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

Mode of inhibition of HIV reverse transcriptase by 2-hexaprenylhydroquinone, a novel general inhibitor of RNA-and DNA-directed DNA polymerases.

A natural compound from the Red Sea sponge Ircinia sp., 2-hexaprenylhydroquinone (HPH), has been shown to be a general inhibitor of retroviral reverse transcriptases (from HIV-1, HIV-2 and murine leukaemia virus) as well as of cellular DNA polymerases (Escherichia coli DNA polymerase I, and DNA polymerases alpha and beta). The pattern of inhibition was found to be similar for all DNA polymerases tested. Thus the mode of inhibition was studied in detail for HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. HPH is a non-competitive inhibitor and binds the enzyme irreversibly with high affinity (Ki=0. 62 microM). The polar hydroxy groups have been shown to be of key importance. A methylated derivative, mHPH, which is devoid of these polar moieties, showed a significantly decreased capacity to inhibit all DNA polymerases tested. Like the natural product, mHPH binds the enzyme independently at an allosteric site, but with reduced affinity (Ki=7.4 microM). We show that HPH does not interfere with the first step of the polymerization process, i.e. the physical formation of the reverse-transcriptase-DNA complex. Consequently, we suggest that the natural inhibitor interferes with the subsequent steps of the overall reaction. Since HPH seems not to affect the affinity of dNTP for the enzyme (the Km is unchanged under conditions where the HPH concentration is increased), we speculate that its inhibitory capacity is derived from its effect on the nucleotidyl-transfer catalytic reaction. We suggest that such a mechanism of inhibition is typical of an inhibitor whose mode of inhibition should be common to all RNA- and DNA-directed polymerases.[1]


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