Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/9917
Nucleic acid recognition and antiviral activity of 1,4-substituted terphenyl compounds mimicking all faces of the HIV-1 Rev protein positively-charged α-helix
Sci Rep. 2020 Apr 28;10(1):7190.
Small synthetic molecules mimicking the three-dimensional structure of α-helices may find applications as inhibitors of therapeutically relevant protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions. However, the design and use of multi-facial helix mimetics remains in its infancy. Here we describe the synthesis and application of novel bilaterally substituted p-terphenyl compounds containing positively-charged aminoalkyl groups in relative 1,4 positions across the aromatic scaffold. These compounds were specifically designed to mimic all faces of the arginine-rich α-helix of the HIV-1 protein Rev, which forms deeply embedded RNA complexes and plays key roles in the virus replication cycle. Two of these molecules recognized the Rev site in the viral RNA and inhibited the formation of the RRE-Rev ribonucleoprotein complex, a currently unexploited target in HIV chemotherapy. Cellular assays revealed that the most active compounds blocked HIV-1 replication with little toxicity, and likely exerted this effect through a multi-target mechanism involving inhibition of viral LTR promoter-dependent transcription and Rev function. Further development of this scaffold may open new avenues for targeting nucleic acids and may complement current HIV therapies, none of which involve inhibitors interfering with the gene regulation processes of the virus.
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