Scientific reports 2017 03 027() 43711 doi 10.1038/srep43711
HIV maturation inhibitors are an emerging class of anti-retroviral compounds that inhibit the viral protease-mediated cleavage of the Gag, CA-SP1 (capsid-spacer peptide 1) peptide to mature CA. The first-in-class maturation inhibitor bevirimat (BVM) displayed potent activity against HIV-1 clade B but was ineffective against other HIV-1 clades including clade C. Another pyridone-based maturation inhibitor, PF-46396 displayed potent activity against HIV-1 clade B. In this study, we aimed at determining the activity of PF-46396 against HIV-1 clade C. We employed various biochemical and virological assays to demonstrate that PF-46396 is effective against HIV-1 clade C. We observed a dose dependent accumulation of CA-SP1 intermediate in presence of the compound. We carried out mutagenesis in the CA- SP1 region of HIV-1 clade C Gag and observed that the mutations conferred resistance against the compound. Many mutations inhibited Gag processing thereby reducing virus release in the absence of the compound. However, presence of PF-46396 rescued these defects and enhanced virus release, replication capacity and infectivity of HIV-1 clade C. These results put together identify PF-46396 as a broadly active maturation inhibitor against HIV-1 clade B and C and help in rational designing of novel analogs with reduced toxicity and increased efficacy for its potential use in clinics.