Inhibition of human immunodeficiency virus 1 protease in vitro: rational design of substrate analogue inhibitors Academic Article uri icon


  • Inhibitors of the protease from human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) were designed, synthesized, and kinetically characterized. Analogues of a heptapeptide substrate of HIV-1 protease with sequence similar to the p17-p24 cleavage site in the natural substrate, Pr55gag, were synthesized in which the scissile dipeptide bond was replaced with bonds from six categories of stable mimics of an aspartic proteolysis transition state or intermediate. These mimics included an analogue of statine, hydroxyethylene isosteres, two categories of phosphinic acids, a reduced amide isostere, and an alpha,alpha-difluoroketone. The resulting peptide analogues were linear competitive inhibitors of purified recombinant HIV-1 protease with inhibition constants ranging from 18 nM to 40 microM depending on the type of inhibitor. A truncated inhibitor, an analogue of a hexapeptide, retained full inhibitory potency. The most potent inhibitors, containing the hydroxyethylene isostere, effectively blocked the proteolytic processing of a recombinant form of Pr55gag by HIV-1 protease in a cell-free assay.

altmetric score

  • 9

author list (cited authors)

  • Dreyer, G. B., Metcalf, B. W., Tomaszek, T. A., Carr, T. J., Chandler, A. C., Hyland, L., ... Strickler, J. E.

citation count

  • 176

publication date

  • December 1989