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J Phys Chem B. 2006 Feb 16;110(6):2910-7.

How can (-)-epigallocatechin gallate from green tea prevent HIV-1 infection? Mechanistic insights from computational modeling and the implication for rational design of anti-HIV-1 entry inhibitors.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky, 725 Rose Street, Lexington, Kentucky 40536, USA.


Possible inhibitors preventing human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) entry into the cells are recognized as hopeful next-generation anti-HIV-1 drugs. It is highly desirable to develop a potent inhibitor blocking binding of glycoprotein CD4 of the cell with glycoprotein gp120 of HIV-1, because the gp120-CD4 binding is the initial step of HIV-1 entry into the cells. It has been recently reported that (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) from green tea is an inhibitor blocking gp120-CD4 binding. But the inhibitory mechanism remains unknown. For understanding the inhibitory mechanism, extensive molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulations, and binding free-energy calculations have been performed in this study to predict the most favorable structures of CD4-EGCG, gp120-CD4, and gp120-CD4-EGCG binding complexes in water. The results reveal that EGCG binds with CD4 in such a way that the calculated binding affinity of gp120 with the CD4-EGCG complex is negligible. So, the favorable binding of EGCG with CD4 can effectively block gp120-CD4 binding. The calculated CD4-EGCG binding affinity (DeltaG(bind) = -5.5 kcal/mol, K(d) = 94 microM) is in excellent agreement with available experimental data suggesting IC(50) approximately 100 microM for EGCG-blocking CD4-gp120 binding. These results and insights provide a rational basis for future design of novel, more potent inhibitors to block gp120-CD4 binding.

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