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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Feb 14;109(7):2251-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1112389109. Epub 2012 Jan 27.

Probing chelation motifs in HIV integrase inhibitors.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California at San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0358, USA.


A series of HIV integrase (HIV-1 IN) inhibitors were synthesized to evaluate the role of the metal-binding group (MBG) in this class of metalloenzyme inhibitors. A total of 21 different raltegravir-chelator derivative (RCD) compounds were prepared that differed only in the nature of the MBG. These IN strand-transfer inhibitors (INSTIs) were evaluated in vitro in cell-free enzyme activity assays, and the in vitro results were further validated in cell culture experiments. All of the active compounds showed selective inhibition of the strand-transfer reaction over 3'-processing, suggesting a common mode of action with raltegravir. The results of the in vitro activity suggest that the nature of the MBG donor atoms, the overall MBG structure, and the specific arrangement of the MBG donor atom triad are essential for obtaining maximal HIV-1 IN inhibition. At least two compounds (RCD-4, RCD-5) containing a hydroxypyrone MBG were found to display superior strand-transfer inhibition when compared to an abbreviated analogue of raltegravir (RCD-1). By isolating and examining the role of the MBG in a series of INSTIs, we have identified a scaffold (hydroxypyrones) that may provide access to a unique class of HIV-1 IN inhibitors, and may help overcome rising raltegravir resistance.

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