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Title: Kuwanon-L as a New Allosteric HIV-1 Integrase Inhibitor: Molecular Modeling and Biological Evaluation
Authors: Esposito, Francesca
Christ, Frauke
Debyser, Zeger
Ferrarese, Roberto
Cabiddu, Gianluigi
Corona, Angela
Ceresola, Elisa Rita
Calcaterra, Andrea
Iovine, Valentina
Botta, Bruno
Clementi, Massimo
Canducci, Filippo
Botta, Maurizio 
Tramontano, Enzo
Keywords: HIV-1 integrase; allosterism; inhibitors; integrase multimerization; kuwanon-L; protein-protein interactions
Issue Date: 2015
Project: None 
HIV-1 integrase (IN) active site inhibitors are the latest class of drugs approved for HIV treatment. The selection of IN strand-transfer drug-resistant HIV strains in patients supports the development of new agents that are active as allosteric IN inhibitors. Here, a docking-based virtual screening has been applied to a small library of natural ligands to identify new allosteric IN inhibitors that target the sucrose binding pocket. From theoretical studies, kuwanon-L emerged as the most promising binder and was thus selected for biological studies. Biochemical studies showed that kuwanon-L is able to inhibit the HIV-1 IN catalytic activity in the absence and in the presence of LEDGF/p75 protein, the IN dimerization, and the IN/LEDGF binding. Kuwanon-L also inhibited HIV-1 replication in cell cultures. Overall, docking and biochemical results suggest that kuwanon-L binds to an allosteric binding pocket and can be considered an attractive lead for the development of new allosteric IN antiviral agents.
ISSN: 1439-4227
DOI: 10.1002/cbic.201500385
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