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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Sep; 85(18): 6612–6616.
PMCID: PMC282027

Human immunodeficiency virus has an aspartic-type protease that can be inhibited by pepstatin A.


The protease encoded by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) processes the viral gag and gag-pol protein precursor by posttranslational cleavage. In this study we have demonstrated by site-specific mutagenesis (Asp----Thr) and by pepstatin A inhibition that the recombinant HIV protease is an aspartic-type protease. Furthermore, incubation of HIV-infected H9 cells with pepstatin A inhibited part of the intracellular processing of the HIV gag protein yet had no apparent toxicity on HIV-infected cells during 48 hr of incubation.

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