently, these synthetic polymers interactions with key mediator of HIV-1 entry-fusion, the tri-helix core of the first heptad repeat regions [HR1]3 of viral envelope protein gp41, were pre-studied via docking in terms of newly formulated algorithm for stepwise approximation from fragments of polymeric backbone and side-group models toward real polymeric chains. In the present article the docking results were verified under molecular dynamics (MD) modeling. In contrast with limited capabilities of the docking, the MD allowed of using much more large models of the polymeric ligands, considering flexibility of both ligand and target simultaneously. Among the synthesized polymers the dinorbornen anchors containing alternating copolymers of maleic acid were selected as the most representative ligands (possessing the top anti-HIV activity in vitro in correlation with the highest binding energy in the docking). To verify the probability of binding of the polymers with the [HR1]3 in the sites defined via docking, various starting positions of polymer chains were tried. The MD simulations confirmed the main docking-predicted priority for binding sites, and possibilities for axial and belting modes of the ligands-target interactions. Some newly MD-discovered aspects of the ligand's backbone and anchor units dynamic cooperation in binding the viral target clarify mechanisms of the synthetic polymers anti-HIV activity and drug resistance prevention.
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    ABSTRACT: Global HIV-1 treatment would benefit greatly from safe herbal medicines with scientifically validated novel anti-HIV-1 activities. The root extract from the medicinal plant Pelargonium sidoides (PS) is licensed in Germany as the herbal medicine EPs®7630, with numerous clinical trials supporting its safety in humans. Here we provide evidence from multiple cell culture experiments that PS extract displays potent anti-HIV-1 activity. We show that PS extract protects peripheral blood mononuclear cells and macrophages from infection with various X4 and R5 tropic HIV-1 strains, including clinical isolates. Functional studies revealed that the extract from PS has a novel mode-of-action. It interferes directly with viral infectivity and blocks the attachment of HIV-1 particles to target cells, protecting them from virus entry. Analysis of the chemical footprint of anti-HIV activity indicates that HIV-1 inhibition is mediated by multiple polyphenolic compounds with low cytotoxicity and can be separated from other extract components with higher cytotoxicity. Based on our data and its excellent safety profile, we propose that PS extract represents a lead candidate for the development of a scientifically validated herbal medicine for anti-HIV-1 therapy with a mode-of-action different from and complementary to current single-molecule drugs.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e87487. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0087487 · 3.53 Impact Factor