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Biochemistry. 2001 Sep 18;40(37):11131-9.

Effectors of HIV-1 protease peptidolytic activity.

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GlaxoSmithKline, 5 Moore Drive, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.


High concentrations of salts dramatically affect the interaction of small ligands with HIV-1 protease. For instance, the Km and kcat values for Abz-Thr-Ile-Nle-p-nitro-Phe-Gln-Arg-NH2 (S) increased 120-fold and 3-fold, respectively, as the NaCl concentration in the assay decreased from 4.0 to 0.5 M. The Kd value for the competitive inhibitor amprenavir increased 12-fold over this concentration range of NaCl. The bimolecular rate constant for association of enzyme with amprenavir was independent of NaCl concentration, whereas the dissociation rate constant decreased with increasing NaCl concentration. Polyanionic polymers such as heparin or poly A substituted for NaCl. For example, the value of kcat/Km for S was 0.18 microM(-1) x s(-1) when the enzyme (<10 nM) was assayed in the standard buffer supplemented with 5 mM NaCl. If 0.01% poly A were included, the value of kcat/Km increased to 8.6 microM(-1) x s(-1). A DNA oligomer (23-mer) with an hexachlorofluoresceinyl moiety linked to the 5' end was studied as a model polyanionic polymer. The enzyme bound HF23 (Kd < 1 nM) with concomitant quenching of the hexachlorofluoresceinyl fluorescence. The stoichiometry for binding was 3 mol of enzyme per mol of oligomer. The hydrolytic activity of the enzyme with this oligomer was similar to that observed with poly A or high salt concentration when the molar ratio of oligomer to enzyme was greater than one. The results presented herein demonstrate that polyanionic polymers substitute for salts as effectors of HIV protease.

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