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Sci Rep. 2019 Mar 18;9(1):4828. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-41080-w.

Activity and structural analysis of GRL-117C: a novel small molecule CCR5 inhibitor active against R5-tropic HIV-1s.

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Experimental Retrovirology Section, HIV and AIDS Malignancy Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892-1868, USA.
Departments of Hematology and Infectious Diseases, Kumamoto University Graduate School of Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kumamoto, 860-8556, Japan.
National Center for Global Health and Medicine Research Institute, Tokyo, 162-8655, Japan.
National Center for Global Health and Medicine Research Institute, Tokyo, 162-8655, Japan.
Department of Chemistry and department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular pharmacology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.
AIDS Research Centre, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, 162-8640, Japan.


CCR5 is a member of the G-protein coupled receptor family that serves as an essential co-receptor for cellular entry of R5-tropic HIV-1, and is a validated target for therapeutics against HIV-1 infections. In the present study, we designed and synthesized a series of novel small CCR5 inhibitors and evaluated their antiviral activity. GRL-117C inhibited the replication of wild-type R5-HIV-1 with a sub-nanomolar IC50 value. These derivatives retained activity against vicriviroc-resistant HIV-1s, but did not show activity against maraviroc (MVC)-resistant HIV-1. Structural modeling indicated that the binding of compounds to CCR5 occurs in the hydrophobic cavity of CCR5 under the second extracellular loop, and amino acids critical for their binding were almost similar with those of MVC, which explains viral cross-resistance with MVC. On the other hand, one derivative, GRL-10018C, less potent against HIV-1, but more potent in inhibiting CC-chemokine binding, occupied the upper region of the binding cavity with its bis-THF moiety, presumably causing greater steric hindrance with CC-chemokines. Recent studies have shown additional unique features of certain CCR5 inhibitors such as immunomodulating properties and HIV-1 latency reversal properties, and thus, continuous efforts in developing new CCR5 inhibitors with unique binding profiles is necessary.

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