Torsten Unge

Uppsala University, Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden

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Publications (81)444.39 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium tuberculosis caseinolytic protease ClpP1 (Mt ClpP1) is a self-compartmentalized protease consisting of two heptameric rings stacked on top of each other, thus enclosing a catalytic chamber. Within the chamber, which can be reached through two axial pores, each of the 14 identical monomers possesses a serine protease active site. The unfolding and translocation of substrates into the chamber are mediated by associated hexameric ATPases covering the axial pores. Three crystal structures of Mt ClpP1, determined by molecular replacement, are presented in this study. Two of the models were refined to a resolution of 2.6 A and the third to 3.0 A. It was found that disorder in the handle domain affects the formation and configuration of the tetradecamer and results in condensed structures with larger equatorial pores when compared with ClpPs from other species. Additionally, this disorder accompanies conformational changes of the residues in the catalytic triad. The models also reveal structural differences within the N-terminal hairpin-loop domain, which possibly reflect the significant differences in amino-acid sequence between Mt ClpP1 and other ClpP homologues in this region.
    Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography 03/2007; 63(Pt 2):249-59. DOI:10.1107/S0907444906050530 · 7.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Structural Proteomics In Europe (SPINE) programme is aimed at the development and implementation of high-throughput technologies for the efficient structure determination of proteins of biomedical importance, such as those of bacterial and viral pathogens linked to human health. Despite the challenging nature of some of these targets, 175 novel pathogen protein structures (approximately 220 including complexes) have been determined to date. Here the impact of several technologies on the structural determination of proteins from human pathogens is illustrated with selected examples, including the parallel expression of multiple constructs, the use of standardized refolding protocols and optimized crystallization screens.
    Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography 11/2006; 62(Pt 10):1196-207. DOI:10.1107/S0907444906030915 · 7.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase catalyzes the NADPH-dependent rearrangement and reduction of 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate to form 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate, as the second step of the deoxyxylulose 5-phosphate/methylerythritol 4-phosphate pathway found in many bacteria and plants. The end product, isopentenyl diphosphate, is the precursor of various isoprenoids vital to all living organisms. The pathway is not found in humans; the mevalonate pathway is instead used for the formation of isopentenyl diphosphate. This difference, combined with its essentiality, makes the reductoisomerase an excellent drug target in a number of pathogenic organisms. The structure of 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Rv2870c) was solved by molecular replacement and refined to a resolution of 1.9 A. The enzyme exhibited an estimated kcat of 5.3 s-1 and Km and kcat/Km values of 7.2 microM and 7.4x10(5) M-1 s-1 for NADPH and 340 microM and 1.6x10(4) M-1 s-1 for 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate. In the structure, a sulfate is bound at the expected site of the phosphate moiety of the sugar substrate. The M. tuberculosis enzyme displays a similar fold to the previously published structures from Escherichia coli and Zymomonas mobilis. Comparisons offer suggestions for the design of specific drugs. Furthermore, the new structure represents an intermediate conformation between the open apo form and the closed holo form observed previously, giving insights into the conformational changes associated with catalysis.
    Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography 08/2006; 62(Pt 7):807-13. DOI:10.1107/S0907444906019196 · 7.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Details of the interaction between HIV-1 reverse transcriptase and non-nucleoside inhibitors (NNRTIs) have been elucidated using a biosensor-based approach. This initial study was performed with HIV-1 reverse transcriptase mutant K103N, the phenethylthioazolylthiourea compound (PETT) MIV-150, and the three NNRTIs licensed for clinical use: nevirapine, delavirdine, and efavirenz. Mathematical evaluation of the experimental data with several interaction models revealed that the four inhibitors interacted with HIV-1 RT with varying degrees of complexity. The simplest adequate model accounted for two different conformations of the free enzyme, of which only one can bind the inhibitor, consistent with a previously hypothesized population-shift model including a preformation of the NNRTI binding site. In addition, a heterogeneous binding was observed for delavirdine, efavirenz, and MIV-150, indicating that two noncompetitive and kinetically distinct enzyme-inhibitor complexes could be formed. Furthermore, for these compounds, there were indications for ligand-induced conformational changes.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 05/2006; 49(8):2367-74. DOI:10.1021/jm0504048 · 5.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To decipher the mechanism for non-nucleoside inhibitor resistance of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase, the kinetics of the interaction between wild type and drug-resistant variants of the enzyme and structurally diverse inhibitors were determined. Substitution of amino acid residues in the inhibitor binding site resulted in altered rate constants for the pre-equilibrium between two unliganded forms of the enzyme, and for the association and dissociation of the inhibitor-enzyme interaction. The Y181C, V108I, and P225H substitutions affected primarily the association and dissociation rate constants, while the K103N and the L100I substitutions also influenced the equilibrium between the two forms of the free enzyme. The K103N and the L100I substitutions were found to facilitate both the entry of the inhibitor into the binding pocket as well as its exit, in contrast to what has been reported elsewhere. Interaction kinetic-based resistance profiles showed that phenethylthiazolylthiourea compounds were relatively insensitive to the studied substitutions.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 05/2006; 49(8):2375-87. DOI:10.1021/jm0504050 · 5.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two series of P1'-extended HIV-1 protease inhibitors comprising a tertiary alcohol in the transition-state mimic exhibiting Ki values ranging from 2.1 to 93 nM have been synthesized. Microwave-accelerated palladium-catalyzed cross-couplings were utilized to rapidly optimize the P1' side chain. High cellular antiviral potencies were encountered when the P1' benzyl group was elongated with a 3- or 4-pyridyl substituent (EC50 = 0.18-0.22 microM). X-ray crystallographic data were obtained for three inhibitors cocrystallized with the enzyme.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 04/2006; 49(5):1828-32. DOI:10.1021/jm051239z · 5.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Novel HIV-1 protease inhibitors encompassing a tertiary alcohol as part of the transition-state mimicking unit have been synthesized. Variation of the P1'-P3' residues and alteration of the tertiary alcohol absolute stereochemistry afforded 10 inhibitors. High potencies for the compounds with (S)-configuration at the carbon carrying the tertiary hydroxyl group were achieved with Ki values down to 2.4 nM. X-ray crystallographic data for a representative compound in complex with HIV-1 protease are presented.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 01/2006; 48(25):8098-102. DOI:10.1021/jm050790t · 5.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epoxide hydrolases are vital to many organisms by virtue of their roles in detoxification, metabolism and processing of signaling molecules. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome encodes an unusually large number of epoxide hydrolases, suggesting that they might be of particular importance to these bacteria. We report here the first structure of an epoxide hydrolase from M.tuberculosis, solved to a resolution of 2.5 A using single-wavelength anomalous dispersion (SAD) from a selenomethionine-substituted protein. The enzyme features a deep active-site pocket created by the packing of three helices onto a curved six-stranded beta-sheet. This structure is similar to a previously described limonene-1,2-epoxide hydrolase from Rhodococcus erythropolis and unlike the alpha/beta-hydrolase fold typical of mammalian epoxide hydrolases (EH). A number of changes in the mycobacterial enzyme create a wider and deeper substrate-binding pocket than is found in its Rhodococcus homologue. Interestingly, each structure contains a different type of endogenous ligand of unknown origin bound in its active site. As a consequence of its wider substrate-binding pocket, the mycobacterial EH is capable of hydrolyzing long or bulky lipophilic epoxides such as 10,11-epoxystearic acid and cholesterol 5,6-oxide at appreciable rates, suggesting that similar compound(s) will serve as its physiological substrate(s).
    Journal of Molecular Biology 10/2005; 351(5):1048-56. DOI:10.1016/j.jmb.2005.06.055 · 3.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome contains about 4000 genes, of which approximately a third code for proteins of unknown function or are classified as conserved hypothetical proteins. We have determined the three-dimensional structure of one of these, the rv0216 gene product, which has been shown to be essential for M. tuberculosis growth in vivo. The structure exhibits the greatest similarity to bacterial and eukaryotic hydratases that catalyse the R-specific hydration of 2-enoyl coenzyme A. However, only part of the catalytic machinery is conserved in Rv0216 and it showed no activity for the substrate crotonyl-CoA. The structure of Rv0216 allows us to assign new functional annotations to a family of seven other M. tuberculosis proteins, a number if which are essential for bacterial survival during infection and growth.
    Protein Science 08/2005; 14(7):1850-62. DOI:10.1110/ps.051442305 · 2.86 Impact Factor
  • Acta Crystallographica Section A Foundations of Crystallography 08/2005; 61(a1):c183-c183. DOI:10.1107/S0108767305092238 · 2.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Carbonic anhydrases catalyze the reversible hydration of carbon dioxide to form bicarbonate. This activity is universally required for fatty acid biosynthesis as well as for the production of a number of small molecules, pH homeostasis, and other functions. At least three different carbonic anhydrase families are known to exist, of which the alpha-class found in humans has been studied in most detail. In the present work, we describe the structures of two of the three beta-class carbonic anhydrases that have been identified in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, i.e. Rv1284 and Rv3588c. Both structures were solved by molecular replacement and then refined to resolutions of 2.0 and 1.75 A, respectively. The active site of Rv1284 is small and almost completely shielded from solvent, whereas that of Rv3588c is larger and quite open to solution. Differences in coordination of the active site metal are also observed. In Rv3588c, an aspartic acid side chain displaces a water molecule and coordinates directly to the zinc ion, thereby closing the zinc coordination sphere and breaking the salt link to a nearby arginine that is a feature of Rv1284. The two carbonic anhydrases thus exhibit both of the metal coordination geometries that have previously been observed for structures in this family. Activity studies demonstrate that Rv3588c is a completely functional carbonic anhydrase. The apparent lack of activity of Rv1284 in the present assay system is likely exacerbated by the observed depletion of zinc in the preparation.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2005; 280(19):18782-9. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M414348200 · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HIV-1 protease is a pivotal enzyme in the later stages of the viral life cycle which is responsible for the processing and maturation of the virus particle into an infectious virion. As such, HIV-1 protease has become an important target for the treatment of AIDS, and efficient drugs have been developed. However, negative side effects and fast emerging resistance to the current drugs have necessitated the development of novel chemical entities in order to exploit different pharmacokinetic properties as well as new interaction patterns. We have used X-ray crystallography to decipher the structure-activity relationship of fluoro-substitution as a strategy to improve the antiviral activity and the protease inhibition of C2-symmetric diol-based inhibitors. In total we present six protease-inhibitor complexes at 1.8-2.3 A resolution, which have been structurally characterized with respect to their antiviral and inhibitory activities, in order to evaluate the effects of different fluoro-substitutions. These C2-symmetric inhibitors comprise mono- and difluoro-substituted benzyloxy side groups in P1/P1' and indanoleamine side groups in P2/P2'. The ortho- and meta-fluorinated P1/P1'-benzyloxy side groups proved to have the most cytopathogenic effects compared with the nonsubstituted analog and related C2-symmetric diol-based inhibitors. The different fluoro-substitutions are well accommodated in the protease S1/S1' subsites, as observed by an increase in favorable Van der Waals contacts and surface area buried by the inhibitors. These data will be used in the development of potent inhibitors with different pharmacokinetic profiles towards resistant protease mutants.
    European Journal of Biochemistry 12/2004; 271(22):4594-602. DOI:10.1111/j.1432-1033.2004.04431.x · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerases (EC catalyse the interconversion of cis and trans peptide bonds and are therefore considered to be important for protein folding. They are also thought to participate in processes such as signalling, cell surface recognition, chaperoning and heat-shock response. Here we report the soluble expression of recombinant Mycobacterium tuberculosis peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase PpiA in Escherichia coli, together with an investigation of its structure and biochemical properties. The protein was shown to be active in a spectrophotometric assay, with an estimated kcat/Km of 2.0 x 10(6) m(-1).s(-1). The X-ray structure of PpiA was solved by molecular replacement, and refined to a resolution of 2.6 A with R and Rfree values of 21.3% and 22.9%, respectively. Comparisons to known structures show that the PpiA represents a slight variation on the peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase fold, previously not represented in the Protein Data Bank. Inspection of the active site suggests that specificity for substrates and cyclosporin A will be similar to that found for most other enzymes of this structural family. Comparison to the sequence of the second M. tuberculosis enzyme, PpiB, suggests that binding of peptide substrates as well as cyclosporin A may differ in that case.
    European Journal of Biochemistry 11/2004; 271(20):4107-13. DOI:10.1111/j.1432-1033.2004.04348.x · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ribose-5-phosphate isomerases (EC inter-convert ribose-5-phosphate and ribulose-5-phosphate. This reaction allows the synthesis of ribose from other sugars, as well a means for salvage of carbohydrates after nucleotide breakdown. Two unrelated types of enzyme are known to catalyze the isomerization. The most common one, RpiA, is present in almost all organisms. The second type, RpiB, is found in many bacterial species.Here, we demonstrate that the RpiB from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Rv2465c) has catalytic properties very similar to those previously reported for the Escherichia coli RpiB enzyme. Further, we report the structure of the mycobacterial enzyme, solved by molecular replacement and refined to 1.88A resolution. Comparison with the E.coli structure shows that there are important differences in the two active sites, including a change in the position and nature of the catalytic base. Sequence comparisons reveal that the M.tuberculosis and E.coli RpiB enzymes are in fact representative of two distinct sub-families. The mycobacterial enzyme represents a type found only in actinobacteria, while the enzyme from E.coli is typical of that seen in many other bacterial proteomes. Both RpiBs are very different from RpiA in structure as well as in the construction of the active site. Docking studies allow additional insights into the reactions of all three enzymes, and show that many features of the mechanism are preserved despite the different catalytic components.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 02/2004; 335(3):799-809. DOI:10.1016/j.jmb.2003.11.021 · 3.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To demonstrate the use of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) recovered directly from plasma for phenotypic drug susceptibility testing. Plasma from HIV-1 infected individuals with and without drug resistance-associated mutations were selected for the study. The blind coded plasmas were treated to inactivate cellular enzymes. The virions were immobilized on a gel and washed to remove antiretroviral drugs and RT activity blocking antibodies. The immobilized virions were lysed; the viral RT eluted and quantified, all according to the ExaVir Load procedure. The drug sensitivity profiles of each RT were determined using serially diluted drugs and modified Cavidi HS Lenti RT kits. The phenotypic drug sensitivity profiles of the RT and the patterns of drug resistance mutations were highly concordant. Plasma RT from virions devoid of mutations associated with drug resistance had average 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC(50)) of 1.5 +/- 0.93 microM for nevirapine, 0.21 +/- 0.099 microM for efavirenz, 7.1 +/- 3.2 microM for delavirdine, 0.42 +/- 0.15 microM for azidothymidine triphosphate and 0.059 +/- 0.018 microM for didehydrothymidine triphosphate. The increase in IC(50) value for RT with drug resistance associated substitutions was from 3- to more than 65-fold for non-nucleoside inhibitors and between 2- and 30-fold for thymidine analogue drugs. RT derived from virions recovered from the plasma of HIV infected individuals can be used for analysis of phenotypic drug susceptibility. The methods presented provide rapid alternatives for analysing phenotypic drug susceptibility especially when the therapy is based on non-nucleoside RT inhibitors and thymidine-analogue drugs.
    AIDS 08/2003; 17(10):1463-71. DOI:10.1097/01.aids.0000072670.21517.0d · 6.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HIV-1 protease is an important target for treatment of AIDS, and efficient drugs have been developed. However, the resistance and negative side effects of the current drugs has necessitated the development of new compounds with different binding patterns. In this study, nine C-terminally duplicated HIV-1 protease inhibitors were cocrystallised with the enzyme, the crystal structures analysed at 1.8-2.3 A resolution, and the inhibitory activity of the compounds characterized in order to evaluate the effects of the individual modifications. These compounds comprise two central hydroxy groups that mimic the geminal hydroxy groups of a cleavage-reaction intermediate. One of the hydroxy groups is located between the delta-oxygen atoms of the two catalytic aspartic acid residues, and the other in the gauche position relative to the first. The asymmetric binding of the two central inhibitory hydroxyls induced a small deviation from exact C2 symmetry in the whole enzyme-inhibitor complex. The study shows that the protease molecule could accommodate its structure to different sizes of the P2/P2' groups. The structural alterations were, however, relatively conservative and limited. The binding capacity of the S3/S3' sites was exploited by elongation of the compounds with groups in the P3/P3' positions or by extension of the P1/P1' groups. Furthermore, water molecules were shown to be important binding links between the protease and the inhibitors. This study produced a number of inhibitors with Ki values in the 100 picomolar range.
    European Journal of Biochemistry 05/2003; 270(8):1746-58. DOI:10.1046/j.1432-1033.2003.03533.x · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A series of HIV-1 protease inhibitors having new tetrahydrofuran P2/P2' groups have been synthesised and tested for protease inhibition and antiviral activity. Six novel 4-aminotetrahydrofuran derivatives were prepared starting from commercially available isopropylidene-alpha-D-xylofuranose yielding six symmetrical and six unsymmetrical inhibitors. Promising sub nanomolar HIV-1 protease inhibitory activities were obtained. The X-ray crystal structure of the most potent inhibitor (23, K(i) 0.25 nM) co-crystallised with HIV-1 protease is discussed and the binding compared with inhibitors 1a and 1b.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry 04/2003; 11(6):1107-15. DOI:10.1016/S0968-0896(02)00535-7 · 2.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The K103N substitution is a frequently observed HIV-1 RT mutation in patients who do not respond to combination-therapy. The drugs Efavirenz, MSC194 and PNU142721 belong to the recent generation of NNRTIs characterized by an improved resistance profile to the most common single point mutations within HIV-1 RT, including the K103N mutation. In the present study we present structural observations from Efavirenz in complex with wild-type protein and the K103N mutant and PNU142721 and MSC194 in complex with the K103N mutant. The structures unanimously indicate that the K103N substitution induces only minor positional adjustments of the three inhibitors and the residues lining the binding pocket. Thus, compared to the corresponding wild-type structures, these inhibitors bind to the mutant in a conservative mode rather than through major rearrangements. The structures implicate that the reduced inhibitory efficacy should be attributed to the changes in the chemical environment in the vicinity of the substituted N103 residue. This is supported by changes in hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions to the inhibitors between wild-type and K103N mutant complexes. These potent inhibitors accommodate to the K103N mutation by forming new interactions to the N103 side chain. Our results are consistent with the proposal by Hsiou et al. [Hsiou, Y., Ding, J., Das, K., Clark, A.D. Jr, Boyer, P.L., Lewi, P., Janssen, P.A., Kleim, J.P., Rosner, M., Hughes, S.H. & Arnold, E. (2001) J. Mol. Biol. 309, 437-445] that inhibitors with good activity against the K103N mutant would be expected to have favorable interactions with the mutant asparagines side chain, thereby compensating for resistance caused by stabilization of the mutant enzyme due to a hydrogen-bond network involving the N103 and Y188 side chains.
    European Journal of Biochemistry 03/2002; 269(6):1670-7. DOI:10.1046/j.1432-1327.2002.02811.x · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously reported on the unexpected flipped conformation in the cyclic sulfamide class of inhibitors. An attempt to induce a symmetric binding conformation by introducing P2/P2' substituents foreseen to bind preferentially in the S2/S2' subsite was unsuccessful. On the basis of the flipped conformation we anticipated that nonsymmetric sulfamide inhibitors, with P2/P2' side chains modified individually for the S1' and S2 subsites, should be more potent than the corresponding symmetric analogues. To test this hypothesis, a set of 18 cyclic sulfamide inhibitors (11 nonsymmetric and 7 symmetric) with different P2/P2' substituents was prepared and evaluated in an enzyme assay. To rationalize the structure-activity relationship (SAR) and enable the alignment of the nonsymmetric inhibitors, i.e., which of the P2/P2' substituents of the nonsymmetric inhibitors interact with which subsite, a CoMFA study was performed. The CoMFA model, constructed from the 18 inhibitors in this study along with seven inhibitors from previous work by our group, has successfully been used to rationalize the SAR of the cyclic sulfamide inhibitors. Furthermore, from the information presented herein, the SAR of the cyclic sulfamide class of inhibitors seems to differ from the SAR of the related cyclic urea inhibitors reported by DuPont and DuPont-Merck.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 01/2002; 44(2). DOI:10.1021/jm011105v · 5.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The synthesis of novel, potent, diol-based HIV-1 protease inhibitors, having phenethyl groups (-CH(2)CH(2)Ph) in P1/P1' position is described. An intermolecular pinacol homocoupling of (2S)-2-benzyloxymethyl-4-phenylbutanal 16 was the key step in the synthesis. From this reaction sequence four carba analogues, compounds 8a, 8b, 9a, and 9b, were prepared, having the inverted configuration of one or both of the stereogenic centers carrying the diol hydroxyls as compared to the parent series represented by inhibitors 6 and 7. Inhibitor 8b was found to be a potent inhibitor of HIV-1 protease (PR), showing excellent antiviral activity in the cell-based assay and in the presence of 40% human serum. The absolute stereochemistry of the central diol of the potent inhibitor (8b) was determined from the X-ray crystallographic structure of its complex with HIV-1 PR.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 11/2001; 44(21):3407-16. · 5.48 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
444.39 Total Impact Points


  • 1979–2013
    • Uppsala University
      • • Department of Cell and Molecular Biology
      • • Division of Analytical Pharmaceutical Chemistry
      Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 2007
    • Institut Pasteur
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2000–2003
    • Stockholm University
      • Department of Organic Chemistry
      Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 1998–2001
    • Linköping University
      Linköping, Östergötland, Sweden
  • 1993
    • Karolinska Institutet
      Solna, Stockholm, Sweden