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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Dec 5;92(25):11456-60.

Identification of a hexapeptide inhibitor of the human immunodeficiency virus integrase protein by using a combinatorial chemical library.

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  • 1Division of Molecular Biology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Integration of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) DNA into the human genome requires the virus-encoded integrase (IN) protein, and therefore the IN protein is a suitable target for antiviral strategies. To find a potent HIV IN inhibitor, we screened a "synthetic peptide combinatorial library." We identified a hexapeptide with the sequence HCKFWW that inhibits IN-mediated 3'-processing and integration with an IC50 of 2 microM. The peptide is active on IN proteins from other retroviruses such as HIV-2, feline immunodeficiency virus, and Moloney murine leukemia virus, supporting the notion that a conserved region of IN is targeted. The hexapeptide was also tested in the disintegration reaction. This phosphoryl-transfer reaction can be carried out by the catalytic core of IN alone, and the peptide HCKFWW was found to inhibit this reaction, suggesting that the hexapeptide acts at or near the catalytic site of IN. Identification of an IN hexapeptide inhibitor provides proof of concept for the approach, and, moreover, this peptide may be useful for structure-function analysis of IN.

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