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Protein Sci. 1996 Mar;5(3):495-506.

Three-dimensional solution structure of the HIV-1 protease complexed with DMP323, a novel cyclic urea-type inhibitor, determined by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

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Molecular Structural Biology Unit, NIDR, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The three-dimensional solution structure of the HIV-1 protease homodimer, MW 22.2 kDa, complexed to a potent, cyclic urea-based inhibitor, DMP323, is reported. This is the first solution structure of an HIV protease/inhibitor complex that has been elucidated. Multidimensional heteronuclear NMR spectra were used to assemble more than 4,200 distance and angle constraints. Using the constraints, together with a hybrid distance geometry/simulated annealing protocol, an ensemble of 28 NMR structures was calculated having no distance or angle violations greater than 0.3 A or 5 degrees, respectively. Neglecting residues in disordered loops, the RMS deviation (RMSD) for backbone atoms in the family of structures was 0.60 A relative to the average structure. The individual NMR structures had excellent covalent geometry and stereochemistry, as did the restrained minimized average structure. The latter structure is similar to the 1.8-A X-ray structure of the protease/DMP323 complex (Chang CH et al., 1995, Protein Science, submitted); the pairwise backbone RMSD calculated for the two structures is 1.22 A. As expected, the mismatch between the structures is greatest in the loops that are disordered and/or flexible. The flexibility of residues 37-42 and 50-51 may be important in facilitating substrate binding and product release, because these residues make up the respective hinges and tips of the protease flaps. Flexibility of residues 4-8 may play a role in protease regulation by facilitating autolysis.

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