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Virology. 2011 Jun 20;415(1):56-68. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2011.03.025. Epub 2011 Apr 22.

Inhibition of Tat-mediated HIV-1 replication and neurotoxicity by novel GSK3-beta inhibitors.

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Department of Molecular and Microbiology, National Center for Biodefense & Infectious Diseases, George Mason University, Manassas, VA 20110, USA.


The HIV-1 protein Tat is a critical regulator of viral transcription and has also been implicated as a mediator of HIV-1 induced neurotoxicity. Here using a high throughput screening assay, we identified the GSK-3 inhibitor 6BIO, as a Tat-dependent HIV-1 transcriptional inhibitor. Its ability to inhibit HIV-1 transcription was confirmed in TZM-bl cells, with an IC(50) of 40nM. Through screening 6BIO derivatives, we identified 6BIOder, which has a lower IC(50) of 4nM in primary macrophages and 0.5nM in astrocytes infected with HIV-1. 6BIOder displayed an IC(50) value of 0.03nM through in vitro GSK-3β kinase inhibition assays. Finally, we demonstrated 6BIO and 6BIOder have neuroprotective effects on Tat induced cell death in rat mixed hippocampal cultures. Therefore 6BIO and its derivatives are unique compounds which, due to their complex mechanisms of action, are able to inhibit HIV-1 transcription as well as to protect against Tat induced neurotoxicity.

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