Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy 2017 07 2561(8) pii 10.1128/AAC.00508-17
A novel fibronectin-based protein (Adnectin) HIV-1 inhibitor was generated using in vitro selection. This inhibitor binds to human CD4 with a high affinity (3.9 nM) and inhibits viral entry at a step after CD4 engagement and preceding membrane fusion. The progenitor sequence of this novel inhibitor was selected from a library of trillions of Adnectin variants using mRNA display and then further optimized for improved antiviral and physical properties. The final optimized inhibitor exhibited full potency against a panel of 124 envelope (gp160) proteins spanning 11 subtypes, indicating broad-spectrum activity. Resistance profiling studies showed that this inhibitor required 30 passages (151 days) in culture to acquire sufficient resistance to result in viral titer breakthrough. Resistance mapped to the loss of multiple potential N-linked glycosylation sites in gp120, suggesting that inhibition is due to steric hindrance of CD4-binding-induced conformational changes.