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Antiviral Res. 2010 Jan;85(1):101-18. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2009.11.004. Epub 2009 Nov 17.

Strand transfer inhibitors of HIV-1 integrase: bringing IN a new era of antiretroviral therapy.

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Gilead Sciences, Inc., 333 Lakeside Drive, Foster City, CA 94404, United States.


HIV-1 integrase (IN) is one of three essential enzymes (along with reverse transcriptase and protease) encoded by the viral pol gene. IN mediates two critical reactions during viral replication; firstly 3'-end processing (3'EP) of the double-stranded viral DNA ends and then strand transfer (STF) which joins the viral DNA to the host chromosomal DNA forming a functional integrated proviral DNA. IN is a 288 amino acid protein containing three functional domains, the N-terminal domain (NTD), catalytic core domain (CCD) and the C-terminal domain (CTD). The CCD contains three conserved catalytic residues, Asp64, Asp116 and Glu152, which coordinate divalent metal ions essential for the STF reaction. Intensive research over the last two decades has led to the discovery and development of small molecule inhibitors of the IN STF reaction (INSTIs). INSTIs are catalytic inhibitors of IN, and act to chelate the divalent metal ions in the CCD. One INSTI, raltegravir (RAL, Merck Inc.) was approved in late 2007 for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in patients with prior antiretroviral (ARV) treatment experience and was recently approved also for first line therapy. A second INSTI, elvitegravir (EVG, Gilead Sciences, Inc.) is currently undergoing phase 3 studies in ARV treatment-experienced patients and phase 2 studies in ARV naïve patients as part of a novel fixed dose combination. Several additional INSTIs are in early stage clinical development. This review will discuss the discovery and development of this novel class of antiretrovirals. This article forms part of a special issue of Antiviral Research marking the 25th anniversary of antiretroviral drug discovery and development, Vol 85, issue 1, 2010.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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