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J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Jan 18;134(2):905-8. doi: 10.1021/ja210931b. Epub 2012 Jan 3.

Oligovalent amyloid-binding agents reduce SEVI-mediated enhancement of HIV-1 infection.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0358, USA.


This paper evaluates the use of oligovalent amyloid-binding molecules as potential agents that can reduce the enhancement of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection in cells by semen-derived enhancer of virus infection (SEVI) fibrils. These naturally occurring amyloid fibrils found in semen have been implicated as mediators that can facilitate the attachment and internalization of HIV-1 virions to immune cells. Molecules that are capable of reducing the role of SEVI in HIV-1 infection may, therefore, represent a novel strategy to reduce the rate of sexual transmission of HIV-1 in humans. Here, we evaluated a set of synthetic, oligovalent derivatives of benzothiazole aniline (BTA, a known amyloid-binding molecule) for their capability to bind cooperatively to aggregated amyloid peptides and to neutralize the effects of SEVI in HIV-1 infection. We demonstrate that these BTA derivatives exhibit a general trend of increased binding to aggregated amyloids as a function of increasing valence number of the oligomer. Importantly, we find that oligomers of BTA show improved capability to reduce SEVI-mediated infection of HIV-1 in cells compared to a BTA monomer, with the pentamer exhibiting a 65-fold improvement in efficacy compared to a previously reported monomeric BTA derivative. These results, thus, support the use of amyloid-targeting molecules as potential supplements for microbicides to curb the spread of HIV-1 through sexual contact.

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