Importance of structure-based studies for the design of a novel HIV-1 inhibitor peptide
María J. Gomara, Yolanda Perez, Patricia Gomez-Gutierrez, Carolina Herrera, Paul Ziprin, Javier P. Martinez, Andreas Meyerhans, Juan J. Perez & Isabel Haro
Scientific Reports volume 10, Article number: 14430 (2020)
Based on the structure of an HIV-1 entry inhibitor peptide two stapled- and a retro-enantio peptides have been designed to provide novel prevention interventions against HIV transmission. The three peptides show greater inhibitory potencies in cellular and mucosal tissue pre-clinical models than the parent sequence and the retro-enantio shows a strengthened proteolytic stability. Since HIV-1 fusion inhibitor peptides need to be embedded in the membrane to properly interact with their viral target, the structural features were determined by NMR spectroscopy in micelles and solved by using restrained molecular dynamics calculations. Both parent and retro-enantio peptides demonstrate a topology compatible with a shared helix–turn–helix conformation and assemble similarly in the membrane maintaining the active conformation needed for its interaction with the viral target site. This study represents a straightforward approach to design new targeted peptides as HIV-1 fusion inhibitors and lead us to define a retro-enantio peptide as a good candidate for pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV-1.
HIV-1, circular dichroism