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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Multibranched V3 peptides inhibit human immunodeficiency virus infection in human lymphocytes and macrophages.

Synthetic polymeric constructions (SPCs) including the consensus sequence of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) surface envelope glycoprotein gp120 V3 loop (GPGRAF) blocked the fusion between HIV-1- and HIV-2-infected cells and CD4+ uninfected cells. A structure-activity relationship study using V3 SPC analogs showed that the most efficient inhibitor of cell fusion was an eight-branched SPC with the hexapeptide motif GPGRAF (i.e., [GPGRAF]8-SPC). N-terminal acetylation or incorporation of D-amino acids in the GPGRAF sequence of this SPC resulted in significant loss of activity. Analogs with fewer than six residues in the motif (i.e., GPGRA or GPGR), as well as SPCs with a nonrelevant sequence, did not inhibit cell fusion, demonstrating the high specificity of the antifusion activity. [GPGRAF]8-SPC, which was not toxic to CEM cells at concentrations of up to 50 microM, inhibited 50% of HIV-1(LAI) replication in these cells at a concentration of 0.07 microM. Moreover, [GPGRAF]8-SPC inhibited the infection of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells by several HIV-1 and HIV-2 isolates, including laboratory strains [HIV-1(LAI), HIV-1(NDK), and HIV-2(ROD)], and fresh primary isolates, including two zidovudine-resistant HIV-1 isolates and two HIV-2 isolates obtained from infected individuals. The multibranched peptide also inhibited infection of human primary macrophages by the highly cytopathic macrophage-tropic isolate HIV-1(89.6). The antiviral activity of [GPGRAF]8-SPC was not related to a virucidal effect, since preincubation of HIV-1 with the peptide did not affect its infectious titer. This result is in agreement with the concept that the multibranched peptide mimics a part of the V3 loop and thus interacts with the host cell. The therapeutic properties of synthetic multibranched peptides based on the V3 loop consensus motif should be evaluated in HIV-infected patients.[1]


  1. Multibranched V3 peptides inhibit human immunodeficiency virus infection in human lymphocytes and macrophages. Yahi, N., Fantini, J., Mabrouk, K., Tamalet, C., de Micco, P., van Rietschoten, J., Rochat, H., Sabatier, J.M. J. Virol. (1994) [Pubmed]
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