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Recombinant protein of heptad-repeat HR212, a stable fusion inhibitor with potent anti-HIV action in vitro

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  • Biology

Abstract

HR212, a recombinant protein expressed in Escherichia coli, has been previously reported to inhibit HIV-1 membrane fusion at low nanomolar level. Here we report that HR212 is effective in blocking laboratory strain HIV-1IIIB entry and replication with EC50 values of 3.92±0.62 and 6.59±1.74 nM, respectively, and inhibiting infection by clinic isolate HIV-1KM018 with EC50 values of 44.44±10.20 nM, as well as suppressing HIV-1- induced cytopathic effect with an EC50 value of 3.04±1.20 nM. It also inhibited HIV-2ROD and HIV-2CBL-20 entry and replication in the μM range. Notably, HR212 was highly effective against T20-resistant strains with EC50 values ranging from 5.09 to 7.75 nM. Unlike T20, HR212 showed stability sufficient to inhibit syncytia formation in a time-of-addition assay, and was insensitive to proteinase K digestion. These results suggest that HR212 has great potential to be further developed as novel HIV-1 fusion inhibitor for treatment of HIV/ AIDS patients, particularly for those infected by T20-resistant variants.

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