New small-molecule inhibitor class targeting human immunodeficiency virus type 1 virion maturation

Blair, W.S.; Cao, J.; Fok-Seang, J.; Griffin, P.; Isaacson, J.; Jackson, R.L.; Murray, E.; Patick, A.K.; Peng, Q.; Perros, M.; Pickford, C.; Wu, H.; Butler, S.L.

Antimicrobial Agents and ChemoTherapy 53(12): 5080-5087


ISSN/ISBN: 1098-6596
PMID: 19805571
DOI: 10.1128/aac.00759-09
Accession: 054614157

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A new small-molecule inhibitor class that targets virion maturation was identified from a human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) antiviral screen. PF-46396, a representative molecule, exhibits antiviral activity against HIV-1 laboratory strains and clinical isolates in T-cell lines and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). PF-46396 specifically inhibits the processing of capsid (CA)/spacer peptide 1 (SP1) (p25), resulting in the accumulation of CA/SP1 (p25) precursor proteins and blocked maturation of the viral core particle. Viral variants resistant to PF-46396 contain a single amino acid substitution in HIV-1 CA sequences (CAI201V), distal to the CA/SP1 cleavage site in the primary structure, which we demonstrate is sufficient to confer significant resistance to PF-46396 and 3-O-(3',3'-dimethylsuccinyl) betulinic acid (DSB), a previously described maturation inhibitor. Conversely, a single amino substitution in SP1 (SP1A1V), which was previously associated with DSB in vitro resistance, was sufficient to confer resistance to DSB and PF-46396. Further, the CAI201V substitution restored CA/SP1 processing in HIV-1-infected cells treated with PF-46396 or DSB. Our results demonstrate that PF-46396 acts through a mechanism that is similar to DSB to inhibit the maturation of HIV-1 virions. To our knowledge, PF-46396 represents the first small-molecule HIV-1 maturation inhibitor that is distinct in chemical class from betulinic acid-derived maturation inhibitors (e.g., DSB), demonstrating that molecules of diverse chemical classes can inhibit this mechanism.