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We reported the design of fusion inhibitors with improved activity using a multivalent inhibitor design strategy. First, we chose C29 as the template sequence, which is a 29-mer peptide derived from HIV-1 gp41 CHR domain and has anti-HIV activity of IC50 118nM in a cell-cell fusion assay. We optimized the crosslink sites and linkers of the template peptide. We found that N-terminal crosslink caused activity improvement based on the multivalent co-operative effect. Especially, the IC50 of peptide (CAcaC29)2 was improved from 49.02 (monomeric form) to 5.71nM. Compared with long peptides, short peptides may be more suitable to analyze the co-operative effect. So we selected a shorter peptide C22 to synthesize the bivalent inhibitors. Due its weak helicity, no co-operative effect appeared. Therefore, we chose SC22EK, which were introduced salt bridges to consolidate the helicity based on the natural sequence C22. The cross-linked (CAcaSC22EK)2 was four times more potent than the monomer SC22EK in anti-HIV activity, with an IC50 value of 4.92nM close to the high active peptide fusion inhibitor C34. The strategy used in this study may be used to design new fusion inhibitors to interfere similar processes.
Beijing Institute of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, 27 Taiping Road, Beijing 100850, China.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters
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