Nanomedicine : nanotechnology, biology, and medicine 2016 8 23() pii 10.1016/j.nano.2016.08.023
The work reports the design and synthesis of a chimeric peptide that is comprised of the peptide sequences of two entry inhibitors which target different sites of HIV-1 gp41. The chimeric peptide offers the advantage of targeting two gp41 regions simultaneously: the fusion peptide and the loop both of which are membrane active and participate in the membrane fusion process. We therefore use lipid raft-like liposomes as a tool to specifically direct the chimeric inhibitor peptide to the membrane domains where the HIV-1 envelope protein is located. Moreover, the liposomes that mimic the viral membrane composition protect the chimeric peptide against proteolytic digestion thereby increasing the stability of the peptide. The described liposome preparations are suitable nanosystems for managing hydrophobic entry-inhibitor peptides as putative therapeutics.